Should You Be Replacing Your Meals With Supplements?

Meal replacements are usually powders which promise to give you all the nutrients you need with none of the excess calories. They’re supposed to be the perfect addition to your weight loss journey because they help you eat less and shed pounds quicker. But many people understandably have concerns over whether replacement shakes really do contain all our vital nutrients. There has also been plenty of dispute over the claim that meal replacements can reduce cravings and keep you full for a long time. So if you’re wondering if you should try a meal replacement, these points could help you decide.


The Psychological Link Between Eating And Satiety


For most people trying to lose weight, the biggest hurdle can be to exercise portion control. Restricting their calorie intake can often seem impossible because they’re trying to condition themselves to get used to smaller portions.

The advantage that meal replacements offer is that there’s no complicated calorie counting required. You simply take the specified amount in relation to your weight and drink up. Nutritionists do agree that for someone struggling with their weight, temporarily going on meal replacements is ideal since it makes portion control so much easier. But can they actually fill you up?

Meal replacements technically do contain enough calories to keep you full, which should theoretically curb hunger too. But our hunger signals are far more complicated. The act of chewing and swallowing your food is an important indicator to our brain of how much we’re eating. When we simply drink a meal replacement, there’s no chewing taking place at all. This might trick the brain into believing that it’s still hungry, giving you cravings. A healthy person with no major weight issues or health conditions should ideally eat healthy, full meals. However, for those who need to take drastic measures for weight loss, meal replacements are almost always recommended. It might be difficult to resist those cravings at first, but stay firm.

Once your body gets used to drinking the shake every day, your appetite signals will also change.

Feeding Our Gut Bacteria


By now it’s almost universally acknowledged that our gut microbiota play an indispensable role in our physiological functioning. Millions of bacteria live within our gut and directly influence our digestion, health and even mood. They even play an important role in weight loss since proper digestion of the food we eat influences the way it’s utilized. To ensure our gut has plenty of good bacteria within it, we need to eat foods that function as probiotics. These foods feed the good bacteria in our get and ensure they multiply. Probiotics are naturally abundant in whole, unprocessed foods.

Meal replacements however have no fiber and as a result, no probiotic qualities. Fiber is essential for the healthy excretion of waste from our body. When we don’t get enough fiber in our diet, our digestive system is severely impaired. Over dependence on meal replacements could

compromise your body’s gut bacteria and fiber. To counteract the lack of probiotics in replacement shakes, you could take a probiotic supplement everyday. For adequate dietary fiber though, the only way to get it is through fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Even if you do go on a supplement, make sure you get plenty of these in a day.

They Often Work Best In Moderation


In a fit of starting enthusiasm, many people vow to only drink meal replacements for all three meals in a day. This hardly ever works out in the long run, because they’re soon craving solid food again. Another reason why meal replacements don’t work well in excess is because of the monotony. Human being are wired to experience different tastes. Our taste buds crave new flavors, making it difficult to eat just one thing everyday. If you want to stick with your meal replacement for a longer time, know where to draw the line.

Breakfast is the one meal

in a day where people don’t really mind eating the same thing everyday. Breakfast is also the one meal which most people find hard to eat because of time constraints. Meal replacements work great here because you’re getting all the nutrition with none of the work. They can help kick-start your metabolism for the day in a healthy and fuss-free way. Unless recommended for you specifically by a doctor, most experts warn against depending only on meal replacements for all your meals. A plate of regular, whole food contains a whole variety of hidden nutrients that a meal replacement cannot provide. So as long as you eat nutritious whole food for your remaining meals, there’s really no reason you shouldn’t incorporate a meal replacement for one of them. Always remember to consult your doctor first before going on a meal replacement so you can make an informed decision.