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Meal Replacements for weight control

Meal Replacements for weight control - HerbaChoices

Meal Replacements for weight control

Herbalife F1 shakes and bars are Meal Replacements to be used as a weight management tool. For this reason they are widely consumed to replace daily meals. If the objective is to lose weight, the recommendation is to have 2 shakes (or bars) a day plus a balanced meal while to maintain weight, the strategy will be to have 1 shake (or bar) a day plus 2 balanced meals.

The beneficial effect of F1 shakes and bars relies on being a nutrient a dense meal meaning that it has a concentrated amount of nutrients (high protein) within a low caloric range. One shake serving provides around 200kcal and 18g of protein (13g in the case of F1 Bars) when prepared with semi skimmed milk. It provides more than 20 vitamins and minerals which is crucial for keeping an adequate nutrient selection while following a low calorie diet. Each F1 serving will also deliver essential omega 6 fatty acid- linoleic acid. All this nutrient’s selection assure that Formula 1 shakes and bars replace a meal in a way that provides most of the necessary nutrients expected to be present in a balanced meal but in the form of a shake or bar.

Excess weight and obesity are widespread issues these days, considering that around 40% of the global adult population is overweight and 13% is classed as obese1.

Despite all the efforts that have been done to reduce it, obesity prevalence has nearly tripled during the last 40 years1.

The fundamental cause of excess weight is the imbalance between the calories consumed and the calories expended that comes with the increased consumption of energy-dense foods, and the reduction of physical activity due to the increasingly sedentary nature of many forms of work, new modes of transportation, and urban lifestyle1.

Therefore, the main strategies in order to restore the balance between calories consumed and calories expended would be to consciously create opportunities for a more active lifestyle and a healthy diet. But, as easy as it might sound, there are many people who struggle to make the right food choices, often due to the lack of time, the need to eat outside home, the increased portion sizes being served and the availability, convenience and palatability of high-energy but low-nutrient dense food2-5.

Within this context, Meal Replacements for weight control can be an innovative and practical tool, especially for those to whom healthy food choices might represent a challenge6.

What are Meal Replacements?

Meal Replacements for weight control are ready-to-use or easy-to-prepare food products that contain a limited amount of calories packed with high quality proteins and essential nutrients. As part of a low calorie diet, they can be used to replace one or two meals per day to help manage body weight. The nutritional requirements for Meal Replacements might vary slightly according to the relevant jurisdiction. In European Union countries, there are very concise and detailed regulations on the nutritional composition –energy content, amount and type of fats, quantity and quality of proteins, and vitamin and mineral content which are needed in order to fall into the meal replacement category7.

How should they be used?

When looking for weight loss, two of the main meals of the day should be replaced by these products while maintaining a reduced calorie diet. Apart from weight loss, Meal Replacements also help to prevent the lost weight from returning. In this case, the recommendation is to replace only one main meal of the day within the context of an energy restricted diet8,9.

How do they work?

According to scientific research, the use of Meal Replacements makes it easier to follow a weight management diet mainly because they offer a practical portion-and-energy-controlled meal6,8,10,11. Besides, it is known that weight loss comes with an unwelcome loss of lean mass12, Meal Replacements provide proteins, which contribute to the maintenance of muscle mass12,13.


  1. World Health Organization. Obesity and overweight Fact sheet, October 2017. Available at: [Accessed 27 Dec. 2017].
  2. Berthoud, H.R. The neurobiology of food intake in an obesogenic environment. Proc Nutr Soc. 2012. 71(4):478-487.
  3. Passilly-Degrace, P. et al. Is the taste of fat regulated? Biochimie 2014. 96:3-7.
  4. Peters , J.C. Combating obesity: challenges and choices. Obes Res. 2003.(11S):7S-11S.
  5. Polsky, S., et al. Obesity: epidemiology, etiology and prevention. En: Ross, A.C., Caballero, B., Cousins, R.J., Tucker, K.L. and Ziegler, T.R. (Eds.) Modern nutrition in health and disease. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, USA. 2014. pp. 777-778.
  6. Raynor, H.A. et al. Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Interventions for the Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2016. 116(1):129-47.
  7. Commission Regulation (EU) 2016/1413 of 24 August 2016 amending Regulation (EU) No 432/2012 establishing a list of permitted health claims made on foods other than those referring to the reduction of disease risk and to children’s development and health. OJ L 230, 25.8.2016, p. 8–15
  8. EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA). Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to meal replacements for weight control (as defined in Directive 96/8/EC on energy restricted diets for weight loss) and reduction in body weight (ID 1417), and maintenance of body weight after weight loss (ID 1418) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006. EFSA Journal 2010; 8(2):1466
  9. EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies. Statement on the conditions of use for health claims related to meal replacements for weight control. EFSA Journal 2015;13(11):4287
  10. Heymsfield, S.B. Meal replacements and energy balance. Physiology & Behavior 2010. 100 90–94
  11.  Rolls, B.J. What is the role of portion control in weight management? Int J Obes (Lond).2014. 38 Suppl 1:S1-8.
  12. Cava E, Yeat NC, Mittendorfer B. Preserving Healthy Muscle during Weight Loss. Adv Nutr. 2017 May 15;8(3):511-519.
  13. EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA). Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to protein and increase in satiety leading to a reduction in energy intake (ID 414, 616, 730), contribution to the maintenance or achievement of a normal body weight (ID 414, 616, 730), maintenance of normal bone (ID 416) and growth or maintenance of muscle mass (ID 415, 417, 593, 594, 595, 715) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006. EFSA Journal 2010;8(10):1811.