I read with interest an article saying that weight loss shakes are making us fatter. (source). The pros and cons of using the Aldi Slim & Trim weight loss shakes are varied and the above article focused on the fact that using Aldi meal replacement shakes was not sustainable for long term or permanent weight loss.
Now I am a huge fan of the Aldi brand of shakes, as I have lost considerable weight using them on my 2Sad diet, but I agree with the statement above.
Meal replacement shakes from Aldi, or any brand for that matter, should only be used to kick start weight loss, not as a permanent staple in your diet.
Why Use Aldi Meal Replacement Shakes Then?
In simple terms we are overweight because we have eaten too much of the wrong foods over a long period of time.
To lose weight we have to reduce the amount we eat. Period.
For some of us that can be a hurdle as we are programmed to eat certain foods in certain quantities but starting and sticking to a pattern of eating that will reduce our calories, we are kick starting a change in attitude towards food and eating.
I believe the Slim & Trim meal replacement shakes from Aldi are perfect for re-training the brain and here is why.
Convenience: – Most “diets” ask us to weigh and measure our food to ensure our caloric intake is at the lower end. I don’t have time to measure. With the shake I simply put it in a shaker bottle with 100ml of water and 100ml of low fat milk, give it a shake for 30 seconds, and it is ready to drink.
I take a mouthful, put it down for a minute or two, then have another and repeat this until the shake is finished.
Cost: – I know we should not put a price on our health but at $1.99 per shake it is great value. $4 a day for 2 meal replacement shakes for a total of 420 calories is a pretty good bargain in my eyes.
If you looked hard enough you will find people saying that shakes do not fill them up, (like here), but I fell content after having one and I use water only in my shakes. As I stated here, I have one around 10am and the other at 2:30pm and I am never hungry.
When To Stop Using Meal Replacement Shakes
Since I have been using Aldi meal replacement shakes I have shifted my thinking toward food and how I eat. I now realise that I am not eating to cure my hunger, I am eating to fuel my body so that can work at an optimal level for me.
My evening meal has changed in that it is more vegetable based with lots of different colours to ensure I am getting a wide range of anti oxidants that my body needs. I have changed the balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates. Less crabs, more protein and healthy fats instead of manufactured crap.
Once I have made this a habit I will drop one of the shakes and have a meal as above in a portion that I think will benefit my body most. Like wise with my morning shake, I will substitute that for a nutritious breakfast.
This of course will take time as my brain has been programmed incorrectly for so long but using Aldi meal replacement shakes enables me to reach that paradigm shift in thinking.
Recapping then I will say that having meal replacement shakes is not ideal for long lasting or sustainable weight loss but they are fantastic to start you off on your weight loss journey and flick that switch in your brain from nutritional neglect to nutritious fuelling of your body.
Meal Replacement Shakes Q&A
Here I will answer some questions you may have about using not just Aldi meal replacement shakes but all brands. I will also link to some third party resources so that you get a good cross match of answers from around the web.
Are Meal Replacement Shakes a Good Way to Lose Weight?
They are for the initial period. They control calorie intake at the beginning giving you weight loss. This early result will give you the confidence and belief that weight loss for you is possible.
Whilst not as nutrient dense as eating whole foods, meal replacement shakes are ideal for the beginner.
What Are the Best Meal Replacement Shakes?
Admittedly I have not used all meal replacement shakes available but I use the Aldi Slim & Trim brand for 2 reasons. Firstly they have been shown to contain the least sugar per serve and secondly, at $1.99 per sachet, they are very affordable.
Canstar Blue are a reputable review site and you can see their list of best meal replacement shakes here. As they state on their website:
These shakes work on a weight loss plan as they are very low in calories, with ALDI Slim & Trim just 205 calories. They are considered meal replacements as they contain high protein and moderate carbs, so incorporating a shake in the afternoon is a good option instead of reaching for a chocolate bar or biscuits!
Why Do Aldi Meal Replacement Shakes Work?
Meal replacement shakes work primarily for two reasons. One is they are low calorie. Only 207 calories per shake for the Aldi brand. Having this amount of calories is better than reaching for an unhealthy, high calorie meal.
Secondly they are a meal with the essential vitamins your body needs as well as a good balance of macronutrients – ( protein, carbs and fat)
FURTHER READING: http://www.askfitnesscoach.com/why-meal-replacement-shakes-work/
Can I Lose Weight with Meal Replacement Shakes?
Yes you can but as I mentioned earlier only use them to give you a jump start to weight loss. You are going to have to learn that the body needs a wide range of whole foods, in appropriate portions, to lose weight and this thinking must be adhered to daily.
Associate Professor Tim Crowe from Deakin University states:
“To lose weight you do need to eat sensibly around them and your other meals still have to be portion controlled.”
“Meal replacement drinks are reasonably high in protein and lead to a feeling of fullness. But as part of a calorie reducing diet you will be hungry. You can’t hide that.”