Blog, Health & Wellbeing, Nutrition

Meal Replacements

There is no doubt that real food and a sit-down meal is the best approach to healthy weight loss. But life is hectic and in this fast paced world of ours, even with the best intentions, there are times when sitting down or even preparing a meal is simply impossible.

So how do we stick to correct nutrition when eating on the run? 

Opting for a healthy meal replacement is a perfectly acceptable substitute, as long as it’s only once in a while – and it’s recommended the substitute you choose should be one that is nutritious, full of vitamins, minerals, and healthy nutrients that fills an empty stomach, and will not sabotage your weight loss efforts.

However, I am not a fan of meal replacements or Nutrition bars for long term usage. Nutrition bars and meal replacement drinks were initially targeted to the serious athlete who needed extra fuel for workouts. Today, these products have gone mainstream, targeted to anyone needing a nutritional boost. However, be aware not all bars or drinks are created equally.


Some of these meal replacements are no better than junk food or chocolate bars from a vending machine and some are very high calorie and high in sugar. The only way to make an informed choice is to read the list of ingredients, nutrition label (ignore the front label) and compare products.

Ideally, the meal replacement will not contain ingredients that don’t sound like foreign chemicals found in a chemistry lab. Nutrients should be primarily complex carbohydrates, with small amounts of simple sugars and a bit of fat, along with a moderate amount of protein.

Some people rely on meal replacement diets to lose weight. I recommend you do not rely on these types of products for weight loss. Although you may lose weight when consuming them you will most definitely but the weight back on when you start eating normal foods again. After all you’re not going to drink/ eat them forever. That’s a fact!


So why not try real food options?

Those nutrition bars and replacement drinks can also be expensive in the long term. Other meal alternatives that are just as easy include fruit, crackers, bagels, yogurts, peanut butter, nuts, homemade granola bars. These foods not only provide quick energy, they are also less expensive substitutes for the prepackaged meal replacements.

Remember there is yet to be developed a supplement that will take the place of a nutritious meal. Stick to real natural foods.


Thank you for reading! 


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Dal Dhaliwal is a health and wellbeing expert, educator and special advisor on physical activity. She is also an active professional speaker and TV/ radio presenter. She consults and presents for some of the UK's leading businesses and organisations within the wellness, sports and business arena.