I need to lose weight. I’ve told myself I need to lose weight for years now.
I’ll read about a diet that works and get excited to try it for myself. I’ll read up on the diet and how it works, create a plan, go to the grocery store and buy the food I need, prep the food, and be ready to go. Once I have everything laid out it’s fairly easy for me to go all in and follow it. I’ll usually even see some early results. Then the same thing happens… I get busy, forget to go to the grocery store, and don’t meal prep. Then I’m stuck grabbing a few meals at the nearest fast food restaurant and my diet is over as quickly as it began.
I could have seen some great results, why didn’t I stick with it? I get too busy, I get too lazy. Does this situation sound familiar to anyone else? Things started to change for me when I found a plan that was easier to follow, took way less prep time and was super convenient. What was it? Meal replacement shakes.
What is a Meal Replacement Shake and How Does it Help You Lose Weight?
A meal replacement shake is a nutrient-dense drink (or shake) taken in place of a normal meal. Meal replacement shakes can come in a ready-to-drink form and also in a powder form, which only requires water to be added and then it’s good to go. Because a meal replacement shake is meant to keep you fueled and full until your next meal, it needs to have ingredients that are filling. Most do this with fiber and protein, but others may add proprietary ingredients designed to curb hunger as well.
Controlling hunger is a very important factor in any diet. This was often my problem if I didn’t prepare properly on other diets. If I didn’t leave my house with my meal prepped food, I would get hungry and make poor diet choices. That problem has been fixed with meal replacement shakes. I can take my shaker bottle, with a scoop of meal replacement shake in it wherever I go and just add water when I get hungry.
Can I Drink a Protein Shake as a Meal Replacement?
One thing I found over and over again while looking into meal replacement shakes before using them was that there seemed to be some confusion between a meal replacement shake and a protein shake.
There are a few distinct differences between the two that is good to know. The differences include calories, protein content, carb content, fat content, and vitamins and minerals.
Protein shakes tend to be lower in calories, carbs, fat and vitamins and minerals, but higher in protein. Meal replacement shakes tend to be the opposite, higher in calories, carbs, fat, and vitamins and minerals, with a lower content of protein.
The goal of a protein shake is to give the user an easier way to increase their daily protein intake without dramatically increasing unwanted carbs and fat, whereas the goal of a meal replacement shake is to make sure the user gets a balance of carbs, fats, and protein, as well as appropriate daily vitamins and minerals that might normally come in a meal they are replacing.
So, all things considered, it’s best not to take a protein shake as a meal replacement as it probably isn’t providing the necessary macronutrients that the body needs out of a meal.
Do Meal Replacement Shakes Help People Lose Weight?
For me, meal replacement shakes have been a great way for me to focus on my weight loss goals. Using meal replacement shakes have been a great way for me to address some of the biggest pain points of diets I’ve tried in the past.
If you’re someone who struggles with some of the same things that have gotten in my way, give meal replacement shakes a try. They are a quick, convenient way to control hunger and avoid bad eating habits while giving you the nutrients you need on a daily basis.