Weight loss shakes and meal replacements

Meal replacements and weight loss shakes: What is the difference and how do they work?

Weight loss shakes and meal replacement products are essentially the same, they have both been designed to help you to lose weight and reach your weight loss goals by lowering the amount of calories that you consume throughout the day.

What are weight loss shakes?

Weight loss shakes are beverages designed to be consumed once or twice a day in replacement of a solid meal, in order to cut back on calories and reduce the amount of food eaten. They usually come in delicious, milky flavours and include a range of high quality protein, nutrients and minerals so that your body does not go into a state of deprivation. They are quick and easy to prepare, therefore convenient for those with a busy lifestyle.

What are meal replacements?

A meal replacement can be a bar, soup or shake and is designed to be consumed instead of one of your three main meals a day. They are usually lower in fat and calories than an average meal, and enriched with proteins, nutrients and minerals to aid a healthy diet.

How does a meal replacement diet work?

Meal replacement bars, shakes or soups are all designed to be low calorie alternatives to meals, so the diet is based on limiting the number of calories you consume. Meal replacements come in different forms, you might prefer to drink a sweet tasting milkshake made with powder or eat a chocolate flavoured bar instead. The aim is for you to replace high calorie meals or snack that you might eat with a low calorie alternative that is nutritionally balanced. By replacing your meals with bars or shakes you will consume fewer calories and so lose weight.

Are meal replacement shakes good for weight loss?

Diet shakes and meal replacement products can be used by overweight people who wish to lose weight, and they can be effective at helping some people lose weight and keep it off*. However the meals you do eat when on these low calorie plans should be rich in nutrients so that your body receives the things it needs to function properly.

Meal replacement items must be used in accordance with the manufacturing instructions; it is also a good idea to discuss your weight loss plans with your GP before you embark on a calorie controlled diet. As low calories diets that rely on meal replacements do have potential risks, which can include kidney damage and malnutrition.

Meal replacement shakes, bars and soups are not a long term solution, and once the plan ends you could put the weight back on and return to your former eating habits. Gradual weight loss and lifestyle changes are recommended so that you can change your habits for the long term.

Are meal replacement shakes good for you?

Meal replacement shakes are a convenient way to consume a low calorie meal on the go but should not be used in the long-term. Whilst a helpful tool for aiding weight loss, they must be consumed with at least one healthy meal per day as the body needs fresh and nutrient-rich ingredients to survive – shakes alone can’t provide this. Whilst an effective temporary solution for weight loss, the goal of any diet should be to learn more about everyday healthy eating and living rather than long term use of replacement shakes.

The best weight loss shake

There are a variety of weight loss shakes on the market, and the best diet shake for you will be based on whether you like the taste, thickness or results that the shake gives you – it all personal preference. There are numerous brands including, SlimFast, Celebrity Slim and XLS-Medical that offer meal replacement shakes for weight loss. Each product promotes a safe and healthy way to lose weight if you follow the instructions and only use the diet shakes for as long as you need. The best diet shakes are accompanied by weight loss plans and advice which help you to replace one or two of your main meals with a shake, while making sure that you eat one nutritionally balanced meal a day.

References

*www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/top-diets-review

www.nhs.uk/news/obesity/crash-diets-work-best-claim-misguided

No, it is not recommended that you consume only weight loss shakes; this can lead to health problems and malnutrition.

Losing weight by using meal replacement products can make you feel constantly hungry and low on energy, while your body adjusts top the decreased amount of calories. The change in diet and amount of calories you consume can lead to headaches, dizziness and diarrhoea. Before starting any diet plan it is best to consult your GP.

Yes you can, however if during exercise if you start to feel sick, weak or dizzy stop exercising immediately.