Chocolate Lava Cake. Cheesecake. Dulce de Lecce Pudding. Oh my! These don’t sound much like your typical idea of what you need to eat to lose weight, but while diet and exercise remain the cornerstones of any effective weight loss program, protein meal replacements have emerged as a powerful tool to help make any weight loss journey safer and more effective.

GLP-1 medications, which were originally developed to manage diabetes, have attracted much attention for their ability to assist in weight loss. This is due to their ability to decrease appetite, promote a feeling of fullness, and control glucose metabolism. These medications have given new hope to many individuals who struggle with their weight. It is no surprise, therefore, that researchers forecast the GLP-1 weight loss medication market will exceed $100 billion by 2030, driven equally by diabetes and obesity usage. In fact, it is predicted that the total GLP-1 users in the U.S. may number 30 million or approximately 9 percent of the overall population by the same date.1

Nonetheless, studies also show that a proper diet and lifestyle changes are still necessary for long term weight loss success. So, while “the shot” may seem to be a magic solution, optimal outcomes still require doing the right things when it comes to behavior. That means that you need to consume foods high in nutrition and make a habit of getting in some daily exercise like walking, playing pickleball or tennis, swimming, or biking. To help guide you in how to consume foods high in nutrition, the role of medical weight loss centers has never been more important. In addition to using evidence-based research and clinical expertise to guide you toward achieving safe weight loss, some have food tools that can help you transition to a more moderate caloric intake for positive, long-lasting changes to your eating habits.

A Perfect Pair: Weight Loss Medications & Meal Replacements

Ideally, everyone would possess the knowledge (and the time) to shop for and cook healthy, delicious foods. One of the most valuable services a serious medical weight loss center offers is support for creating nutritious meals that will help you lose weight quickly and safely. However, if you live a very busy lifestyle, it can be difficult to shop and/or cook daily. The use of quality meal replacements for individuals on weight loss medications — and anyone seeking weight loss — has been shown to be extremely effective.2,3 Meal replacements provide convenient, portion-controlled, nutritionally balanced options for meals and snacks.

Individually, meal replacements and weight loss medications each offer advantages. However, it is their combined effect that truly delivers the most effective weight loss support. Below are some important reasons why:

Adequate Nutrition

When your appetite is suppressed by medication, it can be difficult to maintain an adequate intake of essential vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients. High-quality protein meal replacements are formulated to provide a balanced mix of macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals while still supporting weight loss. They double down on a sense of fullness and help you learn appropriate portion control while being extremely convenient. Meal replacements also help mitigate the risk of nutrient deficiencies. They support those with suppressed appetites by providing choices that are just the right portions with the essential protein and nutrients they need and by keeping the tastebuds happy. Because of the variety of flavors available, you can enjoy a Brownie Caramel Bar, Hot Cocoa with Marshmallows, Strawberry Shake, or Banana Crème Pudding while burning more calories and losing more weight.

Maintenance of Lean Body Mass:

Avoiding loss of lean body mass for any weight loss plan is important for overall metabolism, physical function, bone health, and even glucose metabolism. Thus, during any plan that results in weight loss, it is essential to take measures to maintain or even increase lean body mass. Especially with fast weight loss or significant weight loss, it’s necessary to protect your organs! High-quality, delicious meal replacements include a proper macronutrient balance to help patients achieve their weight loss goals while safeguarding their lean body mass.

More Energy:

Weight loss medications — particularly GLP-1 agonists — can potentially reduce your energy due to their appetite-suppressing effects, which may result in lower caloric intake. However, meal replacements can minimize or eliminate this form of fatigue. This is because despite consuming fewer calories, you are receiving the quality vitamins and balanced macro and micronutrients you need.

Enhanced Satiety:

Weight loss medications, such as GLP-1 agonists, mimic the action of the naturally occurring hormone GLP-1, which regulates appetite and satiety. These medications stimulate GLP-1 receptors in the brain, leading to reduced appetite and feelings of fullness. When patients taking such medications integrate meal replacements, they tend to be able to ingest balanced nutrition with a smaller volume of food. This typically translates to increased comfort and less concern about nutritional deficiency in the absence of appetite.

Education and Support:

The use of weight loss medications and meal replacements together in weight management provides the opportunity for ongoing education and support to ensure an optimal outcome. The use of meal replacements can educate patients regarding the benefits of high protein meals, the positive effect on their metabolism, and how to prevent hunger, so as to successfully integrate these into their future eating plan.

The synergistic approach of combining weight loss medications with meal replacements helps patients achieve weight loss goals while maintaining optimal nutrition and overall health. This is a powerful combination that allows the patient to enjoy things like cake or pudding for dessert while enhancing patient outcomes at the same time, particularly when combined with fitness, education and ongoing support.

Written by Susan Malzone, Director of LivLight Weight Loss with research and comments by Karol Clark, MSN, RN

Source(s):

1 https://www.jpmorgan.com/insights/global-research/current-events/obesity-drugs

2https://info.robard.com/WP_ClinicalImportanceofUsingMealReplacementswithAntiObesityMedications.html

3 https://doi.org/10.111/obr.12816

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