When considering a weight loss diet, people immediately envisage a restrictive or low-calorie diet, which is not right. Any diet must be healthy. It means that a weight loss diet must have adequate calories. Balancing calories and severely restricting calories are two different things.
Severe calorie restriction indeed works in the short term, but it also poses significant health threats. There are many incidences reported every year of adverse outcomes of severe caloric restriction. In fact, numerous cases of sudden death due to a highly restrictive diet are well-documented in the medical literature.
The whole purpose of weight loss is to have a better life, prevent diseases, prolong life, and, most importantly, improve the quality of life (QOL). Losing weight solely for the sake of weight loss is not a wise way forward.
Obesity is typically a result of years of wrong dietary choices. Thus, one can lose body weight and increase lean mass with a well-balanced and healthy diet practiced for long enough. A healthy diet controls calories but does not significantly limit calorie intake.
Most obese individuals can expect weight loss through a balanced diet containing 1800-2200 calories. Going below these numbers requires extreme caution. The secret to weight loss is making nutrients work for you, promoting weight loss, boosting basal metabolic rate, and helping you feel energized.
What Nutritionists Recommend?
Nutritionists recommend eating a healthy and well-balanced diet that also contains an adequate number of calories. Therefore, they are against highly restrictive diets unless a doctor recommends them. In such a case, a doctor should monitor a person.
Recommendations by nutritionists are pretty simple;
- Cut down the intake of fast-absorbing carbs and sugars and limit intake of grains and starchy vegetables.
- Eat healthy fats like those from fatty fish and MCTs. Avoid trans-fats. Cut down the intake of vegetable oils.
- Boost intake of lean meat like fish, eggs, chicken, nuts, and legumes.
- Control portion sizes.
- Eat more fruits and veggies to meet the daily requirement for micronutrients.
Although most recommendations by nutritionists are pretty simple, they tend to be vague. Additionally, they do not explain how to achieve these objectives. For most people, learning about various foods is quite a daunting task. There are hundreds of things to know. This is why they are looking for a simpler way to switch to a nutritious meal. One such method is using a meal replacement shake.
Just take an example of proteins. Nutritionists recommend you prefer lean protein, but that does not provide much information to most people. Recent research has shown that it’s better to consume proteins from sources that include fat, like red meat, fatty fish, pork and so on.
Mixing proteins ensures that the person gets the right amount of all the amino acids. Adequate intake of amino acids can boost weight loss effort and basal metabolic rate. It also has a beneficial effect on satiety and mood.
Additionally, there are other misconceptions. For example, there are 22 amino acids needed for building body structures. Out of these 9 are essential, many others are conditionally essential, and few of them are non-essential. However, terms like essential or non-essential are confusing.
Studies show that the body needs non-essential amino acids in large amounts. Non-essential amino acids are those that body cannot produce. However, they are essential for good health.
Similarly, planning an adequate intake of high-quality fats can be difficult for most people. For example, linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids are different fatty acids. Linoleic is abundant in vegetable oils, and its high intake may cause obesity and other health-related issues. On the other hand, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is an omega-3 fatty acid from plants like flaxseed and is relatively healthy. It becomes even more confusing if we consider that conjugated linolenic acid (CLA) appears to promote weight loss.
So, it is true that while most nutritional recommendations are pretty simple, they are actually very challenging to follow. Once you dive deeper, you understand that non-essential amino acids are highly essential for human health. Understanding the difference between various fatty acids is challenging. Remembering all the micronutrients is even more difficult.
So, what could be the way out? It simply means that, yes, one should follow all the guidelines and continue learning. But, at the same time, it would be a good idea to supplement your diet with something nutritious and created by experts, such as a high-quality meal replacement shake.
Meal Replacement Shakes
As already demonstrated above, the most important reason for using meal replacement shakes is to remove all the confusion from dietary planning. A good meal replacement shake contains an ample amount of all the vital nutrients. However, a science-backed blend of nutrients promotes weight loss without severe calorie restriction.
Meal replacement shakes contain a protein blend to ensure that all the essential, conditionally essential, and non-essential amino acids are present in sufficient amounts. This ensures that all the anabolic processes in the body remain intact. In addition, it ensures that regenerative processes are not compromised.
A good meal replacement shake is not rich in carbs, as carbs are readily available through diet. Grains and starchy vegetables are readily accessible. Carbs are in a sufficient amount in most foods to keep you energized. Glucose is the end product of the digestion of most carbs. Thus, make sure that you eat foods that are slow to digest. And, yes, a good meal replacement shake should contain enough dietary fiber to help prevent sudden blood glucose upsurge.
Good fats are those with an excellent fatty acid profile. Meal replacement shakes contain a blend of healthy fats to provide monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, essential fatty acids, MCTs, and much more. These are the fats that are good for health and readily digested.
Of course, almost every meal replacement shake is rich in micronutrients. One may not remember all the micronutrients but can remember some of them.
What nutritional values should I look for?
As already mentioned, meal replacement shakes should be rich in high-quality proteins. Generally, look for a meal replacement shake with proteins above 50% in each serving to boost metabolism and anabolic processes.
Next, pay attention to the amounts of healthy fats, and those should be above 30%. These must be readily absorbed fats to help you feel energized throughout the day.
Carbs can be kept low. Moreover, you do not need many carbs if on a keto diet. The only thing that is challenging to get through diet is dietary fiber. Thus, meal replacement plans should be low in net carbs, have no added sugar, and contain abundant dietary fiber.
When it comes to micronutrients, ensure that the meal replacement plan contains about 50% of the daily nutritional value of most vitamins and minerals per serving. This will ensure that you get sufficient micronutrients even if using a shake to replace just a single meal a day.
From our research, the best meal replacement shake is HLTH Code Complete Meal. It is formulated by a metabolic scientist, Dr. Ben Bikman has exceptional protein sources, a high-quality blend of healthy fats from short-, medium- and long-chain fatty acid sources, prebiotic fiber, probiotics, digestive enzymes, vitamins and minerals and more.
Recommendations for a healthy diet plan for weight loss are pretty simple. However, it is challenging to practice due to the learning curve involved. Also, severely restricting calorie intake is not the right way to weight loss due to health risks. Thus, a weight loss diet should count calories but include healthy calories. One of the better ways of dietary planning is using well-balanced meal replacement shakes for weight loss.
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