Why Meal Replacements Make Sense
It is estimated that as much as 95 percent of people on a weight loss diet will likely fail. And if they do lose weight, a large percentage not only put the weight back on in the future, they may even add extra pounds. This is a devasting cycle for patients who are struggling to achieve optimal health. It’s widely known that obesity is a contributing factor in nearly every major health concern. Helping patients achieve normal body weight is a key clinical goal.
It’s important to support patients during and after weight loss so they don’t fall victim to the “yo-yo” effect. Weight cycling when a patient loses and then regains 5 to 10 pounds per cycle is clearly linked to poor health. This cycle can also increase the proportion of fat specifically around the waistline, which compounds the patient’s health issues.
Research shows that adding a meal replacement to the clinical protocol for patients who are trying to lose weight may be the answer. For example, a 2017 study published in the journal Obesity Facts demonstrated that a meal replacement-based weight management program helped people who lost weight maintain that weight loss for a period of 36 months. This is consistent with a 2010 study that also showed improvements in a number of health-related parameters including balancing healthy inflammation and oxidative stress. There is also research indicating that meal replacements can help support weight loss and weight maintenance among people diagnosed with diabetes.
Researchers who analyzed six studies in a 2003 meta-analysis published in the International Journal of Obesity concluded: “This first systematic evaluation of randomized controlled trials utilizing PMR [partial meal replacement] plans for weight management suggests that these types of interventions can safely and effectively produce significant sustainable weight loss and improve weight-related risk factors…”
There are several high-quality meal replacement options available to practitioners for their patients. You may want to consider adding this valuable tool to your patient’s weight loss protocol.
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