Can meal replacement shakes help me achieve my wedding weight-loss goal?

Benefits of Meal Replacement Shakes

Meal replacement shakes come in a variety of flavors, ranging from chocolate and vanilla to kiwi strawberry and cappuccino. Cans of ready-to-drink meal replacements don't require refrigeration, but you may opt to pour them over ice before drinking. Powdered meal replacements are typically reconstituted with water, but can be mixed in a blender for a smoother consistency. For a creamier shake, add a handful of ice cubes to the water and powder before blending.

In addition to easy prep, meal replacement shakes are nutrient powerhouses. Check out the nutritional labeling. You'll find they're high in protein and low in fats, sugars and carbohydrates. Most have about two dozen minerals and vitamins.

If you're a bride-to-be with a clear goal in mind (like looking great in your wedding gown), you can boost the slimming effects of meal replacement shakes by adding regular exercise to the mix. There are about 3,500 calories in a pound of fat, and you can expect to burn a pound or two per week with shakes and exercise.

Of course, revving your metabolism won't do much good if you're supplementing meal replacement shakes with cheeseburgers and potato chips. Find out how to overcome cravings -- and other challenges -- on the next page.

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