We all know the benefits of an appropriate diet, adequate rest, and the importance of pursuing your passion for a fulfilled life. When it comes to managing our daily chores, eating healthy foods, controlling an exercise regime and maintaining our professional life can take a toll on many. The underlying problem is the same – too many tasks (home, office) or lack of time
It is always easy to reach out for fast food or ready-to-eat cartons in a bid to save time. We all want to avoid the long traffic snarls and be up-to-date on that most important meeting at work. This is the time when health takes a backseat, and weight gain can happen. Panic sets in and fad diets creep into the mind.
It is not always practical to eat 5-6 meals during a day. The inconvenience is felt when you are always traveling or spending long hours at work. When the going indeed gets tough, it is wiser to opt for a meal replacement shake. These shake plans target weight-loss and have been instrumental in weight loss. The health-conscious have often raised their eyebrows over the content of sugar in the meal replacement weight-loss shakes. You can limit these shakes to two a day for the best results.
Note, that meal replacement shakes for weight loss are not meant to overshadow all your meals throughout the day. When done in moderation, you can enjoy its benefits without the need to manage weight loss shakes are not meant to overshadow all your meals throughout the day. When done in moderation, you can enjoy its benefits without the need to manage a comprehensive cooking schedule in the kitchen.
Why Opt for Meal Replacement Weight Loss Shakes?
☑ They are so convenient to whip up in the kitchen.
☑ They curb your hunger pangs and keep you full until your next meal.
☑ These are designed to contribute towards weight loss.
☑ You can carry them anywhere.
☑ Offer portion-control. This means you can limit your food intake.
☑ No more elaborate plans for meals every day.
Note, It is desirable to consult your doctor before you opt for any meal replacement shakes or weight loss diets.
Before Starting a Meal Replacement Diet - Things to Know
- You can buy weight loss shakes in powder form as a meal replacement option. Every brand has different constituents, and it is vital to understand your requirements. The ready-to-make powders are available in various flavors with different ingredients.
- If you are following a low-carb diet plan, you need a meal replacement shake that adheres to this purpose. So, understand your requirements before you purchase. Another way is to make the shake in the kitchen itself.
- Ensure you have a heavy duty blender like Ninja Pro before opting for these recipes. A blender is a blessing to have in the kitchen and most often, is a neglected appliance. It is easy to add fruits or vegetables into a blender to whip up an easy meal replacement shake. Let’s take a look.
Meal replacements can be in the form of powder or bars. Some companies also offer soups. Although they cannot replace a meal entirely, they are known to accelerate the weight-loss program for many.
5 Best Meal Replacement Shakes for Weight Loss
There are hundreds of recipes for meal replacement weight loss shakes. However, before we begin, it is important to understand the constituents of a meal replacement shake. There are different ingredients you can use, proteins and vegetables – all of which can be combined to make an interesting meal replacement shake.
The Basics of a Healthy Shake
- Take a base that can be water or a fruit juice and mix it with fruits of your choice
- Use a filler such as a potato, yogurt or any of the ones mentioned above.
- You may add seeds or nuts as per your choice or even oats and chia or flax seeds.
- Use natural sweeteners. Honey or maple syrup is ideal for meal replacement shakes
You can use the following examples of fruits as fillers for a meal replacement shake. Your shake is incomplete without 1 item from each column...
|• Bananas (3, medium sized)||• Nuts|
|• Avocado (1-2 medium sized)||• Seeds|
|• Coconut Butter (You can purchase this easily online)||• Oats / Buckwheat|
|• Mangos (2-3 small sized)||• Carbs (Sweet potato etc)|
|• Coconut milk or Almond / Soy Milk||• Egg white|
|• Dairy products such as milk, cottage cheese, cream cheese, cream, all either in raw or organic form|
Include any one of the above as a filler for a meal replacement shake. Nuts and seeds may require grinding in a separate machine such as a coffee beans grinder in the absence of a high power blender). Now let’s check out some easy weight loss shakes and smoothie recipes to begin with.
1. Simple Protein Shake
These are ideal to provide nourishment to the body. While readymade protein powders are easily available for office-goers, you can whip up a healthy protein shake right in the comfort of your home using these recipes.
☑ Peanut Butter of a smooth consistency – 1 Tbsp
☑ Vanilla Protein Powder – 2 regular scoops
☑ Water – as per required consistency
☑ Pudding Mix in Dry texture – 2 Tbsp (Opt for a sugar-free mix)
☑ Ice cubes- 4-5
Preparation: Whip it all up in the blender. Serve chilled. This can be stored to consume in two parts throughout the day.
