Three shakes a day diet

Contents

30 Pounds Lost: Cardio Intervals and Meal Replacement Shakes Stop Darrick’s Heartburn

What was the turning point that prompted you to lose weight?

I was sick of being uncomfortable in my clothes, sick of having heartburn all the time, and wanted to look better with my shirt off.

When did you start trying to lose weight?

On December 13, 2012, I decided to begin the ViSalus’ Body by Vi Challenge to lose weight. I set a goal of 17-20 pounds. Now I am focused on gaining lean muscle.

How did you get started?

I was working out regularly, but was still gaining weight over time. It had everything to do with how – and how much – I was eating. I watched a friend lose 52 pounds in 90 days, so I knew I could do it. I started by using a true meal replacement shake that tasted amazing! I decided to replace two meals a day (breakfast and dinner) and eat a sensible lunch with healthy snacks in between. I went public with my goal to help me be more accountable.

What was your biggest challenge?

I think my biggest challenge was preparing and cooking for the kids and not also eating up any leftovers. Having a goal helped me keep focused. Another challenge was trying not to get upset with myself if I had a bad meal.

Were there any times when you wanted to quit or give up? How did you stay motivated?

There were no times I felt like quitting. Quitting was never an option as I went public with my goal and set a 90 day time frame to accomplish it. I stayed motivated in that I started seeing results and feeling better. My heartburn stopped four days into starting, so that relief was also very encouraging. Plus I could make my shakes into hundreds of various flavors so that helped curve cravings.

If you reached a weight loss plateau, how did you break out of the rut?

When my weight loss slowed, I switched up my exercise program by doing more interval cardio and that helped.

What’s your current exercise routine?

I try to work out five days a week, but that does not always happen. I am mixing in weight training with interval cardio. Sometimes I will go for 5-10K runs outside.

What’s your daily diet look like?

I still mostly have two shakes a day with a lunch and healthy snacks. Sometimes I will have a shake for breakfast and eat two meals. I try and just eat lean protein and add more vegetables and fruit. When I eat out, I try to just make better choices.

What’s your favorite healthy snack and meal?

Light greek yogurt and Nature Valley protein bars.

How has losing weight changed your life?

I no longer have to eat those chalk tablets for heartburn. My cholesterol dropped, along with my triglycerides. I feel better, I have more energy, and I look better. This has given me opportunities to encourage others and be more active with my kids.

Do you have any advice for those trying to lose weight?

I would say set a goal, write it down, and go public in social media as this will help with accountability. Take a before picture and use it for motivation to change. If you slip up and have a bad day admit it and get back on track. Stay positive and do not allow the slip ups to cause you to quit.

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I Drank Only Meal-Replacement Shakes for One Week — Here’s What Happened

When I saw an ad for Ample, a “meal-in-a-bottle,” I was intrigued. Ample is a 400-calorie shake made with “real-food” ingredients that you mix with milk or water.

Liquid diets and cleanses get a bad rap in the wellness world (and just generally sound miserable).

But Soylent, for example, a vegan meal replacement shake, provides around 15 grams of fiber and 100 percent of the daily recommended amounts of essential micronutrients (if you drink five of them in a day). Not to be confused with Soylent Green.

The makers of Ample suggest making it a part of your daily routine — for breakfast, lunch, or a snack, when you’re busy or traveling, or post-workout.

The company doesn’t suggest having more than two shakes per day: “Not that it would be unhealthy,” Ample says. “We just recommend that you recognize the value in eating real food!”

I thought it’d be interesting to ignore that suggestion and put the company’s meal-replacement claim to the test. Ample hooked me up with 30 shakes, and my liquid odyssey began.

Days 1 to 3

Taken before I snapped and began hoarding the empty bottles.

I planned to drink 4 bottles per day (equaling roughly 2,000 calories when mixed with whole milk). My goal: increase productivity with no noticeable drop in energy. For me it wasn’t about losing weight; in fact, I was hoping to put on some weight.

My first sip of Ample was the best it ever tasted, which was surprisingly good. The shake has what is best described as a graham cracker flavor with a hint of peanut butter. My second drink, which I had at lunch later that same day, still tasted pretty alright. But by my third shake, the craving for a bit of variety set in.

My digestive system was what I was most worried about. My mom kindly asked what I was going to do about “roughage.” My friends were a bit more blunt, sending sarcastically supportive texts that always ended with the same question: “Have you sh*t yourself yet?” I’m happy to report that I didn’t ruin a single pair of underwear, but there were a few close calls.

I began day three in high spirits, mixing Ample with an increasingly eclectic mix of ingredients, which brought some much-needed variety into my chalky-flavored life. And my productivity was at an all-time high. It’s amazing how much more time you gain by cutting out breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

I finished that third day by peeing for the eighth time before leaving the office (turns out, you piss like a horse on an all-liquid diet) and walked to the subway. My commute is 14 stops. I made it four before the overwhelming urge to poop set in. By the time the train reached the fifth stop, I was confident I’d need to use my emergency underwear. (Believe it or not, I always keep a change of clothes with me, not just when I’m doing something stupid for work.)

By the fifth stop, I was confident I’d need to use my emergency underwear.

I jumped out of my seat and booked it up the subway stairs, disregarding the angry looks as I shoved my way through the rush-hour crowd. I saw a Starbucks logo smiling down at me with open arms. Waddling across a four-lane avenue, I almost defecated from fear as cars whizzed past.

Apparently, you’re supposed to make a purchase before using the bathroom at Starbucks. So I essentially threatened to sh*t on the floor if they made me wait in line to buy something. They didn’t seem phased (Starbucks workers must’ve seen some crazy stuff), but we finally compromised: I could skip the line to buy my glorified bathroom pass. I bought the first item I saw (a small tin of mints) and ran to the bathroom with the code on my receipt.

I’ll spare you the details — all you need know is that there’s a moment of reflection that comes only after you break a liquid diet with breath mints in a Starbucks bathroom.

Days 4 to 7

I’m confident that I would’ve given Usain Bolt a run for his money.

After my bathroom ordeal, I figured I’d earned a real cheat meal. I met up with a college friend who insisted I eat at his country club if it was going to be my only meal for the week. That dinner was one of the best I’ve ever had. Not only was it the first solid food I’d had that week, but it was easily the fanciest restaurant I’d ever eaten at. I’m pretty sure no steak burger or fries will ever match that practically spiritual meal. I’ll genuinely never forget the salty crunch of pickle as I took my last bite.

My friends started to drink after dinner, and being a sucker for peer pressure and bad ideas, I decided to mix my Ample with a beer. I’m sure there’s a way to make alcoholic Ample taste good, but mixing it with Natural Light is definitely not it. The beer gave the shake a bitter-but-not-overwhelming flavor, similar to what I’d imagine a mix of protein and dehydrated urine to taste like.

Being a sucker for peer pressure and bad ideas, I decided to mix my Ample with a beer.

What followed was probably my second most memorable bathroom experience ever. That’s two digestion issues in 24 hours, folks. The beer felt like fire in my belly, and the steak I’d enjoyed hours earlier became a bowling ball in my bowels. The combination made sleep nearly impossible, and I felt like I was passing an anal kidney stone the next morning.

