Weight-loss shakes seem like a guaranteed and easy way to lose stubborn weight. The good news is that most shakes are generally safe. The bad news is that you could end up gaining the weight back if you don’t have a solid game plan. When you choose the right shake, stick to a healthy weight-loss regimen and plan your lifestyle choices for after you reach your goal, you’ll have a better chance of long-term success.
EditChoosing the Right Shake
- Find out if weight-loss shakes are safe for you. Research any health issues you suffer from or medications you’re taking. Consider your age, height, and weight, as well. The ingredients and nutritional content of many or most weight-loss shakes might make them unsuitable for you. For example:
- Weight-loss shakes might react with diabetes medications, causing your blood sugar to dip dangerously low.
- If you suffer from osteoporosis or kidney disease, the high protein content in most weight-loss shakes could worsen your condition. Ask your doctor if there are any brands with safer protein levels.
- Many shakes contain gluten. If you suffer from Celiac disease or other gluten intolerances, you should seek out gluten-free brands.
- Avoid weight-loss shakes if you’re under 18, pregnant, or breastfeeding. You won’t get the nutrients and calories your body needs.
- You shouldn’t use weight-loss shakes at all if you have a body mass index (BMI) of 24.9 or lower. Only those who are clinically overweight or obese (BMI of 25 or higher) should consider this regimen. Talk to your doctor about other weight-loss methods.
- Read the nutrition information. Search online for the nutrition labels of the shakes you’re considering. Look for any ingredients that conflict with your dietary preferences and restrictions. Pay attention to the nutrients that play the biggest role in satisfying hunger and contributing to your daily needs. Key contents are:
- Total calories
- Total fat
- Read credible reviews. Customer testimonials can be helpful, but they’re not enough and may not be reliable. Look up reviews by medical experts. Read recommendations on how to use shakes based on your dietary preferences and activity level. Consider sources such as:
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA.gov)
- National Institutes of Health (NIH.gov)
- National Health Service (NHS.uk)
- Mayo Clinic (MayoClinic.org)
- Talk to your doctor. Tell your doctor about your plans to diet and consider asking for a referral to a registered dietitian. Let them know about the shakes you’ve been researching. They’ll measure your height and weight to figure out your BMI. They could also measure fat deposits around your waist and other parts of your body. Work together to figure out your target weight and how long it will take you to reach it. Make appointments for follow-up visits.
- Shakes don’t contain all the nutrients your body needs to work properly. A dietitian will work with you to develop a meal plan and together you can develop a list of foods and supplements (if necessary) that you’ll need to consume in order to stay healthy.
EditAdopting a Healthy Weight-Loss Regimen
- Follow the instructions. Measure the recommended amount of shake powder and liquid to mix together. Usually, this is one scoop of powder and 8 fluid ounces (237 mL) of milk. Replace only the meals listed in the instructions. Most weight-loss shakes recommend at least one solid meal, usually dinner.
- Don’t drink extra shakes to try to curb your hunger. The high protein content can actually cause you to gain weight if you overdo it. Remember, every gram of protein is 4 calories.
- Eat healthy snacks between meals. If you eat breakfast at 6:00am and lunch at 12:00pm, you’ll probably feel hungry by mid- to late-morning. Resist the temptation to reach for junk food by keeping fiber-rich snacks on hand. Eat an unpeeled apple or pear, 1 cup (237 g) of raspberries, or one medium banana between shakes. Do this again between lunch and dinner.
- Drink plenty of water. The water content of your shakes won’t meet your daily requirements. Drink at least 64 fluid ounces (1.89 L) throughout the day. Keep a full bottle with you at the gym and at work to stay hydrated and stave off cravings.
- Exercise. Physical activity helps to rev up your metabolism and it also keeps you healthy over the long term. Get 60 to 90 minutes of moderate exercise a day, at least four days a week. If you’re new to exercising, try walking 30 minutes a day. You can also talk to your doctor about the best ways to incorporate cardio, strength training, and flexibility training into your exercise program.
- Track your calorie intake. You need a certain number of calories each day to stay healthy. This amount depends on your age, gender, and activity level.Calculate the number of calories you need each day, then subtract the calories in your shakes from the calories you need each day. The difference is the number of calories you’ll need from snacks and dinner.
- For example, if you’re a 40 year-old woman who gets moderate exercise, you should consume about 2,000 calories a day. Two 600-calorie shakes will give you 1,200 calories. This means you need to get a total of 800 calories from your snacks and dinner.
- Weight loss with any plan only happens when you burn more calories than you consume. If you’re trying to lose a pound (0.45 kg) a week, you need to burn 500 calories more than you take in everyday. Not that you can reduce your calories by 500 through a combination of diet and exercise (for instance, try reducing your calories by 250 and burning 250 calories each day).
- Deduct the calories you burn during exercise from your daily calorie count. The number of calories you burn each hour depends on your activity, your age, and your weight.
- Eat a reasonable dinner. Diets can spike levels of your “hunger hormone” and tempt you to overeat at dinner. Remember your recommended calorie allowance. If you ate a medium-size apple as each of your snacks, that’s 200 calories on top of your two shakes (1,200 calories). Assuming a 2,000-calorie total, you should limit your dinner to 600 calories. A filling, yet healthy, dinner could include:
- 4-5 ounces (113.4-141.74 g) of plant protein or lean animal protein
- 1/2 cup (118.3 g) of cooked broccoli or other high-fiber vegetables
- 1/2 cup (118.3 g) of cooked long-grain brown rice or medium-sized sweet potato
EditPlanning Life after Your Diet
- Follow up with your doctor and dietitian. Your doctor and dietitian will help you stick to a healthy eating plan. Continue to get your BMI and waist circumference recorded.
- If you start gaining the weight back, ask your doctor for advice.
- Modify your diet regimen. After you reach your goal, continue to replace one meal with a shake. This could be breakfast or lunch, depending on which time of day is the least convenient to prepare a solid meal. Eat two nutrient-dense solid meals each day. Remember not to exceed your necessary caloric intake.
- Continue healthy habits from your diet. Keep eating healthy snacks to curb food cravings between meals. Continue drinking lots of water to stay full and hydrated. Keep exercising for 60 to 90 minutes a day to maintain your metabolism, lean muscle mass, and cardiovascular health.
- Find support, if necessary. Weight-loss shakes don’t come with group meetings like other regimens. If you’re having trouble sticking to a healthy diet, seek support from friends and colleagues who are also trying to lose or keep off weight. If this isn’t an option, ask your doctor or dietitian to refer you to a support group, such as Overeaters Anonymous.
- Resist regaining weight. Once you stop using shakes for weight loss, there is a risk that you will regain the weight you lost. It is more important than ever that you are careful about what you eat when you cease replacing meals with shakes. Continue to calculate how many calories you need daily and stick to that number. Try not to go back to eating just as you were before using the shakes, as this will lead to weight gain.
- Use Diet Pills Safely
- Lose Weight Safely
- Crash Diet Safely
- Choose Safe Weight Loss Drugs
- Avoid Unhealthy Weight Loss Techniques
- Avoid Common Mistakes when Losing Weight
- Avoid Dieting Extremes