Healthy weight management – losing weight and keeping it off!
Protein powders and meal shakes are now two of the most popular and versatile types of dietary supplements available.
Meal shakes and protein powders
Support a balanced diet, appetite control and more…
Meal shakes and protein powders are used for a wide variety of reasons, by a broad spectrum of people, for various health goals. For example:
- by slimmers seeking low-calorie, nutrients-fortified healthy snack alternatives
- by those leading an active lifestyle, for support of high energy levels
- by those with food allergies or intolerances (such as a dairy allergy or gluten intolerance)
- by those who are health-conscious, as a quick and easy nutrients top-up everyday
- by those on low-protein diets, such as vegetarians and vegans
- by those with restricted food choice, such as slimmers, who wish to maintain optimum nutrient intake.
A number of studies have suggested that a high-protein diet combined with regular exercise can support the natural weight loss process, enhance fat burning and improve muscle tone and blood fat levels. Most notably, protein can assist in the repair and growth of muscle. This, in turn, leads to more calories being burned each day.
Diets with higher levels of protein may also help people to gain better control over their appetites and calorie intake, as well as help to regulate blood sugar levels and reduce cravings.
Everyone knows that the slimming process can be a challenge. Most weight management programmes involve limited food choice and a reduction in calories. This can sometimes result in a nutrient-deficient diet, if the slimmer is not careful.
For those who want to reduce their calorie (and fat and sugar) intake, but nevertheless want to make sure that they are getting a good amount of quality lean protein, vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients daily, meal shakes and protein powders can provide ideal support, particularly if they are sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free and fortified with nutrients.
Of course, nothing replaces a balanced diet, but meal shakes and protein powders can be helpful in terms of substituting unhealthy snacks and boosting nutrient intake.
An active lifestyle
While protein is an essential macro-nutrient for everyone, it is particularly important for those leading an active lifestyle. It plays a key role in keeping the immune system strong and keeping energy levels high. In fact, it is one of the main sources of energy for those following a low-carbohydrate diet.
Vegetarians, vegans and raw food / living food fans
For vegetarians and vegans, a common issue is that they do not take in sufficient calories or protein to meet their body’s full nutritional needs.
Protein is a vital nutrient, which plays many roles in the functioning of our bodies, including building and repairing new cells and muscle tissue, and keeping the metabolism functioning efficiently.
Nutritional guidelines recommend that, as a broad rule of thumb, between 10-15% of total calories should be sourced from protein – ideally, lean protein.
However, a vegetarian or vegan diet does not have to mean a diet lacking in protein or healthy calories – there are a number of excellent plant-based sources out there, which offer high-quality, balanced and complete protein. What’s more, if you are a vegetarian or vegan trying to lose weight, your available protein sources are actually more conducive to your weight loss goals than traditional protein sources (which are high in saturated fat and calories). Plant protein tends to be high in fibre, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and healthy fats.
If you are a vegetarian or vegan who finds it hard to include these first class plant protein foods in your daily meals, vegan meal shakes and protein powders can play an incredibly helpful role in your diet, to address not only the problem of ensuring appropriate intake of protein and calories, but also to assist with daily nutrient supply.
Anyone who lives with an allergy (whether that be to gluten or dairy or any other form of food allergy or intolerance), will know how hard it can be to find foods that suit their lifestyle and/or medical needs. This becomes even more challenging when you are trying to lose weight.
Food choice can often become very limited and, without variety in the diet, a person’s overall well-being can start to suffer. This is never ideal, but when you are in the process of slimming, you really need all the energy you can muster to support increased levels of physical activity.
It is important to bear this challenge in mind and take proactive steps to address it. For example, through careful meal planning and dietary supplementation.
Quite often, slimmers with allergies or intolerances find that meal shakes and protein powders that are dairy, wheat, gluten and sugar free (with no artificial ingredients) can help them to top-up on nutrients and healthy calories, while helping to keep them fuller for longer.
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