How to choose the best meal replacement of 2023
A meal replacement is a dietary supplement designed to take the place of regular meals. Not snacks but meals. Vitaminfood is committed to deliver health benefits in all its meal replacements.
In a time when we are always watching out for fake cheap thrills, many have become skeptical about adapting or buying meal replacement powders and shakes. This happens without considering whether it is the best option.
This article is an ultimate guide to making a healthy choice. It will help you differentiate the snacks and specific nutrition supplement from complete nutrition meal replacements. Meal replacement shakes stand as complete diets by themselves.
A healthy meal replacement equals a healthy diet.
A healthy diet is one which:
- Protects against malnutrition- the diet should contain all nutrients vital for body development and have enough of those to sustain the bodily requirement.
Malnutrition will occur if the food is nutritionally incomplete or supplies too many nutrients that they cause health problems. This includes all nutrients – calories, fats, protein, vitamins and minerals.
In the third world and developing nations which are often hunger – stricken, the cause of malnutrition is inadequacy of complete nutrition. While in the developed nations covering mostly Europe, North America, Australia and some parts of Asia, the cause is having too much processed foods with less nutrients. There is too much food that provides too little of certain nutrients and too much of the macro nutrients.
2. .Protects against non-communicable diseases - NCDs are diseases which arise from within the body and therefore develop overtime.
They indicate a malfunction of certain organs or systems. Healthy diets prevent such malfunctions and naturally correct these issues. This effectively keeps off the chronic lifestyle diseases which arise due to a lack of fine tuning of the body.
A body just like an automobile thrives on good fuel.3. Intake of nutrients is in balance with the expenditure- too much of something is harmful.
Balanced foods leave enough space for complementary types of nutrients. As we eat we rarely take too much of a specific type of nutrient except in ignorance. Most of the excess is taken in because we do not realize that the limit has been exceeded.
Take for instance your sodium intake, which is supposed to be maintained at a maximum of 5g/ day. You get some from your morning cereal, then some more from your fries at lunch and a lot more from your steak at dinner. You lost count with the cereal and might have exceeded it at lunch or dinner.
Such a diet is unhealthy and makes it important to have knowledge of the approximate amount for the balance to be maintained.
Healthy meal replacements are those with the necessary ingredients and without the excesses per serving.
Factors to consider when determining the health rank of a meal replacement.
Having established what a healthy meal replacement should achieve, let us move to the factors determining whether the goals will indeed be achieved or will the health be compromised.
- Nutritional profile.
The best meal replacements are nutritionally complete. The nutrients include all the macros and micro nutrients:
*Carbohydrates- the calories served should range between 200-400 per serving or between 1400 – 2000 daily intakes. This amount is sufficient to get you through your day.
The amounts should also provide room for adjustment and variation according to your weight goals. A 200 calorie meal replacement feels more like a snack but is suitable for those looking to lose weight.
Other factors to note are:
Quality of the carbohydrates – high quality carbs come with a wide range of nutrients, including phytonutrients.
The highest quality is the least processed and unmodified one. Sources derived from fruits and vegetables are even higher quality for the rich nutritional accompaniment.
Quality is greater than the quantity…as it is often said; better little worth much than much worth little.
Dietary fibre - Fiber helps to slow the digestion of sugars and starches, thus preventing large spikes in blood sugar and insulin associated with diabetes, heart disease, and weight gain.
Fiber also helps move food along the gut by increasing its bulk. A healthy choice for meal shakes is one with at least 7g dietary fiber included.
*Protein- A good amount of protein is 25g per serving. So 25+ is good to go.
This supplies you enough for muscle growth, repair and development. Body builders and physically active persons may need more protein to maintain their muscle mass and get a muscle advantage.
Why pick up meal replacements?
Are you here to forget about the dirty dishes, grocery lists or the smell of burnt food? You are vegan and do not want meals that fulfill the stereotypic vegan meals (the blatant taste and unattractive nature). From the smooth texture, to having just enough fiber and the completeness of our meals. We are here for you, a healthy meal shake that has you covered during your lazy days and your rush hours alike.
The feeling of satiety, self-pride in your meal choices, mood boost and consumer satisfaction is what you get.
What we are presenting is fast food reinvented. If you consider fast food fast, then we are much faster. If you consider them convenient because of shop location, we are even more convenient. You can have everything ready in less than two minutes from the comfort of your seat or coach.
- Within seconds you will have a complete meal and no longer have to worry about the necessary nutrients.
- You decide how many calories your shake should contain. Simply adjust the number of scoops of Vitaminfood. Half a scoop of Vitaminfood shake powder in combination with 250 ml (vegan) milk or water equals about 100 kcal. Every half a scoop you add, in combination with 50 ml extra milk or water, adds an additional 100 kcal. This makes it very easy to control your intake of calories.
- You can use vegan milk for vegans (our recommended choice) including soy, almond, oat and coconut milk. You can also use water then stir or mix using our shakers for even distribution of the mixture.
Inclusion of meal replacements into your diet
Diet changes and adjusting appetites can be a very frustrating attempt. It is not an easy feat because the body has gotten used to certain patterns for 15, 20, 30 or 40+ years for some people. So changing these patterns disappoints the body’s expectations too and its systems alike. The body needs to get trained for the new diet for it to adapt well.
