We all know there’s no silver bullet or magic button to bring instant success when it comes to healthy weight loss or to keeping that weight off once we’ve managed to lose it to begin with.
It takes a shift in our attitudes, eating habits and lifestyle choices that typically involve daily weigh-ins, smarter food choices and moving more and keeping daily records of it all.
But there are ways to kickstart your journey to a healthy lifestyle that can make those shifts easier, including using meal replacements.
Why use a meal replacement?
The general rule of weight loss is to use more energy through daily activities and exercise than your body takes in through food and drink. The deficit triggers your body to use its existing stores for the energy it needs. But it’s important to cut the right kind of calories so your body still gets the nutrients it needs.
Meal replacement shakes or bars typically offer an easy, low-calorie option for replacing one or two meals a day, helping to reduce the total number of calories consumed. Clinical studies have shown that this is an effective way to lose weight when used with exercise and a healthy diet. Research shows they have other key benefits, too.
Meal replacement shakes eliminate ‘decision fatigue’
Sometimes the hardest part about trying to eat healthier is all the choices stretching in front of you at the grocery store or at mealtimes. Realistic portion sizes, new recipes, meal planning—it can be overwhelming.
And when you’re overwhelmed, you’re not likely to make the best decisions. That’s one theory behind the success of meal replacements: They eliminate “decision fatigue,” said Dr. Gigi Kwok-Hinsley, a registered dietitian nutritionist and clinical investigator for BodyKey by Nutrilite™ products.
“One of the reasons meal replacements are such a great tool, especially when you’re starting a weight loss program, is because they take the stress out of thinking about weight loss,” Kwok-Hinsley said. “They make it easier when you’re trying to implement a lot of different lifestyle changes.”
If you plan food for the day around two meal replacement shakes or bars, that leaves only one meal and one to two snacks you have to figure out. All the other decisions are already made! And meal replacements are typically easy to grab and go, saving you even more time.
Meal replacement shakes deliver key nutrients
As we said, there is a lot to learn when embarking on a healthy weight loss journey. You want to make sure you choose wisely when deciding which foods to eat less of so you’re not depriving your body of key nutrients.
Research has shown that traditional low-calorie diets often leave people nutritionally deficient. Experts recommend meal replacements because they often offer nutrient-rich options that are proportioned to keep your weight-loss on track while still giving you the nutrition you need.
“Someone trying to lose weight is more likely to have a smaller variety of food and therefore more likelihood of a nutrient deficiency,” Kwok-Hinsley said. “Meal replacements offer the nutrients that you need with a reduction in calories – the best of both worlds.”
BodyKey by Nutrilite Meal Replacement Shakes, for example, are scientifically formulated to provide the essential nutrients of a complete, balanced meal to help satisfy hunger for healthy, effective weight loss. Each shake contains 17g of plant-based protein, 5g of fiber and 22 vitamins and minerals adding up to around 200 calories.
Meal replacements might improve your quality of life
Another study examining the impact of low-calorie diets, such as using meal replacements, found an association with weight loss and an improvement in physical health and quality of life including mental health and vitality.
“There are a lot of different weight loss programs out there,” Kwok-Hinsley said. “Weight loss with meal replacements has shown to consistently support weight loss and weight maintenance while also improving overall quality of life.”
Maybe it’s all that lack of worry and decision making combined with successful weight loss. Whatever the reason, meal replacements combined with other smart food and lifestyle choices and regular exercise might be just what you need to kickstart your weight loss journey or turn your efforts around if your daily weigh-ins are going in the wrong direction.
To learn more about BodyKey by Nutrilite Meal Replacement Shakes and other BodyKey products, visit your local market website.
Dr. Gigi Kwok-Hinsley is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a Doctor of Public Health specializing in Preventive Care from Loma Linda University (LLU). Prior to her work at Nutrilite, Dr. Kwok-Hinsley conducted research ranging from high protein diets to pediatric nutrition. As a Nutrition Research Clinical Investigator, she has experience ranging from weight management to women’s health. Dr. Kwok-Hinsley is a huge proponent of a well-balanced diet and lifestyle over restrictions and elimination. When not working, Gigi enjoys gardening, family time and training for her next marathon.