If you’ve ever wanted to lose weight, you must have probably heard of meal replacement shakes. Meal Replacement Shakes have been a part of the fitness market for quite some time now, they are portable and convenient to use, offer varied flavors to appeal the consumer and the best part is that they provide the complete nutrient package.
When used as a replacement for meals along with some necessary healthy alterations in lifestyle, these shakes have even worked for many.
Do Meal Replacement Shakes work?
We all know the basic rule-to lose weight; you need to take in fewer calories than you burn. When this happens over a period of time, you see some amount of weight loss happening. To put it simply, meal replacement shakes are low in calories as compared to standard meal, so replacing a meal with a shake gives you half the amount of calories than you’d generally take.
What are the pros of taking a Meal Replacement Shake?
- Several studies have found that meal replacement shakes are similar or in some cases better than calorie counted meals for weight loss. A regular meal may vary in terms of calories from being anywhere between 300-400 kcals or more. Since MRS are formulated to help with weight loss, they are specifically made of low caloric value. This helps you cut down the caloric intake per meal.
- Meal replacements that are have a higher protein content, i.e., at least 20 gm. protein per serving helps you manage hunger and cravings better. Since protein is something that slows the digestion process with gradual release of energy, it keeps you full for longer.
- It is not just protein alone that helps with satiety. Dietary fiber also has a great role in keeping the untimely food cravings and mindless munching away. Fiber has traditionally been well regarded for keeping a person satiated for long, helping with digestion as well as improving the gut health.
- Since it is a meal that you replace entirely, most meal replacement shakes also make up for the micronutrient contents. A good MRS will give you 25 or more of essential micronutrients. Always check the label for nutrition information.
So, how do they work?
Since taking a liquid form of diet does not have same effect on the metabolism rate as whole foods, it is usually recommended that you should stick to taking these shakes in replacement on any one meal. Another factor is, replacing more than one meal may create a sudden calorie deficiency and instead of working for weight loss, it may rather push you towards having more cravings and eventually indulging in wrong food. This also makes it difficult to manage weight you get back to your regular diet. That is why, it is most ideal to replace only any one meal of the day.
Suggested Reads: What is the Right Time to Take a Meal Replacement Shake?
How do you make a Meal Replacement Shake work successfully for yourself?
There are more number of brands that sell Meal Replacement Shakes with the claim that they help you lose weight, than you can count. However, not all shakes are formulated in the same fashion. If you pay close attention to the nutrition facts label, you will notice the slightest of difference in these products. To ensure that a product will work for you successfully, don’t shy away from consulting a dietitian to help you find the right product suited for your body. Pay close attention to the protein content and quality, carbohydrate sources, sugar content and additionally, check if the product has been fortified with beneficial hunger blockers or ingredients that aid in achieving your target weight.
Finally, weight loss is not just about what you eat or what your shake contains; it also includes the kind of lifestyle that you are following and how much of healthy change do you also apply to the rest of what you eat.
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