Many of us are familiar with the game of corner-cutting and get-slim-fast techniques. Whether you have seen the ‘magic’ advertised in the form of a pill, a powder or a shake, many of us looking into these weight loss techniques are skeptical of their accuracy, reliability and overall effect on our health. So would a meal replacement programme fall under the same scrutiny? Here is everything you need to know about how a meal replacement programme works.

What is a meal replacement programme?

As you may already know, in order to lose weight you have to be in a caloric deficit, meaning that you have to reduce the daily intake of calories that your body usually gets. This forces your body to resort to the fat stored up as a source of energy to operate as usual. Over time, your body uses up the stored fat, causing you to lose weight.

Ultimately, a meal replacement programme is a low calorie diet plan whereby you substitute one or two of your daily meals with low-calorie alternatives, such as shakes or bars to name a few. By consuming fewer calories than you burn, you lose weight. Your regular daily meals should be healthy and well-balanced, so as not to completely deprive yourself of the necessary nutrients and energy you require to function.

How do I find a suitable meal replacement programme for me?

This depends entirely on your preferences and requirements, which replacement alternative best suits you. Many people choose shakes as they tend to fill you up similarly to regular meals, while others find bars are more effective in alignment with an on-the-go lifestyle. The trick is finding a meal replacement programme that meshes well with your current lifestyle while assisting you in reaching your weight loss goals.

Pros and cons of a meal replacement programme

Pros

Meal replacement alternatives are typically bursting with protein, keeping you fuller for longer on a smaller amount of food while providing your body with the necessary nutrients to operate healthily and repair muscle. Meal replacement programmes are also extremely convenient as opposed to other dieting practices. The calorie counting has been taken care of and no extra excessive meal-planning is required.

Cons

A meal replacement programme may be tough to get used to. Diets that are lower in calories tend to make you feel hungry, tired and lacking in energy. It is suggested that you discuss your meal replacement programme with a professional to ensure that it is specifically safe for you. A meal replacement programme shouldn’t be your long-term solution to a healthy lifestyle. Over time, meal replacements can become detrimental to your health and may cause complications.

That concludes our runthrough of meal replacement programmes and how they work, hopefully offering some valuable insight to you. For more information on meal replacement programmes and weight management, get in touch with a Counterweight representative.