By Zac Ferry
Everyone who cares about their weight knows that sit-down meals (preferably scheduled) are the best way to stay in shape. But no matter how hard we try to stick our diets, the fast rhythm of modern day life just doesn’t allow us to sit down and have a healthy nutritious meal.
In most of the times we are so busy that there’s no other option than to eat on the run, and, eventually, we have to give up our meal plan.
In this case, replacing all that street food you usually eat with meal replacements seems like a good choice. The thing is that your diet can’t only consist of nutrition bars, so eating them more than once in a day or two is not recommended.
When you choose a meal substitute, be sure that it satisfies your hunger effectively and will not contribute to weight gain. You still need to stick to your eating plan and, of course, pick the meal replacements that will give your body as much nutrients and vitamins as possible.
Where did meal replacements come from?
First meal replacement drinks and nutrition bars were made for bodybuilders and athletes who had to keep the amount of minerals in their bodies at a needed level.
Now, such substitutes have become massively popular, a perfect option for those needing a nutritional boost. These bars and drinks of long-term storage are small enough to put them in a purse or pocket for quick healthy meals.
Today’s market is full of such products; you can find them on shelves in every health food store or grocery and choose one to your liking among hundreds of meal replacement drinks and bars.
Watch what you buy. Are these meal replacements all safe?
Now let’s stop for a minute. Of course, all these meal substitutes are intended to be much better than fast food garbage, aren’t they?
No, they’re not.
In fact, sometimes there is even no difference between these replacements and high-calorie drinks or simple candy bars. Besides, marketing makes everything worse by misleading consumers, so they have to sort through thousands of super-nutritious substitutes often picking the wrong product.
So, how to avoid making a bad choice?
The best way to pick the right meal replacement is to compare products, look through the list of ingredients, and read the nutrition label. A good nutrition bar or a meal replacement drink will not consist of components that sound like chemical elements found in the periodic table.
Nutrients in these substitutes are mostly complex carbohydrates, the amount of fat and simple sugars in them should be small (preferably less than 5 grams of fat per serving).
Look for products with a moderate amount of protein (10-15 grams of protein per serving).
And the last but not least, choose those meal replacements that contain a third of daily minerals and vitamins, around 220-230 calories and 3-5 grams of fiber per serving.
And, as mentioned above, try to narrow down consumption of meal replacements to at least once a day or two, or even once a week. To increase the amount of fiber in your diet, you can supplement your drink or nutrition bar with some fresh fruits, vegetables.
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