Think beyond meal replacements

05.16.14 |

Manage your energy intake with meal replacements

In my first book, Dr. A’s Habits of Health, I talk about using meal replacements to help you manage your energy intake while you learn and incorporate healthy Habits of Eating and healthy Habits of Motion. But that’s really just part of the story.

My readers who work with Take Shape For Life Health Coaches or are Health Coaches themselves know firsthand that meal replacements on their own can only do so much.

Meal replacements, in a Take Shape For Life context, are one piece of an innovative and comprehensive program that helps people create long-term health. By combining meal replacements with the behavioral support of health coaches and a vibrant, engaged community of people championing optimal health, we’ve created an approach to health that is all encompassing.

When working with patients and clients, I often hear people express skepticism of meal replacements, saying things like “I am not going to eat fake food” or “I only eat whole foods” or “I am on the Paleo diet” or “I would never want to eat that packaged food that has a shelf life and isn’t fresh.”

From my perspective as a medical professional, I do not have an objection to meal replacements when they are used in conjunction with a proven system like the one that Take Shape For Life offers. At that point, what is being offered is more than meals.

As for the potential of meal replacements as a tool for creating health, their power should not be overlooked. Quality meal replacements from a reputable source are time-tested and incredibly safe. They help people reach a healthy weight—even people who have failed to lose weight in the past—and create teachable movements that boost self-confidence and increase intrinsic motivation. Without this drive, an individual is likely to struggle to learn how to eat healthily in this obesegenic world.
Additionally, as a healthy, portable, fast food that is portion controlled, low-glycemic, and full of vitamins & minerals, meal replacements can also offer great alternatives for meals and snacks for those times when you cannot make food on your own.

In our busy, hectic, and sometimes unpredictable lives, having meal replacements available can help already-healthy people avoid eating unhealthy foods.

And that’s ultimately what meal replacements are designed to accomplish: to help people reach and maintain a healthy weight in a way that is healthy, manageable, and maintainable. Reaching a healthy weight is a critical component of optimal health. Unfortunately, 70 percent of our population consumes more energy than they burn and struggles to make the healthy choices necessary to make a lasting change.
Meal replacements, combined with the support a health coach, make that process easier. Clients gradually learn to take control of their health and learn to eat healthy in all their meals while also learning to incorporate the Habits of Health into all other aspects of their lives.

As you look to create health in your life and to encourage the people you care about to do the same, you are right to be skeptical with the torrent of fad diets and workout routines vying for your attention. Meal replacements, as part of a system like Take Shape For Life, are not a fad. Read up on their work. Explore their success stories. And talk directly with a health coach. You’ll see the same potential that I see.