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How to Choose a Weight Loss Shake

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Weight loss shakes are meant to replace a regular meal to lower your daily calorie consumption and help you drop a few pounds. Some can be an effective way to cut calories while still getting important nutrients, while others are not likely to benefit you at all. It’s important to compare the ingredients of the shakes, the nutritional facts and look at possible alternatives if the cost is too high for you to maintain.

Unfortunately, many meal replacement shakes contain a level of sugar that’s comparable to sodas, according to a 2003 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Slim-Fast shakes, for example, list sugar as the third ingredient, while the shake also contains high levels of high-fructose corn syrup and fructose. The ingredients of many popular protein shakes marketed as weight loss tools may cancel out the benefits you might receive.

How to Choose a Good Shake

Compare brands by analyzing their calories, fat, protein and carbohydrate content. Check the sugar content as well, because many popular brands contain too much sugar that defeats the purpose of a weight loss shake. You should also avoid shakes with too few calories, which aren’t effective at controlling hunger and may be too restrictive. The shake should be low in saturated fat and sugar, or contain none at all. A good shake will have a healthy balance of calories from fiber, protein and carbohydrates and may be mixed with juice, milk or water.

Recommended High Protein Meal Replacements

  • Ultramet Champion Nutrition. 250 calories, 2g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 20mg cholesterol, 360mg sodium, 940mg potassium, 20g total carbohydrates, 1g dietary fiber, 2g sugar, 38g protein.
  • Met-RX Meal Replacement. 280 calories, 2g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 20mg cholesterol, 350mg sodium, 450mg potassium, 24g total carbohydrate, 1.5g dietary fiber, 3g sugar, 42g protein.

Ultramet originalMet RX Engineered Nutrition

https://performance.championnutrition.com/all-products-ultramet.aspx

http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/met-rx/meal-replacement.html

Recommended Low-Calorie Meal Replacements

These shakes are designed for weight loss with less protein, calories and fat.

  • EAS Myoplex Lite Meal Replacement. 180 calories, 1.5g total fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 20mg cholesterol, 360mg sodium, 470mg potassium, 20g total carbohydrate, 3g dietary fiber, 1g sugar, 25g protein.
  • Ultramet Lite Meal Replacement. 280 calories, 2g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 20mg cholesterol, 350mg sodium, 450mg potassium, 24g total carbohydrate, 1.5g dietary fiber, 3g sugar, 42g protein.

Myuplex LiteUltramet Lite

http://eas.com/product/myoplex-lite-ready-to-drink

http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/cn/ultralite.html

Preparing Your Own Shakes

If you’re worried about the ingredients or health benefits of brand name shakes on the market, you can also prepare your own at home. This gives you complete control of your shake’s calories, ingredients and sugar content. A good recipe for a simple yet effective meal replacement shake at home is listed below.

Meal Replacement Shake Recipe

  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 cup mixed berries, raspberries, strawberries or other berry; fresh or frozen
  • 1 30g scoop of protein powder
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Blend all ingredients in a blender. This shake contains 300 calories and nearly 35 grams of protein. If it replaces a single 600-calorie meal per day, you will lose 2 pounds per month.

How to Use Meal Replacement Shakes Effectively

  • Replace no more than two meals, or one meal and one snack, per day.
  • A weight loss shake should have at least 200 calories and a mix of protein, fiber, carbs, vitamins and minerals. These shakes are designed to replace a meal, so they should contain the nutrients you would be receiving from food.
  • Use a shake for your most problematic meal of the day. If you tend to skip breakfast, drink a shake in the morning, for example.
  • Use a shake when it’s convenient instead of turning to fast food.
  • Maximize the benefits of the shake by consuming nutritional regular meals that include vegetables, fresh fruit, lean meats and whole grain breads.


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