I was never too tempted to break my diet again, even as I watched my coworkers and roommates make feasts. Instead I’d say I gained a new appreciation for how food looks and smells. Greatist’s food articles basically became porn for me, and I decided that sautéed garlic and onion is second only to the smell of lavender.

The aftermath

Overall my experience with Ample was a net positive. My biggest complaint was that the drinks were a bit repetitive, but I was expecting that since they were all the same flavor. Hot chocolate powder, cinnamon, or a bit of hot coffee mixed really well with Ample. Nutmeg, beer, and cold brew coffee made it practically undrinkable.

My bathroom issues (which wouldn’t have been a problem if I’d had more solids, as recommended) were mostly caused by ignorance. There’s no gray area on a liquid diet: You either need to poop immediately, or you don’t need to poop at all. It’s also hard on the digestive system to transition back to solids after a week of only liquids, which isn’t super surprising.

I’m confident the drink would work wonders as a quick and easy replacement for breakfast or lunch, or both. It may not taste as good as a steak sandwich, but getting all your necessary calories and nutrients in about 2 minutes is pretty amazing. I expected to need periodic snacks, but Ample was actually filling.

It’s going to be at least a month before I have another one of the shakes though. There’s a handful of them sitting under my desk taunting me, but I don’t plan on drinking one until I stop having graham cracker-infused dreams.

Meal Replacement Shakes

Meal replacements shakes have been for a while and help with weight management, weight loss and provide simple, convenient and nutrient dense nutrition for everybody.

With growing obesity trends globally, meal replacement shakes have become a premium.

The difference between a simple protein shake and meal replacement is that meal replacement shakes are intended to provide the nutrition of a full meal – i.e., replace a meal (1).

They can come pre-mixed in cans and bottles, or they can come in powdered form – intended to be mixed with your beverage of choice (usually milk or water).

Best Meal Replacement Shake

1IdealShake Meal Replacement Shake

First up is the IdealShake meal replacement shake by IdealShape. The IdealShake packs over 11g of whey protein, 22 vitamins, and 5g of dietary fiber into a 120-calorie smooth and creamy meal replacement shake. The IdealShake comes in 8 different flavors, including classic chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and mint chocolate chip.

The 11g of whey protein promotes lean muscle mass so the IdealShake makes a great supplement for lifting. Adding it to your daily routine will help you burn more fat and increase post-workout recovery gains. The IdealShake has just the right mixture of carbs, proteins, and fats for a full replacement meal. You will feel more energized and satisfied.

It is recommended to replace one or two meals a day with IdealShake for safe and effective weight loss. It’s so tasty, it’s basically like a dessert.

2Ample Meal Shake

Up next is Ample Shake, a meal replacement shake made from all-natural proteins, fiber, and probiotics that promote healthy gut bacteria. The Ample Shake only comes in vanilla flavor but it is available in a 400 calorie and 600 calorie size, so you have some flexibility on how to introduce it to your routine.

The Ample Shake contains over 30g of whey and pea proteins, alongside a blend of essential branched-chain amino acids that afford balanced nutrition and energy. It only has 4 grams of sugars and includes a mix of ply and unsaturated fats.

Fibers from chicory root, acacia, psyllium, and green banana feed and extend the release of the probiotics. An organic blend of wheatgrass and barley grass provides a natural source of antioxidants and polyphenols that fight against free radicals.

With a 23%/24%/53% ratio of carbs to protein to fats, the Ample Shake will help you feel full longer and jumpstart your metabolism so you efficiently burn excess fat all day.

3Organifi: Complete Protein

This complete protein meal replacement shake form Organifi is a 100% vegan blend of plant-based proteins and digestive enzymes to promote a healthy metabolism. The Organifi contains all the carbs, fats, and protein of a nutritious meal with essential vitamins and minerals. This protein powder can be mixed into a glass of water in as little as 5 seconds and taste delicious all on its own.

Organifi complete protein contains high-quality ingredients from6 different superfoods: quinoa, monk fruit, vanilla bean, coconut, pea protein, and pumpkin seeds. The blend is 100% free of dairy or soy so those with allergies can rest easy.

Organifi complete protein also helps to improve your immune system, boost enzyme activity, and give you all your daily essential vitamins and minerals with just a single serving per day. The smooth and creamy shake makes a great addition to any meal or dessert and can even be eaten in powder form if need be. Each bottle comes with 30 servings, a full month of meal replacements.

4Orgain Organic Meal Replacement Powder

Orgain’s organic meal replacement powder features 20g of plant-based protein and over 8 grams of organic dietary fiber per serving. The mixture contains Orgain’s signature blend of organic sprouts, greens, fruits, and vegetables. A single serving is only 220 calories and a single glass. Orgain is 100% vegan, gluten, dairy, and soy-free so it contains no common allergens or animal byproducts.

Orgain is also a great source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, riboflavin, thiamine, iron, and pantothenic acid. The Orgain meal replacement shake is a perfect substitute for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or makes a great pre-bed snack or post-workout recovery shake.

Simply mix a scoop of the powder with a glass of water and the mixture will be ready in as little as 10 seconds. Orgain tastes great is filling and satisfying and can be an excellent source of vitamins and proteins to supplement your daily routine.

5Garden of Life Meal Replacement Powder

With over 20g of clean organic protein in a blend of over 44 ingredients from quality superfoods, the Garden of Life meal replacement powder will help you build lean muscle and boost your energy throughout the whole day. A single serving can replace up to two meals a day and is packed with over 1.5 billion CFU probiotics to promote healthy digestion.

Garden of Life is 100% vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and made without any soy, so it contains no common allergens and anyone can drink without worry. The blend is also both halaal and kosher so those with religious dietary restrictions can partake.

Garden of Life is made with absolutely no pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides, and does not use any GMOs, artificial growth hormones, or antibiotics. Garden of Life is NSF certified and complies with all standard food safety requirements. Each serving only has 115 calories and a full daily serving of most essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin B12, riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, and folate.

6Soylent Meal Replacement Shake

The Soylent meal replacement shake is a full meal in a bottle that makes the perfect on-the-go breakfast or lunch. Packed with over 20g of organic plant protein, a single Soylent can replace up to two meals and will give you enough energy to keep going all day. Soylent is packed with 36 vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, B12, riboflavin, niacin, iron, and more.

Soylent’s unique blend features a mixture of slow-burning carbs that keep your metabolism active throughout the whole day and curb your appetite. A single serving of Soylent contains only 120 calories but almost a full day’s serving of protein. Soylent is 100% vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, and dairy-free so those with food allergies can partake without any risk.

7RSP TrueFit

The RSP TrueFit meal replacement powder contains over 25g of grass-fed whey protein per serving, 5g of branched-chain amino acids, and 4g of glutamine neurotransmitters for peak physical and mental performance. A single serving can replace up to two meals and contains an organic blend of 12 non-GMO fruits and veggies and 8 grams of prebiotic fibers to promote healthy digestion.

