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Using meal replacements increase chances of losing significant weight

Using meal replacements (MRPs) as part of a diet program is not a new concept—as many as 15% of adults use MRPs to lose weight. But there continues to be debate as to whether MRPs offer any benefit over conventional weight loss approaches.

MRPs may offer structure to an eating plan, thereby decreasing potential stress associated with deciding what and when to eat.

German researchers performed a 12-week study of weight loss in overweight women, aged 18-60, to determine the effectiveness of a low calorie diet, with and without MRPs.

All women followed a diet containing about 1,200 kcal per day. One group received MRPs—each containing about 200 kcal and 20g of protein—in the form of shakes, soups or bars. This group was required to replace a standard meal with an MRP twice daily for the entire length of the study.

Both the non-MRP and MRP groups received diet counseling (group and individual) during the study.

After 12 weeks, 77% of the women in the MRP group lost more than 5% of their weight compared to only 50% of the women in the non-MRP group.

These results indicate that MRPs offer a convenient alternative to standard meals for those who are monitoring their calorie intake for weight loss purposes and provide a greater chance of success in achieving significant weight loss.

 

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