Have you ever gone on a strict diet and lost some weight only to gain all of the weight back and possibly even more? This is a common problem I see in my weight loss clients. For some, it's not that difficult to lose weight but it can be very hard to keep the weight off over the long term. Over time this "yo-yo'" weight loss can become frustrating, often leading to depression or a feeling of hopelessness. Even worse, it can discourage people from trying to lose weight altogether.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study that could help those who can't seem to keep those unwanted pounds from piling back on after a successful attempt at losing weight. The study found that both meal replacement shakes and high protein diets led to far better weight loss maintenance than in control subjects.
The study found that those who used meal replacement shakes gained back on average 8.5 lbs less than those who did not use meal replacement shakes. Interestingly, those using meal replacement shakes had even better results than those on diet drugs. Yet the meal replacement group did not suffer from any of the potential side effects of the diet drugs. The study also found that those eating a high protein diet gained back on average 3.3 lbs less than those not on a high protein diet. These are exciting findings for those who have a difficult time losing weight and keeping it off because it seems like there is a simple solution to the problem. Further, the two findings can be combined for a potentially increased benefit.
If you are one of those who are tired of the scale constantly moving up and down, I suggest you take advantage of this study's findings by incorporating high protein meal replacement shakes into your daily schedule. One or two meal replacement shakes per day can be very helpful. I always recommend a meal replacement shake contain 20-30 grams of protein powder, a healthy fat like almond butter or coconut oil, and either greens or berries. This combination ensures you are getting a well balanced meal and not missing any important nutrients in your diet. You might also consider adding pre-workout protein energy shakes and post-workout protein recovery shakes to boost your overall protein consumption and improve your workout results. 15-30g of protein powder in water or almond milk works well for this purpose.
-Dr. Jeremy Webster
Weight Loss and Nutrition Expert