I had Rouex-en-Y gastric bypass weight loss surgery in July of 2016, so I cannot physically eat enough to get in the nutrition needed. I have three high-protein shakes a day, and one "meal" of a protein, a nutrition dense fat, and two veggies. I also take bariatric vitamins, minerals, calcium, and supplements for the rest of my life. The protein shakes I use are Premier Protein 30 grams protein and 160 calories, 5 carbs. I put a caramel on in my one cup of coffee I'm allowed in the morning. A chocolate one is drank about 2 in the afternoon and broth of some sort, then my meal at between 5 and 7 PM, then a vanilla shake before bed.
Before you can commit to the future, you must come to terms with the past. The only constant you will have in your life is your relationship with yourself.
I like Equate protein shakes (the generic Walmart version of Premier Protein.) An 11-oz serving has 160 calories and contains 30 grams of protein, with only 3 grams of fat and 1 gram of sugar. My favorite flavors are Vanilla and Caramel.
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I keep a case of the SlimFast Advanced Energy Caramel Latte in my fridge for days when I log in to work knowing I won't be able to eat anything for hours. It's the only meal replacement I use because it actually gives me energy, no other SlimFast works that well on me LOL. But for me, they're just an emergency thing to grab in the fridge so that I don't get too ravenous by lunchtime. I prefer eating solid foods though and don't even make smoothies as much anymore.
I have to admit to an extreme prejudice against Slim-Fast. A few decades ago, my former in-laws used to give me Slim-Fast gift baskets as a Christmas gift - although they knew that the formula at the time had artificial sweeteners that I am allergic to, and that I had no interest / intention of losing weight at the time. While I know that it isn't the fault of the product, I still have that association in my head.
Beyond that, I have discovered that my body truly does not believe that liquids contain calories or nutrients, and that I am more hungry after finishing a "shake" or "smoothie" than I was before having it. The various brands of meal replacement shakes pretty much all contain artificial / non-caloric sweeteners (which I am allergic to or sensitive to), fibre sources that my body reacts badly to, and the few that don't seem to be prohibitively expensive.
Honestly, they seem to me to be basically multi-vitamin supplements in liquid form that is a lot more expensive than just buying the pills.
That said - I absolutely support those who find them to be helpful. One of the biggest issues for many, many people is that they just plain don't have the mental / emotional energy or enough time to be planning / shopping / prepping / cooking 3 or more healthy meals every day. With so many of us working crazy hours (often at 2 or 3 jobs), or working / studying, or dealing with physical illness / challenges, we all have to prioritize where we spend our mental energies. For most of us, food MUST become a routine that we don't have to think about (which is why it is so hard to keep new approaches without "falling back" in to our entrenched routines). Using the shakes takes away the all of the pressure of figuring out those extra meals during each day, and frees up mental / emotional space as well as time. For those who can tolerate the ingredients, and who actually feel satisfied from a liquid meal, the meal replacements can be perfect.
As others have mentioned, it can be really worthwhile to spend time reading the labels and checking out ingredients and nutrients. Meal replacements that are not focused on weight loss (such as Ensure or Boost - or their generic equivalents) will more often contain higher levels of necessary nutrients - and are often less expensive. There are many other options out there these days - from protein focused to fibre focused - so it is important to decide your own priorities and compare products based on what is important to you.
Sir Terry Pratchett: "Science is not about building a body of known 'facts'. It is a method for asking awkward questions and subjecting them to a reality-check, thus avoiding the human tendency to believe whatever makes us feel good."
I, too, prefer to eat real food. If I am on the go, sometimes I will make a fruit and vegetable laden smoothie with whey protein and a healthy fat like nut/seed butter or avocado. I also have Kind bars and Rx Bars on and portable fruits like bananas and apple slices in reusable containers.
I don't do meal replacement shakes because I don't need them, however I suggest that you check the nutrition label to ensure that they are sound.
Fortisip and Ensure are both widely used in a medical setting, and come in a variety of flavours, plus some with fibre and some without. They often also have soups and jellies, etc. which are used in medical settings too.
I've been doing 310 shakes with organic energy blend. Usually with a banana or orange and some times PB2. Plus almond milk. Im not sure how much longer I will continue as it seems its not helping with weight loss.
I found that I would rather eat/chew real food. Plus food is way less expensive.
"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand." ~ Randy Pausch
"There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results." ~ Art Turock
"We have a saying in Tibet: If a problem can be solved, there is no use worrying about it. If it can't be solved, worrying will do no good." ~ 7 Years in T
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