Meal Replacement Shakes & Intermittent Fasting: Is It Safe?

Meal Replacement Shakes & Intermittent Fasting: Is It Safe?

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Last Updated on May, 2022

If you’re interested in health-related news and keeping yourself fit, you’ve probably heard of intermittent fasting. It’s a relatively newer type of eating pattern which can help you with various things if done correctly.

Many have heard about intermittent fasting, but not all are familiar with it. If you’re in the same boat and want to learn more about it, we can help. We’ll be discussing some of the most essential details, including how meal replacement shakes fit into the pattern.

Lots of people like these drinks and use them for weight loss. But, they don’t know whether they’re safe to drink during intermittent fasting. If you’re looking to learn more about how meal replacement shakes and intermittent fasting go together, continue reading to find out.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Meal Replacement Shakes & Intermittent Fasting

You must know exactly what intermittent fasting is before learning how meal replacement shakes can work with it. (1)

One of the most common misconceptions that people have about this is that it’s a type of diet. That’s not true!

Intermittent fasting doesn’t specify what types of foods you should be eating. Instead, it only determines when you can eat whatever you wish to eat. You can only eat during the specified time while fasting for the rest of the day. 

It’s a simple but very effective technique with many benefits. That’s why it’s popular in the health community and why you might’ve heard about it recently. (2)

Can Meal Replacement Shakes Work With Intermittent Fasting?

Meal Replacement Shakes Intermittent Fasting

As we already mentioned, intermittent fasting is a technique. It doesn’t have any restrictions on what you can eat or can’t. It only tells you when you can eat it. That said, meal replacement shakes are perfectly good for intermittent fasting.

When you’re in your window of eating, you can drink one of these for extra nutrients and health benefits. But, keep in mind that this is only the case when you’re in your window. You cannot drink meal replacement shakes while intermittent fasting.

By the very definition, this kind of fast breaks when you consume something filled with calories. So, if you drink a meal replacement shake while fasting, it will break your fast. You can only drink these during the eating window and not while fasting.

The body also needs protein. During intermittent fasting, how much protein is needed can vary depending on your goals. At least 50 grams a day is important for most people, but you can turn this up to nearly 80-100 grams if you’re looking to lose weight and build muscle.

This is another thing that meal replacement shakes can help with, as a lot of them are ideal sources of protein. Depending on your physique and goals, you should pick out a shake with lots of protein inside it so that you get the needed amount during intermittent fasting.

Keep in mind that lots of these shakes can be unhealthy in the long run because of all their ingredients. If you intend to drink these, we recommend finding a healthy meal replacement shake one with lots of nutrients and zero artificial ingredients inside of it.

Different Variations of Intermittent Fasting

An important detail about intermittent fasting is that there are many different variations of it. All these do the same things, but they do so differently. Here’s more detail about the most popular ones:

  • 16/8 Method: By far, the most popular type of intermittent fasting is the 16/8 method. In this method, you limit your eating times to only 8 hours of the day while fasting for the remaining 16 hours. For example, you can eat from 12 PM-8 PM, but no other time.
  • The Warrior Diet: This is a more straightforward kind of intermittent fasting. There are no time restrictions for when you can eat food. But, you can only eat a proper meal once—for example, only small healthy snacks during the day and a huge, healthy meal at night.
  • 5:2 Diet: In this one, you can eat exactly how you usually would during five days of the week. But, you can eat only 600 calories at most during any two remaining days of the week. Good meal replacements can be an especially ideal source of nutrition in this diet.

Those are a few of the most popular ones that you’ll see others trying. There are some other good options, such as Eat-Stop-Eat, Spontaneous Meal Skipping, and more. But, the ones we’ve discussed are famous and beneficial. (3)

How Intermittent Fasting Works?

Regardless of the different ways you can try intermittent fasting, they all work the same way. The entire point of this eating pattern is to stay healthy and lose any excess fat by forcing your body to eat away at fat. (4)

When you eat regularly at set times and fast at other times, your body starts to burn away the fat stored inside for extra energy. When this happens, you lose weight over time and begin to feel healthier. But, this is only possible if you follow the eating pattern correctly without exception.

Related: How much weight can you lose on meal replacement shakes

Is Intermittent Fasting Safe?

