There are plenty of reasons you might skip a regular meal in favor of a shake. Shakes are quick, portable, convenient and usually low in calories, which means they can help you work toward weight loss or weight maintenance.
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A study that found obese participants who used meal replacements lost more weight in a year than those who reduced calories without using the replacements. You may get especially good results if you drink protein shakes as meal replacements, since many scientists believe protein to be more satiating than either carbohydrates or fats.
Meal replacement shakes are less beneficial when it comes to total nutrition as shakes simply can’t provide all the nutritional components of whole foods, which include antioxidants and other protective substances as well as vitamins and minerals. For each meal you replace with a shake, supplement it with a nutrient-packed, low-calorie snack such as a small fruit salad or a serving of brown rice.
Shakes have a definite advantage over full meals when it comes to convenience. They’re easy to take with you, quick to drink and simple to prepare. Often, no preparation at all is involved. Because they do provide some nutrients and will help keep you full, shakes are preferable to skipping meals entirely if you’re traveling or in a rush.