Will you lose weight on meal substitutes?
A meal substitute diet is exactly what it sounds like. It aims to swap your regular meals with low-calorie replacements such as drinks, soups, and snack bars. This intends to lower your overall energy intake and help you lose weight.
The early ideas for meal substitutes took off during the early days of space travel when people became obsessed with fitting a complete meal in a single drink or bar. These types of products remained in the market from the 1970s onwards. But gradually the demand fell as people began to question the real health benefits of these types of replacement diets.
If you can withstand the meal substitute shakes and bars for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, there is evidence that meal substitutes may be a realistic weight-loss strategy in the short-term.
On average, based on various medical studies by dieticians and doctors alike, dieters lose about 11 pounds or about 4-5 kg by replacing 2 meals a day. They also showed losing a maximum of 25 pounds while undergoing a calorie-restricted diet with 2 meal replacement shakes each day for 16 weeks.
The real deal on meal substitutes
There’s actually nothing magical about meal replacements, and they’re also not as tasteless or as lackluster as the food replacements suggested in movies and science. Today, there are a literally hundred or more ways to prepare meal replacements that taste great and which can fill you up for hours.
Aside from the above nutritional concerns, meal substitutes simplify weight management by allowing you to focus on controlling foods in one or two meals per day. However, as most replacements entail calorie restriction, do not try these diets without consulting your doctor.