Lactose-Free Weight-Loss Shakes

Meal-replacement diets using shakes can help make losing those unwanted pounds a little easier. If you have a difficult time tolerating milk, you may think these types of shakes and diets are out of the question. But there are lactose-free options that can help you lose, too. Consult your doctor before starting any weight-loss diet.

Not all weight-loss shakes are made with milk. (Image: Stockphoto4u/iStock/Getty Images)

Benefits of Meal-Replacement Shakes

According to a 2003 review study published in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, meal-replacement diets that use low-calorie fortified products, such as shakes, are effective and safe at helping people lose weight. This study found that meal replacement products helped people lose an average of 7 to 8 percent of their body weight over a three-month period, compared to 3 to 7 percent of body weight for those following a reduced-calorie diet. Meal-replacement shakes aid in weight loss by helping you control your calorie intake.

Who Needs Lactose Free

Lactose is the sugar found in milk and milk products. People who are lactose-intolerant lack the enzyme needed to digest the milk sugar, which can cause abdominal pain, gas, diarrhea or nausea, and need to avoid or limit their intake of lactose to prevent discomfort. That means people who are lactose-intolerant may not be able to tolerate milk-based meal-replacement shakes.

Finding the Right Shake

Not all weight-loss shakes are milk-based. Reading the food ingredient list can help you identify shakes that are milk- and lactose-free. Avoid any shakes that list milk, milk solids, dried milk, powdered milk, whey or curds in the ingredients list to avoid problems. Some may say clearly on the label that the drink is "lactose free." In fact, many of the popular meal-replacement diet plans offer lactose-free weight-loss shakes.

Losing and Keeping It Off

If you're lactose-intolerant, lactose-free weight-loss shakes may help you lose the weight, but the trick is keeping it off. Many of the meal-replacement diets offer weight-maintenance plans to help. These plans often suggest that you continue to use the meal-replacement shakes, specifically if your weight is starting to creep up. Either way, the key to keeping the weight off is to monitor your calorie intake continuously and stay within your calorie needs for weight maintenance.

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