RSP TrueFit makes an excellent meal replacement shake or a post-workout recovery shake and will promote lean muscle mass and increased energy throughout the day. All fats used are from naturally occurring whey and MTC oil and 8g of fiber from sweet potatoes help with indigestion. TrueFit is an ideal balance of carbs, proteins, and fats good for both adult men and women of all ages.

8Click Coffee and Meal Replacement Drink

The Click Coffee protein and meal replacement drink does exactly what it says. A single serving can replace your morning meal and morning cup of coffee, and give you a sustained source of energy for the whole day. Each serving of Click contains 150mg of caffeine from real double-shot espresso coffee mixed with Click’s slow metabolizing proteins that depress the appetite and keep energy levels high.

Click comes in traditional coffee house flavors such as vanilla latte, mocha, and caramel. At only 120 calories per serving, you can enjoy Click every day and see the pounds begin to melt away.

Simply mix 12 oz. of water with 2 scoops of Click powder to have a tasty coffee shake in less than 10 seconds. You can even keep it in your traditional coffee mugs and travel cups.

9Labrada Lean Body Meal Replacement Shake

Labrada offers a whipping 40g of whey protein per serving available in 8 delicious flavors, including banana, chocolate, vanilla and more. A single serving of Labrada will keep you full throughout the entire day and give you energy to burn.

A single serving has over 22 vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin E, biotin, riboflavin, and potassium; a veritable nutritional powerhouse that can replace up to two meals a day. Labrada is 10% gluten-free, contains no sugars, and is free of soy protein, making t good for those with food allergies.

Labara has over 20 years of experience developing advanced sports supplements and this elite product that is trusted by nutritionists, athletes, and regular everyday people.

10SlimFast Original

The Original SlimFast is still one of the most popular meal replacement shakes and is known for its great taste, easy preparation, and comprehensive blend of fats, carbs, and proteins, to provide a full day’s nutrition. One 26g serving of slim fast is sufficient to replace 3 meals and provides over 20g of protein.

Each glass of SlimFast contains 4g of fiber to promote healthy digestion and the mixture is 100% gluten-free, so those with allergies drink without worry. SlimFast also offers a variety of snack and meal plans to go along with their flagship meal replacement shape, so you can get an entire SlimFast diet and regimen. The SlimFast original meal replacement shake is available in chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and new dark chocolate.

How We Ranked

The first thing we looked at was the product quality. We wanted the products in our rankings to be a real meal replacement, not just a bunch of cheap powdered protein and sugar. Slimfast, while still a good product, was put last because it is high in sugar.

We also discounted products that were too low calorie like FitMiss Delight because it didn’t provide enough calories to act as a real meal replacement.

Next, we looked at any special metabolic qualities the meal replacement shakes have. Organifi complete protein uses slow-burning complex carbs and proteins that take more time than normal to metabolize. These molecules keep your metabolism system active for longer and suppress your appetite, contributed to greater fat burn. Slow-burning proteins are a way to keep your metabolism active, so it stays working through the day and into the night.

We also looked at the number of artificial ingredients in a given product. We preferred natural and gave bonus points to this like Garden Of Life, for staying as close to nature as possible. There’s really no reason to have artificial flavorings in 2019 due to the scientific advancements – other than trying to cut corners and make a quick buck.

Third, we looked at the macronutrient breakdown. Most protein shakes contain a blend of at least 3 key ingredients: fats, carbs, and proteins. These macromolecules are the essential nutritional units needed for humans. We preferred shakes that had a good balance of all 3, mimicking a normal meal. Products like IdealLean stood out here, proving a ratio of 35:40:25 of protein, carbs, and fat. It also contains fiber, which is an important ingredient for overall health and satiety.

Lastly, we wanted products that included extra vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and amino acids. Since you would be swapping this for a whole meal, we wanted to make sure you wouldn’t be missing out on key nutrition found in food.

After all this, we determined the top 10 best meal replacement supplements on the market.

Benefits

1Meal replacement shakes that are high in protein seem to help burn more fat. A 2011 study showed that men on a high protein diet reduced desire late night food cravings – which helped with long-term weight loss (2).

A few other studies also reported that higher protein diets led to more feelings of full (3, 4).

A 2010 study published in medicine and science in sports and exercise showed that high protein diets led to greater increases in lean body mass (5).

A 2012 study showed that high protein diets were inversely related to abdominal body fat storage (6).

A 2008 study published in the Nutrition Journal compared the effects on weight of high-protein meal replacements versus high-carb meal replacements. Both groups lost similar amounts of weight in 12 weeks however those in the high-protein group lost more body fat, and their “bad” LDL cholesterol levels were lower (7).

2Meal replacement shakes relieve the digestive burden. A 2014 study showed that liquid foods were easier to digest and absorb than solid foods (8).

This can help relieve the digestive burden created by the onslaught of highly inflammatory foods.

3Meal replacement shakes may benefit men more than women. A 2002 study found that meal replacement might benefit men more than it does women (9).

While the study wasn’t necessarily focused on the effects of meal replacement and gender, when the results were examined, researchers found that men lost a greater amount of weight on average, than did women.

4Meal replacement shakes help with weight management. Two studies done in 2012 and 2013 showed that higher protein intake was directly related to positive bodyweight maintenance over the long-term (10, 11).

Another 2004 study found that unlike traditional diets, meal replacements were found to keep excess weight off better (12).

5Meal replacement shakes help speed up weight loss. A 2012 study showed that replacing 1-2 meals with meal replacement shakes per day helped men and women lose weight over the short term by increasing feelings of satiety (13)

A 2004 study published in the International Journal of Obesity and related medical disorders showed that meal replacement shakes helped patients lose 1% body fat per month (14).

Another 2004 study published in the Nutrition Journal showed that meal replacements lowered inflammation and oxidative stress- which are key factors in weight loss and long-term weight management (15).

6Meal replacement shakes help fight off stress-related weight gain. High-stress environments often take a great toll on the human body—and usually result in a spare tire around your midsection due to excess cortisol. Studies show that cortisol is directly related to weight gain in the midsection (16).

Meal replacement shakes allow for sensible food choices and help combat stress-related weight gain (17).

7Meal replacement shakes are convenient. For many people, the biggest obstacle to eating right is time. If you work 12-hour shifts, or you’re trying to keep up with your kids’ sports schedules, or just have too many responsibilities on your plate, the thought of standing at your counter and carefully chopping vegetables seems ridiculous.

Studies show that this can lead to decision fatigue and increase the likelihood of eating delicious, but unhealthy food (18).

Meal replacement shakes cut through all of these issues by offering you a calorie-controlled and nutritionally balanced meal substitute that you can toss into a purse or backpack.

8Meal replacement shakes support healthy blood sugar levels. A 2007 study showed that both liquid and solid meal replacement options provide an effective means of positively influencing glucose levels (19).

This means that liquid food replacement options don’t increase glucose levels despite not reducing weight as much. Keeping blood sugar levels healthy means, you have a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and will have less weight gain with time.

9Meal replacement shakes are effortlessly tracked. As we know, long-term health management comes down to many factors. One pivotal factor has to do with the law of thermodynamics. A 2017 study published in the American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism showed that calories in, calories out is a major factor in weight loss and management (20).

