Meal replacement shakes and other meal replacement products (MRPs) have been staples in the fitness and nutrition community for some years now. From edible bars to pre-packaged powdered drinks, these have been proven to aid those who wish to slim down. Their high-protein, low-fat, moderate-carbohydrate content have been proven to keep the weight off. Because they're also rich in vitamins and minerals, users won't have to worry about missing out on the necessary nutritional requirements when these are used to complement a balanced diet.

Meal replacement shakes are the most common MRPs preferred by fitness enthusiasts. Not only are they easy on the pocket (costing only a little less than two dollars per serving), they're effortless to prepare and even easier to ingest. Generally, these shakes are consumed in place of one or two full meals a day. They suppress hunger and thus curb the urge to snack on foods that are high in fat and sugars.  This is the reason why over the years, guzzling down these drinks have been the preferred method of getting a full meal without getting the extra pounds.

But how do meal replacement shakes work to keep the weight off?

The answer lies in the ingredients and the overall low calorie content. These pre-packaged powders have 35-45 grams of protein derived from milk and egg, 20-25 grams of carbohydrates from short glucose chains, corn syrup solids, or sucrose and 2-4 grams of fat from partially hydrogenated oils like canola or coconut. They also meet the recommended daily allowance for most vitamins and minerals. More importantly, meal replacement shakes have only 250-300 calories per serving- a rigidly controlled figure that is sure to keep the weight off. In addition, these shakes also contain only minute amounts of simple sugars. By using maltodextrin (a wheat-based derivative) instead of simple sugars that cause a spike in insulin levels and promote fat deposition, shakes do not cause insulin to be rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. Stable insulin secretions do not promote fat storage- a crucial factor in winning the battle of the bulge.

However, meal replacement shakes should be used correctly. Long-term use, for example, can cause serious bowel issues because of their low fiber content. If used on its own, there's a very real danger of seriously starving the body of vital nutrients. This makes your metabolism go haywire that once you stop drinking these, you'd end up gaining more weight so fast you wouldn't know what hit you.

If you want to get the most of meal replacement shakes, it's best to use them as snacks rather than to replace full meals or to replace only one full meal with them. Breakfast, lunch and dinner should be composed of healthy, balanced natural foods to give you optimum nutrition and keep your metabolism from going awry. By using these shakes as snacks, you're less tempted to snack on foods full of empty calories but high in sugar and saturated fat content.

Meal replacement shakes are healthy, easy and cost-effective food supplements. For as long as they're used as directed and not in excessive amounts, they can be effective in giving you that slim figure you desire.

I highly recommend checking out this Shakeology review, it is the preferred meal replacement shake for weight loss. Also, don't forget to look at this article called "Shakeology powder".

Author's Bio: 

Kylie is a full-time mother of 3 and a freelance writer for