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There are various weight loss shakes and meal replacements that are touted as being the best weight loss shakes on the market, and the one that really works’. These are marketed as being the key to shedding that obstinate, unwanted and excess weight. Dieters are, more often than not, seduced by almost unrealistic claims by various brands promising instant shakes and meal replacement solutions, in sachets or by the scoop, that promise to reduce weight in a matter of weeks. Brands position their best weight loss shakes and meal replacements as the quick, easy and pain-free way to lose those extra pounds. Here we examine how these really work, how should you consume them – in what quantity and frequency – and what you should realistically expect. 

Coming to the basics, a weight loss diet plan, at its core, has a balanced mixture of carbohydrates, healthy fats, and protein. It also has vital vitamins and nutrients that are essential for healthy body function as the switch is made from a normal diet to a weight loss diet. Another basic principle of a weight loss diet plan is the number of calories an individual consumes. It works on the core idea that a person needs to consume lesser number of calories than they burn for an effective loss of weight. This is commonly called a calorie deficit diet where an individual burn more calories than is consumed in a 24-hour time frame. 

This may work in the short term and weight loss may be experienced in the initial period of consuming weight loss shakes and meal replacements, for the long term, however, it is an overall change in lifestyle and eating habits that will not only help an individual reduce unwanted weight but will also help in keeping it off. Most health practitioners and dieticians, therefore, do not readily recommend shakes and meal replacements as the solution, but rather educate their patients about making healthy food and drink choices. 

Eliminating processed or junk food, high sugar drinks or sodas from a person’s diet not only helps with weight loss but also leads to an overall feeling of positive health. Increasing the intake of healthy fats, like Omega 3s and 6s found in fish like tuna and salmon and increasing lean protein like that found in chicken, turkey, lean beef, etc. combined with the consumption of unprocessed carbohydrates like brown rice, oats and quinoa are all good choices and go a long way in maintaining a healthy weight for the long term. Ensuring a good helping of fresh fruits and vegetables ensures the body is receiving all the necessary vitamins and nutrients it needs for all round functioning. 

Best weight loss shakes, like those marketed by the Slim Fast brand are intended to deliver 1200 – 1400 calories per day for women and approximately 1600 calories a day for men. This aims to generate a calorie deficit of 600 – 800 calories per day which, as the brand claims, helps lead to a loss of 1-2 pounds of body weight each week.

The basic premise behind best meal replacement shakes for weight loss of the Slim Fast brand and similar brands in the market are to create a calorie deficit for dieters by prompting them to skip meals and substitute them with a shake or meal replacement instead. Dieters, on an average, consume 1 to 2 of such shakes on a given day. 

On the downside, dieticians and medical practitioners have found that a lot of these meal replacement shakes for weight loss shakes contain large amounts of carbohydrates and sugars. Consuming such amount of sugars leads to a rise in blood sugar levels, which in turn can lead to a negative effect on body hormones like Insulin, Ghrelin, and Leptin. Ghrelin is a hormone that makes an individual feel hungry and makes them want to eat more, while Leptin is a hormone that is triggered by the body when an individual’s appetite is fully satiated. However, the Leptin hormone is made ineffective due to the high amount of carbs and sugars. As a result, the individual continues feeling hungry which makes controlling their diet an enormous exercise in willpower. 

The shakes are sustainable only in the short term, with many of the consumers experiencing a loss in weight, but only to gain it back once the diet plan is over. It is, therefore, of vital importance that, in addition to following the plans prescribed by the various best meal replacement shakes for weight loss brands, to also consciously change one’s eating habits and overall lifestyle.

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