2. Easy Fruit Shake
☑ Blueberries – ½ cup or as per size (preferably fresh)
☑ Ripe Banana – 1 small size
☑ Flax seed – 1 Tbsp (ground)
☑ Water – ½ cup
☑ Acai Juice – ½ cup
Preparation: Blend all the ingredients together. Add ice cubes if required.
3. Low Carb Shake Recipe
This meal replacement shake recipe comes with the yumminess of chocolate.
☑ Peanut Butter – 2 Tbsp
☑ Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp
☑ Cocoa powder – 4 Tbsp
☑ Natural sweeteners such as Stevia – as per taste
☑ Spinach – 1 cup, fresh and washed with salt water
☑ Coconut milk – as per required consistency. Canned varieties are available
☑ Eggs – 2, optional
Preparation: It is easy! Mix everything in a blender till smooth. Pack it away in a mason jar or consume fresh.
4. High Protein Meal Replacement Shake
This one is ideal to have post a work-out session. It cuts down on preparation time, and you will not have hunger pangs on your way to work.
☑ Peaches – ½ cup
☑ Coconut Milk – 1 cup
☑ Strawberries – 1 cup
☑ Vanilla – ½ tsp
☑ Honey for sweetening – as per taste
☑ Vanilla Protein Powder – 1 serve
Preparation: Mix well in a blender. Such a protein weight loss shake is suitable when compared to protein bars. The calories in this shake are dependent on the protein powder used for this recipe.
5. Amazing Cherry Shake
Fruits when combined with milk always give a feeling of fullness. This weight loss shake is suitable if you do not have time for lunch.
☑ Cherries – 1 cup
☑ Milk – 1 cup
☑ Almond Butter – 1 – 2 Tbsps.
☑ Ice Cubes
☑ Vanilla Protein Powder of a reputed brand – 1 scoop
Preparation: Combine all the ingredients in a blender.
6. Healthy and Easy Fruit Shake Recipe with Vegetables
There can be no better combination than plants with fruits! They cut down on time spent to make an elaborate vegetable casserole recipe or a curry. If you are using an organic cucumber for this recipe, remember to leave the skin on. Natural ingredients are pesticide free, and you can reap richer rewards by using them in your regular recipe.
☑ Mint – 1-2 sprigs
☑ Lemon – for taste
☑ Kiwi Fruit – 1
☑ Spinach leaves – few handful leaves
☑ Avocado – ½
☑ Apple – ½
☑ Water – 1 cup
☑ Organic Cucumber -1/4 pieces
☑ Stalk of a fresh celery – 1
Preparation: Combine every ingredient in a blender and mix till smooth.
7. Coconut Milk with Chocolate Shake
It is true that coconut milk includes much of fats. You can use the low-fat varieties available in supermarkets to add a different touch to your meal replacement shakes. This one is appetizing and easy to make.
☑ Raw rice protein chocolate flavor – 1-2 scoops
☑ Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
☑ Coconut milk, low-fat variety – 1 can
☑ Ice cubes as per requirement
Preparation: Mix all the ingredients in the blender. If you still have the need to make it sweeter, add a teaspoon of honey. Use this recipe occasionally.
Special Protien Shakes for Weight Loss
1. Gluten Free Shakes
You may have already noticed gluten marked on your favorite loaves of bread. Many people avoid gluten if advised by their general physician. While a good number of stores stock gluten-free bread, it is easy to incorporate a gluten-free weight loss shake in your daily routine.
Opt for a reputed protein based meal replacement shake mix that is available in the stores or online. Companies such as Arbonne Essentials offer certified gluten-free powders that are suitable for all. Such powders are also lactose-free and dairy free. They are extremely suitable for health-conscious individuals who need to avoid gluten. Besides, these products come in yummy flavors such as chocolate or vanilla. Sounds good enough, doesn’t it?
2. Low Carb Meal Replacement Shake
Protein shake mixes such as Gotein are available easily as a meal replacement product. Available in flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry, these are easy to make. You’ll need a shaker to mix the powder with water. Shake it up with a low-carb mixture that tastes great too!
Apart from Gotein, a search on the web will display a broad range of meal replacement powders to suit every requirement. NutriBiotic is another such brand that is vegan and can be used to make green smoothies.
Creating a Well-Balanced Meal Replacement Shake
- Check out the ingredients of the shake powder. The powder should offer a correct balance of protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and essential carbohydrates.
- Always look out for the levels of sugar. Anything with too much sugar is avoidable.
