Just to clarify, I’m not talking about quality protein powders here (my two faves being Reflex and Sun Warrior).
Whey (from milk) and vegan protein powders are highly nutritious, great for making your diet tasty and varied without sacrificing health and quality, are convenient and let you have sweet things without the sugar.
I’m talking about Slim Fast, Juice Plus, Herballife, Cambridge Plan and even supermarket own brand meal replacement shakes.
I think the first thing to observe is that these are not fresh food, but then neither are protein powders, so this isn’t a problem necessarily.
Rather it’s the concept of replacing some or most (or God forbid all) meals with them. Even a really great protein powder I wouldn’t suggest you use in place of all your food!
These are an extra, a daily treat, part of a meal. Add some protein powder to your morning yoghurt or porridge.
It’s the term ‘meal replacement’ that insinuates omitting whole foods entirely, and that I take issue with.
In addition, the quality varies hugely, and I’ve yet to see one I’d personally drink, well not as a ‘healthy’ option anyway. I might drink one like I might eat a Magnum ice cream occasionally.
Well how about food?!
And herein lies the reason people rely on shakes – they conveniently do the calorie restricting for you (and hunger inducing, but that’s another topic).
How to lose weight? Eat fewer calories! (preferably without going hungry – see here to learn how to do that)
https://www.myfitnesspal.com/ is a good resource for calorie counting, or email me at email@example.com and we can have a chat about how to get you started.
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