Meal Replacements

How to Choose Meal Replacement

We only recommend you try out meal replacements if you have a small amount of weight to lose to avoid unhealthy eating patterns and potential undernourishment.

What Is A Meal Replacement Shake?

Meal replacement shakes are simply bottles or powders that you mix which you have in the place of a meal. Generally speaking, you can use the drinks to replace breakfast or lunch and then you eat a well balanced nutritious meal as part of a weight loss program.

Meal replacements are a good way to get a high amount of micronutrients in a reduced calorie meal. The shakes vary in their calorie values and range from around 100 – 400 calories. Along with micro vitamins, they should also contain protein and fiber. Both the protein and fiber will help you to feel satisfied.

You should be careful to avoid diet shakes that have artificial ingredients and sugar.

Meal Replacement Shake Benefits

Meal replacement shakes have a number of benefits for dieters that are worth considering.

Supports Weight Loss

Studies do show that meal replacements can be very effective in terms of weight loss. In a study with participants supposedly taking in the same calories, it was found that patients lost more weight when on the meal replacement shakes. It’s thought this is because the participants using meal replacements stuck more strictly to the program. Those on the weight loss meal plans are thought to have eaten a little more than they were supposed to.

Promotes Healthy Portion Sizes

Another aspect of meal replacements is that they are strictly portioned. This can allow consumers to better regulate portion sizes. Once again, it’s often the case, portion sizes are not adhered to and being too generous with your portion sizes is a recipe for diet failure.

Provides Important Nutrients

If you are grabbing a meal replacement as an alternative to breakfast or lunch it’s important that it contains micro vitamins. That’s why grabbing a meal replacement is a far better option than a chocolate bar. Most meal replacements contain a full range of vitamins and minerals.

Healthy Ingredients

Many meal replacements now use superfood ingredients such as flaxseeds. It’s not necessarily that easy to get a portion of flax seeds into your diet but a meal replacement does that effortlessly. Eating superfoods like these packed with Omega-3 have a host of benefits.

Helps Avoid Unhealthy Snacks

Many a dieter has cracked because there are no healthy alternatives. Grabbing junk food can derail the best intentions. Dieting can be difficult and you need to be prepared for when hunger strikes and willpower wains. Be prepared and carry a meal replacement shake so staying on track is easier.

What To Look For When Choosing A Meal Replacement Shake

First and foremost the most basic choice is whether you want a bottle or can or whether you want a powder to mix. There are benefits to both and many brands will have an option of whether to buy their ready-made drinks or the powder.

It’s going to be cheaper to buy the powder on the whole and it may be more convenient to keep a tub at work than carry a bottle every day.

You can check out reviews of different brands but you also need to look for a shake that matches your calorie requirements. You might want one shake that delivers 400 calories such as Huel or Soylent. Alternatively, you may want to have up to 6 meal replacement shakes per day on a plan like WonderSlim where meal replacements are packed with protein and vitamins but contain just 100 calories.

Regardless of the calorie value of the drink you choose, the product is intended to replace a meal, therefore, you can use a quick checklist for any product to see that it makes health criteria.

They are:

  • Since this is 1 of 3 meals you should aim to get a product with at least 33% of the Recommended Daily Value (RDV) for vitamins and minerals.
  • Aim to get around 2 grams of protein or a quarter of your RDV.
  • Aim for less than 2 teaspoons of sugar or 10 grams.
  • You should also aim for a drink with at least 3 grams of fiber.
  • And avoid products with corn syrup and hydrogenated oils.

Bottom Line

If you’re pushed for time or you can’t get to a healthy cafe or prepare your lunch at home or at work, then a meal replacement shake can be a healthy alternative to grabbing a chocolate bar or burger. Just make sure you don’t develop unhealthy eating habits and have meal replacements along with real food.

But make also sure you choose wisely so you’re getting a shake that’s good for you.

We love Iconic Grass Fed Protein. This is a new product made with 20 grams of grass-fed milk protein. The shakes are also low in sugar and free from chemicals, artificial sweeteners, and GMOs. You can pick up handy bottles or buy powder to mix.

What we love the most is that even though there are 4 grams of fiber and 20 grams of protein there are just 130 calories per serve. The flavor range is to die for too with premium classics such as cafe latte, vanilla bean, and chocolate truffle as well as more adventurous health flavors including cacao and greens, coconut matcha, and turmeric ginger.

And for a vegan choice, we love plant-based shakes from Vega. The new Vega One® Organic All-in-One Shake harnesses the power of plants to provide an energizing healthy meal. It’s USDA organic certified and provides 20 grams of plant-based protein. It also has greens, 4 grams fiber, 50% DV of 8 vitamins and minerals, Probiotics (2 billion CFUs bacillus coagulans) and 500mg Omega-3 ALA. It’s just 170 calories and comes in the following flavors: chocolate, mocha, chocolate mint, unsweetened,  coconut almond, berry, and french vanilla.

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