If you’ve been looking for help with weight loss, you may have thought about using meal replacement shakes. Not only will these chemical concoctions absolutely guarantee you’ll never lose weight, they’ll set you up for the development of diabetes and cancer in the not-too-distant future.
What are Meal Replacement Shakes?
Meal replacement shakes are marketed to be a quick solution to weight loss. They come in a can or bottle with slick advertising slogans and empty promises. They claim to be a nourishing substitute for breakfast, lunch or whatever meal you plan to skip but nothing could be further from the truth. Using store-bought meal replacement shakes starve your body and fill it with dangerous chemicals.
Meal Replacement Shakes Make Your Body Hold On to Fat
Before we get into all the dangerous cancer-causing chemicals in meal replacement shakes, let’s take a look at how they work in the first place. Meal replacement shakes, like “diet foods” do not help you lose weight and keep it off. They starve your body and wreck your metabolism. This means as soon as you stop using them, you’ll gain back all the weight you’ve lost and then some.
Meal replacement shakes taste very sweet because they’re loaded with more sugar than a candy bar. When you drink one, you may feel a sudden burst of energy and a fullness that leaves you feeling satisfied.
For the time-being, your body is tricked into believing you’ve taken in nourishing food. Then, an hour or two later, the “crash” hits. You feel tired, irritable, and shaky. Your body realizes that it has only taken in empty calories and is alerting you that you’re running very low on energy.
You try to stave off the hunger pains with some carrot sticks or a large glass of water but nothing seems to help. Starving, you reach for the first available morsel of food; even if it’s a frosting-covered cupcake.
This calorie-deprivation/binge eating weight-loss method encourages your body to hang on to more and more fat until your metabolism is critically damaged. Even if you do manage not to reach for that cupcake, you’re still depriving your body of the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. Either way, it’s a very unhealthy way to try to lose weight.
10 Dangerous Ingredients in Meal Replacement Shakes
Meal replacement shakes are badly named. They don’t replace a meal with a liquid version of pure nutrition; they fill your body with dangerous synthetic chemicals and are the furthest thing from what should be called food.
These chemicals include:
Aspartame is one of the deadliest sugar lies on the planet. It is often snuck into diet foods and drinks to replace table sugar. Aspartame is a deadly neurotoxin that has been linked to the development of muscle twitches, spasms, cognitive impairment, migraine headaches, irritability, mood swings, and more.
This happens because aspartame interferes with the proper function of your hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is a region of the forebrain that connects to the pituitary, endocrine system, hippocampus, striatum, and brain stem. Scientific studies have shown that aspartame causes lesions on the hypothalamus, which interferes with proper brain and endocrine function.
2. Acesulfame Potassium
As if aspartame wasn’t bad enough, soft drink manufacturers have been slowly replaced with a new and more dangerous sweetener, Acesulfame Potassium or “Ace K”. This calorie-free sweetener is not only neurotoxic, it also “turns off” the part of your brain that tells you when you’ve had enough to eat. This means each time you drink a meal replacement shake or eat anything that contains this sweetener, you’re drinking something that encourages you to eat more!
Maltodextrin is a type of glucose syrup made from genetically-modified corn. Genetically-modified corn contains pesticides that do damage to your digestive, endocrine, neurological, and immune system. This sweetener depletes your body of natural vitamins and minerals while causing side effects such as weight gain, bloating, flatulence, and breathing difficulties.
4. Concentrated Milk Product
Concentrated milk product may seem harmless enough but it can cause problems with your health. This is because the concentrated milk product contained in meal replacement shakes contain hormones, steroids, antibiotics, and pesticides that interfere with proper digestion and assimilation of nutrients. These growth hormones and pesticides fuel the development of cancer.
5. Cellulose Gel
This thickening agent is used to keep synthetic sugar from crystallizing and “freezing” in the can. It has been linked to digestive distress and allergic reaction.
6. Soy Fiber
It is estimated that 90% of soy is genetically-modified. Any genetically-modified food or product contains pesticides. When you ingest pesticides, you interfere with the proper functioning of your nervous, digestive, and immune system.
7. Xanthan Gum
Xanthan gum is a thickening agent made from bacteria and has been linked to gas, bloating, and allergic reaction.
Carrageenan is often listed as a natural ingredient in meal replacement shakes and some yogurts. This sneaky little additive has been quietly causing chronic health problems for forty years. It has been linked to colon cancer, chronic inflammation, and digestive disorders.
9. Sodium Phosphate
Sodium phosphate is a popular diet food additive because it acts as a laxative. If you’re going more often than usual or are suffering from diarrhea, this is your culprit. Too much of this additive could cause permanent damage to the lower intestine, leading to uncontrollable bowel movements.
10. Synthetic Vitamins
Meal replacement shakes love to brag about how many vitamins and minerals are in their products. What they don’t tell you is the kind of vitamins they contain. The vitamins in meal replacement shakes don’t come from a food source so your body doesn’t recognize them. These lab-created synthetics can cause inflammation, allergies, digestive disturbances, and autoimmune dysfunction.
Meal Replacement Shakes for Nutrition and Weight Loss
Just because commercial meal replacement shakes are bad for your health doesn’t mean you can’t use a similar method to lose weight. You just have to make them yourself. All you need is a blender and a few simple, health-promoting ingredients.
These ingredients include:
- Almond Milk
Almond milk is a good hypoallergenic and low-calorie alternative to cow’s milk or soy milk. It contains only 8 grams of carbohydrates per serving, making it an ideal blood sugar-stabilizing base for your shake.
- Greek Yogurt
Organic Greek yogurt is rich in protein and helps keep you fuller longer. You can choose plain or any of the fruit-flavored varieties. Just be sure the Greek yogurt you select is free from any dangerous additives such as high fructose corn syrup, aspartame or food dyes.
- Fresh or Frozen Fruit
Fresh organic or frozen fruit add a boost of healthy sugar and nutrients to your shake.
- Nut Butters
Almond butter and peanut butter offer protein-packed nutrition to keep your blood sugar stable throughout the day.
- Raw Organic Eggs
Raw, organic eggs should be used sparingly but are very beneficial for your health. They are filled with protein, vitamins, and minerals your body needs to stay healthy.
- Organic Dark Chocolate
If you have a craving for something sweet, opt for organic, soy-free dark chocolate. You can melt it in a double-boiler before adding it to your protein shake mixture and curb those daily carb cravings.
- Raw Coconut Oil
Not all types of fat are bad for you. Raw coconut oil is a saturated fat that is excellent for your health. It contains inflammation-fighting and antioxidant lauric acid to boost your immune system and help you lose weight.
Meal replacement shakes can help you lose weight if you make them at home yourself. This way, you’ll be completely in control of what’s going into your body and you’ll finally reach those weight-loss goals!
O.K. so we all know the meal replacement shakes that the grocery market sells are actually NOT good for us. They are just another attempt by the diet industry to get us to part with our hard earned cash.
The ingredients might be wrong, but the idea isn’t. Healthy, nutritious, organic shakes made from all natural ingredients can be just the edge we need to shed that extra weight, eat a better diet, snack more nutritiously, etc.
The problem is how to make these shakes in a healthy way. Well, I found a book that seems to solve that problem.
Sensational Smoothies offers advice on what food combinations taste the best, are best to mix for weight loss and are the most nutritious. Best of all you can make them in only a few minutes time, using store bought ingredients, right in your own kitchen!
To read a little more about how you can make your own smoothies check out this letter from Sensational Smoothies.