Meal replacement shakes
Meal replacement shakes are an easy and popular option.
I found them to be a great quick fix for busy days. You can have a nutritional dense meal but without the prepping time.
A replacement shake can help creating a new habit of having a meal instead of snacking around. In that regard, yes, shakes do help with weight management. A good shake can support your energy level, boost nutrition and metabolism and therefore helps with your weight management journey.
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A well composed shake will keep your blood sugar steady and supplies you with all the necessary nutrients, which then ideally suppress cravings.
Obviously, there is a huge difference on nutritional level as well as on purpose, between a meal replacement shake and a protein shake. Read the label and ingredients list carefully.
I used to skip meals often, which would spiral into low blood sugar levels and accelerate flare ups, now I have my emergency kit with me. I am also not much of a protein eater. Therefore, plant-based protein shakes (hemp, chickpea) can be a great substitute or additional to your meal planning. Instead of chasing proteins use their building blocks, the amino-acids instead, commonly found as collagen, arginine, cysteine, glutamine, lysine, tryptophan only to name a few.
Meal replacement shakes can be a great tool if it comes to nutrition. I recently had clients asking for suggestions for shakes. As availability and brands vary in different countries,
here are a few tips on how to find a good meal replacement shake, taking special needs into consideration such as thyroid issues, auto-immune diseases, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.
Additionally, shakes are easy to digest, especially important when suffering from chronic illness or auto-immune diseases.
Many with auto-immune diseases and chronic illnesses have impaired nutrient absorption and low stomach acid. Therefore, a clean source of nutrients, ideally plant based, is important to increase bio-availability.
Additionally, the shake needs a balanced mixture to cover the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) plus enzymes, antioxidants, phytonutrients, macronutrients and a decent taste without added sugar.
If it comes to ingredients I always pick top quality.
After all our cells and hormones are made of the nutrients we consume.
You can not expect to create healthy cells on junk food.
Please note, artificial vitamins are never as good as the real deal. Take for example the folic acid versus folate debate. Click here. Many synthetic vitamins only block the receptors without being methylated into the cell. Yet they signal saturation, while still being needed in the cell.
Synthetic nutrients do not include "whole food," at best they are made from concentrated, dehydrated whole foods/ In a worst case scenario they are chemically reproduced.
When eating real food, you digest not just single ingredients but a unique synergy of vitamins, minerals, fiber, water and enzymes that allow for optimal use by the body.
Even though many are nutritionally deficient, especially with chronic illnesses, too much can be harmful. When taken in excess, water-soluble vitamins like vitamin C and B vitamins are flushed out of the body through your urine. However, fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K may be stored in the body. This means that there is a risk of them accumulating to high levels, leading to hypervitaminosis. Similar case with minerals such as iron.
Careful when mixing meal replacement shakes with your daily supplement regime.
Many with chronic illnesses have underlying gut issues. Opportunistic gut bacteria competing over the digested nutrition, which depletes many even further.
In that case supplementing with shakes can be a great temporary assistance.
What I would not like to have in my shake
-Enriched -Fortified -Soy -GMO -dairy such as whey -high levels of brown rice or tapioca starch as they rapidly increase blood sugar
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