Even though calorie counting apps offer amazing features like barcode scanning and even photo recognition, these features mean nothing if you forget to use them.

For many people, the issue with calorie counting is being absent minded rather than anything else. However, weight loss shakes can help make calorie counting very easy for at least one or two of your meals each day.

10Meal replacement shakes that are soy-based can reduce triglycerides. A 2005 study published in the American College of Nutrition showed that soy has been proven to greatly improve triglyceride count and metabolic health (21).

11Meal replacement shakes may be more nutritious than regular meals. Despite our best efforts, the average 21-century diet is notoriously malnutritious. A 2014 study showed that diet quality since the turn of the century has declined dramatically and contains much lower levels of essential minerals and vitamins (22).

Meal replacement shakes are designed to provide all of the nutrients that you should consume in a complete meal. As such, they are fortified with nutrients, which might fill your nutrient gap while you are cutting back on calories.

12Meal replacement shakes can support muscle growth. For maximum muscle growth, the body needs to be saturated with adequate protein, carbs, and nutrients. Meal replacements can provide the proper combination of those building blocks to ensure every workout session helps build more lean tissue.

Side Effects

1Meal replacement shakes can sometimes contain cheap and unhealthy ingredients. Unfortunately, not all shakes are created equal. A shake may be wholesome, but the one next to it might be littered with high sodium, trans fats, artificial flavors, and preservatives.

2Meal replacement shakes can become expensive. A single slice of toast and a piece of fruit for breakfast may cost cents, but a meal replacement shake for breakfast could be costing you an extra $2.5 per day – or an extra $75+ per month! Take cost into consideration when deciding on dietary options, and do some price comparisons.

3Meal replacement shakes that are soy-based can lower testosterone over time. Some shakes contain many soy ingredients which can be troublesome for men. A 2001 study showed that soy-phytoestrogens can lower testosterone levels (23).

4Meal replacement shakes can cause digestive distress. Some ingredients can cause digestive issues such as nausea, flatulence, diarrhea, pain, and cramping. Some people are also allergic to whey (a common protein) which further aggravate these issues.

5Meal replacement shakes are not as satiating as regular food. Shakes may be easy and convenient, but they are not always satisfying. A 2008 study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that liquid food replacements didn’t do as much to curb hunger compared to solid food (24).

This can mitigate any potential weight loss benefits the meal replacement might have.

6Meal replacement shake nutrition labels can be deceiving. Some meal replacement shakes and bars actually contain multiple servings. Aside from accidentally overeating double or triple the calories, you might be overeating the rest of the day too.

7Meal replacement shakes are not a long-term solution. A 2011 study showed that meal replacements are poor long-term solutions because maintaining weight loss and healthy eating require long-term lifestyle changes – something that meal replacements can’t fix (25).

Becoming overly reliant on shakes can leave you not knowing how to make the right choices in times when you don’t have the shakes. Although traditional diets are more complicated, they do help you learn more about portion control and nutrition.

Recommended Dosage

The recommended dosage is often 1-2 shakes per day. More than that is unnecessary. These would replace your normal meals.

The best meal replacement shake for weight loss requires that you are meticulous with the ingredient list and not the package claims.

Choose a product that, per serving, has between 15-30 grams of protein, less than 10 grams of sugar, 3+ grams of fiber, no trans fat, corn syrup or hydrogenated vegetable oils and at least 30% of the daily value for vitamins and minerals.

FAQ

Are meal replacement shakes good for weight loss? Most meal shakes contain 200–400 calories and a good amount of protein, fiber and essential vitamins and minerals. For this reason, meal replacement shakes are a convenient way to get a healthy, low-calorie meal on the go

Can you live off of meal replacement shakes? You’re not supposed to replace all your meals with shakes, but instead drink one for either lunch or dinner and then eat a sensible meal for your other meal. However, you could technically survive on these shakes, as they contain balanced nutrition.

Can you just drink meal replacement shakes and not eat? Each drink is relatively low in calories, and meal replacement companies suggest drinking two shakes per day as meal replacements in conjunction with other nutritious food. You may be able to accelerate weight loss if you only drink shakes, but it’s not a healthy or balanced plan to follow.

Are protein shakes, and meal replacement shakes the same? Meal replacement shakes do exactly what they say: replace a meal. Most are designed for weight loss, and are low in calories, but contain the essential nutrients that your body needs for a complete meal. Protein shakes, on the other hand, do not contain enough nutrients to replace a meal. Instead, they help increase overall protein intake for an individual.

Can kids drink meal replacement shakes? Yes, however solid natural food is always recommended for children and growing teenagers. Ask your doctor first before giving your child a meal replacement shake.

Can meal replacement shakes help you gain muscle? Yes they can. However given that they are low-calorie beverages, they are not the ideal pick for muscle gaining. Instead, you would want to go with a mass gaining shake.

When is the best time to consume a meal replacement shake? Anytime you want to replace a meal is the best time. If they shake contains caffeine, avoid drinking it at dinner because it may interfere with a good night’s sleep.

Are pre-mixed meal replacement shakes better? Not necessarily. More often than not, pre-mixed shakes contain preservatives. However, they tend to be more convenient.

Can you use a protein shake as a meal replacement? Most people use meal replacements as part of a weight-loss plan, and whey protein shakes can work in the same way. Instead of eating a regular meal, you drink a shake made with protein powder, which contains fewer calories than your meal would.

Can you drink coffee and tea with a meal replacement shake? Yes, of course, you can still drink tea and coffee. Just make sure to be careful with the amount of sugar and milk or cream you put in your beverages.

Can you burn ab fat with meal replacement shakes? Yes and no. Studies show that high protein diets are inversely related with abdominal fat. However, if you are not in a caloric deficit, you will not lose any fat, from any area of your body.

Can you consume and expired meal replacement? We don’t recommend using shakes after the expiration date because the nutrition on the label may no longer be accurate, especially if they are being used in replacement of a meal.

How many meal replacement shakes should I take per day? It is recommended to take a maximum of two meal replacement shakes per day and eat at least one solid meal a day. Drinking more than two shakes a day will not hurt you, but after a certain point your body cannot absorb any more nutrients and you will just filter them out through your digestion.

Can I eat meal replacement shake powder? Technically yes, you can but you may not like it very much. Some meal replacement shake powders are designed to be eaten dry, but most are supposed to be mixed with a liquid. Usually, the liquid does not add anything extra to the blend; it just mixes it up and makes it easier to consume.

Should I drink meal replacement shakes if I have nutritional problems (e.g. diabetes, anemia, etc.)? It depends on the specific condition. As with any new supplement, you should always consult your doctor before trying meal replacement shakes, especially if you have pre-existing dietary or metabolic problems. Many meal replacement shakes are made without common allergenic substances such as dairy or soy. Just make sure you research the products thoroughly before buying and talk to your doctor to make sure you can safely consume them.

Can meal replacement shakes treat any medical conditions? No, meal replacement shakes are not approved by the FDA for any medical treatments and they are not meant to be used as medicine. Meal replacement shakes are a way to bolster your daily routine with essential nutritional supplements. They are not meant to manage symptoms or serve as a replacement for treatments for any conditions.

