In a world where NutriBullet and NutriNinja blenders are blasting out shakes by the minute, health shakes have become quite popular. But how do you maximize the potential of these shakes to reach those health goals? In other words, is there a right way or a wrong way to drink meal-replacement shakes? Well, let’s take a closer look.
How Does Weight Loss Work?
If you’ve ventured into the topic of weight loss, you know that a calorie deficit is when you are consuming fewer calories than your body is expending and that this is crucial for losing weight. Please be aware that this is not the same as starving yourself of necessary nutrients and food. There are multiple ways to achieve weight loss, but researchers and specialists agree that a calorie deficit diet combined with frequent exercise produces desired results. As for the types of exercises to do, that depends on what your fitness goals are. But the basic principle is simple: If you’re consuming more than you’re burning, don’t expect to shed that weight.
Do Meal Replacement Shakes Work?
You’re probably wondering…what does all this calorie deficit talk have to do with shakes and where do meal replacement shakes come in to the mix? Australian researchers writing for the Journal of Nutrition who studied the effects of these shakes concluded that meal-replacement shakes are just as useful in causing weight loss as conventional weight loss diets. There’s no preparation necessary (unless you make your own) and many are intended for weight loss purposes.
A Wrong Way To Drink Shakes?
Now that we know that they work, is there a wrong way to drink these shakes? Yes, drinking shakes that are too low in nutrients and/or calories can be harmful. According to Professor Collins, a Nutrition and Dietetics Professor at the University of Newcastle, “[A low-energy diet has the potential to] make you feel so bad that you are a lot less active than normally would be.” The idea is to include the shakes in a well-balanced diet. On the same note, if you consume too many shakes, a calorie surplus may be created and prevent you from shedding that bothersome weight.
Do’s and Don’ts
So if you’re an individual looking to lose weight and want to try meal replacement shakes to help you in your journey (or just curious), these are the Do’s and Don’ts:
- Ensure that your weight loss plan consists of a calorie-deficit diet (while maintaining a nutrient-rich diet)
- Try that credible meal replacement shake on the market or make your own
- Rely on a solely liquid meal replacement shake diet
- Sacrifice your health and well-being by choosing low nutrient shakes or consuming too many/too few
So is there a “right way” to consume meal-replacement shakes? Certainly. Can they be used for weight loss? Of course. But what do the alcohol advertisements say? “Drink in moderation.”