For a lot of people, meal replacement products fall into the whacky diet camp, alongside Beyoncé’s ‘master cleanse’ maple syrup diet and those dreaded skinny teas *shudders at the thought*. But, whilst swapping out food for powders might sound a little unorthodox to some, meal replacements aren’t quite as crazy as you might think! In fact, choose your product wisely and be smart about how you incorporate them into your day, and they can be an awesome part of a healthy, balanced diet that could just be the ticket to smashing your goals; be that simply saving time in a busy day, saving money through more affordable meals, healthy fat loss or weight maintenance!
After recently launching our new whey and vegan Dual Use blends – nutritionally complete shakes designed for busy lives - we wanted to delve into the myth surrounding meal replacements, laying down the facts about whether they’re actually good for you…
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
The most important thing to realise when considering a meal replacement, is that not all products are created equal! Different to a protein shake, a good meal replacement should contain more fibre, carbohydrates, calories and a diverse variety of vitamins and minerals too. Yet, a huge volume of products on the market contain a bucket load of fillers, additives, gluten and colouring, with little to no fibre or vitamins. And watch out for sneaky marketing too! If your shake boasts ridiculous claims or promotes rapid weight loss, put it back on the shelf! We repeat, step away from the shake! Not only is it over-promising and unlikely to deliver, but if it does, it’s going to be unsustainable and unhealthy. Which is not what we’re about Sista!
This is exactly why it’s so important to us that our new Dual Use meal replacement blend is a nutritionally complete meal in powdered form – using gluten-free oats to keep our coeliac babes covered, and containing all the macro & micronutrients the female body needs in a single shake! It’s boosted with maca to help formulate hormonal balance and improve mood, magnesium and calcium for bone health and muscle function and iron too – especially important for veggies and vegans. Oh, and unlike most overly thick shakes, there’s no added sugar or sickly-sweet taste either. Because you’re sweet enough already girl!
How It Fits Your Lifestyle
Here’s the *really* important bit: we’re not here to sell you unrealistic results or put you on a strict shake-only diet. That’s right, we don’t advocate for replacing all your meals with shakes, no matter how nutritionally balanced they might be. After all, food is one of the great pleasures of life, and who wants to miss out on all that joy?!
However, if you struggle to find time to eat a balanced breakfast or lunch, especially during busy days, then here’s why swapping in a gluten-free whey or vegan Dual-Use shake is a great way to make sure you’re getting all the nutrition you need. Realistically, if you’re rushed off your feet and needing to grab food on the go, it’s hugely challenging to make sure you’re getting a balanced, nutritious meal; especially if you follow a plant-based diet.
Still working from home and struggling to keep your diet on track? Despite the media myth that we’ve all been cruising through lockdown in a state of domestic bliss - labouring over the stove to create wholesome dinner spreads and loafs of homemade sourdough - in reality there’s been a whole host of work, family and mental pressures that have made eating well a lot more challenging. By swapping in a shake instead of breakfast or lunch, this can free up the mental space you would have wasted stressing about food, allowing you to focus on world domination (or just your growing inbox)!
So, what about if you are wanting to make a physical change? The Dual-Use Blends will change the way you think about food – it is not “weight-loss” food, but it is complete nutrition that you can use to lose weight, maintain weight, or gain weight. All of the calories are calculated for you on the back of each pouch, so you just need to use these calories alongside your goals. We recommend using a calorie calculator (eg https://www.calculator.net/calorie-calculator.html ) to see where your calories need to be to achieve your goals, and then use the Dual Use blends alongside this to hit your targets & achieve long term results.
The great thing about the Dual Use blends is that it makes achieving your goals that much easier – no need for excessive meal prep or spending hours in the kitchen, just shake and go!
Instead of promising rapid, unsustainable weight loss, we’re all about incorporating a meal replacement shake into your diet in a healthy and smart way to help you gain the long-term results that you want. Looking to lose fat or struggling to maintain your weight when life gets hectic and you need fast, convenient fuel? Swap out your breakfast or lunch for a nutritionally balanced shake to keep your mind and body fuelled whilst keeping your calories in check against your targets.
Remember: weight loss or weight maintenance / gain is all about calories in vs calories out, meaning to lose fat, you need to burn more energy than you consume – and vice versa. The easiest way to do just that? It’s simple really, just up your daily activity levels and reduce the calories you’re eating to put yourself in a calorie deficit. But that doesn’t mean skipping meals or drastically cutting out food groups is the most effective method! Switching your breakfast for a nutrient rich and complete shake is a much better option, as this will keep you feeling full… meaning you’re not left hangry and ready to devour the entire fridge by lunchtime! We recommend mixing 2 scoops of chocolate or vanilla Dual Use with oat milk to keep you full for around 3 hours. But you can easily switch things up to make it work for you and your body; so if you’re feeling extra peckish or have just finished a tough workout, add an extra tbsp of Dual Use or a little more oat milk to stay fully energised.
So, can meal replacements be good for you? Yes; if you pick the right product and you’re incorporating it into your lifestyle in the right way, they really can help you achieve your goals – whether that be simply saving time, saving money (one Dual Use shake gives you a complete meal for £1.28!), or even achieving physical goals such as losing or gaining weight. Make sure to accompany your shakes with plenty of other fresh veggies, fruits, wholegrains, healthy fats and proteins. Remember, this is all about getting the results you want as conveniently and easily as possible, it’s not a magic fix or fad diet!