With obesity rates climbing higher and mortality figures dropping for the first time in 100 years, there’s more than just vanity behind the desire to lose weight. Heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and other joint-related issues are cropping up earlier and earlier in each generation. Naturally, it doesn’t devalue the desire to lose weight in order to feel better, look better or perform better in sport, but improving overall health should at least be a byproduct of your efforts if not the main goal.
Many diet plans can be restrictive, expensive and/or time consuming which lowers their rate of success over time. The best methods for losing weight, gaining lean muscle mass or just generally increasing your energy levels are going to be simple and easy to incorporate into your daily routine. One such method is by using meal replacements which are available as powdered mixes, ready-mixed shakes and bars.
Benefits of Using Meal Replacements
• Convenience – The pace of life is getting faster and faster as time goes on, leaving many of us exhausted and haggard and reaching for the pastries or other quick-fix meals on the go. However, despite all our busy schedules our waistlines are expanding due to poor food choices when we’re in a hurry. With meal replacements like shakes or energy bars you can have a portable mini meal with for whenever the hunger pangs strike during your hectic day. They also mean less time spent prepping or cooking or shopping for ingredients, and less time planning your meals for the day. You end up with the peace of mind that wherever you are, you have a healthy option in your bag.
• Flexibility – Gone are the days of a meal replacement being chalky or gritty; protein shake mixes come in a wide variety of flavors and make for smooth, silky drinks on the go. Aside from the typical vanilla, chocolate and strawberry you also have options like chocolate mint, piña colada and mixed berry. Plus, you can use juice or low-fat milk instead of water and throw in fresh fruit for added fiber, antioxidants and flavor.
• Price – Most protein shakes and meal bars cost less than eating out or prepackaged food options which can pile on the salt and sugar as well as the pounds. Buying these items in bulk can also garner further discounts on their already low cost.
• Balanced Nutrition – With low calorie, low fat, high protein and moderate carbs, meal replacements give you what your body needs without unnecessary extras. They can also provide a high quantity of the essential vitamins and minerals needed daily. The high amount of protein is key for staving off hunger for longer and building lean muscle tissue. However, not all of them are created equally: look for ones that have at are low in sugar and have least three grams of dietary fiber as well.
While a meal replacement is easy to add into your daily schedule, they are generally intended for use on an “as needed” basis and should not regularly replace whole foods in your diet. It’s also important to remember that they won’t do all the work for you. Regardless of your weight and fitness goals, it’s still going to require some sweat and effort to achieve what you want but meal replacements can help you get there a little easier and faster.
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Author Anthony Joseph is a health and fitness advocate, and is a contributing writer for ProGrade.com. When you’re ready to change your body for the better, their supplements are the way to go. They’ve been trusted by thousands of health and fitness professionals to help get them the results they wanted. Remember it’s you who does the work, but having the right products in your corner is a key element.