US Myprotein Writer
First of all, we’ll go over the basis of what we’re trying to achieve. Losing weight isn’t exactly rocket science, but people tend to over-complicate the process, especially by following things such as FAD diets. Don’t contract “Shiny object syndrome” and think that some shake or magical pill will turn you into the incredible hulk.
Let’s get back to basics…what exactly causes weight loss?
That is, the amount of food you’re eating vs the energy you are expending. You can eat anything! Every weight loss study always brings back to the fact that you must eat less than you burn if you want to lose weight.
For example, look at Professor Mark Haub, he ate a diet of nothing but twinkies, doritos, oreos, and other sugary and “fattening” foods for 10 weeks and lost a total of 27 pounds in two months, simply because he ate less energy than he burned. However, his “convenience store diet” isn’t necessarily a good idea, we still need vitamins and minerals and enough protein to build muscle.
Also, when we’re talking about body composition, we need the right ratios of protein, carbohydrates, and fats in our diet. Now, how do protein shakes fit into this? Let’s look over the pros and cons of these shakes.
The Pros and Cons of Meal Replacement Shakes
Meal replacement shakes are extremely convenient, so if you’re one of those busy people that doesn’t have time to sit down and eat a full meal, meal replacement shakes are a great way to get in your nutrition. Now, this next point can be a pro or a con, depending on how you go about it. Meal replacement shakes can be satiating, but some go right through you. I would highly recommend adding frozen fruit to your shakes to give it more thickness and volume – I have included some great lower calorie recipes later in this article.
Some shakes are just so small and “thin” that they leave you hungry within the next hour or so. Another pro is that you can take these shakes with you in an enclosed bottle, and you can choose what goes in it if you’re making your own. There are also bottled ready to drink shakes, but they can be extremely expensive. If you make your own with some whey, almond milk, and fruit you’ll be saving a lot more money, although you do need a blender.
Some cons include sustainability, decreased satiety, and lower nutrition. The sustainability factor is a huge part of this, you can’t expect to rely on shakes for weight loss for the rest of your life. Finally, these shakes often don’t have as many nutrients as actual food, unless you plan on making your own with fruit and such. They also often contain artificial sweeteners, although you can buy stevia sweetened or unflavored whey.
Should I Add Meal Replacement Shakes To My Diet?
In my opinion, absolutely.
They’re extremely convenient and can be incorporated into a healthy diet. Remember, having a shake or taking some supplements won’t give you results, hard work and dedication will. I would highly recommend making your own though, simply because you can get more micro-nutrients from fruit, ground oatmeal, peanut butter, spinach, or whatever you decide to add in your own personal shake.
Just make sure what you are adding fits into your overall diet, and you’ll do just fine. These shakes can also help reach overall protein needs if you add in a scoop of protein powder or two. Speaking of protein shakes, they can also make great snacks in between meals, just put a scoop in your shaker cup and go, and they’re also incredibly portable.
Protein Shake Recipes To Help With Weight Loss
Here are some lower calorie, high volume shakes. Use frozen fruit for more volume and thickness (and a high quality blender of course….it makes them taste surprisingly like ice cream).
#1 Diet Protein Shake: High Volume Strawberry Shake
✓ 3 cups frozen strawberries
✓ 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (add more water as necessary)
✓ 1 scoop MyProtein strawberry drizzle whey protein powder.
(This shake will be thick so add more water as necessary)
#2 Diet Protein Shake: Peanut Butter Banana Shake
✓ 1 Scoop MyProtein Chocolate Whey
✓ 12 grams powdered peanut butter
✓ 1 banana
✓ 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
#3 Diet Protein Shake: Apples and Cinnamon Shake
✓ 1 Scoop MyProtein Vanilla whey
✓ 1 medium gala apple
✓ 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
✓ 1 tbsp cinnamon
The Bottom Line
Meal replacement and protein shakes have a place in a well balanced diet, and can most certainly be used for the purpose of weight loss (or gain, depending on your goals). They’re easy, convenient, and most certainly can help get in enough protein and an easy way to get in your daily nutrition.