Many diets promote liquid meal replacements. These shakes or juices are often a substitute for breakfast or dinner, while lunch remains a normal solid food. The concept of replacing a solid meal with liquid certainly has its benefits as it relates to weight loss. Liquefied fruits and vegetables are often far healthier than some of the most egregious solid foods that we eat – the ones that cause weight gain and poor health.
Not all liquid meal replacements are created equally, however. Some offer more nutrition while others only offer a temporary sugar boost that makes us gain more weight.
- The first trick is in the preparation of your meal replacement. Creating a smoothie from vegetables and fruits is often much more nutritious and satisfying than juicing. Many of the nutrients and stomach filling fiber is retained in a smoothie, but discarded when juicing
- Second, the produce that you juice or put in your smoothie will also make a big difference in how nutritious and effective the meal replacement is. Although they are very healthy by most measures, bananas, pineapples and mangoes, for example, contain a significant amount of sugar. So do oranges, and other tropical fruits
- Some vegetables such as cucumbers and celery are mostly water and while they may not hurt your dietary plan, they will not fill you up very much either. Spinach and kale, on the other hand, are chock full of nutrients
- Sometimes we may be tempted to add orange juice, cow’s milk, and peanut butter to our smoothies for richness and flavor. Doing so can often add hundreds of calories and quite a bit of fat and sugar. Using unsweetened soy, nut, or flax based milks may be your best bet
- Finally, protein additives are often mixed with sugar or flavorings that can add calories to your shake. Try to find a diet-friendly protein powder or use natural fiber boosters such as psyllium husk or flax seed to supplement and add texture to your smoothie
No matter what meal replacement you decide to enjoy, it is important that you do it right. The result can be faster and safer weight loss. You’ll experience sustained weight loss with a great feeling of fullness to boot. If you have any questions about meal replacement shakes please bring them up in our next support group or feel free to contact our office for guidance.