The current trend of crash dieting using meal replacement shakes has exploded in recent years. While drinking shakes for weight loss may seem ‘easy’, one has to consider if this really is an effective way to lose weight. Is eating one meal a day really good for your body?
Following a meal replacement diet means you can only drink a pre-packaged shake (just add water) for breakfast and lunch and then have a calorie controlled meal at night. This means you only eat one meal every 24 hours. How can your body possibly cope with this after being used to having 3 square meals a day?
A great concern is the lack of nutritional value in the shake sachets. I recently read the nutritional information for a meal replacement shake and was quite shocked to see that in a single 52g sachet, 25g was added sugar – this is just under half of the entire shake’s content. That equates to 5 teaspoons of sugar per meal replacement shake. Besides this extraordinarily high amount of sugar, the overall nutritional content is very questionable. The shake sachets are basically made from milk protein, and have added vitamins and minerals to prevent micronutrient deficiency. Therefore, they contain the very bare essentials you need to stay alive, and that’s it. Most of them contain little or no fibre (which is why constipation can be a problem) and they contain little or none of the beneficial Omega 3 fatty acids. They also contain no disease-fighting phytochemicals found in abundance in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
The average diet meal replacement shake is equivalent to around 200 calories. For the same amount of calories, you could also have a 200g tub of low-fat natural yoghurt, a small banana and a few strawberries and get much more nutritional benefit from eating REAL food rather than drinking a sugar-laden shake filled with preservatives, additives and colourings.
Finally, it’s the rebound effect that these diets have earned a notoriously bad reputation for. I bet we all know someone who has lost weight using weight loss shakes, only to put it all back on again once eating normal food resumes (and often a little bit more)! While I appreciate that using meal replacement shakes is a convenient way to lose weight, I don’t see what you can possibly learn about good health and nutrition. If someone resorts to a ‘too-easy’ meal replacement shake diet which takes meal choices away from them, what on earth makes them think that once they are back in the real world of choosing their own foods, that they are going to be able to maintain healthy eating practices, especially given that they have not learnt any new motivational or food choosing skills? This just means that all the lost weight will be quickly regained, and back on the weight-loss merry-go-round they go again.
Losing weight should be about making sensible food choices and learning the necessary skills needed to maintain your weight loss in the long term. The Natural Way offers exactly this. You get to eat real food, while being closely monitored, motivated and educated by a well-trained, experienced weigh loss consultant in the comfort of personalized one-on-one consultations. Our Healthy Living programme contains valuable information to keep you at your goal weight once you reached it, as we are just as determined as you to keep your weight off for LIFE.
If you would like to find out more about losing weight while eating REAL FOOD, call The Natural Way today on 1300 SLIMMER or visit our website: www.thenaturalway.com.au