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There is no running away from the fact that you need to eat right to lose the extra flab. Even if you spend hours at the gym, pump iron or run for hours on the treadmill, you cannot out exercise a bad diet. It is time for some real talk, you just can’t shield behind excuses like “I did not have time to eat breakfast” or “I skipped my lunch, so I ate the cheeseburger!”. Well, if you do, then dropping those extra pounds will always remain a distant dream.
Planning and preparing for your meals is indeed a very good idea. It lessens the scope for cheating on your diet. Let’s say you are too busy to prepare your meal, so what is the next best thing you can do? Go for a meal replacement shake, of course! It can have the exact healthy ingredients and right amount calories of you need, besides being convenient to drink even if you are super busy.
Essentially, there’s lower chances of reaching out for that sinful pizza when you are busy, hungry or don’t have anything healthy to eat or drink, for that matter.
Why Should you Opt for Meal Replacement Shakes?
If you are someone who would rather eat your calories than drink them, then weight loss shakes are probably not your thing. But if you are someone who wants to lose the extra flab and are too busy to go into elaborate meal preparations, then go for these absolutely healthy and delicious shakes.
Is a meal replacement shake only a protein shake? Not really, because all protein shakes are meal replacement shakes, but the reverse isn’t true. Since meal replacement shakes are a replacement of a full-fledged meal, they contain all the essential nutrients, fats, carbs, and protein equivalent to a nutritious and balanced meal. Meal replacement shakes are ideal for weight loss as they contain craving blockers to drive away all the hunger blues and keep appetite well under control.
The Benefits of meal replacement shakes are as follows:
- Transforms an unhealthy meal into a healthy one.
- Can replace a regular meal like a breakfast, lunch or dinner.
- Includes a good balance of protein, fats, and carbohydrates.
- Fortified with vitamins and minerals.
- Contains fiber and other ingredients to keep you satiated for hours.
Why do Meal Replacement Shakes Work?
They work because they are super convenient. They bail you out when you struggle the most. Yes, they save you all the extra calories when you struggle with the one meal which jeopardizes your weight loss goals. Check out in detail how these shakes are really sometimes the healthiest choices you can have.
- Replaces your unhealthy options- It is breakfast for some, lunch for others and for some, it is dinner. These are the meals when you bungle up big time and load up on all the calorie-ridden foods you’ve tried your best to stay away from. If it is breakfast time and you are late for your office, you skip it, but then end up having something unhealthy at the office. There go all your plans of sticking to a diet!
Likewise, some people cheat during their lunch time. We understand that it is extremely difficult to stick to a diet when you are literally surrounded by all kinds of tempting foods. But that is exactly where you lose the plot.
Also, some people have a large dinner. That’s the worst thing you do to your body, because your metabolism slows down by the end of the day, and all that food gets stored as fat in all the wrong places of your body. So, for all those dietary struggles, meal replacement shakes are just what you need. Say for instance you have prepared a shake for dinner right in the morning, so when you go home, all you have to do is take it out of the fridge and gurgle it down. There, your nutrition is well taken care of, and so are your calories and hunger!
- It is particularly helpful when it is snack time- So many of us lose the battle during the 4 pm slot, when sugar cravings hit us like an avalanche. Have a meal replacement shake around that time. Trust us, it becomes difficult to cheat on a full stomach, especially when meal replacement shakes contain whole processed foods chock-a-block with nutrients to keep you satiated for hours together. In fact, it keeps you full till it is time for you to have your dinner.
- When you are too tired to prepare your meals- When you’re tired, you tend to rely on takeaway food. You think that it’s just one day, it won’t harm you much, but then it becomes a habit which becomes difficult to break. So if you have your weight loss shake all prepared and ready, you are less likely to skimp on a healthy eating plan. Try it, it worked for us, it is sure to work for you too!
- Dieting without the diet- What is that, you wonder? Diets fail mostly because they are often restrictive; they stop you from eating too much and much too quickly, leaving dieters’ hungry, craving all things unhealthy, and generally in a poor mood. Once you stop the diet, you go right back to your old eating habits, and binge eat because you feel you have been so deprived and manage to put the weight back on, sometimes even more than earlier.
It’s what you will call a vicious cycle, but meal replacements can help you end it. They are the ideal ways to cut down on calories without having to deprive or starve yourself.
Recipes For Meal Replacement Shakes
Nowadays, supermarkets are flooded by all kinds of meal replacement shakes. But you need to be wary of them as they can contain high levels of additives and chemicals which can do your body a lot of harm. So make your own meal replacement shakes, you will know exactly what you are adding to the shakes and you will get healthy, wholesome, and nutritious meals on the go, just what you need to fulfill your calorific needs.
1. Spinach and Cottage Cheese Shake
This shake is low in sugar and brimming with 42 grams of muscle-building protein—which fulfills your entire day’s requirement for that particular nutrient, especially for someone who leads a sedentary lifestyle and nearly half of what you’ll need if you are a gym rat. The addition of cottage cheese gives this drink a satisfying milkshake like consistency. But if you’re sensitive to dairy, substitute it with tofu to achieve a similar texture, to keep your drink as healthy as possible.
