Confession time of a nutritionist…
My tendency to snack -as I have recently mentioned with half term- seems to go up when I’m looking after the kids.
Anyone else notice how many times kids eat a day?
And it’s not like it’s rubbish stuff all of the time..
Whether it’s fruit, yoghurt, their dinner, more fruit, veggies, ice cream and hot chocolate,
And I must admit
It becomes easy to start picking yourself.
And this ties in with a question I had about shakes
Because shakes can actually be a tool to help you limit the choices / willpower you have to use to stick to your plan.
Sometimes I actually do use a shake (homemade)
It stops me picking
It’s super filling and nutritious
It’s quick and easy
And once upon a time, I’d have went straight into the mode
“Shakes aren’t really good, they are processed”
So here I am,
About to answer this question I’ve had
“what do you think of using a few shakes to help me lose weight?”
And, like most things in nutrition, fitness and weight loss…it really depends.
I can’t really say it’s wrong or right for you without knowing your situation.
On the one hand…
You have people saying
“eat real food…It’s not natural”
^^^ whilst eating hummus and peanut butter (I don’t know what is natural, anymore
On the other hand?
“It’s a great way to get protein in which is generally lacking in our diets (and important for muscle and strength…as well as a tool to help you stick to a calorie deficit and lose fat”
“It’s cheap and convenient”
“It’s no different to eating yoghurt”
I could go on..
So, I’m going to summarise by considering these 3 things below so you can make a decision.
But before I go in to this..
I just want to remind you that despite the conflicting advice out there in what you shouldn’t eat and what you should eat…
What we do know is that when you control for calories, whether you go low carb or low fat, it doesn’t really matter when it comes to fat loss.
That’s not to say that lower carb / Lower fat diets don’t work..
But this is where we need to see what suits YOU (in fact, a lower carb diet, for sure, helps my IBS).
Although I’ve just said calories are the most important bit
And studies back this up by portioning junk food and people still lose weight and improve their cholesterol…
This doesn’t mean you should do it.
In fact, you may struggle sticking to it long term, we have urges to snack, and not mention, our energy and potential nutrient deficiencies.
And what we know is sticking to whole foods, protein at every meal and lots of fibre
Generally means you will feel more full up and satisfied..
Now, let’s get into shakes…
Starting a weight loss / fitness journey can be difficult, especially when you have to change loads at once. If you’re the type of person who:
– hates preparing and weighing foods
– Will go into the F it mindset if it’s not perfect
Then using a shake or two MAY be better for you.
I’m obviously an advocate of WHOLEFOODS
As nutrition is more than just calories…
There’s a lot to be said for making things convenient.
As the best meal plan in the world is pointless
If you never get around to planning it
Let alone making it..
As I get that meal planning can seem quite time consuming.
So shakes could be a solution…
And – of course – if you prefer to eat a meal
That is absolutely fine.
But this is about limiting the choices you have to make.
As – ultimately- the more choices to have to make
The more willpower you use
And the more likely are to beat yourself up for not sticking to a “perfect” plan
And – all of a sudden- we are back to square one..
2) Quality of nutrition. What about deficiencies
So, one of the concerns is that by having a shake, you may not get the nutrients you need.
Now, this might be true if you go for one of those sugary meal replacement shakes…(although many do have vitamin supplements thrown in)
But the way I advise this would be to make it yourself.
1 handful of berries
1 scoop of chocolate protein powder
250 ml unsweetened almond milk
Blend and you’re good to go!
So, as you can see, this is pretty nutritious, right?
In fact, you can add as many veggies as you like too (like frozen spinach or some celery.)
It may even end up being more nutritious as you can hide them in and get the nutrition in even when you’re busy.
In fact, I’ve been known chuck anything from frozen spinach to frozen peas in a shake for the kids (and they don’t even notice)
^^^ so could be a good one if you’re not keen on greens. Maybe we could call it the “not keen on greens” shake
3) Are shakes ‘natural’?
This is another question I get, especially with regards to whey protein or vegan protein powders like hemp, pea or soya.
Now, whey is naturally found in ‘natural’ yoghurt, milk, breast milk, cows milk, formula milk…I could go on.
As for vegan protein powders?
Again, it’s created simply by a process that isolates the protein from peas or soya beans, for example.
It’s no more ‘unnatural’ than eating things like peanut butter (which is blended and crushed), tomato puree, olive oil (processed food, right?).
It’s just a tool in the toolbox. That you can use if you want. Sometimes. Every day. Once a week? Once a month? When you need a kickstart? When you are busy? When you keep starting the week with food intentions but end up picking?
It’s about personalising this stuff for you.
So you can avoid any nutrient deficiencies and make this weight loss and fitness stuff convenient for you, your lifestyle, and your family ( as whether you accept it or not, they’re strapped to this weight loss rollercoaster with you…)
so you actually do it, keep the weight off and -DARE I SAY IT – have fun doing it…
Make it a great day