Modern life has seen various developments in diet world, including meal replacement products for weight loss and diabetes. These products are advertised as healthy replacements for regular meal if you have no time to prepare complete meal in a day. Commonly made in bar or shake powder forms, these products are basically a portion of substantial “meal” full of controlled amount of nutrition and protein that equals a meal.
In some cases, people who try to lose weight or control portions for diabetes diet can get benefits from meal replacements. A portion of this product seems like a more ideal option than junk food or skipping substantial meal altogether. However, depending on meal replacement products is not always the ideal option.
Meal Replacement Downsides for Weight Loss and Diabetes
While meal replacements can be helpful for your weight loss program or diabetes diet, there may be some downsides associated with these products. The first one is the extra hidden sugar that you may not realize. Some protein bars or shakes, especially the flavored ones, may contain hidden sugar that can ruin your diet program. If you have type 2 diabetes, this hidden sugar can also be disastrous for your diabetes diet.
Another downside is the lack of chewing activity that comes with shake powder. We get meal satisfaction from chewing activities, so drinking meal replacement may rob you from that eating satisfaction, which can tempt you to eat even more when actually eating substantial meals.
Finally, consuming meal replacements without balancing the diet can give you more calorie intake than you need. This extra calorie can ruin your weight loss program, and you will wonder why the supposedly “magic” product does not work as advertised!
Tips to Consume Meal Replacements for Diet
Consuming meal replacement for diet or diabetes requires strategies to avoid extra calorie and sugar intake. Here are tips to consume meal replacement in balanced way:
Read the ingredients.
Different meal replacements contain various ingredients and nutritional amounts. Make sure you choose product with carbohydrate amount that does not exceed 40 grams, and the calorie intake should only be between 300 and 500 calorie (adjust this with your actual calorie need). Also, make sure the product has at least 3 gram of fiber, which is good for weight loss and overall health.
Only consume meal replacement for “emergency.”
Meal replacement is not meant for regular food intake, so consume this product only during the most “emergency” situation. For example, if you can only eating out during lunch and tend to overeat, you can consume meal replacement instead. Or, if you have diabetes and cannot skip meal, but you cannot make or buy healthy meal for some reason, consume the meal replacement. However, do not make this a habit.
Keep the balanced eating habit.
If you sometimes consume meal replacement, make sure to keep balanced meal. Control your portion and don’t use big plate to eat, since it is easier to overeat when you use big plate (ideally, you should use 9-inch dining plate maximum for the best portion control).
With the right strategy to consume meal replacement, you can keep your weight loss and diabetes diet program in the right track, with the best result.