Let’s face it, sticking to a diet plan and a strict exercise regime is really tough. It’s especially hard when you have to juggle work and home life. In saying that, weight loss shakes aren’t a miracle drink where you can still eat your usual treats, but they can definitely help curb your cravings and stop you indulging in those empty calories. Here’s the lowdown on weight loss shakes and how they work.
What are weight loss shakes?
Weight loss shakes are designed to replace one or two meals per day, reducing the amount of food you eat and cutting back on the number of calories you consume. They include a range of nutrients and minerals to replace the solid food your body is missing out on. Weight loss shakes typically come in powder format and can be mixed with either milk or water. Making your shake with water obviously means fewer calories, but the shake may not taste as nice.
Diet shakes come in a variety of flavours – usually standard ones such as chocolate, strawberry and banana, although some brands are a little more creative with their flavours. You can also add fruit to make them taste a little nicer, but again you will be adding to your calorie count.
It’s advisable to consult with your physician to know if you’ll have allergic reactions from some ingredients, or if your body can benefit more with specific nutrients of a product.
How many calories are in weight loss shakes?
The calorie count of diet shakes varies between brands and serve sizes. Generally you can expect weight loss shakes to include anywhere from 50 to 200 calories for shakes that are rich in protein. Some diet programs involve replacing one meal per day, while others are designed to replace two. A common criticism of these shakes is that they do not completely satisfy your appetite, meaning you turn to snacking or eating full meals, which in turn could lead to weight gain.
Whether you’re replacing one or two meals, weight loss shakes should be consumed alongside a health balanced diet and disciplined exercise regimen. Drinking the shakes and eating unhealthy meals is unlikely to bring the results you want.
What are the advantages of weight loss drinks?
- Easy to prepare: When you’re too busy to cook a nutritious meal, weight loss shakes make it easy to consume some of your required nutrients for the day. They can also curb your appetite if you’re tempted to overeat or binge on unhealthy food.
- Controls your calorie consumption: Weight loss shakes can aid in regulating your calorie intake. With these drinks, you can stick to your diet better and hopefully won’t be tempted to eat more than your body needs.
- More affordable: Costs differ between brands, but weight loss shakes can be better priced alternatives for reaping your essential nutrients. They can combine the vitamins and minerals you’ll need per serving, instead of having to regularly buy fresh food items in bulk which can be time consuming and expensive.
What are the disadvantages of weight loss shakes?
- A short term solution: Weight loss shakes can be a great way to help you kick some bad habits to the curb and improve your health, but it’s not a sustainable option. Without practicing portion control on your food, you might end up gaining back the weight you shed as soon as you stop drinking them. A healthy follow through on diet and exercise can help with that.
- Not the be-all source of nutrition: Although they can be used as a meal replacement, nothing will ever beat fresh vegetables, grains, fruit and lean protein. It’s important to know the types of vitamins and minerals your body needs in a day. Diet shakes may be able to fulfill some of your body’s basic needs, but it’s always best if they are combined with some real food.
- Can lead to unhealthy diets: Whatever you do, you don’t want to get so involved and obsessed with meal replacements that you start to see exercise and healthy eating as a chore. Eating in moderation also requires willpower. Hence, you might resort to keep drinking the smoothies and not get the nutrition needed from real food. It’s important to be realistic and don’t be too hard on yourself.
What they aren’t.
Weight loss shakes are not the single, instant solution for you to lose weight. While they help you feel full and crave less between meals, these smoothies do not entirely have fat-burning ingredients. They can simply, but quite effectively help you consume fewer calories. When used properly, weight loss shakes can significantly aid in fat reduction only when combined with healthy diet and a realistic exercise plan.
Do weight loss shakes work?
Weight loss shakes can be effective. Our research shows that more than half of adults who use diet shakes do lose weight. However, they do not work for everyone, largely because they are used inappropriately. About one in four adults put on weight when they use shakes. Some brands are deemed more effective than others, but at the end of the day, you and your level of commitment will dictate how successful they are.
Some producers of weight loss shakes advise starting your day with a balanced, filling breakfast (such as fruit and porridge), then replacing lunch and dinner with weight loss shakes. Alternatively, you might use them to replace breakfast and lunch, and have a healthy dinner you can enjoy with your family or friends. If you’d like to treat yourself with some real food after a hard day’s work, then make sure it’s a reasonable amount and you aren’t overeating.
You might want to consult with your physician before embarking on a weight loss program. As everyone has different lifestyle and nutritional needs, your doctor may be able to prescribe a more fitting product or plan to promote a leaner you.