In essence, meal replacement shakes are sold for the purpose of providing the vitamins and nutrition a full meal is supposed to. They take different forms, coming either in powder to mix with milk or water, or else in cans and bottles. These normally contain few calories between two and four hundred and contain a mixture of protein, fibre and minerals. In this regard, meal replacement shakes are a quick way to get a low-fat meal in a fast-paced lifestyle. So what are the benefits and disadvantages of meal replacement shakes?
Avoiding unhealthy food
Apart from the convenience they offer, they help us to avoid indulging in unhealthy, salty and processed foods. This is great if we are trying to avoid foods that increase our weight. So looking at it at face value, consuming meal shakes is much better than junk food like burgers and pizza. That said, not all meal shakes are made equal and some are full of sugar, carbs and other artificial ingredients which are not conducive to a healthy diet. This is why it is important to ensure that you are choosing the right shake which matches what you want to achieve.
Healthy homemade meals produced from scratch would be the most ideal for keeping a good weight, however, are not always practical due to busy schedules. On the other hand, consuming few calories may not always work as you will end up feeling hungry and disheartened. The upside of meal replacement shakes is that they can help you feel like you ate a lot without consuming a lot of calories, in fact, some research studies show that replacing one meal a day with a shake is an effective way to reduce weight fast. This is especially so for meal replacement shakes which are high in protein.
With that in mind, meal replacement shakes do come with their baggage. This is due to unhealthy ingredients such as sugar, syrup, artificial flavours and preservatives. Certain shakes are sold with the promise of reducing weight, however, they would contain excessive sugar and little protein which is detrimental. This illustrates the importance of closely examining the ingredients before purchasing and ensure good amounts of protein and fibre, with little sugar. Obviously, you should not expect that the amounts of protein and fibre compared with the actual food.
They do not solve unhealthy eating habits
Such a diet containing solely replacement shakes will not ensure long-term results if your eating habits are unhealthy. If you maintain such ill-advised habits, you will end up back to square one, following your meal replacement shake diet.
Whilst meal replacement shakes can indeed provide good nutrients, they cannot replace the vitamins that a truly healthy meal can provide. There are elements which are found in wholesome food that cannot be liquidised and transferred into a can or bottle. Apart from that, overindulging in meal replacement shakes does not make for a sustainable lifestyle.