The Pros and Cons of Meal Replacement Shakes

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Some weight loss systems require meal replacement shakes to induce weight loss. As the name suggests, meal replacement drinks are used to replace a whole meal with a single drink. Although it is an effective weight loss aid, diet shakes have their own advantages and disadvantages. In today’s post, we are listing down the pros and cons of taking meal replacement drinks:

Pro: Weight Management

Some studies found a link between weight loss and drinking diet shakes. In a study published in the Diabetes/Metabolism Research & Review, researchers found that obese individuals who drank high-protein meal replacement drinks as part of a low-calorie diet lost more weight than participants who followed the same diet without taking the drink. Unlike full meals, replacement drinks contain fewer calories but are just as filling. The protein in the diet shakes makes the drinks filling compared to fats and carbs.

Pro: Easy to Prepare

Diet shakes are very convenient because they are easy to whip up. It only takes a couple of minutes to create a diet drink. Imagine prepping a full meal, which takes more or less 30 minutes. Because it is convenient and easy to prepare, even busybodies can whip up a shake within minutes instead of skipping meals. Meal replacement drinks are designed to keep you fuller so you do not deal with hunger pangs or intense cravings throughout the day.

Pro: Easy to Track

Taking meal replacement drinks make it easier to track your progress. A full meal contains more calories than your average glass of meal replacement drink. When you consume fewer calories, you lose more weight. And after seeing results, you are more likely to stick to the weight loss program until the end. When you know how many calories you take in daily, it makes weight management a breeze!

Con: The Limitations

Meal replacement drinks will not tone the muscles nor strengthen your body. It will not induce significant weight loss because of its caloric content. The bottom line is, these drinks have limitations in terms of what they can do for your body. Ideally, meal replacement drinks should be included in a comprehensive, doctor-approved weight loss plan to help you reach your weight loss goals and maintain your fitness.

Con: Less Nutritious

Let’s face it, no meal replacement drink can measure up to a full meal in terms of nutrient content. These diet drinks do not contain a diverse range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that full meals do. These drinks do not contain balanced nutrients as whole foods or grains.

Con: Does not Promote a Healthy Lifestyle

One of the disadvantages of taking weight loss drinks is that these products promote laziness. Why exercise regularly to lose weight when you can drink a meal replacement shake? Why eat whole foods when you can drink your meals? Meal replacement drinks send the wrong message to dieters, that they can lose weight without lifting a finger.

Now, to a certain extent, you can lose weight by drinking meal replacement drinks. But the weight you lose are not from burned fat but water loss. Once you go back to your normal eating habits, you will easily gain all the weight you lost. Simply put, exercising and balanced diet trump meal replacement shakes.


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