Meal shakes for weight loss

Healthy weight management – losing weight and keeping it off!

Protein powders and meal shakes are now two of the most popular and versatile types of dietary supplements available.

Meal shakes and protein powders

Support a balanced diet, appetite control and more…

Meal shakes and protein powders are used for a wide variety of reasons, by a broad spectrum of people, for various health goals. For example:

  • by slimmers seeking low-calorie, nutrients-fortified healthy snack alternatives
  • by those leading an active lifestyle, for support of high energy levels
  • by those with food allergies or intolerances (such as a dairy allergy or gluten intolerance)
  • by those who are health-conscious, as a quick and easy nutrients top-up everyday
  • by those on low-protein diets, such as vegetarians and vegans
  • by those with restricted food choice, such as slimmers, who wish to maintain optimum nutrient intake.

Weight management

A number of studies have suggested that a high-protein diet combined with regular exercise can support the natural weight loss process, enhance fat burning and improve muscle tone and blood fat levels. Most notably, protein can assist in the repair and growth of muscle. This, in turn, leads to more calories being burned each day.

Diets with higher levels of protein may also help people to gain better control over their appetites and calorie intake, as well as help to regulate blood sugar levels and reduce cravings.

Everyone knows that the slimming process can be a challenge. Most weight management programmes involve limited food choice and a reduction in calories. This can sometimes result in a nutrient-deficient diet, if the slimmer is not careful.

For those who want to reduce their calorie (and fat and sugar) intake, but nevertheless want to make sure that they are getting a good amount of quality lean protein, vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients daily, meal shakes and protein powders can provide ideal support, particularly if they are sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free and fortified with nutrients.

Of course, nothing replaces a balanced diet, but meal shakes and protein powders can be helpful in terms of substituting unhealthy snacks and boosting nutrient intake.

An active lifestyle

While protein is an essential macro-nutrient for everyone, it is particularly important for those leading an active lifestyle. It plays a key role in keeping the immune system strong and keeping energy levels high. In fact, it is one of the main sources of energy for those following a low-carbohydrate diet.

Vegetarians, vegans and raw food / living food fans

For vegetarians and vegans, a common issue is that they do not take in sufficient calories or protein to meet their body’s full nutritional needs.

Protein is a vital nutrient, which plays many roles in the functioning of our bodies, including building and repairing new cells and muscle tissue, and keeping the metabolism functioning efficiently.

Nutritional guidelines recommend that, as a broad rule of thumb, between 10-15% of total calories should be sourced from protein – ideally, lean protein.

However, a vegetarian or vegan diet does not have to mean a diet lacking in protein or healthy calories – there are a number of excellent plant-based sources out there, which offer high-quality, balanced and complete protein. What’s more, if you are a vegetarian or vegan trying to lose weight, your available protein sources are actually more conducive to your weight loss goals than traditional protein sources (which are high in saturated fat and calories). Plant protein tends to be high in fibre, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and healthy fats.

If you are a vegetarian or vegan who finds it hard to include these first class plant protein foods in your daily meals, vegan meal shakes and protein powders can play an incredibly helpful role in your diet, to address not only the problem of ensuring appropriate intake of protein and calories, but also to assist with daily nutrient supply.

Dietary supplementation

Anyone who lives with an allergy (whether that be to gluten or dairy or any other form of food allergy or intolerance), will know how hard it can be to find foods that suit their lifestyle and/or medical needs. This becomes even more challenging when you are trying to lose weight.

Food choice can often become very limited and, without variety in the diet, a person’s overall well-being can start to suffer. This is never ideal, but when you are in the process of slimming, you really need all the energy you can muster to support increased levels of physical activity.

It is important to bear this challenge in mind and take proactive steps to address it. For example, through careful meal planning and dietary supplementation.

Quite often, slimmers with allergies or intolerances find that meal shakes and protein powders that are dairy, wheat, gluten and sugar free (with no artificial ingredients) can help them to top-up on nutrients and healthy calories, while helping to keep them fuller for longer.

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Meal shakes and protein powders

Shakes – can they help with weight loss?

Tricky meal planning

Meal planning, as part of a slimming or ongoing weight management programme, which ensures that you are receiving optimal nutrition and a broad spectrum of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients every day, can be difficult for a number of reasons:

  • you may be limited to a certain number of calories per day, making it problematic to eat high amounts of even fruits and vegetables
  • you may not be entirely clear on what nutrients you need, in which quantities and/or where to find them
  • you may not have the time to plan and prepare all meals in advance, particularly if you are eating up to 6 times a day
  • you may not have the budget to purchase the required amounts of fresh, organic produce every day, needed for optimum nutrient intake
  • you may not have the time to, for example, prepare fresh juices every day, which can help with the digestion of large quantities of fresh, raw produce and can be a good source of nutrients
  • you may have a medical condition, digestive complaint, food allergy or intolerance, which means that your choice of foods is limited
  • you may be a vegetarian or vegan, making it more difficult to eat a high protein diet which can support weight loss.

Making life easier

If one or more of the above applies to you, don’t worry! There are ways to ensure that you still get the nutrients you need to secure healthy weight loss for the long-term.

High quality meal shakes and protein powders can be an invaluable slimming tool because, not only are they quick and easy to prepare and drink, if you pick the right product they are also packed with nutrients (such as vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre) and are naturally low in fat.

They provide a convenient and reliable way for you to access high levels of nutrients every day, without having to worry about the calories.

Organic superfood shakes (or “green shakes”), for example, allow you to take in nutrient-dense, fibre-rich fruits and vegetables in quantities that would otherwise be unrealistic on a daily basis.

Vegan-friendly, gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free light meal shakes can provide a healthy breakfast or snack on the go, even for those people with specific dietary requirements. These types of healthy snacks can help to keep you fuller for longer, staving off cravings and bingeing.

Protein shakes, made from complete, natural and balanced plant-based protein sources (such as hemp, pea or rice) can make it far easier to implement a high-protein diet that supports slimming, because you do not have the high fat content of meat and other animal products.

The convenience offered by these daily food supplements means that there is no longer any excuse to skip meals. It couldn’t be easier for you to meet your optimal nutrient intake on a daily basis, while still sticking to your healthy weight management programme.

Ensuring your weight loss success

When it comes to healthy slimming, finding the best approach can be often be daunting and can sometimes lead to “information overload”. There are so many, often conflicting, information resources on weight loss and the weight management process.

But slimming needn’t be complicated – there are some basic rules that you need to follow. However, always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health practitioner before changing your diet, implementing a new exercise regime or taking health supplements.

Firstly, knowledge is power.

Losing weight in a healthy way and for the long-term involves you taking proactive steps to better understand:

  • your own body and how it works
  • how your body reacts to what you put in it
  • the ways in which existing medical conditions and/or allergies or intolerances can affect the weight management process
  • your metabolism
  • your daily nutritional requirements
  • how health supplements, including meal shakes and protein powders, can support the slimming process.

Nobody is going to lose weight for you and nobody knows your body and how it feels and works better than you. While the above may sound daunting, it really isn’t. The more information you have, the better placed you will be to achieve your health and weight goals. The fact that you have the power to make the desired changes yourself should be empowering!

Take it slowly – you won’t learn everything you need to know in one week. Start by finding a product you like, carry out additional research on the ingredients yourself through reliable online resources. It can also be useful to use high quality meal plans in the early stages, to guide you while you are still learning about how to eat a balanced diet.

Here’s to your long-term weight loss success.

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