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Meal Replacements: How do they work?

Published In: 16 Jun 2017

By now you must have heard about supplements in the form of meal replacements. These are often sold in the form of a soluble powder, the purpose of which is to replace one or more of your main meals during the day. Their goal is to go to replace a main meal during the day in order to help reduce your daily calorie intake and to help your diet and weight loss. Let's explore whether there’s truth to the legends about the effectiveness of meal substitutes.

In 2014, Nick Harding famously attempted to expel any false myths about the effectiveness of meal replacement products. During this time, Nick was only fed exclusively meal substitutes, ranging from smoothies to soups while never consuming a full ‘meal’. From his experiment it emerged that meal replacement were not able to replace a healthy and balanced diet. In truth, meal replacement products have never been thought of as tools to replace a balanced diet. In fact, we always suggest that they are used in order to support a healthy eating style and aid in weight loss.

Meal Replacement Products: What are they?

We will start with the definition. Meal replacement products are all the products that are designed to replace one of the main daily meals with a low-calorie substitute in order to help with the process of weight loss and achieving the desired physical form. It is, in essence, a specific type of food supplement. They can be purchased in the form of bars, solutions, powders, snacks and also biscuits. One of the most popular types of meal replacement product is that of shake, as they are easy to consume, carry, store and are available in a variety of flavours.

Meal Replacement Products: Do They Work?

We must start by saying that the meal replacement products will never replace a healthy and balanced diet. The experiment that Nick carried out definitely caused a stir and highlighted the limitations of the product, but what it tested was a completely incorrect the product. In fact, research supports the effectiveness of using meal replacements when they are used properly. Numerous studies show that meal replacements are effective in helping to lose weight and help in cases of being overweight. They can even positively affect the health of the body. Replacement products, for example have been effective in helping in cases of hypercholesterolemia. Being products with a low caloric intake, they may also be used by people with medical problems, such as type 2 diabetes.

Meal Replacement Products: How Do They Work

The meal replacement products do not work as he used them Nick Harding: do not replace the normal and regular feeding. Their goal is to go to replace one of the main meals and, if necessary, the different daily snacks, reducing the intake of calories in the body without affecting the daily energy needs required by the body. It is a compromise between the line and health. Meal replacement products are designed to reduce the calorie intake from fats and carbohydrates, at the same time ensuring that enough vitamins, minerals and sufficient proteins are taken in to to allow the body to maintain its crucial functions. These products are intended to be used as a part of a balanced diet, not a replacement for one. They contribute to the reduction of daily calorie intake and promote catabolism of excess fatty tissue. All of these products are easy to consume, keep and also to carry.

Meal Replacement Products: recommendations

As has been repeated several times, meal replacement products are not intended to replace a healthy and balanced diet. The advice is to use the products to replace one of the main meals during  the day. It is advisable to consume the product within a controlled slimming program. Such products should not be consumed by children under 15 or, in general, during the period of development, and cannot be taken by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Since these products often contain dairy products, you should read the label to ensure you do not suffer from allergies.