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Can You Really Replace Your Meals With a Shake?

Is it really possible to replace your meals with a shake? Even then, is it worth doing?

Shakes have been a thing for quite some, but recently, drinks designed to replace entire meals have been picking up steam. With Silicon Valley approval and well-designed ad campaigns, meal replacement shakes are a hot new thing. But, after all the flashy marketing and promise of a foodless future, is it really possible to replace your meals with a shake? Even then, is it worth doing? Here’s the rundown on going foodless.

Nutrition (and a Lack Thereof)

When looking at your diet, it’s easy to look at only the calories coming in and the calories going out. However, that isn’t the entire picture. After all, your body needs essential nutrients, like vitamins, to function well. So, if you’re considering going on a meal replacement shake diet, don’t just look at the calories; also research your nutrients.

You want to avoid going only by what’s written on the front of the box – something that claims to be “100 percent organic” might look great, but it doesn’t really tell you if it’s an adequate replacement for a full meal. Keep in mind, too, that some pre-made shakes might come packed with sugars that make them tastier but also less healthy.

Side Effects

Even if you’re able to provide your body with all its essential nutrients, which seems to be possible with some shakes, are there other side effects to going all liquid. Namely, it might take your stomach a little while to get used to the consequences of having little substance to digest. Some who’ve tried going on an all shake diet have reported being surprised by their frequent … bathroom emergencies in the beginning stages of their new diet.

Besides that, many of those who start drinking meal replacement shakes do so to either lose or gain weight. Depending on the kinds of shakes you’re drinking, you might find the same phenomena happens to you, which can, in turn, affect other areas of your health.

Lack of Variety and Substance

There’s one other aspect to replacing your meals that has nothing to do with your health but is just important. Regardless of how a shake practically replaces your diet, could you actually live without food? Eating is one of the great joys in life, and with it comes a lot of variety.

If meal replacement shakes are anything, they’re certainly not varied – you’ll be lucky to have a small handful of different flavors, all with the same texture. Missing “real food” is actually one of the biggest hurdles shake dieters face when they swear off solids.

The Bottom Line

So, in the end, is it possible to live only on meal replacement shakes? The short answer seems to be yes, but with a caveat – would you really want to? If you’re curious about trying about meal replacement shakes, the obvious answer is for you to ease into it, switching out one meal each day with a shake, just to see how it goes. Most importantly, though: if you’re planning on making big changes to your diet, talk about it with your doctor!

[Image via Shutterstock]

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