- 1/2 cup Fat-free cottage cheese
- 1Scoop vanilla protein powder
- 1 tbs Lime juice (fresh or bottled)
- 5-10 Ice cubes (Depending on how thick you like it, use less for a thinner consistency)
- 1/2-1 cup Water (Change this according to desired consistency)
- 2-4 pkt. Stevia (or 1/4-1 tsp. sweetener of choice)
- A handful of spinach to make it green!
- Blend it well and enjoy!
2. Almond Butter Meal Replacement Shake
Made with just four ingredients, the best part of this shake is that it can be prepared in a jiffy. The almond milk and nut butter combination provides a solid amount of natural protein. On the other hand, chia seeds lend a lot of anti-oxidants and heart-protecting omega-3s. You can enjoy this as a healthy breakfast option or even an afternoon snack. To give your shake a metabolism boost, add a few shakes of cinnamon. It will not only enhance the drink’s taste but also help reduce stubborn belly fat. It will help maintain your blood sugar levels too, which can help reduce your cravings.
- 1 large ripe banana, peeled and frozen
- 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tablespoon of unsweetened almond butter
- 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
- Ground cinnamon
- Maca Powder
- Cacao Powder
- Spinach or any leafy green of choice
- Put it in the jar and blend
3. Coffee Cinnamon Meal Replacement Shake
This is one of the best weight loss shakes, as it combines yogurt, bananas, and coffee – all delicious ingredients. They’re all healthy breakfast staples which combine to create an energy-boosting protein smoothie. The blend of caffeine, natural sugar, and protein is just right after a grueling morning session at the gym. If you want a thicker texture, add a little more yogurt or milk.
- 1 cup of chilled brewed coffee
- 1½ banana, cut into chunks
- 1 cup of nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp. of ground flax seed
- 2 tsp. of honey or agave nectar
- ½ tsp. of ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. of grated nutmeg
- 6 ice cubes
- Place all of the ingredients in a blender.
- Blend until smooth. Serve.
4. Chocolate Almond Meal Replacement Shake
Skip the syrup-soaked bread and take a sip of this sweet shake instead. Ranging from sweet potato and coconut milk to spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, this shake screams deliciousness in a cup. It’s proof that you can effortlessly devour your sweets in the morning and meet your macros.
- 1 scoop of protein Powder
- 2 cups of ice
- 2 oz. of chocolate almond milk
- 2 oz. of espresso or strong coffee
- 1/3 of a banana
- 1 tbsp. of raw almond butter
- Put it in the jar and blend
5. Chocolate Meal Replacement Shake
Now who doesn’t like chocolate even if it is in a glass? This is one of the best weight loss shakes, and uses a powdered peanut butter that contains an impressive 85% fewer calories from fat. Peanut butter can mask the fiber-packed bland spinach, which gives the smoothie its shot of anti-oxidants to make it both healthy and delicious.
- 1 banana
- 2 tablespoons powdered peanut butter or 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
- 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
- 1/2 cup of non-fat milk
- 1/2 cup of ice
Optional: 2 teaspoons honey or agave nectar
- Put it in the jar and blend.
6. Apple Smoothie
Apples are a wonderful source of fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Studies have substantiated that apples may protect against Alzheimer’s disease and osteoporosis. Apples also may help prevent lung, breast, colon and liver cancer. They have been shown to lower cholesterol levels, help manage diabetes and aid in weight loss. The protein content of the soy milk and the good fats of the cashew butter keep you full for longer, keeping away pesky hunger pangs.
- ½ c skim or soy milk
- 6 oz. (80-calorie) vanilla yogurt
- 1 tsp. apple pie spice
- 1 med apple peeled and chopped
- 2 Tbsp cashew butter (MUFA)
- Handful of ice
- Combine ingredients in a blender. Blend for 1 minute, transfer to a glass and eat with a spoon.
7. Meal Replacement Shake with Oats
This peanut butter oatmeal smoothie is full of protein, largely due to the creamy peanut butter and banana. One serving of this smoothie packs a generous 14.7 grams of protein and 4.7 grams of fiber. It is an immune system booster; and also adds a fresh dose of antioxidants to the smoothie. Plus, it supports a healthy heart, and is high in fiber, hence keeps you full for longer hours.
- ¼ cup old fashioned oats
- 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
- 1 whole banana
- ½ cup soy milk
- Add all of the ingredients to a blender.
- Blend for 30 seconds and stir.
- Blend for another 30 seconds to 60 seconds.
- Pour into a glass and serve.
8. Rice Milk and Banana Meal Replacement Shake
This smoothie can surely solve your breakfast dilemma, and surely cater to your eclectic taste buds. Prepare it the night before so that you can eat it right out of the fridge and go. Top it off with some nuts and berries. Add a bit of crunch with toasted quinoa or buckwheat, coconut, goji berries & chia seeds to boost its antioxidant quotient.
- 1 banana, peeled & chopped
- 1/2 cup frozen berries
- 1 cup rice milk (or almond milk)
- 1 tsp. coconut oil
- 1 tbsp. chia seeds
- Place all the ingredients, except the chia seeds, into a blender.
- Blend on high speed until it is super smooth.
- Add the chia seeds and let smoothie sit for at least half an hour to let the seeds get gelatinized.
These recipes for meal replacement shakes will help you curb your cravings and jumpstart your weight loss program in a jiffy. Again, these cannot replace your regular solid meals, they’re just a healthy replacement when you need to shed the kilos quickly and are particularly strapped for time. Just blend a few healthy ingredients and you are sorted!