A few of the greatest avenues of impact include 1) portion control and 2) food choice. If you are able to perfectly design a meal in both portion as well as fuel, the consumer has the benefit of achieving what the body needs to eliminate the possibility of overeating, consuming processed or otherwise unhealthy ingredients, and improper ratios of fuel.
Satiety and appetite are known to impact total energy intake, as well as food choices and eating behavior. both are regulated by a combination of mechanical and endocrine effect ranging from the gut to the brain. With respect to diet, protein has been identified as an important contributor to satiety, defined as the absence of hunger between meals. (Sho, 2017).
Studies have shown clearly that ideal ratios of proteins to carbohydrates in a meal create a sensory effect from the gut to the brain. Ideally a meal should make your body feel satisfied, and full of energy. Meal replacement shakes can set up your system with the essential energy it needs. And therefore leave your brain satisfied. Another advantage is that shakes like these can also eliminate the risk of you taking a healthy salad, and smothering it with fatty dressing, or a healthy whole grain bread sandwich and topping it with processed meats and cheeses. These healthy hopes contain many ingredients which are going to be transformed into fat or sugar. Simply aiming to eat healthy often comes with a lot of unhealthy toppings that we add to make those meals palatable. A quality shake contains the elements to satisfy and energize you, without the risk of unnecessary fats and sugars. That to say, you want to make sure the meal replacement shake you choose is a flavor you enjoy so you are not tempted to add unhealthy add-ins to your meal.
One benefit of having the proper ratios of fuel comes in insulin effects. What does this mean?
When we ingest unhealthy ratios of glucose in the form of grains, root vegetables, and fruits (all which break down into sugar, aka glucose) the gut sends signals to the brain that “insulin is here.” If the amount of glucose is greater than the body can absorb, this causes an elevated blood sugar level. By choosing a high quality meal replacement shake, you are assisting your gut AND brain in regulating the amount of insulin affecting your system. This is not only a great and valuable tool for regulating insulin sensitivity and weight loss resistance, but also for preventing many diseases that are related to insulin, such as diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease (Sho, 2017) (Sperlazza, 2018).
In conclusion there are MANY benefits to reaching for that high quality meal replacement shake as a means of weight loss, ranging from portion control to insulin regulation and sufficient energy intake.
One cautionary measure is to read about what ingredients are not in your meal replacement shake. You will need to take it upon yourself to incorporate these essential nutrients in the remaining meals you consume each day. Read more about that (HERE).
- Sho, A. “Role of Meal Replacements on Weight Management, Health and Nutrition.” Superfood and Functional Food. 2017. https://www.intechopen.com/books/superfood-and-functional-food-an-overview-of-their-processing-and-utilization/role-of-meal-replacements-on-weight-management-health-and-nutrition.
- Sperlazza, C., MPH. “Reverse Insulin Resistance with Intermittent Fasting.” Bulletproof Blog. 2018. https://blog.bulletproof.com/insulin-resistance/
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