This article will discuss how meal shakes can successfully support weight loss, and what to look out for - or avoid - in a meal replacement shake to reach those all-important weight loss or toning goals.
What are Meal Replacement Shakes?
Meal replacement shakes are high protein, nutrient dense drinks that can help achieve weight loss goals as they keep you feeling full while consuming fewer calories.
Because of this, nutrition shakes have risen in popularity and there are now many shake options to choose from. However, these meal shakes can vary greatly in their quality and quantity, largely in terms of the ingredients they use. More on this below!
Losing Weight with Meal Replacement Shakes
There are many meal replacement drink plans that can only succeed in the short-term. This is because some shakes contain only a low quantity and quality of nutrition. They may also contain some synthetic ingredients and be overloaded with sweeteners.
It is possible that these types of shakes may even do more harm than good for the body. This is because they are not made with ‘real food’ ingredients and are low in fibre or other essential nutrients.
Compare this with a high quality shake plan that is taken alongside a healthy eating and exercise regime and you are much more likely to be set up for long-term weight loss success.
Other Benefits of Meal Replacement Shakes
Avoid Unhealthy Meals
It can be all too easy to raid the fridge for easy, convenient food such as ready meals when you arrive home from a long day at work. Having a meal replacement shake to hand can avoid these mistakes that can so easily derail a weight loss plan.
There are a hundred of more ways to prepare meal replacement shakes that taste great and fill you up for hours - so there is no need to compromise on taste either.
Protein and Glycemic Index
Nutrition shakes are nearly always high in protein, and usually contain at least 20g of protein per serving. Protein is the most satiating macronutrient - meaning that it controls hunger for longer than carbohydrates or fats. Consuming enough protein at each meal every day is key to achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight.
Meal replacement shakes also have a low glycemic index (GI) due to their protein content. This means they release sugar into the bloodstream more slowly than, for example, simple carbohydrates and sugar in snack foods.
Whenever you consume foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and meal replacement shakes that are low GI, you are helping to support your weight loss goals as these foods help to curb appetite for longer.
Nutrient density is a measure of how much nutrition you get per serving or per calorie eaten. Meal replacement shakes often provide a high ratio of nutrients to calories, meaning they are nutrient dense. Our traditional diets are often high in nutrient-poor foods such as refined carbohydrates or fried and high fat foods - meaning people are often lacking in many essential nutrients in their overall diet.
For example, one 35g serving of NGX BodyFuel provides 27g of protein from naturally sourced, high quality crushed brown rice and peas, and all 30 essential nutrients in just 140kcals. On the other hand, a croissant is 200-300 calories but will only provide empty calories from saturated fat and sugar with no other significant nutrients.
Aside from the nutritional benefits, meal replacements simplify weight management by allowing you to just focus on one or two other meals per day. A few ways they can help you achieve your goals include:
- Increased compliance - meal replacement provide reduced barriers to dietary adherence such as the temptation to indulge in unhealthy foods.
- Easy to estimate calories - meal replacements are an easy, precise way to keep track of how many calories you are consuming.
- Help fill nutrition gaps - cutting back on calories can make it more difficult to obtain the required nutrients. Meal replacements can help fill gaps in vitamin, mineral, protein and fibre intake.
- Easy to self-monitor - recording dietary intake helps people become aware of their food-related behaviours and make positive changes easier.
Are Meal Replacement Shakes Good For You?
There certainly aren’t a lack of options when it comes to meal replacement shakes on the market. However, not all meal replacement shakes are built alike.
Quality is a key differentiating feature; during processing, minerals and fibres are sometimes removed, and sugar or other artificial ingredients such as fillers and binders may be added. This may negate any positives of consuming the protein and as such, it is always key to check the ingredients on the label and ensure there are no chemical preservatives, or artificial sweeteners on the list.
Personalised Meal Replacement Shakes Tailored to your Goals
NGX is proud to have developed the world’s first ever genetically personalised meal shake that uses results from a DNA test to create a completely personalised, high quality, nutrient dense shake.
When combined with resistance exercise, BodyFuel can also help promote lean body mass to maintain or build lean muscle and support fat loss in the most seamless and efficient way possible.