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1/10/13 4:01 P

It depends of course on the plan. Some meal replacement clinics suggest 18 months follow up--of course with much better results. Accountability is key! You can go to and type in meal replacements and weight loss and read many of the studies. Here is one:

Dietitian Becky

MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,106)
Fitness Minutes: (5,920)
Posts: 3,752
1/10/13 6:29 A

I wonder, are the studies' success rates based on long-term or short-term results? I ask sincerely as I agree there was a lot on short-term success. I've honestly never come across any long-term studies I can recall and would be interested to hear of anyone maintaining optimum health staying on them long term.

ANARIE Posts: 13,179
1/9/13 8:18 P

I think that if you're young and "getting serious about health," then it really is better to learn how to meet your nutrition needs with healthy food. From your Spark Page, it doesn't look as if you're severely underweight or dangerously overweight. The main advantage of meal replacements is speed for those who MUST lose or gain weight fast because their health is in immediate danger, or convenience for those who can't or don't want to understand nutrition. Since you're getting serious, I would assume that you DO want to learn as much as possible about nutrition. A meal replacement isn't going to be particularly helpful for that. What you already know about "eating a balanced diet" will be enough to get you started; an old-fashioned "healthy meal" with plenty of vegetables is going to give you better nutrition than a can/bottle of Ensure, even if it's not perfect. Then read and study to learn what you can about nutrition and slowly tweak what you eat until you feel comfortable with it. But what you already know will get you most of the way to where you need to be. Eat more of what you know is good for you, eat less or none of what you know is junk, and read more about the things you're not sure about.

1/9/13 2:23 P

If you look at weight loss research, you will find that meal replacements have been shown to be highly success with a weight loss program. There is very strong evidence for the use of meal replacements.

A regular Ensure contains 250 calories, 9 grams of protein and about 25-30% of ones vitamin/mineral needs. This is why it works for a breakfast meal replacement. This type weight loss program is not for everyone---but for those looking for greater structure and portion control it does work.

Once again, we need more info from the original poster on how she plans to use them.

Be sure to plan healthy, balance meals and snacks for the rest of the day and get adequate fiber (for this will be missing).

SP Registered Dietitian Becky

Edited by: DIETITIANBECKY at: 1/9/2013 (14:24)
ALLICIAC SparkPoints: (24,321)
Fitness Minutes: (6,253)
Posts: 146
1/9/13 12:49 P

I wouldn't recommend them unless you have a medical need for it. I'm a nutritionist, and at work we only give Ensure to women who aren't gaining enough weight during their pregnancy. It's loaded with calories and sugar and probably won't leave you feeling satisfied, so you'll probably grab something else to eat after it.

If you start eating a variety of foods each day, you shouldn't have to take multiple pills everyday. May want to try just a regular multivitamin, but you shouldn't have to take all kinds of things.

FP4HLOSER Posts: 968
1/8/13 1:57 P

The problem with Ensure is the sugar in it. The first 3 ingredients are water, corn syrup solids and sugar! It also has 350 calories (for Ensure Plus or Complete) can eat a LOT of food for 350 calories! Take a vitamin and eat real food! When I worked in a hospital Ensure was what we gave the patients who would not eat to help them GAIN weight!

Edited by: FP4HLOSER at: 1/8/2013 (14:10)
1/8/13 1:54 P

YES, meal replacement shakes can be used in a weight loss plan---and Ensure is a perfect example. This has been shown to be an effective weight loss strategy.

But for you...
how many do you plan to use daily?
are you planning health meals for the rest of the day and meeting your nutritional needs?

SP Dietitian Becky

MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,106)
Fitness Minutes: (5,920)
Posts: 3,752
1/8/13 1:27 P

I would choose vegetables, fruits, meats, and healthy fats and exercise for optimal health.

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
1/8/13 1:18 P

"...getting serious about my health and fitness and am looking for something that has all the nutrition I need without taking multiple pills."

That would be "food".

Meal replacement shakes are NOT a healthy way to eat long term.

Using shakes to replace meals is not supported by Spark or most of its members.

1/8/13 1:13 P

I for one haven't -- shakes don't do it for me.

Interesting article...

I haven't seen the nutritional label but if this is right it is sugar-water with vitamins added. I would rather have oatmeal or a peice of toast and pop some vitamins.

Good luck!

SHAPE8 SparkPoints: (49)
Fitness Minutes: (80)
Posts: 1
1/8/13 12:34 P

Hi everyone,
I was wondering if anyone drinks Ensure Complete Nutrition Shake or if you have drank Ensure Complete Nutrition Shake for over a month? What has been your experience? Have you had any negative side effects or noticed positive side effects? The reason I ask is because I am 23 and am getting serious about my health and fitness and am looking for something that has all the nutrition I need without taking multiple pills.


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