Can drinking too many meal replacement shakes harm me? No, in general, meal replacement shakes will not harm you, even if you drink multiple servings a day. Meal shakes with high quantities of fiber can cause constipation or bloating if drank in excess, and drinking too much can make you nauseous, especially if you are not used to taking meal replacement shakes. Some people who have a rare genetic condition called urea cycle disorder can be harmed by ingesting too much protein, but the condition is extremely rare and it is hard to consume the dangerous amount of protein from meal replacement shakes.

What is the best meal replacement shake for diabetics? Since its very important for diabetics to manage their blood sugar, they should choose a meal replacement shake with a limited amount of sugar. If you are prescription medication for diabetes (or anything else, for that matter), it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor first to make sure there aren’t any potential medicine-supplement interactions you should watch out for first.

What is the calorie count in a standard meal replacement shake? Depending on the type of meal replacement shake, calories and range from 90-400 per serving. Diet meal replacement shakes are usually on lower end and are intended for smaller individuals or those wanted to shed a few extra pounds. In out rankings section, our top meal replacement shakes average around 150 calories per serving.

Can a meal replacement shake help you lose weight? Meal replacement shakes are not designed for weight loss, however they may help the process. This is because meal replacement shakes tend to be lower calorie than a lot of foods. They also help curb appetite and cravings, due to their high protein content and quality ingredients.

Recap

With growing numbers of the world population becoming obese, the desire to attain proper body weight and health is on the rise. This has also lead to an increase in the number of weight-loss products and advertisements, most of which are geared towards “get-thin-quick” schemes and other controversial methods of losing weight.

Meal replacement shakes are a portable and convenient option for an on-the-go meal.

They may be an effective way to reduce your calorie intake and lose weight. As you can see, scientific literature supports the use of meal replacement as an effective and healthy means of dieting. However, it must be used with caution, as it is beneficial only in moderation.

Protein Shake Diet

These diets can last anywhere from three days to one full week. Any protein shake diet that lasts longer than that should not involve excessive meal-skipping, which can actually send your body into hibernation mode. This can keep you from healthy weight loss.

The foods that you are restricted from on a protein shake diet might vary according to the specific diet instructions and what’s included in the shake.

During a protein shake diet plan, focus on choosing healthy, fiber-rich foods for the meals you are allowed. High-protein options that will make you feel less hungry and help your digestion work the way it’s supposed to include:

  • whole grains
  • leafy greens
  • bulky vegetables
  • legumes
  • eggs
  • fish

When you’re on a protein shake diet, avoid alcohol, greasy foods, cooking oils, processed grains, artificial sugars, and bleached flour. These foods can “clog up” your system while you’re on a protein shake diet and cancel out the positive effects.

Sample meal plan

Make sure you drink plenty of water while you’re on any protein shake diet. Some protein shake diet programs involve alternating “fat flush” or “cleanse” days with cheat days and shake days. The information here addresses shake days only.

8 a.m.: On protein shake days, a typical meal plan will involve a meal-replacement shake for breakfast. This shake is made of whey protein or a carbohydrate and protein powder mix added to water and ice. Sometimes fat is included in the powder or recommended to be added separately.

10 a.m.: You’re usually permitted a small snack between breakfast and lunch. High-fiber options such as fresh fruit, raw vegetables with hummus, or nuts and seeds are recommended.

12 p.m.: Most shake plans recommend a full, healthy lunch to fill you up and get your energy going. A salad with spinach, avocado, sliced almonds, chickpeas, cranberries, and diced grilled chicken or salmon with balsamic vinaigrette on the side will boost your energy and keep your digestion regular.

3 p.m.: Enjoy another small snack — perhaps a handful of almonds, unsweetened yogurt, or a hard-boiled egg.

6 p.m.: Often, another meal-replacement protein shake is recommended for dinner. Pair it with a low-sugar, high-fiber carbohydrate snack like an apple, some blackberries, or dried, crunchy beans. These options may stave off hunger and help you sleep better. This is because carbohydrates help the body produce serotonin and melatonin, which are important hormones for a restful night’s sleep.

Summary While on a protein shake diet, focus on eating fiber rich foods for the meals and snacks you are allowed. Leafy greens, whole grains, and fish are good options for these meals.

This is one of our most frequently asked questions here at Neat, and one without a hard and fast answer. So, we’re here to break it down for you so it seems a little less complicated!

The short answer is yes, you can have more than one protein shake per day. But the question we should instead be asking is, should you have more than one shake per day? The answer to this all depends on you, your goals, your diet and exercise regime!

If you have a protein-heavy diet and you’re not undertaking much exercise, you probably don’t need to add lots of shakes into your daily routine. However, if you do a heavy workout in the morning and down a shake before you hit the tube for your commute, then have another mid-afternoon in a smoothie paired with some fruit or veg, all you’re doing is giving your body the tools it needs to fuel you through the day and recover well.

If you’re a veggie or vegan who struggles to hit your daily protein needs or need an alternative to grabbing a sugary snack mid-afternoon, an extra protein shake could be just what you need. Remember, everyone is different, and you should listen to your body, taking into account your individual dietary needs.

Get started today with 4 protein servings of your choice, and a shaker, for just £4.95…

The personal trainer who only eats two meals a day reveals why he has never touched a protein shake in his life

In a fitness mad world, protein shakes are for many the must-have accessory to a workout.

We’re promised they’ll repair destroyed muscles and, crucially, prevent the dreaded two-day burn.

And it’s not a wonder gyms are promoting their fancy new shake bars, at more than £7 ($9) a pop. They’re a nice little add on to your already pricey exercise class.

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But not everyone’s sold on them.

Before becoming a personal trainer, Max Lowery, 27, who swears by the 2 Meal Day intermittent fasting weight loss plan, was a professional sprinter for four years.

He told Business Insider why he has never taken a protein shake in his life — and doesn’t intend to. Lowery believes protein shakes are unnecessary for about 90% of people.

“The only people who might benefit from them are vegans who aren’t being so careful with their diets — so it’s an easy way to get some protein — or elite athletes who are training twice a day six days a week,” he said.

“The average untrained person needs as little as 60-75g of protein and the average trained person who exercises three times a week needs 1.2g-2g per kilo of body weight. You can easily get enough protein from eating real food.

“In fact, too much protein can actually be broken down into sugars that create an insulin response which can facilitate fat storage. This is called gluconeogenesis.”

And he’s also unconvinced by what’s going into these blended concoctions.

“Lots of shakes are packed with artificial sweeteners like corn syrup solids, sucralose, and acesulfame potassium —companies use these because they are addictive and send a signal to the brain to keep drinking or eating without an off switch — even if they, themselves, don’t contain any calories.”

He went on: “A lot of whey protein comes from very poor sources as well, most commercial whey powders are high-heat-treated, acid-flushed, and stripped of vital nutrients, creating an imbalanced, acidic ‘whey isolat,’ that’s frequently contaminated with synthetic additives, chemical detergents, and heavy metals.

