Slim Shakes and Diet Pills

With Australia ranked one of the fattest nations in the developed world, it is not surprising that weight loss and weight management are primary health concerns. Similar to the United States, it seems our affinity for energy-dense food outweighs the amount of energy burned during daily life and the exercise we participate in – at least for a high percentage of the population.

For many Australians, a gain in weight is often blamed on a lack of available time to fulfil a regular exercise plan. In fact, it has been indicated that a large proportion of the population actually eat their lunch at their desks because of being ‘too busy’. So, if like many other Australians, you feel that you don’t have enough time to exercise, then it’s worthwhile monitoring your intake in order to successfully manage your weight.

Slim shakes seem like a good option, right?

Some people will swear by them, but this doesn’t make them the best option. Slim (or diet) shakes have been popular for many years now – so popular, in fact, that they are widely available in local grocery shops in addition to “health food” stores and chemists. Unfortunately, like many other ‘fad’ diet plans, slim shakes only provide a temporary fix. They are composed of a combination of vitamins, minerals and calorie controlled additives and flavouring. The key nutrients of which could very easily be digested using a low calorie intake of “real food”.

Slim shakes: Limiting factors

Slim shakes are limited by a number of factors, including:

Limited nutrients: There are only so many nutrients that you can pack into a flavoured powder. As some people have different nutritional requirements, this means that not all slim shakes will be suitable for a particular individual.

Lack of variation: Another issue is that slim shakes are only available in a number of flavours. If you are an individual who likes a bit of variation, the rotation between chocolate, strawberry and vanilla is likely to be tiresome. In comparison, there are hundreds of ‘real food’ variations that could keep your taste buds entertained!

It feels good to masticate: Mastication is the process of chewing food and research has suggested that the process of mastication enhances satiety (i.e. chewing may help you feel more satisfied by your meal – or simply, more full). This process is of course, something that you don’t partake in when sipping down a shake.

Is there a time where slim shakes are a good option?

There are some circumstances where incorporating slim shakes into a weight loss plan can be beneficial. An example of this may be where a person is required to lose a substantial amount of weight for health related reasons. In other words, meal replacement shakes may be advocated for people require weight-loss surgery (e.g. gastric bypass) during the lead up to the operation. In these situations, the consumption of diet shakes is monitored under the supervision of a qualified practitioner – and post surgical dietary counselling is required to instil a long term change the type of food that is consumed.

What about a slim shake or protein shake when I’m late for work or heading to work from the gym?

There are going to be occasions where you feel you don’t have time to sit down to eat an adequate meal. If you are running out the door to get somewhere and haven’t had the chance to eat, a diet shake can be a better option than picking something up the local tuck-shop or 7-11. Similarly, if you’ve just finished at the gym and won’t have the chance to eat within a few hours – a shake can help to replenish your body with the protein and carbohydrates.

Enough about diet shakes, what about diet pills?

Diet pills have to be one of the most appealing things ever! Lose weight! Lose it fast! Lose it without effort! Sounds great, doesn’t it? There are a number of issues with weight loss pills but listing these is beyond the scope of this article. If you feel the need or desire to take weight loss pills, I’d strongly advise you consult your doctor. Whilst there are many over the counter weight loss pills available, and even more available to purchase online, there are many that haven’t been proven to be effective and furthermore, some that probably aren’t safe to have.