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What Is a Good Substitute for a Meal | Australia

by Hamza Jamal |

Skipping meals can wreak havoc on your energy levels, focus and overall health. But sometimes life gets hectic, and sitting down for a full, balanced meal isn't possible. That's where meal substitutes come in – convenient, nutrient-dense options that provide the nourishment your body needs in a pinch.

So, what makes a good substitute for a square meal? Let's explore some of the best meal replacement options and how they can fuel your busy lifestyle without compromising your well-being and energy levels.

Meal Replacement Shakes: Nutrition in a Glass

When you need a quick meal on the go, no other options are as convenient as a meal replacement shake. The best formulas pack in high-quality protein, essential fats, slow-release carbs, ample fibre and a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals. Basically, everything your body needs to thrive.

Premium meal replacement shakes like vybey Complete Meal Powder go the extra mile, infusing additional functional ingredients to support brain health, immunity, and digestion, including pre-and probiotics and nootropics for cognitive performance.

Combine a scoop or two with your favourite milk at home or work or chuck a pre-portioned sachet in your gym bag. In under a minute, you've got a filling, nutritionally complete meal that'll power you through whatever the day throws your way.

What To Look For In a Shake

What To Look For In a Shake

Balanced Macronutrients: Aim High

Your shake should closely mimic the macronutrient balance of a well-rounded meal. That means ample high-quality protein (at least 15-20 grams), moderate healthy fats, and some slow-digesting carbs for sustained energy.

Protein is key for keeping you full, preserving lean muscle, and it contributes to the normal maintenance of bones, so don't settle for skimpy amounts. If you're watching your carb intake, look for a higher ratio of protein to carbs to keep blood sugar stable.

Micronutrient Density: The More the Merrier

While macros are undeniably important, don't sleep on micronutrients. A truly complete meal replacement should supply a hefty percentage (think 20% or more) of your daily needs for essential vitamins and minerals.

Some key players to look for are bone-building calcium and vitamin D, magnesium for energy production and muscle function, B vitamins to keep your nervous system humming, and antioxidants like vitamins C and E to neutralise daily damage from stress and pollution.

Functional Ingredients: Bonuses That Bring It

The best meal replacement shakes go beyond the basics to infuse bonus ingredients that take your health to the next level. Some all-star add-ins to look for:

  •         Nootropics like Lion's Mane mushroom and Bacopa Monnieri boost cognitive function and focus. Note that nootropics are not meal replacements on their own, but they are fantastic ingredients to have in shakes.
  •         Greens blends bursting with antioxidants and phytonutrients to support detoxification and immunity (if you’re mostly interested in greens, check out vybey Braincare Smart Greens).
  •         Fibre-rich prebiotics and gut-friendly probiotics for better digestion and a balanced microbiome.

Protein Bars: Handy in a Pinch, But Lacking Nutrition

Protein bars are less nutritionally complete than meal replacement shakes and sometimes have an ingredient list as long as your arm. But they have come a long way from yesteryear's chalky, artificially sweetened bricks. 

Today's top picks are made with wholesome ingredients you'd find in your kitchen, such as dates, nuts, seeds, and high-quality protein.

Look for one with 200-400 calories and 20+ grams of muscle-building protein to suffice as a meal in a pinch. Look at varieties with ample fibre from whole food sources like rye to satisfy you and keep your bowel function humming along smoothly.

Of course, not all bars are created equal, so read those labels carefully. Skip anything with an ingredient list that reads like a chemistry textbook. The front of the label can be deceiving, so flip it over and make sure there's no unwanted artificial junk lurking in your "healthy" bar.

Meal replacement shakes are always a better choice than protein bars, so use shakes when you have the time.

Whole Food Favourites: A Little Variety

While meal replacement shakes are incredibly convenient, variety is the spice of life, and you can craft fast, healthy snacks with simple whole-food ingredients. The key is to focus on foods that pack a lot of nutrition into a small package.

Some stellar options:

  •         Greek yoghurt parfaits: Layer protein-rich Greek yoghurt with berries, chopped nuts, seeds and a drizzle of honey for a meal that eats like a sundae but is loaded with protein, healthy fats, fibre, and antioxidants.
  •         Nut butter and banana sandwiches: Spread your favourite all-natural nut butter on whole grain bread and top with sliced banana. The healthy fats, protein and slow-release carbs will keep you energised and your blood sugar stable.
  •         Hard-boiled eggs: Don't underestimate the power of this humble snack. With 6 grams of protein, they're incredibly portable and can be jazzed up with everything from avocado to hummus to hot sauce.

You can also make your meal replacement shakes more interesting with dates, bananas, or some berries if you crave a bit more variety.

The Importance of Planning Ahead

The best defence against unhealthy meal skipping is a good offence. Take a few minutes at the beginning of each week to stock up on meal replacement essentials, so you're prepared when hunger strikes.

Toss a tub of vybey in your desk drawer at work, keep a stash of protein bars in your glove compartment, and prep a dozen hard-boiled eggs to grab throughout the week. You'll be far less likely to resort to junk food or succumb to ravenous hunger later on.

Why You Should Use Meal Replacement Options

Traditional sit-down meals aren't always feasible, and that's where meal replacements shine. Here's why you should consider adding them to your nutritional arsenal:

  •         Meal replacements like vybey Complete Meal Powder are ready in seconds, letting you nourish your body even when you're short on time.
  •         The best meal replacement options provide all the macro and micronutrients your body needs in a single serving.
  •         Meal substitutes are fantastic for calorie counting, so whether you're looking to shed pounds or gain muscle, they can help you hit your goals.
  •         Meal replacements often cost less per portion than a standard meal, making them a budget-friendly choice – perfect during the cost-of-living crisis!

Meal Replacements Made Easy with vybey

Meal Replacements Made Easy with vybey

 It's hard to top vybey Complete Meal Powder for the ultimate meal replacement convenience. This scientific formula provides all the protein, carbohydrates, fats, fibre, vitamins, and minerals your body needs to thrive, plus brain-boosting nootropics and gut-supportive pre- and probiotics—basically, nutrition and then some.

With vegan-friendly chocolate and vegetarian-friendly vanilla flavours, there's a vybey variety to satisfy every palate and dietary preference. Just shake and sip—it doesn't get any easier than that.

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