“It’s no wonder they have to use all these sweeteners to cover the taste.”

If you’re absolutely hell-bent on shakes, then Lowery recommends vegan proteins, such as Form Nutrition. “They’re generally healthier and take pride in the quality of their ingredients,” he said.

But there are studies out there that support the consumption of protein shakes after a hardcore workout.

Lowery said: “Like with many food products the companies funding studies have an interest in positive results. There have also been a few recent unbiased studies that suggest your protein consumption over the course of the day is what’s important, the emphasis that has been put on the hour after exercise is false.”

Protein shakes are part of the hard sell in fitness

Lowery has another issue with protein shakes: The way they are marketed.

“Sports drink manufacturers have been incredibly successful in convincing us that we need to consume copious amounts of their product in order to look and feel good. It’s a multi-million-pound industry with clever marketing and celebrity sports gurus promoting it.”

And the rise of the Instagram fitness stars has only intensified things, he added.

“Influencers are being paid thousands to promote their products. They prey on people’s emotions. Unfortunately, people look at these influencers and believe that they look like that because they take protein shakes.

“This is untrue. They look like that because they train hard and eat well. There is no quick fix to getting fit and healthy, don’t waste your money consuming dust. Eat real food.”

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Read the original article on Business Insider UK. © 2016. Follow Business Insider UK on Twitter.

Want to give ordinary walking extra power to melt fat? Then try this simple strategy: Aim for at least 10,000 steps a day and grab a protein shake in the morning for breakfast and whenever else you need a quick-and-healthy meal. “It’s easy, convenient, affordable, and it’s been proven to work!” reveals LSU’s Donna Ryan, M.D., who helped conduct a 10-year study on thousands of folks aiming to walk more and eat better.

During the study, half of the participants were encouraged to get 10,000 steps a day and try a new way of healthy eating by reaching for protein shakes as an alternative to fast food. Dr. Ryan says it quickly became clear that “the more shakes a person opted for, the more weight he or she lost.” Results showed that those who chose the most shakes walked off 700 percent more weight than those who chose the fewest. And when we asked around, we quickly found women who’ve used a walking-plus-shakes approach to drop up to 100 pounds in six months. “Women who adhere to this type of plan can expect impressive results,” says Dr. Ryan. How much will you lose? Here’s how to find out.

Set a Step Goal to Get Started

Counting steps is easy and don’t worry, you don’t have to be a fitness buff for this plan to work for you. Buy an inexpensive pedometer like this one from Letsfit ($29.96, Amazon) or use the step counter that’s built into your smartphone, as most now have a pedometer feature. iPhone users, for example, tap the “Health” icon, select “Activity”, then select “Steps.”

Figure out how many steps you normally take by either wearing your pedometer on an ordinary day or accessing the step records on your phone (iPhone users go to “Steps,” then “Show all data”.) Dr. Ryan recommends gradually building up your steps in 2,000-step increments. So let’s say you already take about 4,000 steps a day. Try for 6,000 per day until you feel stronger, then 8,000, then 10,000. Once you get to 10,000 steps per day, make that number your daily goal.

Tip: While it’s not necessary to wear any special clothes as you become more active, wearing proper walking excercise shoes with good support should help protect your back and joints, preventing aches and pains.

What You Eat

To get off to a fuss-free and fast start, aim for about 1,400 calories a day, with shakes as two of your daily meals. Most shakes contain about 200 calories each, which leaves you 1,000 calories for healthy snacks and a sensible dinner. To stay under your limit, use a free food log like the one at MyFitnessPal.com or just read food labels and keep track using pen and paper. You can also skip diet math altogether by using our menu planner below.

Why It Works

“To lose weight, the key is burning off more calories than you take in. Walking helps you burn more calories, and shakes are an easy way to reduce your food intake,” notes Dr. Ryan. “Shakes also have a lot of the nutrients you need to enhance your results.” Protein — which helps us build metabolism-boosting muscle — is key. And most shakes also contain a range of other ingredients that enhance weight loss, including fat-burning vitamin C and thyroid-boosting selenium. Another crucial bonus: Many popular shake varieties — including SlimFast, Designer Whey, and IdealShake — are great sources of amino acids, natural compounds that trigger slimming chemical reactions in our muscles. Per University of Arkansas research, amino-acid-rich shakes literally double the speed at which a dieter’s muscles burn fat.

Walking for Weight Loss Success Stories

We first heard about using shakes to walk off more weight from Shannon Fleming, 34, whose doctors recommended the approach to slim her down before gastric sleeve surgery. Too nervous to go ahead with the procedure, “I started aiming for 5,000 steps and one or two shakes a day, gradually working my way up to 10,000 steps or more,” recalls the Las Vegas mom, who whisked off 20 pounds in eight weeks, 125 pounds in all. “I got a lot of my steps by doing laps around Target.”

Fellow Las Vegas mom Diana Ramlagan, 30, happened on Shannon’s Instagram page and got inspired. “After I bought my SlimFast and started getting 10,000 steps a day, I had so much energy, I started doing 15,000 steps with no problem,” says Diana. “I dropped 30 pounds in four months. The weight just rolled off.”

Then there’s Jenna Leach. The North Carolina mom, 33, vowed to shape up while her Marine husband was deployed overseas. Tips on the Internet led her to walk 10,000 steps a day and eventually increase to 15,000 steps a day (while pushing her kids in a double stroller) and replacing one or two daily meals with protein shakes. “I’d lost weight before, but never so quickly and never while I actually felt full,” marvels Jenna. Down 76 pounds in nine months, when her husband saw her transformation, “his jaw dropped.”

Fun Shake Flavors to Try

Whether you’re trying to slim down or just looking for a healthy meal-on-the-go, protein-shake lovers suggest fun flavors for you to try.

  • Shannon’s pick: Premier Protein Bananas & Cream ($16.83 for a four-pack, Amazon)

“So tasty, you won’t realize you’re drinking something good for you!”

  • Jenna’s pick: IdealShake Chocolate Peanut Butter ($49.99 for 30 servings, Amazon)

“It’s delicious and always curbs my sweet tooth!”

  • Diana’s pick: SlimFast Chocolate Royale ($24.50 for 34 shakes, Amazon)

“It tastes just like the chocolate milk you used to drink as a kid!”

The Protein Shake Diet Plan

Inspired by success stories like Shannon, Diana, and Jenna, our nutrition team created this no-fuss protein shake diet plan for you to try. Our menus serve up about 1,400 calories a day. While using this plan, be sure to drink plenty of water. Add other ultra-low-cal extras (spices, vinegar, zero-cal sweetener) as desired. Always get a doctor’s okay to try a new plan.

Breakfast & Lunch

(Enjoy One at Each Sitting)

Option 1: 1 protein shake, up to 200 calories; 1 serving fruit

Options 2: Not in a shake mood? Choose any protein-rich option with up to 250 calories, such as a meal replacement bar or a small frozen dinner, along with a piece of fruit. You can also try 2 hard-boiled eggs with 3 cups of salad and 2 Tbsp. vinaigrette.

