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April 18, 2022

How Meal Replacement Shakes Can Be an Effective Tool for Weight Loss

Photo by Ron Lach on Pexels.

There are tons of diets promising fast weight loss. There is the keto diet, paleo diet, vegan diet, Mediterranean diet, Nordic diet, and many more. Each appears to have some success, though it’s often confusing and unclear which one is sustainable and better than the others.

However, various diets pose one significant challenge: a learning curve involved in adapting to the diet. Some diets, like the paleo or vegan diets, are simply not easy to start.

For example, in the keto diet, one needs to learn to live without eating much bread, pasta, sweets, sugars, and other carb-rich foods. Other diets also pose similar kinds of challenges, and one needs to learn a lot about them before starting.

Additionally, there are significant safety concerns when switching to some specific diet. For example, a vegan diet requires vigilance in getting sufficient bioavailable protein and adequate micronutrients to avoid malnutrition.

However, there is quite a straightforward and safe way to achieve weight loss, and it is using meal replacement shakes. There is no learning curve involved in adopting these shakes, but more importantly, these shakes have all the needed macro and micronutrients. Therefore, it means negligible health risks.

Meal replacement shakes are undoubtedly one of the simplest ways to achieve and maintain weight loss.

Meal replacement shakes are good in the way that one exactly knows the number of calories in each serving. But, more importantly, one can be sure that it is providing all the necessary macro and micronutrients and is safe.

One can use these meal replacement shakes to replace up to two meals a day. Whatever way one decides to go forward, these shakes ensure that a person will get enough vital nutrients.

Other Potential Benefits of Meal Replacement Shakes 

Although meal replacement shakes are mainly for weight loss and managing obesity, they can have numerous health benefits. It means that one can also use them as health supplements to reduce the risk of other chronic ailments.

Just take an example of diabetes due to insulin resistance. In the US, obesity is the leading risk factor for diabetes. One of the most effective ways to manage diabetes is switching to a very low-carbohydrate diet (VLCD). Meal replacement shakes have enough healthy calories and nutrients to keep you healthy but are low in carbs.

Meal replacement shakes high in proteins, healthy fats, essential micronutrients, and dietary fiber are perfect for managing and even reversing diabetes. They might be packed with nutrients but have a low carb content and thus a low glycemic index. As a result, meal replacement shakes almost have nil sugar content. Moreover, these shakes contain micronutrients known to improve insulin sensitivity, like chromium and zinc.

However, that is not all, and meal replacement shakes can help manage diabetes-related complications. These shakes are rich in vitamin B6, B12, folic acid, and other micronutrients, known to help with these complications.

Meal replacement shakes may also help manage arthritis. For example, collagen proteins are good for slowing down damage to cartilages. Similarly, antioxidants and micronutrients in the shakes contribute health benefits.

It appears that high blood glucose and obesity are among the significant risk factors for neurodegenerative disorders. Meal replacement shakes can not only help by promoting weight loss but also aid due to their content of micronutrients. Some of the vitamins & minerals are good for brain health including vitamin B6, B12, chromium, magnesium, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, and thiamine. Meal replacement shakes have them in the recommended amounts.

Cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke are among the top five causes of mortality. However, these events do not occur solely due to obesity. It appears that micro-nutritional deficiencies are a significant contributor to these health disorders.

Another reason for the increasing prevalence of cardiovascular issues is dietary imbalances. For example, high carbohydrate intake and high consumption of seed oils (from canola, soy, corn and safflower) are the primary reasons for their increase.

Hence, meal replacement shakes can help in multiple ways. Firstly, it can provide nutrients that are good for heart health. For example, there are numerous studies showing that a high intake of dietary fiber may help cut down the risk of heart disease significantly. It may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular ailments by as much as 30% or even more in many cases.

Similarly, deficiency of micronutrients like vitamin A, C, thiamine, other B vitamins, selenium may compromise heart health.

Another way in which meal replacement shakes help is by eliminating dietary imbalances. For example, it helps reduce carbohydrate intake and provides high-quality fats. This may help reduce water retention and lower chronic inflammation, especially in the long run.

Meal replacement shakes are good in that they fit well into various diet forms. For example, meal replacement shakes low in carbs and moderately rich in fats and proteins are perfect for those on the keto diet. It also helps prevent nutritional deficiencies in those starting these diets.

Finally, it is essential to know that meal replacement shakes are quite suitable for lean mass gain. This is because they are good for changing body composition. One needs adequate amounts of proteins, high-quality calories, and micronutrients for lean mass gain. Even professional athletes regularly use meal replacement shakes as a health supplement.

Best Time to Drink a Meal Replacement Shake

One can drink meal replacement shake at different times of the day. While it’s ideal to start your day with a meal replacement shake, there is no one perfect time due to lifestyle choices and health goals. It may be a satisfying breakfast that can provide energy that can last for the rest of the day.

Similarly, one can use a meal replacement shake to replace lunch. It is also good to use it before a workout, but one should use it about an hour before the planned training. It may be consumed as a healthy snack between meals and much more.

Generally, one should avoid consuming any food right before bedtime. It is because, at that time, such calories are not essential and may even disrupt sleep.

How Many Hours Can a Meal Replacement Shake Keep You Full For

Here it is worth understanding that there are considerable individual differences. Nevertheless, meal replacement shakes’ high protein and healthy fat content helps ensure that most will feel full for a few hours.

Moreover, high-quality proteins, dietary fiber, and healthy fats may also alter endocrinal responses and thus significantly impact satiety. It means that regular intake of these meal replacement shakes may even change food-seeking behavior.

Final Thoughts

Meal replacement shakes can help in multiple health conditions. This is because they are nutritionally dense, packed with healthy nutrients, and sufficient calories. Thus, they aim to provide beneficial compounds like antioxidants and manage dietary imbalances.

It is essential to understand that they are an effective tool for weight loss. However, their use is much broader due to multiple health benefits. Meal replacement shakes are especially good for metabolic health. It means that they can help aid in various metabolic ailments. And may even play a role in more comfortably living with common chronic illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders, mood issues, and much more.

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