Are Meal Replacements A Good Idea For Weight Loss

Think about the​ number one reasons why people are overweight nowadays. Overweight people fall into one of​ two different categories.

Either they have an​ unhealthy lifestyle – working long hours,​ eating out all the​ time,​ not getting enough exercise – or​ they simply eat too much,​ often in​ a​ compulsive way.

This type of​ eating – eating when one isn’t hungry,​ for example,​ or​ eating for emotional reasons rather than physical hunger – is​ really a​ type of​ addiction. it​ should be understood as​ an​ addiction,​ and it​ often is.

For example,​ the​ group Overeaters Anonymous functions on​ many of​ the​ same principles as​ AA or​ other twelve step programs. Excessive eating is​ treated like an​ addiction because that’s exactly what it​ is.

But if​ that’s the​ case,​ it’s easy to​ see why this addiction might be harder to​ treat than some others. the​ way to​ deal with an​ addiction is​ to​ stay away from the​ behaviour that’s out of​ control – alcoholics can’t touch alcohol,​ for example. the​ idea is​ to​ not do it​ at​ all until the​ addiction becomes a​ thing of​ the​ past – in​ fact,​ for many addicts,​ they can never indulge in​ their addictive behavior again,​ not even once.

With food addiction,​ though,​ that’s obviously impossible. People have to​ eat – there’s no getting away from it. That’s why food addiction,​ though it’s an​ addiction to​ a​ non-lethal substance,​ may be the​ hardest of​ all to​ deal with. And that’s also why companies such as​ Slim-fast,​ who produce and market meal replacements for people to​ use while dieting to​ lose weight,​ actually do succeed in​ helping some people.

The idea behind meal replacements is​ that you don’t really eat at​ all for a​ good part of​ the​ day – instead,​ you have a​ special shake or​ other product that gives you all the​ nutrients you need,​ and stops you from feeling hungry. This works in​ two ways: first,​ it​ controls the​ calories you take in,​ because the​ meal replacements are quite low calorie. Second,​ it​ breaks the​ cycle of​ addictive behavior because you’re not really eating. You can get away from the​ behavior much as​ an​ alcoholic can (and must) get away from alcohol,​ and that gives you a​ better chance of​ breaking the​ addictive process.

Though most meal replacement plans do recommend that you eat one ‘normal’ meal per day,​ some people who are serious about losing weight don’t do even that. That’s precisely how Oprah Winfrey once lost a​ lot of​ weight – about fifty pounds. She said that she found it​ easier not to​ eat at​ all (subsisting on​ meal replacement shakes and bars) than to​ control her eating. When you know that you won’t be eating ‘real food’ at​ all for a​ while,​ it​ takes the​ guesswork out of​ it. Everything becomes very straightforward,​ and it’s a​ fact that many people have lost weight using this method of​ weight loss.

There are drawbacks,​ though. For one thing,​ while a​ weight loss program is​ supposed to​ teach you about how to​ eat for the​ rest of​ your life – to​ establish healthy habits,​ in​ other words – using meal replacements clearly doesn’t do so. Once you go back to​ eating real food,​ you might find that your problems with controlling your food intake are still there. Though you will have lost weight,​ you are more likely to​ gain it​ back if​ you haven’t learned healthy eating habits.

Also,​ there’s a​ danger that some people will keep on​ using the​ meal replacements for extended periods of​ time,​ just because it’s easier and more convenient. Thought they re designed to​ give you a​ minimum level of​ calories and nutrition,​ meal replacement bars cannot substitute for real food over an​ extended period.

However,​ if​ you know or​ suspect that your problem with food resembles an​ addiction or​ compulsion,​ it​ may be worth your while to​ think about using meal replacements for a​ while in​ order to​ lose some weight. Try to​ make the​ time you spend using them as​ productive as​ possible,​ though. Really come to​ terms with your past behaviour,​ and learn what it​ feels like to​ be full but not stuffed. Figuring out the​ answer to​ these and other aspects of​ healthy eating will help make your weight loss permanent.

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