Meal Replacement Shakes: A load of crap or loads of help?

Meal Replacement Shakes: A load of crap or loads of help?
Photo from: Meal Replacement Ratings

I am using this post to admit that I do not understand why people consume weight loss shakes when trying to lose weight!

Whether one relies on Shakeology or another type of weight-loss shake, they are consuming upwards of 250 calories in a drink in one setting. I say upwards of 250 calories because while a few select shakes contain less than 250 calories, there are many more shakes that contain over 500 calories per serving.

For that same amount of calories, there so many healthy, filling options available. Yogurt, bananas, and granola all have way less than 250 calories in a single serving, and each of them can be a very filling food. Heck, you could eat a yogurt with granola and a banana for around 200 calories.

Of course, one excuse people use with the shakes are that they are so convenient. While I can see the convenience of drinking a shake instead cooking, how much more convenient can you get than eating a banana and a serving of yogurt?

Additionally, while shakes may be good for the short term, relying on them as a way to keep the weight off is unrealistic. Drinking shakes to watch your calories is not teaching you about the right things to eat in life. How is relying on shakes easier than just learning the calorie content of things and watching what you consume?

Speaking of consuming, do you really know what you are consuming in that shake?

In a post at Mother Nature's Diet, a blog about natural weight loss, they break down some of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly about meal replacement shakes.

  • They are all fake, synthetic formulas. Synthetic vitamins and other nutrients do not give your body the same benefits that natural nutrients do when consumed in whole fresh foods
  • Heavily processed powders full of synthetic ingredients, artificial sweeteners and chemically processed sugars have NO PLACE in a healthy lifestyle, in my opinion. Many of these shakes contain soy, rice, sugars, dairy (whey protein) and ‘fillers’, cheap sugary carbs to pack the product out and give it enough calories to fill you up
  • The list of ingredients should be scrutinized rigorously – look for sugar, sugar and more sugar
  • The list of vitamins and minerals that the can, tub or packet claims the shake will deliver, cannot be taken as a definitive guide to what your body might absorb and use. You need to understand how synthetic nutrients are absorbed differently to nutrients delivered in real whole food, in order to understand why this is so

Losing weight is a lifetime commitment, and, as I've previously said, it is not that hard if you follow the basic principles of weight loss. I do not believe that buying expensive shakes could count as a basic principle of weight loss.

Matter-of-fact, I have never seen nor heard about anyone that has used shakes for many years with consistently good results. Normally the people that use shakes still have their weight, or worse, they have lost it and gained it back because they could not live off shakes their entire life.

I find it funny that since I have lost weight, many people have tried to sell me on meal replacement shakes as a way to keep my weight off. Where were they when I was fat? Should I not have been their target market then?

Of course, when people try to get you to use their "favorite shakes", know that many meal replacement shakes are sold through the old pyramid system of marketing. If a friend is really pushing you to buy their shakes, it is more likely that they care about their sales more than your health. So, just beware of where you get advice from.

In closing, it seriously confuses me though why a fatty, or former fatty, would want to drink their calories. I love food. Food is why I was fat. Replacing food with a drink is just going to make me crave food more.

What do you think of meal replacement shakes? Do you use them? Why or why not?

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Filed under: Food, Health


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    David W. Quinn

    Wannabe health nut. Writer, photographer, fabulous homosexual. Trying to live a better life. Join me on my journey!

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