Anyone looking online for diet ideas has likely been overwhelmed by the myriad options available. Fads like the Atkins diet, the paleo diet, and the zone diet all make claims about how they can deliver the desired effects if you simply follow their very specific rules and restrictions. These diet options are usually untenable, either because the restrictions are too prohibitive or because the lifestyle changes required by the various plans can’t be shoehorned into the dieter’s hectic schedule.
More flexible alternatives are available, however; a simple calorie deficit can help you lose weight, as can regular exercise. Still, even the simplest diet plan can be difficult to maintain in the face of life’s demands. Meal replacement shakes can be an effective tool to help busy dieters plug the holes in their meal plans, as they give a quick and healthy dose of nutrients on the run. Keep reading to learn how to properly incorporate meal replacement shakes into your diet.
What Are Meal Replacement Shakes?
The term “meal replacement shake” refers to a specific type of beverage meant to provide a single meal’s worth of nutrients. A single shake generally includes a balance of calories, fats, carbohydrates, and protein to fuel your body’s processes and ward off hunger. Despite this straightforward definition, those looking to try out meal replacement shakes should know that not all products are created equal: some brands add sugar or corn syrup to their products to boost their calorie count, while others point to their small number of calories as evidence of their potency as a weight loss tool.
Neither of these types of meal replacement shake are ideal. Added sugars do provide more calories, but at the expense of quality. Sugar is easily and readily converted into fat by the body, and the spike in energy it brings inevitably leads to a crash that leaves you feeling drained and unsatisfied.
On the other hand, not having enough calories in a meal can be just as detrimental to your diet, counterintuitive as it may seem; to drink a shake that only has 120 calories may seem like an effective way to replace a meal for the purpose of losing weight, but 120 calories hardly constitutes a meal. In a process known as metabolic adaptation, your body may take the ingestion of too few calories as an indication that food is scarce and enter “starvation mode,” meaning that it slows the metabolism in an effort to retain energy stores. This can seriously hinder your weight loss efforts.
The best type of meal replacement shake is one that uses natural ingredients to provide a substantial amount of calories and macronutrients. ENU meal replacement shakes contain 340 calories per carton, along with 17 grams of protein, a blend of healthful fats, and a mixture of complex carbohydrates to provide sustained energy and help you power through the hunger pangs.
Adding Meal Replacement Shakes to Your Diet
To be perfectly clear: meal replacement shakes are not meant to replace all solid foods in your diet, with the possible exemption of those people with certain medical conditions. Any healthy individual looking to lose weight should use meal replacement shakes as an aid to be incorporated into a more comprehensive diet plan, either to fill gaps in the nutrition you’re receiving or as a method of corralling your appetite.
Meal replacement shakes can be very helpful because of their relative convenience compared to more traditional meals. They take no effort to prepare, and you always know exactly what you’re getting because all the pertinent dietary information is clearly spelled out on the side of the carton. Plus, they’re available on the go, so you can fill your belly without having to stop for a meal or wrestle with hunger pangs all day.
However, it is important to differentiate between which shakes are healthy and which shakes are less so; the more protein, vitamins, minerals, and calories (up to a point) the drink contains, the more effective it is as a meal replacement option. ENU nutrition shakes are a good example of an all-natural product made with non-GMO ingredients. Each carton includes whey and soy protein, coconut and sunflower oils, and carbs derived from brown rice, tapioca, and quinoa. ENU shakes also contain up to a third of your daily value of several vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin D, and is lactose-free and gluten-free.
Meal Replacement Shakes Can Be Effective for Weight Loss
Although they can be helpful for people looking to lose weight, meal replacement shakes should be used in concert with traditional meals to ensure that your body receives all the nutrition it needs. Make sure the shake you select contains a healthful mix of ingredients formulated for quality and effectiveness, rather than cost or convenience.
These products are perfect to supplement a busy lifestyle and help you fight hunger but should not be consumed in lieu of all solid foods. To learn about our healthy, satisfying, delicious meal replacement shakes, visit ENU online today.