Do you lack the time and energy to prepare nutritious meals three times a day? Do you struggle to put together balanced meals? If you do, try meal replacement shakes! In this post, I will go over the most common questions that people have about them:
- What are meal replacement shakes?
- Why should I use them?
- What to look for when choosing the right shake.
- What is the best one for weight loss?
By the end of this article you will know just what to look for when trying to find the best meal replacement shakes that fit your needs and lifestyle.
What Is a Meal Replacement Shake?
Before covering anything else is is important to make clear that the term “meal replacement shake” is not interchangeable with “protein shake”.
A meal replacement shake typically contains a balanced amount of protein, carbohydrates and fats, as well as added vitamins and minerals. That’s because they are intended to provide you with all the nutrients you need; hence their name.
Protein shakes on the other hand tend to contain much more protein than carbohydrates and fat, and may not contain any added vitamins or minerals. They are primarily used by people looking to build muscles (although they can be very helpful for people trying to lose weight as well).
A meal replacement shake can serve many purposes. Some individuals are looking for a quick and nutritious breakfast or lunch on the go. Other may be interested in losing weight. Regardless of what your needs are, this type of shake is a liquid meal designed to be consumed in place of a regular meal.
Why Should I Use Them?
For those who are dieting, meal replacement shakes can make your life so much simpler. Rather than worrying if you have the correct calorie count for your meal – homemade or otherwise – the nutritional information of a meal replacement shake is right at your fingertips.
Each serving is meant to have a specific set amount of calories, protein, carbohydrates and added nutrients. Just knowing what you are about to consume will help take some of the stress out of dieting.
Even if you aren’t on a diet you can benefit from the addition of a meal replacement shake in your everyday life, especially if you aren’t eating as healthy as you would like.
What Should I Look For?
It is important to bypass all of the marketing lingo and gimmicks used to sell meal replacement shakes and focus on the product’s nutritional label when deciding which one to use.
The #1 rule of thumb is that you should look for products that contain high quality ingredients. As they are supposed to replace the balanced nutrition from an actual meal, do yourself a favor and look for a meal replacement shake that derives its nutritional content from real food sources and not synthetic ones.
Some shakes can contain excessive amounts of artificial sweeteners, added colors, and low quality synthetic vitamins. Picking a high quality meal replacement shake will contribute greatly to your health and well being.
You also have to make a choice between using shakes that are pre-made and ready to go, and shakes that require water or milk to mix. This is actually an important factor in choosing the best meal replacement shakes for you and your needs. Because if you are always on the go you may not have the time or ability to mix up a shake when you need it.
What Is The Best Meal Replacement Shake For Weight Loss?
When looking for a meal replacement shake to aid you in your weight loss efforts, there are a few things that you should look for.
To begin with you should look for the amount of calories that the shake contains (as calories are key to weight loss). The amount of calories that your shake should contain depends largely on how much weight you have to lose and what your daily calorie goals are.
You should also look at the macronutients (protein, carbohydrates, fats) that the product contains. Choosing a shake that is higher in protein can help prevent the loss of lean muscle tissue when dieting. If you are following a low carbohydrate diet, look for a meal replacement shake with a reasonable amount of carbs, as some of the popular shakes are virtually loaded with carbs.
Some Final Words Of Advice
Before you go and buy a meal replacement shake you should keep in mind that not all of them are created equal. Many companies claim that their product is the best on the market, but with a little diligent research you can find out for yourself which companies are telling the truth and which are just after your money.
Now you know what to look for when browsing the meal replacement products available on the market. You should also be able to evaluate whether or not they will suit your needs. Whether you are looking to lose weight or just need something quick and easy to get you through your day, there is a meal replacement shake out there that will fit your personal dietary and lifestyle needs. Good luck!