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What is a meal replacement diet?
A meal replacement programme is a low calorie diet which encourages you to swop one or two of your daily meals for low-calories shakes, soups or bars. By replacing a potentially high calorie meal with a lower calorie one, you will be consuming fewer calories than you burn which will help you to lose weight. The third meal that you eat is healthy and balanced with protein, carbohydrates and vegetables. Although this is calorie controlled too to help you consume fewer calories throughout the day.
What is the best meal replacement diet for me?
Finding the best meal replacement diet for you depends upon whether you would prefer to drink weight loss shakes, soups or eat meal replacement bars. Some people prefer a shake as it feels more like a meal, whereas you might prefer a bar as they’re easy to eat when you’re on the go. Finding a meal replacement that easily fits into your lifestyle will allow you to stick to the diet and reach your weight loss goals.
Brands such as SlimFast, Celebrity Slim and XLS-Medical offer a variety of flavoured weight loss shakes that also offer a meal replacement diet for you to follow alongside. These plans can help you to pick healthy snacks and meals to support your weight loss and complement the meal replacement product that you have chosen.
Are meal replacements good for losing weight?
Meal replacements tend to be high in protein which helps you to stay feeling fuller for longer, while giving your body the nutrients it needs to build and repair muscle. Find out more about why protein is an important part of your diet and what sources you can add to your snacks here.
Meal replacements can help people to lose weight and keep it off, as they take the guesswork out of calorie counting and portion control. However you might find that once you stop the programme the weight creeps back on as you haven’t changed your eating habits or behaviour, but rather put them on hold for the diet. Many people find that a meal replacement programme helps to kick start their weight loss, giving them the boost they need to adopt healthier eating and regular exercise.
Can following a soup diet be good for weight loss?
Whether you chose to follow a soup diet or meal replacement diet, then the results will be pretty similar as they both work in the same way – by restricting the calories you consume you will burn off more energy than you are taking in and so lose weight. However drastic diets such as the cabbage soup diet can cause unwanted side effects and health problems, many people who try these diets find that they lose weight quickly but cannot keep the weight off in the long run, instead returning to stage one again.
The way to lose weight and keep it off is to make a lifestyle change, to add exercise into your life and adopt a healthy balanced diet packed with the healthy nutrients your body needs. Find out more about how to healthily lose weight here.
Living off meal replacements can seriously damage your health, leading to malnutrition and other issues. Meal replacement diets are a not a substitute for a healthy, balanced diet and should be carefully considered.
Weight loss can take different amounts of time depending on factors such as how much weight you have to lose. Many meal replacements plans and the NHS recommend a steady, safe and healthy weight loss of 1 to 2lbs a week.
Consuming a diet that is lower in calories than you are used to can make you feel hungry, tired and low in energy. Before you embark on a weight loss plan you should discuss it with your GP to make sure that the plan is safe for you to do.