For those wishing for an easy, yet practical approach to weight loss, meal replacement shakes present the ideal answer. These meal replacement shakes are used as substitutes for a meal of solid food. They are usually medically prescribed and have a moderate carbohydrate, low fat, and high protein content, along with minerals and vitamins. The most frequent users of the meal replacement shakes are people who are looking to lose weight and bodybuilders. Through these shakes, the body gets its essential supply of nutrients even as hunger is suppressed. The bodybuilders, who need 5-6 meals daily, gain by saving on cooking and eating time; whereas suppression of hunger keeps the overweight people from consuming fatty foods. Meal replacement shakes should be taken in combination with the regular food meals taken during the day.
Ideally, these drinks are not meant to be continued for a prolonged period. Those who are having them for the purpose of losing weight should start their meal replacement program by replacing two main meals of the day. However, as the weight reduces, it would be better to increase regular food intake and reduce the meal replacement product to one meal only. All these shakes do not contain the same amount and type of nutrients. For healthy weight loss meal, replacement shakes should be supplemented with valuable nutrients such as Omega 3 fatty acids, and fiber through the consumption of fruits and vegetables. This maintains parity in nutrient ratio and keeps the bowel movement fine. It also ensures that while your weight reduces, you do not feel faint or weak. No matter how safe and efficient these shakes are, you must never rely solely on them. Combine their use with healthier lifestyle choices and a reasonable amount of exercise.
Though used primarily for weight loss, the meal replacement shakes have several other benefits as well. Their various uses are:
- At times, when you are too busy at work or in a rush to go and cannot spare a chance to eat a proper meal, these shakes offer an excellent, healthy and quick alternative. It is much better to have the shake instead of gulping down a burger and a cola.
- The meal replacement drinks are high in proteins but low in calories. Proteins help in building more of muscle tissues and less of fat.
- When you have undergone surgery or have dental issues and can consume only a liquid diet, such healthy shakes can be great replacements for food.
- The shakes are quite handy for people who have the tendency to skip meals. Carelessness towards your body's needs and skipping meals, especially breakfast, is quite familiar with the young generation. These drinks can compensate for at least a part of the required nutrition.
The popularity of meal replacement shakes lies in their effectiveness, easy use, relatively inexpensive, decent taste, and availability in a variety of flavors.