Meal replacement shake

Many people have concerns about whether intermittent fasting is safe because of all the hours one goes without food. These are valid concerns that many people express. But, they can rest assured knowing that they are entirely safe.

There’s nothing to worry about when you’re following intermittent fasting patterns. But that’s only the case if you’re following a way that’s safe and popular. All the options we mentioned above are good for you and completely safe. 

Professionals have tested them, and thousands of people follow them. You can, too, if you’re looking to become healthier while cutting down on some pounds. But, don’t try to create a method of your own for this type of fasting. It will likely get you hurt in one way or another.

You can avoid this by following intermittent fasting plans recommended by health experts. Another vital thing to know is that intermittent fasting may not suit everyone. (5)

Many people might not be able to follow these eating patterns because of medical conditions or other reasons of the sort. If you’re worried about this being the case for yourself, we recommend that you get some help from your doctor. They’ll be able to guide you depending on your specific needs.

Pros and Cons of Intermittent Fasting

There are both advantages and disadvantages to intermittent fasting. It’s up to you to decide if you’re willing to face the benefits at the risk of facing the cons by learning more about them. That said, here’s more detail about both the pros and cons of intermittent fasting:

Pros
  • One of the most prominent and popular pros of intermittent fasting is that it helps with weight loss. These eating patterns reduce your calorie intake and increase the rate at which calories burn, making them exceptional for losing weight.
  • A great benefit of intermittent fasting is that it helps you reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation causes many chronic diseases, which you can avoid thanks to these eating patterns.
  • Intermittent fasting also helps people with their brain health. That’s because the fasting patterns aid with the production of new nerve cells inside the body. This enables you to develop a better memory and grants other benefits.
  • Along with helping your brain, intermittent fasting also helps with the heart. That’s because it enables you to deal with bad cholesterol and other harmful things which can result in illnesses related to the heart.
  • On top of all these benefits, these eating patterns aid our bodies against diseases. You’re much less likely to suffer from different types of cancers, diabetes, and other illnesses while following intermittent fasting techniques.
  • All these advantages combined mean that intermittent fasting can help you live longer. That’s because they keep you at an ideal weight, prevent diseases, help the brain, and do other things for our body that keep us healthy.
Cons
  • At the start of the plan, you’ll likely feel a lot of hunger and tiredness. That’s because your body is getting used to the new eating pattern. This might result in nausea and ultimately cause a lack of productivity for a while.
  • Intermittent fasting could make you feel weak as well. When you eat much less than you’re used to, it starts to cause weakness in the body due to a lack of energy. This is a common drawback that most people will feel at the start.
  • Because of hunger and weakness, many people will overcompensate for their fasting by eating too much food when the fast ends. This leads to heartburn and various other issues. You can avoid this by creating a diet plan for the eating window and following it.

Conclusion

The short answer to all your questions is that meal replacement shakes are great for those who are intermittent fasting. It’s a simple and convenient way to get lots of nutrients when it’s time to break your fast, and they’re especially ideal for those that are always busy.

All of the most important details have been shared above. If you’re reading this already then that means there’s a good chance you’ve read through it all. So, now that you know all about meal replacements and how they fit in with intermittent fasting, you know how well they go together.

Hopefully all the information shared above was able to help, and that you’re able to make a good decision about drinking these shakes during intermittent fasting accordingly. Just remember the things we said and there’ll be nothing to worry about.

And before you go, if you haven’t yes decided what meal replacement shake you’re gonna go with. I highly suggest you checkout our guide on the best tasting meal shakes. Every one of the shakes listed there are delicious and can fit in with intermittent fasting very well.

REFERENCES:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6128599/
  2. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/intermittent-fasting-surprising-update-2018062914156
  3. https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2021-07-27/fasting-diets-do-they-really-really-work/100315506
  4. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/intermittent-fasting-what-is-it-and-how-does-it-work
  5. https://www.news-medical.net/news/20200526/Intermittent-fasting-does-not-work-for-everyone-study-finds.aspx
About the author
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Jennifer Pantall
Jennifer Pantall is a Nutrition Therapy Practitioner. She loves tennis and has one daughter with a lovely husband that she adores. Jennifer also loves to spend time outdoors playing with her dog or walking in nature. You can find more about me here.
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