Is Ensure Meal Replacement Better For Weight Loss Or Weight Gain?

As you're running late for work, you run into the convenience store and stare at that delicious blueberry muffin. You immediately think, "TOO MUCH SUGAR" as you try to remain health-conscious. A meal-replacement drink might be the perfect solution for you, and Ensure has a few products that offer "complete, balanced nutrition" such as Ensure Original and Ensure Plus. According to the Ensure website, Ensure Original has 220 calories, 9 grams of protein, and 15 grams of sugar. Ensure Plus has 350 calories, 16 grams of protein, and 20 grams of sugar.

Since Ensure is a nutritional drink, you might be wondering whether it is also good as a weight-loss meal replacement. Although Ensure might help tide you over between meals, their products aren't designed for you to lose weight, according to the Ensure website. Ensure's line of nutritional drinks is mostly designed to supplement a diet. Ensure Original, Ensure Plus, and Ensure Enlive help people attain or maintain a healthy weight. Older adults tend to lose their appetite and find it difficult to get adequate nutrition (via Healthline). The drinks also help supplement the diet with vitamins and minerals. The protein in them can maintain muscle mass and help the body fight infection, according to Aging Care.

Using meal replacments for weight loss

For weight loss, meal replacements can be fine if you're short on time, but you should avoid using them to replace all your meals, according to You should also look at your diet for the rest of the day. It makes little sense to have a nutrient-rich meal replacement drink and then eat pizza and chips at other meals.

Meal replacements might settle your stomach until you have time to get something a little more substantial in your system, but a liquid meal might also have you reaching for other snacks because they're less satisfying, according to Women's Health. If you find that you're hungry after a meal replacement drink, add some fiber-rich fruit.

Many meal replacement drinks are loaded with sugar and preservatives, and some have sugar alcohol, which might make you gassy, according to Women's Health. Artificial sweeteners might lower the calorie content, but they can make you crave sweet food and make fruit taste bland. 

A good meal replacement drink has between 300 to 400 calories and at least 15 grams of protein, which makes Ensure Plus a good meal replacement. Any meal replacement drink that has 250 calories or less is probably best to use as a snack, according to Women's Health.