If you’re looking to steadily lose weight the healthy way, then try this Two-Shakes-A-Day Diet Plan! Unlike fad diets, you won’t starve. You won’t sabotage hard-earned muscle. You won’t spend a fortune on prepared meals or diet systems. And you’ll get healthier in the process.
Here’s how it works...
Drink two high protein, low carb shakes a day with fiber and omega-3s added. Boost your shake with veggies or fruit. Have three other meals (snacks) a day. Keep your calorie intake to about 500 less per day than your break-even calorie level and you’ll lose about one pound of fat a week. It’s a very liveable plan that’s backed up by clinical research (see below). Adjust your carb intake to lose weight faster or slower. Be sure to exercise at least three times a week and watch the weight magically fall off without radical changes in your diet.
The foundation of your shake will be a high quality protein powder mixed into water, not juice. Add about 20-30 grams of protein per shake - the older you are, the more you may need to maintain muscle. A study of adults, average age of 70, showed when they took 40g of whey protein versus 20g, they boosted their muscle protein synthesis by 32%.
Which should you choose? Whey protein may have the best diet research results, with slower digesting milk proteins next, then soy or plant proteins.
Whey provides good satiety, digests easily and is one of the best muscle-building proteins. It makes a good base shake ingredient and contains about 140 calories and 25g of protein per serving.
Milk or protein blends
The protein in milk (casein) is slow digesting and can help you feel full longer. Many protein blends combine whey and milk proteins so you get the benefits of both.
Meal replacement powders (MRP) are larger serving sizes of a protein powder that provide 250-300 calories. They contain a blend of whey and milk proteins and have added carbs, fiber and vitamins. Many people use a half serving, which provides about 20g of protein and 10g of carbs.
Egg, soy or plant proteins
These sources are good for those who like to avoid dairy or have specific milk allergies.
Add fiber to your shake to keep hunger away and to control blood sugar spikes. These fibers absorb water and expand in your stomach to create a sense of fullness.
Fiber also slows the normal increase in blood sugar in response to a meal, even when drinking just protein. It also helps replace the fiber you’ll be lacking as you cut back on carbohydrate-based foods that normally provide most of your fiber. Try to get 25g of fiber a day.
Psyllium husk fiber is primarily a soluble fiber that absorbs about 50 times its weight in water. This helps create a bulkier, softer stool and minimizes constipation that is common during carbohydrate restriction. Add 1-3 teaspoons.
A study over an 8-week period showed those who took 2 capsules of this plant fiber before breakfast, lunch and dinner lost 5.5 pounds while the placebo group gained weight. Take it before a meal or add it to your shake by pulling apart two capsules and pouring in the fiber powder. It swells quickly so don’t save it to drink later.
Just 1 tablespoon of these gluten-free seeds provide about 5g of fiber, 3g of protein and 2.5g of omega-3s. Stir in with just a spoon. No need to grind them. They swell up slower than other fibers, so you don’t need to drink it within a few minutes.
In one study, overweight subjects took 6g of fish oil (1.9g of omega-3s) or a sunflower oil placebo for 12 weeks along with exercise. The investigators noted the fish oil group had the greatest decrease in body fat (almost 4 pounds).
Flax seed oil
Add one tablespoon to your shake, which provides about 7.7g of omega-3s (ALA) and 120 calories. It has a mild flavor that won’t ruin the taste.
Add a teaspoon to your shake, which provides about 1.7g of omega-3s (EPA and DHA) and 45 calories. Or if you prefer, take 1-3 softgels. Fish and krill oil are the preferred source for omega-3s. A reasonable dose is 1-3g of fish oil a day.
Compelling research shows that drinking 1-2 shakes a day can help you lose weight and keep it off.
Drink two whey shakes a day and lose 5 pounds of fat
A clinical trial published in the Journal of Nutrition tracked the body weight of 90 overweight men and women during 23 weeks of drinking two shakes a day. No other instructions on what to eat were given. They drank either whey protein (28g of protein each), soy protein (28g of protein each) or carb shakes. Each shake contained about 200 calories. They drank them around breakfast and dinner. The whey group lost 4 pounds of body weight and 5 pounds of fat mass, as well as reduced their waist circumference and fasting hunger hormone (ghrelin) levels. The soy group lost 2 pounds of body weight and 2.4 pounds of body fat. The carbohydrate control group showed minimal changes.
Drink two MRPs a day and lose 6 pounds of fat
In a study of 38 overweight and sedentary male and female adults published in Nutrition and Metabolism, researchers looked at the effects of a meal replacement powder (MRP) totaling 300 calories per serving (40g protein from whey, casein and milk protein isolate, 25g carbohydrate, 6g fiber, and vitamins and minerals). Subjects drank this MRP once daily for 2 weeks, then twice daily for 8 more weeks. They also exercised 3 times per week and were compared to an exercise-only group and a control group who did not participate in an exercise plan.
After 10 weeks, the MRP-exercise group experienced an average of 6 pounds of fat loss and a 2-pound increase in lean body mass. The exercise-only group lost 2.4 pounds of fat and gained 1.8 pounds of lean body mass. The control group experienced minimal changes.
Of the three groups, only the MRP-exercise group experienced a 12% reduction in cholesterol and 13.3% reduction in LDL (“bad” cholesterol). Also, the time to exhaustion during a standardized treadmill test improved by 21.2% in the MRP-exercise group compared to a 9.8% increase in the exercise-only group and a 1.4% in the control group. For reference, during the last 8 weeks of the study, each day the MRP-exercise group consumed 131g of protein, 190g of carbohydrates, 63g of fat and an average of 1,854 calories.
25 pound weight loss difference over 5 years with one MRP a day
In one study conducted over a 5-year period, overweight subjects who consumed a meal replacement shake lost about 10 pounds compared to others who gained 15 over the same time period, resulting in a 25 pound difference in weight between them. The value of a meal replacement may be the structure of having a prepared meal, which can reduce the temptation to eat the wrong foods.
Protein – eat 75 to 175 grams of protein per day
Most people should eat between 0.5 to 1 gram of protein per pound of ideal body weight. Eating protein helps prevent the breakdown of muscle so your weight loss is fat, not muscle. In one study where dieters doubled their protein intake, they experienced a reduced appetite and consumed fewer calories, which ultimately led to significant weight loss.
Carbohydrates – reduce intake, avoid sugar
Burning fat on this diet plan is generally controlled by reducing your carb intake as your protein and fat intake stay relatively constant. Eat a range of 50-200g of carbs depending on your caloric breakeven point. The breakeven point on average for women is about 2,000 calories and for men about 2,800 calories. Eat plenty of fiber-rich vegetables, but avoid grains, pasta, potatoes, rice, bread, junk food, high-glycemic sugary carbs and all forms of sugar. Add berries or fruit to your shake, but do so sparingly as they have natural sugars. Avoid high glycemic index fruit.
Fats – consume 40 to 90 grams of healthy fats per day
Increase omega-3 fat intake levels. For salads, use olive oil and/or flax oil. Cook with coconut oil and even add it to your shake. Eat avocado for more good fats. Reduce omega-6 fat intake (such as safflower, sunflower and corn oil). Avoid unhealthy fats from foods like french fries, fried food, margarine and all hydrogenated oils (trans fats).
Reprinted with permission.
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