Many people in our society struggle with their weight. One option is meal replacement shakes for weight loss. Generally speaking, these are low-calorie beverages loaded with nutrients that are consumed instead of a meal. Because they have far fewer calories than a meal, they assist in weight loss. Because they supply a variety of nutrients, they support good nutrition and make the individual feeling good instead of starved and deprived.
Are Weight Loss Shakes Effective?
A randomized controlled trial published in the Nutrition Journal reported that after one year, women assigned to a diet that consisted of two meal replacement shakes and a low-fat meal lost the same amount of weight as women assigned to a low-fat diet. This result indicates that shakes are as effective as following a calorie-restricted low fat diet. The more interesting result was that the women on the shakes diet were found to be following a more nutritionally complete diet than the women on the all-food diet. The researchers concluded that women on a reduced-calorie diet may need supplementation to ensure the diet is nutritionally adequate, and this supplementation was adequately provided by slimming shakes.
Cathy Nonas, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association says that using meal replacement shakes for weight loss allows for strict control of calories without forgoing good nutrition. “They are particularly useful for women who have very little leeway in calorie intake” says Nonas. She also says they may be useful for anyone looking to shed a few pounds quickly, or just starting out on a diet and needing quick, easy results to provide the motivation to continue.
What Type of Weight Loss Shake is Best?
Commercial slimming shakes can be categorized into traditional and low carb protein shakes. Traditional shakes tend to be fairly high in sugar and offer only a moderate amount of protein. Dieters looking for ways to increase their protein intake without increasing calorie or sugar intake have fueled the demand for low carb protein shakes.
When cutting calories, it is important to keep protein intake high. If protein and calorie intake are low, the body will start breaking down the body’s muscles for fuel. There are many reasons why this is a bad thing. Number one is that it reduces physical strength, which can result in injuries and loss of function. Number two is that individuals with poor muscling may look skinny but they don’t have that healthy, athletic look that many dieters would like to achieve. And number three is that losing body muscle short-circuits the weight-loss process. Muscle burns a lot of calories per minute just by existing. If body muscle is lost, the amount of calories needed per day decreases. Protein shakes for weight loss are an excellent way to boost protein intake and avoid muscle loss.
What are the Best Protein Shakes for Weight Loss?
The best protein shakes for weight loss contain protein derived from whey. It is a high-quality protein that supplies all of the amino acids necessary. It is also easily digested. Although there is some controversy over just how much protein is needed, most studies suggest consuming between 0.5 and 1.0 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day. If you’re planning to consume a serving of salmon or chicken at dinner, two high-protein snacks, and two protein shakes for weight loss each day, each of the shakes needs to contain at least 10 grams of protein.
What About Homemade Weight Loss Smoothies?
Many people prefer to make their own shakes, or weight loss smoothies, instead of relying on commercial shakes. Smoothies for weight loss don’t have two of the advantages of commercial shakes: the calorie content is not strictly defined, and they don’t have added vitamins and minerals. However, healthy weight loss smoothies can have a major advantage over commercial drinks in that they can be loaded up with vegetables and fruits. Consuming more vegetables and fruits is not only good for health, but they contain fiber that can suppress feelings of hunger.
Healthy weight loss smoothies should contain plenty of protein and lots of vegetables. Sugary fruits should be used sparingly. Selecting vegetables and fruits that carry a lot of nutrition is a good idea- including foods like kale, blueberries and flax seeds can turn a healthy weight loss smoothie into a nutritional super food.
Regardless of which option is selected, slimming shakes are a healthy, easy, effective way to lose weight.