In the United States, it is estimated that approximately one in three adults fell into the category of being overweight, according to their body mass index. Carrying excess weight puts you at risk for an array of different health issues. However, losing weight can be incredibly difficult because it seems like you have to revolve your entire life around it. However, something as simple as meal replacement shakes can help you to shed excess pounds without immense effort or major changes to your routine. The key is knowing how to use them properly so that you reap the most benefits.
Evaluate the Nutrition Label
A healthy diet for weight loss is all about nutrient balance. When you replace your meals with these shakes, it is important to make note of the nutrition label. Look closely at the carbohydrates and protein. Your carbohydrates per meal should be at the very least equal in terms of their amounts. However, it is even better to consume more protein and fewer carbohydrates. In fact, reducing your carbohydrate intake can further enhance your weight loss efforts.
If your meal replacement shake is one that is high in protein, simply grab a piece of fruit to add the carbohydrate balance from a healthy source. It is important to note that your carbohydrates should be the complex type whenever possible since these contain fiber which encourages satiation, so that you are hungry less often. Sufficient protein can also decrease your daily appetite.
A Quick Shake for Breakfast
It is a good idea to start your day with a burst of nutrients and these shakes are perfect for this purpose. These shakes usually have a wealth of essential nutrients, protein and fiber, allowing you to get the nutrients you need to energize your body, enhance your focus and help to keep you full until lunch. When you eat a nutrient-rich breakfast that contains fiber and protein, you are less likely to snack during the morning. This also helps to reduce the risk of overeating once you sit down for lunch. In fact, getting sufficient protein for breakfast may help you to consume approximately 135 fewer calories per day.
Consider a Protein Shake at Lunch
One study showed that eating 30 percent of your calories from protein-rich foods may help to reduce your total caloric intake by approximately 441 calories per day. Another study showed that obsessive thoughts concerning food reduced by approximately 60 percent among those whose total calories were 25 percent from protein-rich foods.
Protein is often said to be the most important nutrient for those who are looking to lose weight. This is because it gives you energy so that you feel like exercising and it helps you to feel fuller. When you are not experiencing hunger pangs, it is much easier to resist temptation. This results in consuming fewer calories which is exactly what is needed for weight loss to occur.
Fuel Your Workout
If you find yourself struggling to get through your workouts, this can impede your weight loss progress. It is important to remember that your performance during exercise is largely dependent on your body having the nutrients it requires to function at peak performance.
It is best to have a meal with sufficient nutrients about 30 minutes before you start your workout, so that your body has the proper fuel. This includes numerous nutrients, but most importantly, electrolytes, B vitamins and protein. Some carbohydrates also help because these are the primary fuel source for your muscles. Meal replacement shakes before exercise are ideal since they provide all of the essential nutrients in sufficient amounts.
Why You Should Take Advantage of Meal Replacement Shakes
In addition to the information above, it is important to note the other commonly cited reasons for taking advantage of meal replacement shakes. These include:
- It is easier to absorb, and digest liquid foods compared to solid foods
- You can find many of these shakes with high protein levels and research shows that fat storage in the abdominal area is decreased among those eating a high protein diet
- Compared to traditional diets, it is easier for people to keep the weight they lose off when working meal replacement shakes into their diet
Once you are ready to use meal replacement shakes as part of your weight reduction diet, talk to your doctor. They can help you choose the best type and aid you in creating the other elements of your diet, so that you lose weight while keeping your nutrition in check.