Sunday, August 2, 2009

Can I Lose Weight On Meal Replacements?

I am trying to lose 20 pounds by mid-September for a physical I have to have while on the police force. I am 5'9" weighing 220 pounds. If I just get 10 or 15 off that would be great, too. What do you think about these meal replacements? Could I just have two meals and two meal replacements a day and get this much weight off in six weeks? Thanks, Ray S.

Dear Ray,
Yes, meal replacements are an effective means of weight loss. They work in several ways:

1) They are much lower in calories than most meals one would consume, providing generally between 100 and 250 calories.

2) They take away the decision-making that most people find so difficult on weight loss diets: There's no need to figure out what to eat, get confused and frustrated, and finally throw up your hands and head for the drive-thru. It's simple: "this is what you eat/drink; open/unwrap and consume".

3) It's a way of planning ahead, which is very important when trying to lose weight. You know you will have a particular item for breakfast, lunch, evening, and a particular meal for dinner--maybe it's 6 ounces of chicken and a cup of broccoli--there are usually explicit directions with the meal replacement diet on what you can have at your meal(s) of food.

4) It's convenient, prepackaged, and there's no measuring or weighing.

So even though some people may not always have their hunger satisfied on these programs, they are definitely easy to follow, and certainly cut your calories by as much as 2000 per day, allowing a generous four pound per week weight loss.

Always be sure to follow the safety directions whenever following any diet plan: contact your physician first to be sure this is a good idea for you; drink as much water as you are advised to on the plan; and definitely eat all the food/meal replacements you are advised to consume. Some people believe that by eating even less they will lose even faster, but these programs are specifically designed and tested for optimal results ... eating less will more likely have negative consequences such as slowing your metabolism or leading to a nutrient deficiency.

And finally, you may view this diet as a temporary means of weight loss if you don't think it's something you can live with long term. In this case, you will need to consider what you will do for your meal plan when you are ready to come off the diet.... how will you control your calorie intake, enjoy eating in restaurants, maintain the weight you've already lost? Maybe a diet coach is your answer to learning new eating habits you can live with and keep the weight off so you don't have to go on another diet next year!


  1. Hi,
    Informative post. Meal replacement is a good idea for weight loss. We must think of the permanent way of healthy eating for weight loss and fitness.
    Cool blog and keep it up.
    health tips

  2. good information.... laernt a lot from this....thanks

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