Dinner

(Choose One Daily)

Option 1: 6 oz. grilled chicken breast; 1 tsp. olive oil, Italian seasoning to taste; 1 cup steamed or boiled baby potatoes, 1 tsp. olive oil, herbs to taste; Unlimited broccoli and garlic sautéed in 1 tsp. olive oil

Option 2: Shrimp Kebobs: Thread 20 medium shrimp onto skewers with unlimited red onion, mushrooms, and bell pepper; brush with 2 tsp. olive oil and grill or broil until shrimp turns pink, about 5 to 7 minutes; 1 ear or 1/2 cup cooked corn, 1 tsp. olive oil and seasoning to taste; Unlimited tossed salad, 1 Tbsp. vinaigrette

Option 3: Chicken-Veggie Pasta Toss: Cut unlimited asparagus in bite-sized pieces and roast with 1 tsp. olive oil plus lemon juice and seasoning to taste; toss with 6 oz. cooked chicken, 1 cup cooked whole-wheat penne or ziti pasta, 2 additional tsp. olive oil, garlic salt, and pepper; top with 1 Tbsp. Parmesan

Option 4: One-Pan Tenderloin: In a large baking pan, mix unlimited sliced onion and green beans plus 4 cups cubed sweet potato with 3 Tbsp. olive oil. Rub 1 1/2 lbs. pork tenderloin with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, salt, and pepper, and place on veggies. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until pork is 150 degrees to 160 degrees internally, about 30 minutes. Serves 4.

Snacks

(Choose One Daily)

Option 1: Any 100-calorie pack nuts or popcorn

Option 2: 2 slices deli turkey; 1 slice whole-grain toast; mustard to taste

Option 3: 2 hard-boiled eggs

Option 4: 1 packet low-sugar oatmeal, any variety, prepared with water

Make Your Own Menus

Allow yourself about 1,400 calories a day and opt for a protein shake at least once a day. Our plan breaks down to about 250 calories apiece for breakfast and lunch, 250 calories for snacks and a 650-calorie dinner. That said, you can simply read nutrition labels and divvy your calories up in any way you like!

This article originally appeared in our print magazine.

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Fad Diet Takedown: Do Meal-Replacement Shakes Work?

by Kaori Takee Jul 10th, 2018

Hello everyone!

Kaori here and I’ve taken on another fad diet experience for your benefit. You can thank me later.

This time I went through the old-fashioned meal replacement diet. I replaced two of my three meals with a shake, and ate a snack in between them. The meal replacement diet has been in style for a long time and they come in different forms: SlimFast, IdealFit, Herbalife…It’s a trend that many people get results from and each one swears they are better than the next. Each company boasts that they are filled with all the nutrients needed to keep your body healthy, active, energized, and full. They also promise it won’t slow you down in your workouts…Hence the super-lean and super-fit spokesmodels.

I will say this: In just two weeks and without working out more than just twice a week at that time, my body changed rapidly. I dropped weight fast, it seems, and my body–at least physically–looked like it was thinning out. I was really enjoying the results and progress of this diet! I started to feel confident again!

Photo: Lecic

The setup is two shakes (one replacing breakfast, the other replacing lunch) and to have a full healthy meal for dinner which is a palm size piece of protein (like chicken or fish), a palm size side of complex carb (like brown rice or wheat bread), and a palm size side of vegetables. In between breakfast to lunch and lunch to dinner, I ate a snack like a cup of yogurt, or a handful of almonds, a protein shake, etc…

The good was that these shakes were so easy to make and saved me a lot of time and money. I bought a container of shake powder for about $40 and it covered about 30 meals. If you do the math, that’s about $1.33 per shake, so you’re spending less than $3 for both lunch and dinner. It wasn’t only massively economical, it really did provide that weight loss advertised. The less you put in with your shake (I just added soy or almond milk), the less calories you intake. Some people like to add foods such add berries, or peanut butter into their shake but I was recommended to keep it to a minimum since I did want to lose body fat. You can really customize it to your liking, however. Also, shakes are so quick to make that having one for breakfast was a lot simpler and quicker than cooking up something in the morning or even thinking about what to have for tomorrow’s lunch in the evening. I’d wake up knowing all I had to do was shake some powder with some soy milk and drink it on my way to work! I even got some extra minutes of sleep! The practicality and the results of meal replacement shakes were a huge bonus. Felt really nice not to worry about the next meal and caving into bad foods because I already had my meals determined.

More “Fad Diet Takedowns”: Is Counting Calories Still Effective?

Well, day one – like many of these diets I’ve been on was hard but in order to make it through I had to remember my goals. Take each meal moment by moment. Day two and three were the toughest of all because like the others, my body wasn’t used to what was happening and I felt pretty tired and defeated through most of the day. But as my body flushed out the negative excess of solids, I started to feel lighter and I started to drop weight. I looked slimmer after two weeks and that very fact got me addicted to staying on it for a bit longer.

The biggest problem I had with the meal replacement diet was they usually state that you won’t feel hungry as the shake has all the nutrients you need. Well…I was always hungry. I’d find myself using all the will power I could muster to stop myself from heading into the fridge to cheat it out. It wasn’t easy replacing two full-on solid meals with shakes that I drank in a few sips. I also eventually grew tired of the flavor. Though they have many flavors there’s so much you can do after seeing and tasting the same thing over and over again. If you’re the type to “eat to live” rather than “live to eat”, then that may not bother you too.

Of course, as I’ve been noticing in all my fad diet articles, the sustainabitly isn’t great. That’s why this diet didn’t last for me. With the loss of excitement due to getting tired of shake after shake, even the price tag couldn’t keep me staying. Eventually you want a full breakfast again, eventually you want to eat lunch with your coworkers and not just drink while they eat. And with that being said, unless you start to eat healthy, you’ll gain it all back. I do believe these shake replacement companies don’t expect you to stay on these forever. So having a way out is highly recommended. If you want to try one of these shake diets, I’d recommend preparing to implement healthy foods into your diet especially once you transfer back to full foods.

Would I do it again? I’m not against it as a quick fix however, I have tried to do it again and I didn’t last for more than three days. For some odd reason – getting back on once you fall is tougher than the first time you do it.

Have you done a meal replacement diet? Which one and how did it work for you? Drop a comment or a question! See you next time!

Try the Two Shakes-a-Day Diet Plan to Lose Weight and Keep It Off

by Vivianne Sterling January 21, 2017 221 If you’re interested in losing weight in a healthy way then you should give the Two-Shakes-A-Day Diet Plan a try.

There’s no need to starve yourself, lose muscle, or spend a lot of money on food, just read advices from www.dietsinreview.com. The way it works is that you drink two low-carb high-protein shakes that have added fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. The shake can be enhanced with fruit and veg. Also eat three other snacks a day for a total calorie count of 500 less than your threshold and you can lose a pound of fat a week. It’s as simple as that.

  1. Choose a Protein

A high quality protein powder is the foundation of every shake. It needs to be mixed with water and not juice. There should be 20-30 grams of protein in each shake, with more protein needed the older you are. A study showed that adults with an average age of 70 had 32% more muscle protein synthesis when taking 40g of whey protein over 20g. Whey protein is the best choice, but milk, soy, and plant proteins are acceptable, as are meal replacement shakes.

