Diet shakes: the right way to use them
Diet shakes have been marketed for years as a means to lose weight. Is it really that easy to ‘shake it off’?
I think most of us can attest it’s not quite that simple to lose and maintain our weight. But are these diet shakes useful? You can find diet shakes just about anywhere these days.
There is no shortage of brands and are sold at convenience, grocery and discount stores, health markets, fitness centers,juice bars and pharmacies to name a few. Shakes may get a bad rap as gimmicks or quick fixes. And there are many out there that are just that.
But in my opinion, shakes can be part of an effective diet plan, if used properly.
Shakes need to be used wisely as it is easy to drink excess calories and wonder why the scale is not moving.
I use shakes personally and recommend to clients for a few of reasons. One suggestion is to use a shake as a meal replacement. Shakes can be a great quick on the go meal, and a better option than skipping a meal altogether.
When using a shake as a meal replacement, think of this drink to be bit higher in calories around 300-400 and have a healthy balance of protein, carbohydrate, some healthy fat and fiber.
This shake will contain a quality protein source such as powders, Greek yogurt, milk (dairy non dairy or soy, nuts/nut butters and some add ins such as fruits, veggies, flax/chia seeds, oats, cacao, and other nutrient dense ingredients. You can create your own with some of the ingredients above or have a quality pre-made shake.
Secondly, I may suggest a diet shake as a snack.
A number of individuals do better with small, frequent meals and a shake fits in nicely. A quality protein powder mixed with water, low-fat milk or a non dairy alternative or a pre-made shake is a quick on the go snack that can carry you through to your next meal.
And again, it’s better to have something than skip meals. Yet, we have to count those liquid calories so these shakes at snacks would be lower in calorie, about 200, and if the shake you choose is on the lower end of the calorie spectrum, pair with apple slices or a few almonds to have a more balanced snack.
Lastly, I suggest shakes as a recovery drink for individuals that are performing strenuous activity or have particular fitness goals.
Depending on the need, a shake here may be either of a meal replacement or snack size. Post workout a drink sometimes is the best choice for those on the go, that can’t readily have a meal.
With that said, a stroll in the park doesn’t merit having a shake when you come home, but intense exercise such as intense strength or marathon training requires some extra nutrition.
Having a post-workout shake that is again balanced with protein, carbohydrate and fat to replenish the body and supply the fuel for muscle repair can prove to be beneficial.
I’ve mentioned protein powder and pre-made shakes above. And I have to give some additional suggestions when it comes to these two things.
Protein powders and pre-made drinks come in many varieties in terms such as vegan, vegetarian or animal based and in a number of flavors. It’s important than when choosing a brand that you pay attention the quality of the ingredients and added or artificial sugars.
Just as with other packaged/processed foods, those that are targeted as diet or for weight loss can be full of artificial ingredients and additives.
You don’t want to sacrifice good nutrition for convenience. So my advice is to do some research on brand that you’re interested in and make sure it will complement your diet and health, fitness and wellness goals.
Shakes are by no means a complete eating plan but when used with the best intentions and wisely shakes can certainly complement a healthy diet.