- The ready mix should be easy to use. You can check if the powder is suitable to be combined with milk, water, etc.
- Understand your requirements before making a purchase. Do you need a low-carb one? Purchase accordingly.
You can also chart out a plan as given below. Definitely, use any one of each category.
- Liquids (every shake needs one): Milk- Fat-free or 1% milk | Water | Non-Dairy milk such as almond, rice, oat, soy, etc.
- Proteins: Proteins powders | Egg white | Peas | Soy | Yogurt – regular, fat-free.
- Healthy Fats: Walnuts, Avocado, Cashews, Peanuts, Flax Seeds,Unsalted and raw pumpkin seeds.
- High Fiber Fruits: Orange, Pear, Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, *These are low in sugar.
- Fruits with High Sugar Content: Mango, Banana, Papaya, Grapes, *Use the quantity with utmost care
- Vegetables (Green, leafy vegetables are best suitable for meal replacement shakes): Spinach, Watercress, Beet Greens, Lettuce, Broccoli , Cucumber
- Fruits with low sugar content: Raspberries, Blueberries, Grapefruit, Cranberries
- Good Omega-3 Fats: Flax Seed oil, Fish Oil, *This is suitable if your protein powder is low in fat. Adding little bit of omega 3 fats will improve fat burning in your body.
Use this as per the required dosage in your shake recipe. The list mentioned above is only to give an indication. The list can include other fruits or vegetables of your choice. Categorizing it and pinning the details on a board will help you understand portion control and some nutrients you consume.
Be aware of the following points before you commit yourself entirely to a meal replacement program.
- Understand that meal replacement shakes cannot be considered to be a complete meal. You need to eat regularly to balance your diet during the day.
- Meal replacement powders need to be consumed only after a consultation with your family doctor. These might interfere with your medications.
- Meal replacement shakes are not to be consumed on a permanent basis. It should be limited to two per day. The usage should also not be prolonged.
- Understand that consuming shakes may cause you to feel certain monotony in your diet.
- Purchasing MRPs regularly may be a little heavy on the budget for some. Plan your diet right and purchase after you are assured about the contents of the powders
- Meal replacement shakes are not intended for children or teenagers.
- Pregnant women should not opt for meal replacement shakes
- It isn’t advisable to only rely on meal replacement shakes as an alternative to weight loss. Understand the importance of exercise for improved results.
- Abruptly stopping this routine may create a significant amount of weight gain.
Apart from meal replacement plans, there is also another option to reduce weight fast. Very Low-Calorie Diets, also known as VLCDs include the use of a bar or soup that reduces our hunger pangs. However, this is quite different from the meal replacement shakes mentioned above. Extremely obese patients may benefit from an extreme diet form in consultation with their general physician.
Using a good quality protein powder is essential for faster results. These particles when used in shakes help us to feel full a little while longer. Low-cost protein shakes and powders are avoidable as they may contain artificial sweeteners. Some protein powders are priced higher than others as they are available in pure form. Whereas other protein powders may contain an excess of protein that may not be necessary for one’s body.
Types of Protein Powders
These powders cannot replace an entire meal as a meal replacement shake, but are often used by athletes, and sports enthusiasts for muscle building and repair. These are best consumed in the morning, post a workout session or before going to bed.
- Whey Protein Powder: This is useful to repair muscles, particularly after a strenuous workout session.
- Pea Protein Powder: Powders such as these are fat and cholesterol free. It does not include gluten either.
- Brown Rice Powder: This is also plant based protein. Being a gluten-free protein powder is also a popular choice for many.
- Vegan Options: This is an excellent choice for vegans or vegetarians.
- Soy Protein Powder: This is a plant based protein. It can also be used to stimulate muscle growth.
- Hemp Protein Powder: Hemp protein is plant based. The hemp seeds are however high in fat and thereby may not completely help in weight loss programs. Besides, growing hemp is also considered illegal in different parts of the world. Possibly, this is the reason they are priced higher.
- Casein Protein Powder: This type of protein is visible in cow milk. It takes time for the human body to digest this protein. Hence, it can be an ideal substitute when you are going to bed at night.
Remember to opt for sample packets so that you understand the flavors of the packet. This purchase will assist you in finding a suitable brand that you can continue for a longer time to come.
The above tips and meal replacement shake recipes will make it easier for you to prepate them especially when you are in a hurry. It is indeed simpler if you can make a plan on your weekends that indicate the different combinations you can try. This will save time during the week as you will not have to think of various combinations when you are busy. Also check our tips on how to reduce lose fat in face, cheeks.