Are Meal Replacement Diets Right For You?
Thinking about trying a meal replacement diet? Wondering if they’re right for you?
These diets can give you a lot of advantages and are becoming very popular. You can lose weight fast – and lose it in the privacy of your own home.
This article will lay out what you need to know about these popular weight loss plans to help you decide if they’re right for you.
First of all, what is a meal replacement diet?
Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like. You “replace” a meal (or two or three) for the day with a lower calorie option like a shake or a protein bar.
More sophisticated plans like Medifast or Wonderslim give you more appetizing alternatives like puddings, brownies, chilis, soups, omelettes, oatmeals, etc. You can even get desserts like chocolate cake and cheesecake!
How does it work?
You usually eat several times a day (from 4 – 7 times a day) so you don’t get hungry. (Note: stay away from meal replacement programs that don’t require you to eat at least 4 times a day as this can be dangerous.)
Eating several times a day also helps to keep your metabolism from slowing down, as can often happen with strict diets. The replacement meals are often high in protein – which also helps you to stay full, keeps your blood sugar steady and keeps your metabolism high.
Sometimes you may also add in your own meal like a ‘lean and green’ meal of, for example, a salad and grilled chicken or something similar.
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What are the main benefits of meal replacement diets?
There are several benefits to these diets – the main one being that you lose weight very fast. Some people lose up to 5 pounds a week on these diets (depending on the diet, how much they have to lose, their general activity level, etc.)
In fact, many doctors recommend a quality meal replacement diet to their patients that need to lose weight very fast, to diabetics, etc.
Another great benefits is that you can often order the food for up to a month or two at a time – and many diets will deliver to your door. So you can lose weight in the privacy and comfort of your own home.
Another is that some replacement meal diets now give you a lot of delicious alternatives. So you can a lot of variety. (Diet boredom is one of the main reasons people break their weight loss plans!)
For example for breakfast you can have a chocolate shake or cinnamon oatmeal or scrambled eggs or a veggie omelette. With more variety you don’t feel deprived and you don’t get bored eating the same things over and over again.
Note however that not all diets offer these alternatives. There are some poor weight loss plans out there that just have you eating the same bars, shakes or cookies every day.
This can give you fast weight loss – but you’re more likely to break your diet since you will get bored eating the same things every day. And they are not doctor recommended as safe to use.
One final advantage to these plans is that they can be much more affordable than standard diets. For example, I’ve seen full meal replacement diets starting at around $9 a day. That’s a lot less than many people normally spend on food – even “diet” food. So you can also save money in the long run.
So those are some advantages that some of the best meal replacement diets give you. However be aware that not all of these diets are created equal.
As mentioned above, some plans just use bars or shakes – and that can get boring. You also may not get as many nutrients from eating the same foods every day, which isn’t best for health. So it’s important to choose a plan that gives you a lot of variety and has a good track record for helping people lose weight.
So if you are going to choose a meal replacement plan, look for a diet that has you eating several times a day, with a proven history, and lots of variety. I prefer either Medifast or Wonderslim as they have been around for years, offer great variety and are used by physicians the world over – so you know they’re safe.
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