Benefits of Meal Replacement Products
There are countless reasons to replace a meal with a well-balanced protein shake or smoothie. From the simple convenience of making the shake or smoothie to the calorie content compared to preparing a meal that might be fried because it is quick and easy.
A good protein shake will help you maintain your calorie requirement for that meal but will also supply all the required nutrients for a good post-workout meal that is easy and quick to prepare. There are also downsides of drinking protein shakes instead of a solid meal however.
In 2010 Diabetes/Metabolism Research did a study which found obese participants that used meal replacements lost a lot more weight in the first year than those participants who reduced calories and did not use meal replacements. The protein shakes showed the best results as protein is more satiating than carbohydrates or fats.
Katherine Zeratsky from the Mayo Clinic says that shakes will never be able to provide all the required nutritional components of unprocessed whole foods. She says that whole foods include antioxidants and many other protective substances like vitamins and minerals that cannot be given by protein shakes.
She does admit that having a protein shake is a lot better than skipping a meal however. The convenience of having a protein drink in your gym bag or preparing a quick protein shake when needed is simple with very little preparation needed. But trying to lose weight using just one meal replacement is not a sustainable strategy.
Dr. Monica Zangwill who is a public health expert says that the only way to achieve long-term weight maintenance is with regular exercise, good nutrition and quality medical care. She says that meal replacements may help you lose weight but if and when you stop and go back to normal eating patterns you will gain the weight back.
It is a good idea to get approval from your doctor or dietitian before going onto meal replacements. The best shakes for weight loss as well as muscle gain will be those shakes with whole foods in them as they will have all the required vitamins and minerals needed without too much sugar added.