In a perfect world, you always have time to prepare wholesome meals every day. Unfortunately, life moves pretty fast. This means you might not have enough to eat three square meals a day and healthy snacks when you need them. You might even find yourself skipping meals and then eating more than you should make up for it later on. To ward off feeling sluggish and making poor dietary choices, there are many meal replacement options.
In fact, there are so many, you might not know where to start. Different meal replacements offer different benefits for different needs and lifestyles. Here are three of the most important things you need to know about choosing a meal replacement shake.
Meal replacement options need to contain at least a third of your daily recommendation of vitamins and minerals and protein. It also needs to contain the right amount of fiber as well. You should choose one that offers enough protein to help build lean muscle, enough fiber to keep your digestive tract working properly, and an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals. If a meal replacement doesn’t offer much nutritional value, it’s best to look for a different one.
Meal replacement options are supposed to be suitable substitutes for a sit-down meal. In addition to providing enough vitamins and minerals, your choice also needs to provide enough calories to keep you energized throughout the day. Most meal replacement shakes contain between 200 to 400 calories.
Of course, everyone has different caloric needs for their day-to-day life. If you have a high metabolism, are very active, or are trying to gain weight, you’ll want to look for shakes with higher calorie counts. Just ensure that those calories are coming from healthy sources.
If you have a fairly sedentary lifestyle or if you are looking to lose weight, you will likely look for a shake with fewer calories. However, you need to ensure that your shake still provides the nutrition you need and that you maintain a healthy overall calorie count.
Most people will fall somewhere in the middle of these two options. When you’re considering the calorie content of different meal replacements, find a good balance based on your dietary needs.
Sugar and Fat
In addition to providing you with the right amount of fiber, protein, and calories, you also need to check how much sugar and fat the meal replacement contains. Far too often, we reach for a bar or shake simply because the packaging makes us think it’s nutritious. Unfortunately, even when it has the right quantity of vitamins and minerals, it can contain too much sugar and fat or the wrong kinds of either of these. Use your body mass index and your doctor’s dietary recommendations when choosing the right meal substitute option.
There are many different meal replacement options out there, like those from Nuke Nutrition. Every different option caters to different dietary needs and lifestyles, so it may take some time and research to find the right kind. However, by thinking about your body’s needs, you can make the right choice for yourself.
Even on your busiest day, you still need to eat right and give your body the fuel it needs. In addition to the above-mentioned tips, ask your doctor their opinion when choosing meal replacement shakes and other options.