Meal Replacement Shakes for Weight Loss: Why They Work
Let’s face it, losing weight can be tough. That’s why we continue to see new diet fads coming in and out of fashion as people try to find the one magic system that works for them. However, the unfortunate truth is that losing weight can take a lot of hard work as it requires you to get into a calorie deficit for a prolonged period of time.
Given the hectic pace of our busy lifestyles, more people are turning to meal replacement shakes as a healthy way to manage their daily calorie intake, but do they really work? Let’s find out.
What is a Meal Replacement Shake?
Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of confusing meal replacement shakes with protein shakes. Let’s make this clear; they are both different products intended for different purposes.
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Meal replacement shakes are designed to replace one of your main meals throughout the day, such as your breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The whole idea behind them is to give you a healthy alternative to your main meals, allowing you to save on your calories and satisfy your hunger while still giving your body all of the nutrients and goodness it needs.
Unlike protein shakes (that only contain protein), meal replacement shakes contain a rich nutrient profile, complete with all the macro and micronutrients that you should be getting from your food (yet most people rarely do).
What are the benefits?
Additionally, one of the primary benefits of these products is how easy and convenient they are compared to preparing and cooking an actual meal. All you have to do is mix the powder with water/milk (based on your preference), and you’re good to go. This makes them ideal for breakfast or your lunchtime meal while at work or for when you know you’re going to be away from home for a few hours.
Many studies have shown the effectiveness of meal replacement shakes for weight loss, and those who incorporate them into their diets tend to lose weight much faster than those who are on other calorie-restrictive diets. With that said, here’s a few of the primary ways meal replacement shakes can help you lose weight.
They put you into a calorie deficit
When you break it down, you can simplify weight loss into a simple equation—calories in and calories out. If you consume more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. If you consume fewer calories than you burn, you lose weight. Simple right?
While the theory is relatively easy to grasp, the hard part is putting this into practice. Fortunately, meal replacement shakes take a lot of the hard work out of this as they create a natural calorie deficit in your day without the need for meticulously planning and counting every meal.
Breaking it down
Let’s say your average evening meal is around 750 calories. If you swap it out for a meal replacement shake at 250 calories, that’s a saving of 500 calories each day. While that may not seem like a lot, if you compound that over the course of a week, that works out to roughly 3500 calories, which equates to one pound of body fat.
Of course, if you really wanted to boost your weight loss, then you could choose to replace two or even three of your daily meals. However, the more of a calorie deficit you go into, the more difficult it is to sustain.
They help you avoid unhealthy meals
One of the key drivers behind an unhealthy diet and a bulging waistline is the tendency to opt for fast food and snacks. We live in a fast-paced world where our time is as short as ever. We work longer hours, have more responsibilities, and as a result, we’re all rushing around and stressed.
It’s for this reason, many of us fall into the bad habit of relying on fast food, takeaways, and junk food for our daily sustenance. Even if it’s not our intention when we start the day, it’s hard to say no to the McDonalds that’s staring at you from across the road when you have the lunchtime hunger pangs.
This is where meal replacement shakes step in. Rather than opting for the unhealthy snack, you can turn to your shake instead. Not only does this save your waistline, but it does wonders for your bank balance too. After all, those trips to KFC and Subway add up. All you have to do is make sure you take your shake powder and a mixer with you, and you’re good to go!
They provide nutrients that your current diet may be lacking
Shockingly, it’s believed that over 30% of the world’s population has some sort of micronutrient deficiency, which is around 2 billion people. For those of you that don’t know, micronutrients are the nutrients you get from your food other than carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
The truth is, most of our diets are seriously lacking in essential nutrients that our body and minds need to perform at their best. Some of the most common deficiencies include zinc, magnesium, vitamin d, vitamin b12, magnesium, and iron. So what’s the reason for this? Well, frankly, it all comes down to poor diet and a lack of education. In the developed world, we all have access to all of the vitamins and minerals we need, but we very rarely make full use of this privilege. If you continuously eat bad food and starve your body of these nutrients there is a high chance you will gain weight.
Research over the years has indicated that a lack of certain microcontinents contributes to unintentional weight gain. This happens for a number of reasons, but mainly due to the compounding effects of greater health challenges, lack of energy (and lack of exercise), a decrease in immunity, and cellular damage. Long story short, lacking nutrients is a big no-no when it comes to your health.
Fortunately, with meal replacement shakes it’s very easy to get all of your vital micro and macronutrients into your body each and every day. And the great thing is, it takes very little effort on your behalf. You can get all of the goodness you need in an easy-to-drink shake, giving you the full spectrum of perfectly balanced nutrition to help make sure your vitamin and mineral needs are met.
They stop you from feeling hungry
The fact of the matter is, nobody on this earth would be overweight if there was no such thing as hunger. We all know that hunger is one of the most uncomfortable sensations you can have. You get strong contractions in your stomach, and it starts growling, begging for you to give it some food. The only problem is, your hunger pangs usually lead you to grab an unhealthy snack or a quick fix to subside the discomfort, which is a disaster for your diet.
Interestingly, studies have shown that consuming meals high in protein and fiber are great for keeping hunger at bay. They help to reduce your appetite and keep you feeling fuller for longer. This is partly because protein reduces the levels of the hormone ghrelin in your blood, which is responsible for hunger. It also boosts peptide YY which is another hormone that keeps you feeling full. On the other hand, fiber keeps your blood glucose levels from rising too fast, which also eliminates hunger and helps prevent you from overeating.
Case in point, meal replacement shakes are high in protein and fiber, which go a long way to offsetting the hunger you will experience from being in a calorie deficit.
It instills essential behavior changes
Apart from all of the nutritional information listed above, meal replacement shakes are a fantastic dietary option for a number of reasons as they make it easier to instill healthy behavioral changes that will have an overall net positive impact on your weight and life.
For example, swapping out one of your meals for a shake allows you to spend more time focusing and preparing the other meals throughout your day. Because you’re already making a positive change, you’re far more likely to want to keep your other meals on the healthy side too. This creates a positive compounding effect in other areas of your life, leading to substantial losses in weight relatively quickly.
Secondly, being mindful of what you eat and paying more attention to your diet positively affects self-monitoring in other areas of your life too. People on meal replacement shake diets usually start to become aware of other unhealthy habits they are holding on to, and it may help give them the motivation they need to change in some of these areas.
Finally, repetition and routine are key for weight loss as they build up consistency with your eating schedule. As you become more self-aware of your eating habits, you can try and create a routine where you avoid going for long periods of time without eating to prevent feelings of hunger and severe energy dips. This reduces the likelihood of succumbing to your cravings and binging out on junk food which is is a massive help to those looking to shed their unwanted body fat.
It’s the perfect low-calorie meal replacement for busy blokes wanting to boost weight loss and improve overall health. It’s full of whey and soy protein which means it’ll leave you feeling full and satisfied and keep you going till your next meal.
If you want to shift some kilo’s, look no further than The Healthy Man’s Meal Replacement!