Meal replacements are getting more and more popular and readily available. These meals used to be targeted for body builders and other athletes, but have gone mainstream because of the huge variety of health benefits it provides.
Many people preferred these meals since their fast-paced lifestyle meant no time to prepare otherwise healthy meals for themselves. To make things better, meal replacements provide just as much nutrients, if not more, as a healthy dietary meal. A good example would be Herbalife’s Formula 1 shake, as it provides a good combination of nutrients such as: Vitamins A and C, Protein, Fibre, Calcium, and Iron.
Today, there are many different kinds of bars and shakes that provide different amounts of nutrients. Among the most popular ones are used for weight loss, weight gain, or for strength and endurance.
Things to consider when choosing meal replacements
These bars and shakes don’t come with instant results, as it takes a lot of discipline and balance (with traditional dietary methods) to get what you want. There are times when consumption of such products has virtually no effect to the end user. This may be because of certain reasons such as cheating your diet, taking the wrong bars or shakes, or simply because you’ve fallen prey to savvy marketing.
Sadly, some supplemental products out there are nothing more than dignified candy bars and sugar-loaded drinks. It pays to be careful when choosing meal replacements since your health and your hard-earned cash is at stake. Do so by following these simple tips:
1. Check the ingredients
This is already a giveaway but it’s often overlooked. One of the best ways to make an informed choice is to read the list of ingredients found at the back of the package. That’s because you can get to know what your food replacement is made of.
The beauty of using meal replacements is that your nutrient intake is already fixed, saving you the hassle of calculating them for yourself. Among the contents of the bars and shakes you’re going to consume should be:
- A third of daily vitamins and minerals (calcium, vitamin B, etc.) per serving
- 10-15 grams of protein per serving
- 3-5 grams of fiber per serving
- Less than 5 grams of fat per serving
- 220-230 calories per serving
This is the ideal contents of a meal replacement, since it gives you a balanced amount of complex carbohydrates, simple sugars, fat, and protein. This allows you to do your normal functions, while keeping weight levels in check. There are tons of online sources which you can access if you want to know more about a certain nutrient and what it does to the body. You can Google them and know which fits your body’s needs best.
2. Look for trusted brands
Although it’s nice to try new products out, nothing is safer than opting for the established brands. They’ve reached that status for a reason, and that’s because they’ve delivered on their promises for years. Opt for popular brands in the market to make sure that you’re getting your money’s worth.
3. Get recommendations
Uncompensated endorsement from your peers and other people is always good advice since they’re giving it to help you and not to sell something. You probably have health conscious friends in your social circle who have used health products before. You could ask them what works and what doesn’t.
If none of your peers use such products, you could always go online and get information about different products in several communities. There’s bound to be a Facebook group or a forum that hosts discussion about your health concerns.
4. Opt for good taste
Do you know why people break their diets for sugary and greasy food? That’s because they taste great. Almost everyone will agree that eating is one of the most fun things to do. Nothing beats that sensation in your mouth when you’re chewing or drinking something really good. This requires those bars and shakes to have exceptional taste since it’s just hard to force yourself to eat something you don’t like, even for the sake of getting fit. Also, forcing yourself to eat and drink unappetizing food will make you chronically crave for junk food, which in turn would have a lot of bad effects on your body.
There are meal replacements available in delicious flavors like Dolce De Leche, Vanilla, Banana, and others. Just make sure that they don’t have any unwanted sugars like Acesfulfame K to keep your calorie count in check.