February 22, 2018

Meal replacement weight loss products and shakes


He first tried a low-calorie diet plan like Weight Watchers and Atkins. Both plans helped him lose some pounds but it did not take long until he regained what he had lost. Finally, Andy tried a new strategy, an old-school one that has been around since all televisions were still black and white. This decades-old approach is called meal-replacement beverage (MR). He started to take shakes instead of meals, and that is; strictly no to solid food, and he effortlessly lost 22 pounds! This happened two years ago; guess what, until now he keeps on slimming down.

MRs are so effective that it continue to catch doctors and nutritionists’ attentions nowadays. Recent studies have been done on the said diet strategy, and comparisons have been made with other diet plans.

According to Allan Galiebter, Ph.D., a research psychologist at the New York Obesity Research Center at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan, MRs work effectively for men who are too busy to worry about calories for they are simple enough and easy-to-maintain. Men do not have to spend much time thinking and planning about dieting; they just have to consume what is needed to be consumed. Basically, that’s how MRs work. The said doctor also added that “the best candidate for liquid lunches (and breakfasts) is a guy who’s healthy but wants to drop 10 to 20 pounds”.

So what are MRs? MRs usually come in two basic forms: liquid-only programs administered by physicians and over-the-counter products sold in groceries and drugstores. For seriously overweight patients, doctors’ prescriptions are necessary. Optifast and HMR are the ones most prescribed, and both replace all meals in a day. Over-the-counter diet beverages like Slim-Fast, Met-Rx, and Atkins Nutritionals are meant for those who just want to lose some extra pounds. These are low-calorie (about 200 calories per serving), and vitamin and mineral-rich beverages. Depending on the type of beverage, one or two meals a day are usually being replaced. These beverages can be bought in powder packets or ready-to-drink cans.

Shake It Up
As have been mentioned earlier, studies have been done to show how effective these MRs are, and that they can be an effective alternative to other conventional low-calorie diet plans.

Last year, six small studies comparing Slim-Fast with a low-calorie diet have been analyzed by Steven Heymsfield, M.D., of St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital. He found out that people who consumed the shake in place of one or two meals a day consistently lose 7-8% of their body weight after a year. This result shows that Slim-Fast is as effective as Xenical, and it does not cause any side effect like oily stools. Moreover, it is more effective than low-calorie diet plan, which only resulted to 3% weight loss after a year. Compared to weight-loss drugs and low-calorie diets, MRs are then generally much more effective and much safer to take.

Given the facts and the results, the study was pretty impressive and convincing. The limitation of the research, however, is that the time to analyze the effect of MRs is too short; the study was conducted for only a year. Losing some pounds for a year is easy; what’s more difficult is losing more pounds after a year. The primary concern now is keeping that weight off over the long term.

George Blackburn, MD., a nutrition and metabolism expert at Harvard medical school then conducted a 10-year long study about MRs. He conducted the research in Pound, Wisconsin. Two groups of people were studied; one taking Slim Fast in place of two meals a day and the other one following the eating habits of their community. After reaching their goal weights, those who are taking Slim Fast were encouraged to continue drinking the said beverage in place of one meal a day.

A decade later, results show that men using Slim-Fast had maintained a 7-pound weight loss on the average while men following their old eating habits gained 25 pounds on the average. The gain in weight here was caused by the calorie-rich meal of the community, which contain lots of cheese and bratwurst, according to Dr. Blackburn.

These results prove that MRs do not only work for a short-term period but also for a long-term one. They can be used to instantly lose some weight, and they can also be consumed for maintenance.

Long-term Results

MRs are more effective than other diet plans for they are easy-to-consume and easy-to-maintain. This kind of diet even lasts as long as you want it to. According to Fabricatore, “Data imply that one meal replacement per day can be used long-term”. And that people planning to use two MRs per day for more than five months should consult with a licensed nutritionist regularly.

Andy doesn’t regret taking MRs in place of solid foods. In fact, he said that he doesn’t miss the meals he used to eat, and that he’s happy not to constantly be worried about food anymore. “If I stop my routine, I’m going to get hungry,” he says. “Then I’d start slipping back into my old habits. This is a deal I’m willing to make.” His weight loss actually inspired him to start a new, stress-free life. He quit his high-pressure job in corporate sales and started a dog-walking business. “I feel better; I look better,” he says.