Meal Substitutes and Shakes

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No calorie counting, no special foods to buy -- just pop open a can and nutrition goes in and weight comes off. Are meal replacement shakes (MRS) really that simple and effective? And are they healthy? What are the pros and cons of using them? Do people really lose weight, and, if so, do they keep it off? This article will provide some answers to these questions.

Meal replacement shakes are available at grocery, drug and health food stores. They contain approximately 200 calories per serving and include vitamins and minerals. They are usually high in protein and low in fat and calories. They are also low in cholesterol and sugars.

This underrated food supplement provides a perfect meal in a can. They often lead to initial rapid weight loss which makes them good for jump-starting a diet. They are economical (under $3) when compared with prepared diet foods. They curb the appetite.

The cons of meal replacement shakes include rapid boredom with meal shake substitution. A very large drawback is the fact that old eating habits are not changed and sensible new ones are not learned, so weight is often quickly regained with a return to solid foods.

Are MRS's Healthy?

Most MRS plans advise that dieters replace two meals, usually breakfast and lunch with their MRS product and eat a low-calorie, low-fat dinner. Most MRS offer at least 40 grams of protein per serving, are under 300 calories, low in fat and are fortified with at least 50 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamins and minerals. It is good to choose an MRS with whey, milk and egg proteins listed as the first ingredients.