If you’re busy and constantly on the go (who isn’t?), you probably struggle to keep up with following a healthy, balanced diet from time to time.
Some days, it’s just quicker and easier to grab something at the gas station on the way to work, or hit the drive-thru on the way home. When this situation happens more often than not, chances are that you notice it starting to catch up with you on the scale, or in your lack of energy.
What can you do? Enter meal replacement shakes.
Sure, you’ve probably seen them around, and maybe even tried one or two, but never really got into a routine of using them on a regular basis.
Why is this? Quite simply, most shakes don’t come with the type of instructions you actually need to incorporate them into your life effectively.
This begs the question, what is a meal replacement shake diet? How can you start following it, and what kind of results can you expect from it?
How to get started
First, you’ll need to determine what you’re looking for from the meal replacement shake diet.
This type of diet is by no means a one-size-fits-all plan. You can use it to successfully lose, maintain, or gain weight, or even just to replace the occasional meal.
Depending on your needs, the calorie content you want to look for in a shake may vary.
Luckily, meal replacement shakes come in a wide range of calorie levels – from the low-calorie weight loss shake around 100-200 calories to shakes meant to literally replace large meals of 600-800 calories.
Our meal replacement powder contains 150 calories per serving which makes it perfect for those looking to lose weight.
But, at the same time, it's perfect for those who are looking to maintain weight and are simply too busy for a meal. It contains the same best-selling whey protein as our Naked Whey and the calorie content can be increased via simple ingredients such as peanut butter, a banana or blueberries.
How to build your plan
True to its name, the meal replacement diet is intended to simply replace a meal or meals. If you’re really dedicated, sure, you can absolutely replace all your meals with a shake, but realistically, most people choose to swap 1 or 2 meals for shakes. After all, food does taste pretty good.
Most people find breakfast to be the easiest meal to replace with a shake. If you’re looking to exchange 2 meals for shakes, lunch may also be an easy change, especially if you typically bring a lunch to work.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure that any remaining meals and snacks in your day are healthy, balanced, and provide you with a variety of nutrients.
In short, don’t reach for empty calories when you’re looking for a meal. Make your food count.
What results can you expect?
The biggest reason it’s difficult to get a straight answer about what you can expect from a meal replacement shake diet is that there are endless possibilities and combinations involved in this type of diet.
As you might expect, the vast majority of research surrounding meal replacement shake diets is related to overweight participants seeking weight loss.
Here are just a few of the conclusions that researchers have noted:
- A meta-analysis of 6 different studies found that replacing 1 or 2 meals with a shake allowed participants to lose 7 to 8% of their weight after 1 year while control group participants only lost 3 to 7%.
- A study following 36 overweight type 2 diabetics for 1 year found that participants replacing 2 meals per day with a meal replacement lost an average of 4 kg.
Ready to get started?
If all of this sounds too good to be true… don’t worry, it’s really true!
Just decide if you'll be adding anything to your shake for flavor and make sure you have those calories factored in. If you’ll be including “normal” meals in your diet as well, it can’t hurt to plan those ahead of time to make life easier.
Make sure these meals are balanced and full of nutrients so you don’t accidentally find yourself dealing with any unwanted side effects or nutritional deficiencies.