What we put in to our body impacts the health of our body. We know that, right? And yet the eating behavior of many Americans would make one believe this fact is still in question! The reality is that typical eating behaviors are not “logical” or “reasonable” when health consequences are considered…
The “Deadly 4” diseases in the U.S., heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and brain disease (stroke and Alzheimer’s), are epidemic and are primarily determined by what we allow in to our body. And statistics tell us that Americans are typically “getting it wrong” when it comes to eating, even though we have healthy options.
From my perspective, the reason is simple. The food industry that has sought to deliver pleasure without substance, taste over health, and to prioritize corporate profits over disease prevention. Those truths seem all too obvious when we see the “foods” that are presented to us on commercials, in every convenience store, and in every fast food establishment.
The typical food industry products are strategically designed to deliver pleasure and and taste to the consumer and profits to the seller, plain and simple. Our health is NO WHERE in the equation! And, unfortunately, the devastating cost to us, is to our health, our life expectancy and our quality of life!
Fighting the food industry over the health of my patients is my daily battle, one with a formidable enemy. Food industry research dollars and their ability to use any and all taste, pleasure, and addiction strategies has me at a disadvantage in many ways as I fight for health and weight control.
However, on my side is the unwavering motivation of thoughtful, goal-oriented, conscientious, disciplined and determined patients who have said, “Enough is enough! I truly care about my precious body, I care about nutrition, and I’m embracing an exit strategy to leave the deadly, discouraging, progressive weight gain and health losses from wrong foods.”
To empower our patients toward Optimum Health and Optimum Weight requires effective, powerful, personalized strategies. One of those strategies is the use of medically designed meal replacements, a strategy that can make it easy to eat for health. Consider these 3 reasons that our patients choose to embrace meal replacements as a core method for achieving health and weight goals:
Reason #1: Meal replacements taste great, just like other “favorite foods”.
“Dr. Tague, I love the meal replacements! The shakes and bars taste great, and they make dieting easy!” This is a typical comment I receive from patients. Eating for health does not have to mean leaving pleasure and great taste in the past!
With dozens of different meal replacement options on hand, with a variety of types, tastes, textures, and levels of convenience, there is almost always something for everyone. There is a reason for options and choices. Taste preferences and food type preferences vary from person to person and depend on the time of day and circumstances. Choice is important for finding options for everyone. In fact, it is critical. Taste and pleasure matter, options are mandatory!
Reason #2: Meal replacements deliver weight loss and weight control.
Think about breakfast as an example. Most breakfast foods are loaded with carbohydrates and sugars or fats, all of which contribute to weight gain. By starting the day off with wrong nutrition (or worse yet, no nutrition, by skipping breakfast!), you can almost guarantee that you will have some weight gain that particular day.
Remember, weight gain is cumulative, so even a smidgen of weight gain some days will add up over a year. Each “extra” 25 calories per day can lead to 2 ½ pounds of weight gain per year, that’s 25 unwanted pounds between ages 30 and 40 and another 25 pounds between 40 and 50. Yikes!
Grain products (cereals, breads, pastries, donuts, etc), sugars (cereals, flavored coffees, pastries, etc), and fats (bacon, breakfast sandwiches, fried eggs) can and do contribute significantly to American’s weight gain trends. Remember, the average American gains more than 30 unwanted, unhealthy pounds by age 50. The routine foods are typically to blame. By making meal replacements, with calories, nutrition, and portions automatically controlled, you can put a halt to unwanted weight gain and achieve weight loss. Breakfast is a great meal to control first and forever!
During our rapid weight reduction plans for losing 30, 40, or more pounds, we often recommend that most or all meals and snacks be in the form of our medically designed meal replacements. Then, for long-term weight maintenance, many patients use 1-2 meal replacements at breakfast and 1 for a morning and afternoon snack. Those wanting additional weight loss and those who struggle with weight regain tendencies often find that using more keeps them in control.
Researchers in the Nutrition Journal in 2010 stated the following: “The clinically significant weight loss” achieved in 93% of patients using meal replacements for weight loss was roughly twice as much as current medications for obesity. Further, 75% of those using meal replacements for weight loss achieved more than a 10% weight loss vs only 25% who relied on grocery store and restaurant food. Meal replacements are an effective and powerful tool on the difficult journey of weight loss.
A group of consecutive patients going on our strict Center for Nutrition “Meal Replacements Only” plan for 12 weeks lost 43.3 pounds on average. Meal replacements are powerful for getting in control of your weight. We see them work every day in our patients. More meal replacements = more weight loss!
Reason #3: Meal replacements are affordable.
At around $2.50 per serving for a simple breakfast or typical snack, our medically designed meal replacements deliver on convenience, taste, weight loss, and price… all in the same package.
How about a full meal with 30-35 grams of protein for around $5? When quality is taken in to account, it’s hard to find something that delivers the same value for the price. Many “unhealthy” lunches out are priced at $8-12, with health and weight consequences being the main cost! Read nutrition labels on common foods to see what has 15-17 grams of protein per serving with only 100-200 calories. There are not many options!
When health improvements are considered, meal replacements are an investment with potentially huge financial and health rewards, not to mention the convenience and time saved. Remember, being overweight with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and at high risk of diabetes and heart disease is a huge financial burden with loss of health and loss of life at stake. Investing in nutrition can deliver outstanding returns, and it doesn’t have to cost any more than typical foods!
Regardless of where your health lies on the spectrum, meal replacements may play a role in helping you achieve and maintain your Optimum Weight and Health.
Consider your current health, the direction it’s headed and decide what long term strategies make the most sense for you. If meal replacements are part of your approach, put them to work for you so the benefits start sooner rather than later and enjoy the taste, the health and the weight benefits… it’s worth it!
For Optimum Health,
Rick Tague, M.D., M.P.H.