When used for weight loss, meal replacements can take a few different forms.
A meal replacement may consist of foods that have been prepared in such a way that reduces their caloric content (for example, by removing such ingredients as refined sugars and high-fructose corn syrup, which are often "hidden" in many processed foods). Alternatively, a replacement meal may simply have reduced portions (such as bread that is sliced thinner than ordinary).
There are also diet meal replacements in which the carbohydrate content has been reduced. An example of this might be certain types of bread in which the carbohydrate content has been reduced by substituting high-protein ingredients such as spelt, sesame seed and even hemp for high-carb ingredients like wheat and gluten.
Another type of meal replacement comes in the form of liquids. A typical liquid replacement meal is a protein shake, which can be dairy or soy-based and can include fiber and vitamin supplements.
Chances are that in your own weight loss efforts, you will make use of all of these. The main thing is keeping track of calories, and making sure that your expenditure is greater than your intake. This means that if maintaining your current weight requires 2250 calories a day (that's the rough average for most of us), you're going to have to make sure that your daily caloric intake is less that that. Keep in mind that a pound of fat contains 3500 calories, so if you can reduce your intake by 500 calories a day through a combination of meal replacements and increasing physical activity, it should be possible to shed at least a pound a week. (Yes, that may seem slow, though it's actually good progress - and keep in mind that you didn't gain all that weight overnight, so it may take some time to get rid of it.)
The physical activity part of the equation is important; you are not likely to have satisfactory results with replacement meals alone. A combination of aerobic exercise and strength training is the best. First, it's a good idea to build muscle (and meal replacements that are high in protein are an excellent way to make sure you're getting the most out of weight training), because muscle tissue burns calories even when you are at rest (this is why men need more calories than women). Secondly, aerobic exercise supplies your cells with the oxygen required to burn up calories.
Besides that, a good strenuous workout does wonders for your morale and emotional outlook - which is no bad thing while on a weight-reduction regimen.
- Prev:Liquid Diets and Meal Replacement Diets
- Next:Your Quick Weight Loss Plan