Protein shakes or supplements?
The talking point this week in my sessions & online has been meal replacement shakes. So today article is all about protein shakes & supplements. There was a tv documentary on recently & it seems every where you turn people are trying to sell us herbal life, slim fast, body by Vi and other protein /meal replacement / weight loss shakes. As the tv documentary showed. You can get amazing results on these shakes. That’s great & those selling them are making great money from them. It is a good business model. However, I do have a massive problem with replacing good quality food with highly processed shakes. This creates bad habits and poor relationships with food. (Surely this is the reason why people are in this situation needing a solution in the first place? They have bad habits around food.) Yes the shakes help them lose weight but as soon as they are off them they put the weight back on. The reason … because the shakes have not helped them to change their eating habits. This is good for those who are making money from selling the stuff but not good for those using them. I also think that it is totally wrong for people who have no background in nutrition to call themselves wellness experts and sell these products merely as an extra income. The shakes themselves are not as healthy as you think and many of them contain the same unhealthy ingredients that are in processed foods – sugar, sweeteners, trans fats (cleverly disguised so that they don’t have to appear on the nutritional information) and soy protein which contains monosodium glutamate, and has been shown to inhibit zinc & iron absorption & cause problems with the pancreas, thyroid gland & liver. I know that it is not easy to eat well with the busy lives that we lead & these shakes make it easy. But honestly do you really want to substitute real food for manufactured, highly processed shakes? It makes no sense. If you are struggling with time to prepare quality natural foods then you will be struggling to eat all of the essential nutrients required to keep your mind and body healthy. The answer is not meal replacement but preparing simple recipes from fresh ingredients and maybe using some quality supplementation. Really there should be no excuses if you haven’t got time then make time and get up earlier. If it is important enough to you then you will find time not excuses.
Aren’t supplements the same as these shakes I hear you ask- yes some are I agree as there is no quality control over supplements. I am not a massive fan of supplements, and they should be used as their name suggests “an addition” to a good diet not “a replacement”. I do believe that there is a need for HIGH QUALITY supplementation in stress situations. There are times when we need to load up on nutrients and give an extra boost to a stressed body to speed up recovery and a return to optimum health ( a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being). This stress can be caused by doing a lot of physical exercise or intense training, illness, disease and being over weight. For many a return to health means dropping fat and giving all of the body systems a chance to self heal.
When I was an athlete training 6 days a week and working full time as a P.E teacher my body was under stress and I was prone to catching colds. My colds always went to my chest and I would end up with a horrendous cough (I have fractured my ribs twice coughing) It stopped me from training. I couldn’t afford to miss training sessions as I was building up towards the 2000 Olympics – my last chance of making it to an Olympic Games. I was advised to take L-Glutamine. I did and I didn’t have a single cold for 5 years. I stopped taking the Glutamine when I was pregnant & no longer training for 3 hours a day. The coughs & colds returned.
Dropping fat is not easy, if you are struggling to get results and want long term change then you are going to have to make changes to your habits and the daily choices that you make. You need good nutrition and the right type and amount of exercise, not an an expensive meal replacement shake.
If you Move a lot and eat well the results will come. To turbo charge your results use high quality supplements and follow a carefully planned individualised training programme.
My top supplement recommendation to help with fat loss is Lean Greens as it has lots of benefits and will help you get healthier quicker. It has 4-5 servings of vegetables & fruit in one drink. It decreases inflammation, it neutralises the acidity in our bodies, (the more alkaline our bodies the better the systems operate and the easier it is to resist disease). It aids digestion helping you to absorb the nutrients that you are taking in. It also helps reduce sugar cravings, and helps fat burning. Give it a try even if you are not looking to drop fat. I have 1-2 glasses a day to keep me functioning at my best.