Author Archives: Benny Bellagio

Why Include Meal Replacement Shakes in Your Diet?

Protein-shakesFads come and go pretty quickly these days. Whether it’s fashion, music, or apps, the newest thing is constantly replacing the “hottest” thing and on and on the cycle goes. When it comes to dieting, the situation is similar. One diet replaces another in the blink of an eye. All soy has transformed to soy free and now the no gluten rule has come under scrutiny too. Let’s not forget the old favorites like Atkins and South Beach. So what makes a diet using meal replacement shakes any different? They’ve been around for a while but have only recently become popular, with major fitness brands coming up with their own shakes to compete with the classics.

Depending on which diet shakes you look at, calories range from as little as 90 calories per serving to around 200. They tend to be high in protein and rich with vitamins and minerals. They are quite literally meal replacements. These shakes have everything your body needs to function at maximum capacity while maintaining a low calorie count (in most cases, anyway!). But if it all comes down to limiting calorie intake, you can just do that yourself, right? Why spend hundreds of dollars on meal replacement shakes when you can just eat right and limit calories? Well, that’s true, you can definitely achieve the same results yourself, but the great thing about meal replacement shakes is that they’re already arranged and planned for you. You don’t need to plan a meal, count the calories, account for additional nutrients, cook it, and hope that it fills you up. Meal replacement shakes do all of that for you. They’re quick to make, easy to count calories, and if you choose the right shake, will fill you up substantially. Many meal replacement shakes are scientifically formulated to keep you feeling full for as long as possible, combining just the right amount of protein to fill you up and fiber to keep you feeling full. The problem with these diet shakes is that because there are so many options out there, it can be difficult to choose which one is best for you. Some are popular simply because they’ve been around so long but not because they necessarily work. Some of the best shakes are lesser known and work perfectly. Then there are factors like taste, which is truly just subjective to each individual. That’s also the great thing about meal replacement shakes though. There’s something for everyone! In order to know which shake is right for you, you need to understand what qualities the best meal replacement shakes contain. For one thing, the best shakes have a high amount of protein. Anything in the double digits is good. Protein is the nutrient that makes you feel full, like how eating a tablespoon or two of peanut butter makes you feel so satisfied – it’s because of the high amount of protein! But filling you up only goes so far. It’s fiber that gives protein longevity. Fiber slows the digestive process, making the nutrients that fill you up last longer. Protein and fiber are two important sources of nutrition in meal replacement shakes, but they aren’t the only ones. The calorie count is also important, as anyone who has ever tried losing weight will know. Proper nutrition is vital for good health, but restricting calories is what will be greatly beneficial when it comes to weight loss. If you choose to mix a weight loss shake powder with water, the calorie count listed will be accurate, but mixing the powder with milk and a couple different fruits will create a highly satisfying shake. Many meal replacement shake websites provide great recipes. You should figure out how many calories you should be consuming every day in order to lose weight, and then make your meal replacement shakes accordingly. Other useful nutrients and ingredients to look for in these diet shakes are appetite suppressers like garcinia cambogia, which is a new herbal supplement known to limit the hormone that indicates you’re hungry. Also important are the vitamins and minerals included. Meal replacement shakes can easily include a healthy number of both as well as a high amount of your recommended daily value. One big thing to avoid is sugar, particularly artificial sweeteners! The less, the better, we say. The question still lingers though… why choose meal replacement shakes as your go-to technique for weight loss? To put it simply, they’re easy and they’re effective. They’re nutritious and taste good. Really, what more could you want?

The Best Smoothie Recipes

Even though meal replacement shake companies do everything that they can to make their shakes taste the best (it’s a competitive market, after all), sometimes you need to switch things up a bit. The wonderful thing about the popularity of these shakes is that people tend to get creative with their smoothie recipes. From fruity to desserty and occasionally a little bit green, there’s something for everyone.

Here’s a list of our favorite protein shake recipes.

Blueberry Pie – 415 calories  Blueberry Pie - 415 calories

Whether it’s the holidays and you’re feeling festive or just craving blueberry pie, this smoothie recipe is sure to satisfy your cravings. 1 scoop 310 shake vanilla 1 cup milk (of your choosing) 1 banana 1 cup frozen blueberries ½ cup greek yogurt ½ cup ice

Chocolate Strawberry Kiss – 254 calories Chocolate Strawberry Kiss - 254 calories

This blend of chocolate and strawberry is perfect for every chocolate lover’s sweet tooth. 1 scoop 310 shake chocolate 1 cup milk (of your choosing) 1 cup frozen strawberries 2 tsp chocolate syrup (optional) ½ cup ice cubes

Vanilla Cherry Blossom – 387 calories Vanilla Cherry Blossom - 387 calories

So light and fruity, you’d never guess that this came from a list of protein shake recipes. 1 scoop 310 vanilla shake 1 cup milk (of your choosing) 1 cup frozen cherries ½ cup greek yogurt (optional) ½ cup ice cubes

Strawberry Banana – 271 calories Strawberry Banana - 271 calories

Simple and classic, this smoothie is satisfying and never goes out of style. 1 scoop 310 vanilla 1 cup milk or coconut water 1 banana ½ cup frozen strawberries ½ cup ice cubes

Mangolicous – 343 calories Mangolicous - 343 calories

This isn’t your typical fruit shake. With more exotic ingredients like pineapple and mango, this smoothie recipe will shake things up. 1 scoop 310 shake vanilla 1 cup coconut water 1 cup frozen mango chunks ½ cup frozen pineapple chunks ½ cup greek yogurt ½ cup ice cubes

Orange Cream – 231 calories Orange Cream - 231 calories

Whether it’s the dead of summer or middle of winter, you can’t beat an orange creamsicle. This recipe is the perfect healthy alternative. 1 scoop 310 shake vanilla 1 cup almond milk ½ cup orange juice 1 medium orange ½ cup ice cubes

PB-Chocolate-Banana – 423 calories PB-Chocolate-Banana - 423 calories

We love how rich and satisfying this protein shake recipe is. It’s less than 500 calories, which only makes it better! 1 scoop 310 shake chocolate 1 cup almond milk 1 banana 2 tbsp peanut butter ½ cup ice cubes

Peach Cobbler – 227 calories Peach Cobbler - 227 calories

This recipe is another light and fruity option. At only 227 calories, you definitely won’t regret it. 1 scoop 310 shake vanilla 1 cup water 1 cup frozen peach chunks ½ cup greek yogurt ½ tsp cinnamon ½ cup ice cubes

Peanut Butter Jelly Time – 581 calories Peanut Butter Jelly Time - 581 calories Do any of us really ever grow up? Not when it comes to peanut butter and jelly! 1 scoop 310 shake vanilla 1 cup milk (of your choosing) 1 banana 1 cup frozen mixed berries 2 tbsp peanut butter ½ cup greek yogurt (optional) 2 tsp oats (optional) 1/2 cup ice cubes Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie – 630 calories Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie - 630 calories

Out of all the protein shake recipes, this may be the best one when it comes to satisfying a cookie craving. 1 scoop 310 shake vanilla 1 cup milk (of your choosing) 1 banana 3 tbsp peanut butter 1 tsp oats 1 tsp honey (optional) ½ cup ice cubes