Check out Fitness Savvy for the best protein prices.

  1. Add Fiber

Fiber needs to be a part of your shake because it banishes hunger and controls your blood sugar levels. Fibers expand in the stomach by absorbing fiber to make you feel full. Fiber also reduces blood sugar spikes, even if you just drink protein. When you cut down on carbs you also take in less fiber so you need to supplement it in this manner in order to get 25g of fiber each day. Some of the best fiber sources include psyllium, glucomannan, and chia seeds.

  1. Add Omega-3 Fats

Omega-3 Fats can slow down digestive processes so you stay full for longer. Because protein powders naturally have low fats you should add some healthy omega-3 fats of your own. Adding fat like this gives the shake staying power. Omega-3 fats are healthy fats that have been shown to improve insulin resistance, which prevents fat from being stored and burns the fat already in your muscles.

One study showed that overweight subjects who took 6 grams of fish oil lost more weight than those taking a placebo made of sunflower oil. Two of the healthiest omega-3s to include in your diet shake are flax seed oil and fish oil.

Scientifically Proven Weight Loss

These meal replacement shakes are actually scientifically proven to help you lose weight. One clinical trial that was published in the Journal of Nutrition followed the weight of 90 overweight men and women across 23 weeks as they drank 2 shakes a day. They weren’t given any further instructions about what to eat or drink. They would eat drink 28 grams of whey protein, 28 grams of soy protein, or a carb shake. All the shakes were around 200 calories and were drank for breakfast and dinner. The group drinking whey protein lost 4 pounds of body weight and 5 pounds of fat, as well as having a reduced waist size and reduced levels of ghrelin; the fasting hunger hormone. The soy group lost 2 pounds of both body weight and fat, while the control group on carbohydrates barely lost any weight at all.

Final Tips

When following this diet plan you should avoid eating up to 2 hours before a workout and up to 1 hour afterwards to burn the most fat. Eating after a workout can reduce fat burning. You should also take multivitamins to cover for the lack of micronutrients that comes with a low calorie diet, as well as considering adding other fat burners to your shakes such as green tea, garcinia cambogia and CLA.

Give the Two-Shakes-A-Day Diet Plan a go for yourself today! There’s nothing to lose but weight!

Do Meal Replacement Shakes Really Work?

Nothing sounds better than a nutritious diet that’s cheap to purchase, requires no preparation, and tastes good. In the controversial world of supplements, meal replacement shakes attempt to meet all these requirements. Why have healthy food when you can get everything you need from a bottle?

Meal replacement shakes are a busy weight watcher’s best friend. Or they can be, if you choose the right ones. But can these drinkable products really replace food, tip the scale in your favor, and improve your life?

Are meal replacement shakes safe?

Fresh green smoothie | Sarsmis/Getty Images

As a product, meal replacement shakes are completely safe to consume. They contain a mixture of healthy and less healthy ingredients, but there isn’t anything in them that make them unsafe to drink.

But you can’t ONLY drink shakes. An all-liquid diet may seem like the fastest and easiest way to lose weight, but despite their name, meal replacement shakes aren’t meant to replace all your meals.

You can’t put everything present in whole foods into a bottle. If you could, scientists would have already done it. You won’t find enzymes or nutrients such as antioxidants in a meal replacement shake. You need those things to stay healthy, weight loss aside.

Also, the human body doesn’t treat liquid calories the same as calories from real food. There are biological benefits to chewing and swallowing that most of us don’t even think about. Calories from a meal replacement shake won’t satisfy you like the calories from an actual meal will. When it comes to weight control and overall health, this can make a big difference.

Can meal replacement shakes help you lose weight?

Most people can lose weight successfully reducing their calorie intake. Because a meal replacement shake contains fewer calories than the average meal — anywhere from 200 to 400 calories. In most shakes, you will also find protein, fat, carbs, and fiber.

But are meal replacement shakes a good weight loss tool? Some studies have shown that replacing one or two meals per day with a shake can help promote weight loss. In order to lose weight and keep it off, though, you need a long-term plan. And meal replacement shakes probably don’t count.

For one thing, meal replacement shakes don’t teach you how to buy or prepare healthy foods. They’re nutritious — in the technical sense of the term — but they don’t replace bad habits. They only replace a meal.

For another, a meal replacement shake won’t make you healthier or help you lose weight if you continue to eat large quantities of junk food. They may be convenient, but they definitely won’t work if they end up adding to an already high daily calorie count.

Can they work? Yes. But their effectiveness may depend on the brand, what you’re using them for, and the other lifestyle factors you’ve adopted (or haven’t) to promote safe and healthy weight loss.

Best meal replacement shakes: What to look for

Meal replacement shake | iStock.com/Moussa81

These shakes are, for most people, safe. They can also help you lose weight if you aren’t using them as a crutch (incorporating them into a healthy lifestyle is key). You might be busy on weekends and want to take a shake on the road with you in the morning. There’s nothing wrong with that. But you do want to make sure you’re choosing your shakes wisely.

The best way to ensure you’re buying quality meal replacement shakes — regardless of your reason for doing so — is to read the nutrition information and ingredients list of each product carefully. Companies are required to say what’s in their shakes. It’s there for your benefit.

Look for meal replacement shakes that — per serving — contain:

  • At least 3 grams of fiber
  • 15 grams or more of protein (whey protein is best)
  • Less than 10 grams of sugar
  • More than 30% of Daily Value for its vitamins and minerals.

You can also make your own meal replacement shakes at home using whey protein powder, milk (dairy, soy, almond — it doesn’t matter), fruit, yogurt, and some type of natural sweetener such as honey. Homemade shakes may help you avoid excess refined sugar and other added ingredients.

How to succeed on a total diet replacement programme

Will you benefit from a total diet replacement programme?

This intensive form of dieting helps you lose weight fast, but it does not suit everyone. It’s designed for adults who are obese (BMI 30–40) or morbidly obese (BMI over 40) and remain overweight despite making healthy changes to their diet and lifestyle. However, those with a BMI of 27 or higher who also have related health problems may also benefit from it. If that doesn’t include you but you’re still overweight, try a less rigorous diet.

Why is it so important to lose weight if you are very overweight or obese? Obese people are more likely to develop Type-2 diabetes and are at risk of developing other health problems, including heart disease. If you’re insulin-resistant or pre-diabetic, losing weight will help reduce your diabetes risk. If you have Type-2 diabetes, recent studies indicate that losing weight may put you into remission.

A TDR is not for you if you are under 18, taking anti-obesity medication, having cancer treatment, have a heart condition and particularly if you have had a heart attack or a stroke in the past three months or are taking MAOI medication. It is also unsuitable if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have given birth in the past three months. If you have any medical condition or are taking medication it is particularly important that you speak to your doctor before starting a TDR. If you drink alcohol well above the recommended safe limits or use non-prescription drugs a TDR is not suitable.

If you are taking medication to treat diabetes or high blood pressure it is also particularly important that you discuss your suitability for a TDR with your doctor before starting the programme.

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