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ARE MEAL REPLACEMENTS GOOD?

ARE MEAL REPLACEMENTS GOOD?

Same day delivery, fast food, lunchtime Hussle...We all want a want a quick fix. Weight loss is no exception. When the belt gets tight or the wobble gets excessive, we want it gone.

Meal replacements can cater to that need. But are they the right approach?

WHAT IS IN MEAL REPLACEMENTS?

The shakes, bars, mousses or soups vary enormously in their claims and target customers. There are rules for these products. For instance, they are limited to between 800 and 1200 calories a day (if you are replacing all meals). No more than 30% of those calories can come from fat, they must provide at least 10 grams of fibre a day and the full set of vitamins and minerals.

WHAT IS GOOD ABOUT MEAL REPLACEMENTS?

Easy peasy squeezy. Just open the pack, mix if needed and chow down. You know you are getting all your nutritional needs without too many calories. They often produce rapid weight loss, and that’s a great motivator.

WHAT IS LESS GOOD?

Eating nothing but meal replacements means a big calorie drop – yes, rapid weight loss but tricky to stick to. The diet can be dull, and not great for your social life. They aren’t to everyone’s taste – one reviewer rather evilly said ‘all the nutrition you need in one foul slurp’. Opinions may vary on that, but it all adds up to a tricky regime to maintain.

You can’t (and shouldn’t) live on meal replacements long term. However they may work well if you want to kick start your weight loss and see an initial loss. 

THE VERDICT?

Meal replacement diets are convenient and make calorie counting easy. Check out the NHS dietician review to learn about which form of healthy eating works for you. Some professional advice and counselling can also help to reset your relationship with food. In the long term, ideally you should try to control your weight with sensible normal eating

Photo by Derick McKinney on Unsplash

the author

Jessica Ambrose

Jessica is a fitness writer who loves long distance running, yoga, strength training and healthy eating.

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