One of the questions we hear the most here at Step Ahead Wellness Center is: “do meal replacement plans work?” Considering how important meal replacement plans are to the success of many diet and exercise programs, this is a good question to ask before beginning a medical weight loss program. And, it’s a question that deserves an answer.
To put it simply, a meal replacement plan CAN work, if it is done right.
What Happens When Diets Go Wrong?
The problem with a lot of fad diets is that, while they reduce your calorie intake, they don’t provide a suitable level of nutrition to meet your body’s needs. These diets often have you removing food from your diet without replacing that with a healthier option. While an extreme starvation diet might produce some results in the short run, it isn’t a viable choice for long-term healthiness.
As these self-denying diets cut calories, they also cut your intake of vitamins and nutrients such as Vitamins A, C, and D, Calcium, and dozens of other compounds your body needs in order to survive. This results in symptoms such as fatigue, muscular deterioration, increased susceptibility to disease, and even death (in very extreme cases). Even if you’re on a diet, your basic nutrition needs still have to be met.
Even when a diet has a “meal replacement plan,” that plan is often formulated to work for people in general, and as such, isn’t optimized to meet your specific needs. Although, even when these meal replacement plans aren’t entirely tailored to your needs, they’re still better than a starvation diet. At the very least, these plans shouldn’t leave you without nutrition.
What Makes Medical Weight Loss Meal Replacement Different?
To make sure that your meal replacement plan is successful takes more than just cutting calorie intake, it takes a thorough understanding of your health from top to bottom. By starting with a medical examination, a medical weight loss program can find out which vitamins and minerals are deficient in your diet, if any.
Once the doctor supervising your weight loss regimen has an understanding of your unique health needs, she can create a comprehensive meal plan that will address your specific dietary needs. This healthy meal replacement plan will be tailored to provide you with all of the nutrients your body needs to work efficiently, while cutting back your calorie intake to promote healthy weight loss.
Another benefit of a medical weight loss meal replacement program is that the supervising doctor can prescribe dietary supplements as necessary. For example, if a patient had a severe vitamin deficiency that would be impossible to remedy through diet alone (at least, not without a massive increase in calorie intake), their supervising doctor could prescribe a supplement that would give them the nutrients that would otherwise be missing from their diet.
One of the leading causes for a meal replacement plan to fail is that it is often too tempting to go “off the plan.” This is especially true of meal plans that rely on a massive reduction in portions compared to what the dieter may be used to. If the meals aren’t filling, the temptation to snack to satiate hunger can lead even the most determined dieters astray.
It is so easy to go astray when you’re hungry. Thoughts such as “just one cookie/candy/scoop of ice cream won’t kill me” and “well, I had one, so might as well eat the next one” are difficult to resist when your stomach is growling like a ravenous tiger. The hunger response is a natural reaction, one designed to make sure we eat enough to meet our body’s needs. The problem is when feelings of hunger persist even after eating all the nutrition you need. This is where appetite suppressants can be a huge help.
Combined with a meal replacement plan and nutritional supplements, appetite suppressants can help you fight the urge to snack and keep you on-track to meet your weight loss goals, while still getting the nutrients you need to stay in good health.
Get a Meal Replacement Plan That Works
Once again, a meal replacement plan can and will work for your weight loss goals, IF it’s the right plan.
Get a complete weight loss solution that combines medical monitoring, meal replacement, dietary supplements and the support you need to lose weight and keep it off today!