How do they work?
Proteins have a ‘thermic’ effect, meaning that they create heat in the body through the process of digestion. Since proteins take a lot of energy to digest, you burn more calories after eating a meal high in protein,” says nutritionist Rosie Mansfield.
What to look for
Accredited practising dietitian Duncan Hunter, has the following advice:
If the protein powder doubles as a meal is to check for a greater proportion of protein than carbs and minimise sugars.
Many popular meal replacement-style ‘shakes’ can contain up to 50 per cent sugar! Compare labels’ 100 g column for an easy reference.
If you’re buying a VLCD (Very Low Calorie Diets), seek out added fibre.
Also check whether the product is part of a program with online or face-to-face support.
How much and when
Any time you’d normally eat a meal.
A meal replacement should provide slightly more energy than a snack – think 1,000 to 1,200 kJ compared to 400 to 600 kJ.