A smooth transition to a new diet is an appropriate and desirable outcome. Plant-based power nutrition is the best option if you are looking for meal replacements and Vitaminfood offers you the best you can dream of or wish for.
Vitaminfood meal replacements have a low-calorie density leaving you fuller for longer. Meal replacements are a great way to boost health and reduce junk food consumption too. By making us your choice, you commit yourself to reap these benefits.
Tips on inclusion and transitioning to plant-based foods.
- Find out what you love and what you dislike
It is important to establish your preferences and what your taste buds look down upon. This will help you especially on the earlier days and on the verge of giving up.
What you do not like and is unhealthy you can cut out immediately and for good. For example, if grilled steak is not your favorite, then do away with it; you are a rare type though. If it is your favorite, which is a more likely case, you might want to hold onto it for some time as you adjust slowly. So instead cut out Sushi which you do not like as much.
The same applies to vegan options. If the meal replacement tastes a little flat (without taste), then do not feel pressured to pick it up all at once. Take it bit by bit to build tolerance for it and even a liking for it. The same applies to some vegetables too. Some even if cooked well will not be as sweet as a lasagna so take time to get used to the new tastes.
- Start slow and add more meal replacement shakes while replacing meals and cutting down on junk
Cold turkey is one option of using meal replacements and plant diets. It is not very good though and the possibility of snapping under the pressure to keep up is so intense.
Just making a decision once and actualizing it immediately at its most advanced stage is not a beginner’s role. You need to have prior self-discipline such that you can instantly cut out junk and stick to it. It is a very effective method to some but to many it is not. Especially for those trying to cut on junk and processed foods or using meal replacements for weight loss, this could be a deterrent to progress.
Begin slowly by adding meal replacements to your diet and slowly reducing the amount of fast-food ordered for lunch. Cut down the frequency by half, then down to a third, once a week and finally to zero days a week.
This allows your body to adapt to a new kind of food, a new routine and a new lifestyle. The mind’s expectations and cravings are also laid down gently.
- Make it fun and exciting and focus on the positive
The idea of cooking every day is what drives some to adopt meal replacements. Vitaminfood is a healthier choice than lazy meals or fast food so go for it whenever your meal is not balanced or nutritive enough.
For some, the idea of easy prep of powder and water every day is not exciting.
Then why not add some more to make it feel like your own making?
Get some berries, nuts and sugary fruits and mix them together in a shaker or blender. This will help improve the taste but the shake will not have a smooth texture.
Some may discourage you with unsupported evidence and the simplicity of your diet. At times it is the “not very sweet taste” of healthy meal replacements that are discouraging. You can choose to sweeten it naturally with a fresh supply of dates, stevia or honey. Focusing on the positive will help you eliminate these unsolicited barriers to a happier and more accomplished version of yourself.
Do not always eat only the not very tasty vegan food. That is a boring way of transitioning and leads to stereotypes regarding vegan diets. Have some love for yourself. At least every week or every other one, go to a nice vegan restaurant and have some nice cooking served. Practice a few good recipes at home and share them with your family.
- Take your time
Do not feel pressured to scale too fast or to increase the frequency rapidly. Do everything at a comfortable pace and adjust whenever you feel ready to take one more day of snacks off your routine and to replace one more bag of fries or a burger with healthier options.
Do not be too rushed to make diet transformations. It is even worse if the meal replacement is a part of a total diet replacement where you are trying to eliminate and replace a lot of foodstuffs. Succumbing and collapsing under the pressure is very possible and the urges start burning again.
At the same time, remember that progress always has to be made.
- Make health your priority
Define your health as a priority. Make it a top priority goal and work toward it. Be committed and develop consistency. The meal replacement and plant nutrients will deliver better health than your previous meals.
When you are serious about it, even actualizing resolutions is easier. This in itself motivates you to work towards the achievement and actualization of the resolutions even if you get setbacks.
- Be aware of both what you are adding and what you are cutting out
Yeah …you got that right. Plain simple, what you add to your diet is as important as what you are taking out. Otherwise, you could be substituting a lesser devil with a greater one. Some meal replacements are the equivalent of fruit juices you might be avoiding. Some vegan food is more harmful than meat because of over-processing.
Due diligence should be performed on your diet like you would with matters of finance. Focus on low-calorie density (fewer fats and more whole meals and natural produce) or healthy meal replacements like Vitaminfood.
- Educate yourself
Educating yourself is plays a central role in your success. Learn more about your diet choices and find the motivation to continue. Learn new adjustments and the latest discoveries by scientists on your diets and their impact on our lives.
Also, read labels religiously and know what you are feeding on. This helps you to self-analyze and verify what is good for your health and what is not by identifying the ingredients. It also makes you more cautious of vulnerability to deficiencies.
Learn some healthy meal preparations for frequent changes from the normal. You’d be surprised how many vegan recipes are too sweet to pass on.
These 7 tips will work magic on your journey to a smooth and successful inclusion of meal replacements in your diet and transition to natural plant-based diets. Refine them to your convenience and do not be shy to implement them.
Know a vegan friend? Share these tips with them.