I’ve always been fit and active but because of work and just not eating as healthily as I should have done, a while back I noticed I had gained quite a lot of weight. In the winter this didn’t bother me too much because my clothes hid all my extra curves! However, as spring turned into summer, realized I needed to drop a few pounds and didn’t have much time to do it!
I’ve dieted in the past with mixed results – sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t – and I’ve always been into exercise without being obsessive. I knew I needed to get a grip on my eating plan if I was going to lose weight by my summer vacation and that I needed to choose a good diet.
After some deep thinking, I decided that I wanted to try a meal replacement shake diet. Why this particular type of diet? Good question! It was mainly because I was very busy both at work and at home and I knew I needed a diet that was going to be simple and convenient.
I had no time for making complicated low calorie meals and I knew that meal replacement shakes could be ready in just a few seconds. I also knew that I could carry meal replacement shake powder wherever I went so I had no reason not to stick to my diet plan no matter how crazy work was.
Because I didn’t have too much weight to lose, I simply replaced my normal breakfast with a low calorie meal replacement shake. I then ate a light lunch and dinner and enjoyed a couple of low sugar snacks between meals too. The shake, being high in protein, low in sugar but still sweet, crushed my cravings and kept me feeling full for hours at a time which made eating healthy meals much easier.
After just a couple of weeks I noticed I’d lost almost all the weight I wanted to drop without feeling hungry or tired and with very few cravings. This was a big change for me because almost every other diet I had ever tried made me have terrible cravings and a lot of hunger!
Ever since I first started using meal replacement shakes for weight loss, I almost always recommend this method when my friends ask me about the best way to lose weight. In fact, because so many people asked me about weight loss meal replacement shakes, I wrote an article called Best Meal Replacement Shakes for Weight Loss in which I reveal my favorite meal replacement powders. Make sure you check it out…
Starting a new diet can be tricky and can often lead to a lot of mistakes. For that reason, I want to lead you step by step through starting a meal replacement diet.
1. Before you start
Spend some time researching and finding a meal replacement product you like. They differ in taste and texture and you want to make sure you enjoy your chosen product. There are lots to choose from so make sure you read online reviews on Amazon.com and get referrals from your friends.
I also reviewed what I think are the best products in my article Best Meal Replacement Shakes for Weight Loss. You might also want to consider using Shakeology meal replacement shakes. You can read about my personal experience with Shakeology in an article I wrote not so long ago.
Also consider the quality and safety of the shake you are thinking about using. This is an important topic and one I cover in my article Are Meal Replacement Shake Ingredients Safe? Spoiler alert – yes they are!
You can also choose to make your own meal replacement shakes and here is how to do it.
2. Plan which meals you are going to replace
For my meal replacement diet, I always had a meal replacement shake for breakfast. For me, this was the best option. A good breakfast helps me keep clear of cravings and the protein and fiber in meal replacement shakes kept me feeling fuller for longer. You can replace any meal you like but make sure you do the same meal every day.
If you want faster fat loss, you can swap two meals per day for shakes but remember that this will a) cost more money and b) may lead to more hunger. You might start out with one shake a day for a week to acclimate yourself to meal replacement dieting, ramp things up to two shakes a week for two to four weeks to reach your weight loss goal, and then cut back to one shake a day to maintain your new weight.
How long you continue to use meal replacement shakes is up to you and depends on how much weight you need to lose but I generally recommend one month at a time which gives you chance to lose weight but is not so long you get bored of this type of diet. I’ve written about this topic in my article How Long Should I use Meal Replacement Shakes?
3. Have a weight loss goal
It’s all well and good wanting to lose weight but how much do you want to lose? Knowing how much you want to lose will make planning your diet much easier because you’ll be able to work out how long your diet needs to be and therefore how many containers of meal replacement powder you are going to use.
Work on losing 1-2 pounds per week although you may lose it faster if you add exercise into your plan. 1-2 pounds might not sound like a lot but if you hold 1-2 pound of butter in your hands, you’ll see that it’s actually a pretty good amount of weight to lose.
4. Monitor your progress
Make sure you weigh yourself at least once every week to ensure you are losing weight. If you are NOT losing 1-2 pounds per week, it could be that the meals you are eating contain too many calories. If this is the case, you have two choices: a) replace another meal per day with a shake to make two or b) clean up your meals and make them healthier. I’m a big fan of low sugar/low carb meals so make sure you check out the recipe pages for details of delicious and healthy weight loss meals.
5. Consider using protein bars
Despite being super-convenient, It’s not always possible to make and drink a meal replacement shake. Maybe you have no water, have forgotten your shaker cup, or are on a crowded train and can’t actually make a shake at all. Don’t worry – there is no need to quit your diet!
If you can’t have a shake, consider using a protein bar instead. Nutritionally similar, protein bars are a good alternative when a shake just isn’t possible. They also make good between-meal snacks. I’m a big fan of protein bars and recommend you buy some for emergencies or as a regular alternative to meal replacement shakes. You can read more about protein bars in my article Protein Bars vs. Meal Replacement Shakes.
6. Supercharge your progress with these tips and tricks
Meal replacement shake diets work really well – just swap 1-2 meals per day for low calorie shakes and watch your weight fall quickly and easily. However, you can make your weight loss journey even easier with a few well-chosen tricks and tips. Take a look at my article 10 Ways to Make Meal Replacement Even More Effective to discover how to maximize your results and minimize your diet time.
7. Have a plan for the end of your diet
Many people inadvertently regain the weight they have lost when they finish a diet. There are lots of reasons for this – all of which are avoidable! Avoid wasting your time and energy by making sure you have a plan for when your diet ends. It seems very pointless to me to lose weight only to gain it back so I have written a short guide on how to dodge this problem. Check out No Regaining Weight After a Meal Replacement Diet to discover the secrets to keeping the weight you have lost off forever.
I truly, honestly, passionately believe that meal replacement shakes are the best way to lose weight for most people. It’s such a simple idea – just eat fewer calories by replacing 1-2 meals with a low calorie shake. No cooking, no extra shopping, and no major meal planning required – just shake and lose weight! And convenient? You bet! I have yet to find myself in a place where I couldn’t have a shake or a protein bar and stick to my diet – even when I’ve been traveling or very busy at work.
There are lots of reasons why meal replacement shakes are so popular but the main one is that they work. If you are looking for quick and easy weight loss, please look no further than meal replacement shakes. They really are the best weight loss diet around.