In my opinion, meal replacement shakes are one of the best ways to lose weight and, more importantly, keep it off. They’ve worked for me, and I know they have worked for the readers of Days to Fitness too!
Meal replacement shakes are so simple to use – just replace one or two meals per day with a low nutritious calorie shake. You’ll cut calories and lose weight without needing to weigh or measure any of your food. Simple!
Another reason I love meal replacement shakes is that they are super convenient. All you need is a shaker cup, some of the meal replacement shake powder, and some water, and you can have the perfect weight loss meal anywhere and anytime – even at work or school.
This convenience and effectiveness make meal replacement shakes very hard to beat.
Of course, not all meal replacement shakes are the same, and some are better than others. I’ve written how I’ve selected my favorite shakes at “How to Choose Meal Replacement Shakes for Weight loss” and my favorite meal replacement shakes in this article so if you are unsure which products are the best, this is a good place to start.
If, though, you’d prefer to search for your own meal replacement products, it’s important that you do some research and find out what’s actually in them. Some shakes use less-than-healthy ingredients, and that’s something you need to consider before making your purchase. I’ve got you covered here too – just look at my article on how to lose weight with meal replacement shakes and you’ll find a list of characteristics a good meal replacement shake needs to have.
There are lots of ways to assess the effectiveness and quality of a meal replacement shake. Things to look out for include:
- Taste – you are going to have one or two shakes per day for the next few weeks so it’s important you like or can at least tolerate the taste. Some definitely taste better than others so make sure you research the flavor and ensure it’s to your liking. Consider trying a few different flavors, so you have more choice.
- Sugar – any good meal replacement shake should be low in sugar. Sugar tastes good but can derail your weight loss and health-improving efforts. Make sure your chosen shake contains no more than three grams sugar per serving.
- Protein – a good meal replacement should be high in protein. It doesn’t have to have as much protein as a protein powder, but it should contain at least 10-15 grams per serving. Why? Because protein is filling and helps boost your metabolism.
- Fiber – fiber fills you up, improves digestive health, and helps stabilize your blood glucose levels. Fiber is also calorie-free. A good meal replacement shake will contain plenty of fiber.
- Carbs – the best meal replacement shakes are low in carbs. Why? Because carbs aren’t especially filling and they can also cause your blood glucose levels to rise and fall quickly which will leave you hungry. Shakes with a lot of carbs are fine if you exercise a lot, but if you are mostly sedentary, you won’t need a lot of carbs for energy.
- Healthy fats – fats, in a meal replacement shake for weight loss? You bet! Healthy fats are actually very good for you and can help you lose weight faster. However, your meal replacement shake should be very low in trans fats as they are unhealthy.
- Reviews – make sure you always read the reviews on sites like Amazon.com to see what other people think and say about the product you are about to buy. Personally, I always favor products that score 4.5 or more out of 5 because, that way, I can be sure that most of the users liked it.
By considering all these factors, you are much more likely to avoid buying a poor-quality meal replacement shake. Don’t rush in and buy the first product you read about – it might not be the best one for you. Instead, be prepared to shop around, try a few different products, so you find the one that is best for you. And remember, not all meal replacement shakes are the same!