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How to Lose Weight With Carnation Instant Breakfast

author image Jill Corleone, RDN, LD
Jill Corleone is a registered dietitian and health coach who has been writing and lecturing on diet and health for more than 15 years. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Diabetes Self-Management and in the book "Noninvasive Mechanical Ventilation," edited by John R. Bach, M.D. Corleone holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition.
How to Lose Weight With Carnation Instant Breakfast
Blend a small banana with your Carnation Instant Breakfast to make a smoothie. Photo Credit: villagemoon/iStock/Getty Images

Carnation Instant Breakfast is marketed as a healthy alternative for breakfast for those on the go, but it can also help you reach your weight-loss goals. As with any diet plan, the key is to control your overall calorie intake. When used to replace a meal or two, Carnation Instant Breakfast can help you control those calories to lose the weight. Consult your doctor to discuss diet and use of the commercial breakfast-replacement drink for weight loss before making changes to your eating habits.

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Calories in Carnation Instant Breakfast

If you want to lose weight drinking Carnation Instant Breakfast, you need to include the calories from the drink in your reduced-calorie diet plan. One serving of the milk chocolate flavor Carnation Instant Breakfast powder mixed with 1 cup of nonfat milk contains 220 calories, while the ready-to-go version provides 240 calories per serving. Most people can safely lose weight by limiting their intake to 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day. That means one serving of Carnation Instant Breakfast meets 15 to 20 percent of your daily calorie needs.

To save calories on your weight-loss diet, consider No Sugar Added Carnation Instant Breakfast, which has 150 calories when mixed with 1 cup of nonfat milk.

Using Carnation Instant Breakfast for Weight Loss

Carnation Instant Breakfast can help you lose weight when used in place of a meal, similar to how you might use a commercial weight-loss drink. For instance, you could drink a smoothie make with chocolate Carnation Instant Breakfast, a cup of skim milk and a small banana for a quick breakfast -- containing about 300 calories -- then eat a healthy, calorie-controlled meal at lunch and dinner. A 2003 review study published in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders found that these types of diets are safe and effective at helping people lose significant amounts of weight and improve overall health. Meal replacements work for dieters because they not only aid in calorie control but are also convenient. Additionally, as a fortified food, Carnation Instant Breakfast can help you meet your vitamin and mineral needs.

No Sugar Added Carnation Instant Breakfast and Fiber

In addition to saving you calories, the No Sugar Added Carnation Instant Breakfast is a good source of fiber with 4 grams per serving. The regular versions of the meal-replacement drink have no fiber. Fiber in food aids in weight loss by helping control hunger. A 2015 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that adding more fiber to your diet is as effective at helping people lose weight as the American Heart Association diet.

Meal Replacements Aren't for Everyone

If you have food allergies, Carnation Instant Breakfast may not make the best diet supplement for you. One of the main ingredients in both the powdered mix and the ready-to-go drink is milk, so if you're allergic to milk or are lactose-intolerant, Carnation Instant Breakfast may not be safe for you to drink. The label on the package also notes that the drink is made in a facility that also processes wheat and soy, and there is a risk of cross-contamination.

Tips and Serving Suggestions

You can use Carnation Instant Breakfast as a base to create your own healthy drink. When using the powdered versions, you can use a number of different liquids for mixing, such as soy, coconut or almond milk to vary the flavor and calorie content. Nut butters are also a good way to alter the flavor, plus they add protein and healthy fat. Bananas, strawberries, blueberries and mangoes mix well with drinks like Carnation Instant Breakfast, too, and add fiber and other health-promoting nutrients. Be sure to pay close attention to the ingredients you use and adjust your calorie intake accordingly.

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