Do you spend December running around from one Christmas celebration to another? Do you get stressed out about Christmas decorations, party outfits and gifts?
Well, you are not alone! For many people, Christmas can be a very stressful time of the year. Actually, some people rate Christmas as being more stressful than getting divorced or being burgled…
But fear not, help is here! And it comes in the shape of meal replacements.
What are meal replacements?
Meal replacements generally refer to calorie-controlled, pre-packaged products in the form of bars, beverages or powders, which replaces a regular meal.
Most meal replacements contain 200-400 calories and a good amount of protein. Some also offer a fair amount of dietary fibres, essential vitamins and minerals, but the nutrient composition can vary substantially. Therefore you should always take a careful look at the ingredient list before buying a product.
An easy way to cut calories
Well we can all agree that there is no such thing as an easy way to loose weight! And the best way to losing weight is by changing your lifestyle and focusing on healthier habits including increased physical activity and home-made meals made from healthy whole foods. But that is unfortunately not always very practical with a busy schedule and a hectic lifestyle…
Meal replacements can therefore be a solution for some people to kick-start their weight loss journey. They help reduce calorie intake and can therefore boost a weight loss and get you started or help you with weight maintenance in a period with lots of festivities.
The convenient solution
When it comes to convenience, meal replacements have the upper hand compared to home-made meals. Meal replacements are very easy to take with you on the go. They require no preparation, and you can eat or drink them at any times. Meal replacements are also a significantly healthier alternatives to most fast foods, that are usually high on saturated fat and added sugars.
So on a busy day where you would normally skip a meal entirely or go for some fast food, a meal replacement can be a good alternative. It will offer you a low amount of calories, and help you feel full for longer and keep your blood sugar more stabile.
5 reasons to try a meal replacement
1. Your body needs energy. So it is much better to eat/drink a meal replacement than skipping the meal completely.
2. It’s easy peasy! You can bring the meal replacement with you everywhere and you don’t have to spend a lot of time preparing and cooking your meal.
3. If your appetite is very low, for example if you have been sick, it can be difficult to get enough protein in your daily diet. Then a protein shake or protein bar can be a fine supplement to help you get back on track.
4. It is good energy on the go. A healthy meal replacement is much better than a piece of cake or a chocolate bar. But like with anything else, you should always take a look at the ingredients label! Go for products with a low amount of fat, look out for added sugar and keep an eye on the total amount of calories.
5. For extra energy try supplementing your meal replacement with a nutrient-packed, low-calorie snack such as a piece of fruit or a serving of brown rice or veggies.
Meal replacements should never be used as the only nutrition for a longer period, as they cannot offer you all the essential nutrients you need. But for a shorter period of time or as a replacement for a meal it can be perfectly ok. Just keep in mind that your total daily protein intake should not exceed the recommended amounts
It is important to note, that meal replacements are not suitable for children, pregnant women, people with eating disorders and those taking medications affected by rapid weight loss, including insulin.
If you want to use meal replacements, check with your dietician or doctor to see how these products can safely fit into your eating plan.
Did you know?
That for many people a meal replacement can work as a help to regain control over their eating? The meal replacements are fixed in content, in calories and in amount, and this can be very helpful in order to avoid over eating.
That meal replacements have been a regular feature of science fiction films since as far back as the 1960s?
That some energy bars contain more added sugar than a Mars chocolate bar?