Drinking a shake instead of a full meal can be a smart way to get enough calories and nutrients to work toward gradual weight loss or a healthier diet, but there’s no guarantee that it will make a positive difference. Not all meal replacement shakes are nutritionally equal, so it’s important to spend some time examining nutrition facts and ingredient labels before you make a choice.
One main health benefits of meal replacement shakes is that they’re fortified with a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, so they can successfully stand in for a meal while still meeting your daily requirements.
Another advantage is that shakes tend to have fewer calories than full meals, so if your goal is to lose weight, having a shake replace one meal every day can help you reduce your daily calorie count and build up a calorie deficit big enough to produce gradual, consistent weight loss.
In a 40-week trial that took place in 2003, Dr. Steven Heymsfield and colleagues found that overweight and obese subjects who used daily meal replacements lost more weight than those who simply followed a low-calorie diet.
Follow a healthy diet with your shakes for ultimate results. A healthy lifestyle must include a varied, balanced, low-calorie diet that includes daily servings of lean proteins, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy and vegetables. Download the Manna Weight Loss e-book.