Meal replacement shakes can be the icing on the cake of your weight loss program. But only if you time them right. Take them at all the wrong moments, and meal replacement shakes will welcome extra pounds in no time.
Let’s make your timing impeccable when taking meal replacement shakes.
Why Does Timing Matter with Meal Replacement Shakes?
Just as their name implies, meal replacement shakes are designed to serve as a substitute for a regular solid meal. That’s exactly why they need to be treated as one. And as all the other meals that make up the overall caloric intake in a weight loss diet – timed right.
What happens when you don’t time the shake?
At the very least, the weight loss diet may fail to deliver any results. At the worst, improper meal replacement intake can foster the existing problems with metabolism, inviting further weight gain. And, as any diet with chaotically timed meals, it can even kick your insulin resistance up a notch.
Fortunately, you can easily avoid these dire outcomes with a little bit of planning and the two sets of simple rules below will help you do just that.
Planning Your Meal Replacement Shakes for Weight Loss
For meal replacement shakes to be helpful in weight loss, it pays to take them as:
1. Snacks between major meals
Eating snacks made up of foods with a high glycemic index is a contributing factor to weight gain. And for most people, cutting out such snacks is hard. Inserting shakes between major meals helps break this unhealthy addiction.
Getting a substantial meal for breakfast helps accelerate metabolism for the whole day ahead. Sadly, most dieters aiming to lose weight wrongfully assume that they must skip this crucial meal. If you don’t feel like eating breakfast, meal replacement shakes will do the trick.
Many people let their schedules run their days. And often, they see skipping lunch as normal. People sticking to weight-loss diets may even see it as beneficial. The problem is that it’s not. If you can’t find the time for lunch, taking a meal replacement shake works a charm.
4. Fuel for your workouts
Working out in the fasted state may seem like a good idea to lose weight faster. But the body often mobilizes muscle tissue for energy instead of fats. Taking a meal replacement shake before and after your workout will help preserve lean muscle mass.
At these times, taking meal replacement shakes works well to promote further weight loss.
But there are times when taking shakes is not ideal.
Avoid Making These Classic Meal Replacement Timing Mistakes
It’s not a good idea to take meal replacement shakes at these specific times:
In place of a regular meal
Even if your meal replacement is supreme, it’s still no match for real food in the long run. If you have access to a well-balanced regular meal that is weight loss friendly, go for it and enjoy it. Why take meal shakes instead of healthy real food?
Before a solid meal
Some people who want to lose weight falsely assume that drinking a shake before a meal helps decrease their appetite. And it does. But what it also does is adding redundant calories to the actual meal they’re still eating. Beware of this common pitfall.
Prior to bedtime
Getting some calories before bedtime isn’t bad for weight loss. In fact, it often helps people sleep better. But taking an entire meal shake will be too much. As your metabolic rate slows down at night, all those calories will likely become extra weight.
As the only source of nourishment
Excluding real food from your diet completely is yet another common weight loss misconception related to drinking meal replacement shakes. Doing so isn’t wise. It can lead to serious nutritional deficiencies and result in health problems.
Taken this way, shakes end up being ineffective and subvert your weight loss efforts.
Where does this leave us at this point?
Timing Your Meal Replacement Shakes Is Worth It
Limiting the times you take meal replacement shakes may seem like too much hassle. But it’s well worth the trouble. When you’re on a mission to lose weight, every helpful tactic counts. And drinking shakes in a thought-out way allows you to make the most of your meal replacement supplement