Losing weight by following a low calorie, low fat diet can help you lose weight. Very slowly. You can even reach your goal by eating this way if you are willing to do this for weeks, maybe even months. As you probably know, this is a tough way to go. Research published in the scientific journal, Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism shows there’s a way to make your weight loss diet more effective, with the potential to double the results you get when follow a low fat, low calorie diet.
In this study, 90 overweight to obese adult subjects were split into two different groups. One group followed a low calorie, low fat diet and were given nutritional counseling. They were also taught how to increase their activity levels to burn more calories. The second group of dieters received the same counseling and exercise prescription as the first group. The difference between the groups was their diet. Instead of following a low calorie, low fat diet from regular foods, the second group substituted 2 of their meals with a high protein shake every day. Both groups followed their plans for 6 weeks.
The results from this study are really impressive. While both groups lost a good amount of weight and body fat, the group who drank 2 shakes a day lost significantly more of both. The men and women drinking the shakes lost 14 lbs of weight with 11 of it their body fat. The low calorie diet lost half as much weight and body fat (~7 lbs. each). The subjects drinking 2 meal replacement shakes also lost more inches from their waist, and improved their triglyceride levels and other important health markers. The low calorie, low fat diet group did not make significant improvements in these areas.
We think the reason the meal replacement shake made more progress is due to at least 2 things. First, substituting 2 meals for 2 shakes a day probably made it easier for them to not go over their daily calorie limit since a shake limits the amount of calories you’ll get from a meal. Second, the protein rich shakes may have kept the subjects feeling full longer so they ate less at their third meal of the day. Eating more protein when you diet to lose weight is also shown to help you lose weight and fat faster because of it’s ability to effect your insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone which you need to control to lose weight and body fat and keep it off.
If you trying to lose weight substituting a meal replacement shake for regular foods at 1 or more of your meals is worth trying. Doing this will help you more easily keep your calories low enough to lose fat and help you meet your protein requirements. When buying a product, we recommend buying a meal replacement shake that uses a blend of whey and casein proteins. Also, make sure you choose a product that contains as much protein per shake as possible with the fewest calories.
One product that meets these requirements is BSN Lean Dessert Each 2 scoop serving contains just 260 calories with 40 grams of whey, casein, and egg proteins. We also like Lean Dessert because its low in simple sugars and contains vitamins and minerals important for your overall health. 6 delicious flavors help make a welcome treat even when you are cutting calories big time to lose weight.
Source: König D, Deibert P, Frey I, Landmann U, Berg A. Effect of meal replacement on metabolic risk factors in overweight and obese subjects. Ann Nutr Metab. 2008;52(1):74-8.