Having all the rules defined on the article “How to lose weight with Meal replacement Shakes“ (including for diabetics) I’ve searched for and gathered, what I considered to be, the best meal replacement shakes powder on the market. I’ve also taken into account an “acceptable” price and customer’s reviews.
1 -IdealShake® Meal Replacement Shake (Chocolate)
Containing 30 servings, 30 grams per scoop, IdealShake, available at product official site, has a sweet chocolate flavor, from cocoa powder, with only 1 gram of sugar per shake (perfect for diabetics also).
Contains no trans fat and includes healthy fats like Sunflower Oil Creamer, with only 3 grams of total fat per serving.
Packed with Vitamins A, D and low on Sodium, great for reducing the water retention which is perfect for a weight loss diet.
Per serving, there are 11 grams of whey protein isolate.
Patent formula includes Slendesta (an all-natural vegetable protein from potatoes read more at “What is Slendesta ?“), as a natural appetite blocker to reduce cravings.
Compared to the other two meal replacement shakes in this Top 3, this is the one with the better taste. Of course, taste is very subjective, but when I say better I really mean “sweeter”, so it’s easy to make more people happy about it.
Some users found it too sweet, if that’s your opinion too, when preparing your shake, use sugar-free almond or soy milk.
It gets a little gritty, but if you add ice/water and with a good blender it gets more creamy.
The price of $1.50 per serving is very acceptable for the quality of protein, nutrients, natural appetite blocker, good taste, and a free shaker bottle is included.
Comes with 30 Day money back guarantee so, if you are not happy, you’ll get a refund.
Customers say it’s a better and cheaper alternative to Shakeology and rate it as one of the best meal replacement shakes on the market.
Their patent formula really works to reduce your appetite and fight cravings.
If this is the first time you use a meal replacement shake, taste plays a very important role on your motivation when starting a diet plan. The taste of this shake is sweet (despite only containing 1g of sugar) which I like and was appreciated in most of customers’ reviews I’ve found.
The price is very attractive, $1.50 per shake, and that includes a free shaker bottle.
If it’s the first time you are trying these shakes, this should definitely be your choice.
If you have already followed a meal replacement shakes diet, I’d recommend you just to give it a try to for healthy yet good tasting shake and see how it works for you.
Rated as one of the best alternatives to Shakeology by many customers, IdealShake is my Top 1 meal replacement shake because it has the right ingredients that a shakes need to lose weight. Available at IdealShake Official Site
Update: Now IdealShake has stickers attached saying it contains lead. Does it really contain lead ? The answer is from idealshape (the creator of IdealShake®)
“That’s a great question. Lead is not an ingredient that we add into our shake, however many of our ingredients in our shakes come from the ground and lead is a naturally-occurring element in soil! We are required to label our shake canisters with the lead warning simply due to the Prop 65 law out of California. California is the only state that requires this. Our shakes have less than a sweet potato, spinach, brussel sprouts, mixed nuts and collard greens.
I hope this eases your mind.”
2- Vega One – All in One Nutritional Shake
A tub of 29.2 Ounce, contains 20 servings at 41 grams per scoop. In this Top 3 this is the one with the largest scoop (11g more than IdealShake and 7 more grams than RAW Organic Meal Vanilla). On Stock at Amazon.com .
Remember, this shake powder, compared to the other two products on my top 3 list, has a bigger scoop of 41 grams where the other two have around 30 grams.
Per serving (1 scoop 41 grams)
- Only 160 calories
- Low-glycemic: less than 1 gram of Sugar
- No trans fat, low Total Fat of 6 grams
- No Cholesterol, low sodium and potassium levels: perfect for weight loss goals.
- 20 grams of protein (protein source: pea)
- Include superfoods like Açai, mangosteen, shiitake and maqui
- Gluten, Dairy and Soy free
- Vegan Certified
- Probiotics: good for immune and digestive system health
High quality plant-based protein as it’s Grain-Free, Non-GMO verified and soy-free.
No sugar added, 100% Sugar free, no artificial flavors and Vegan Certified.
Doesn’t contain xanthan gum or guar gum, sometimes associated with stomach pain.
Includes probiotics to improve your digestive and immune system health.
This product has a good sweet taste, from stevia leaf (What is Stevia ?), though not as sweet as IdealShake and not as “bad” as RAW Organic Meal Vanilla.
Since taste is very subjective, I’ve searched other customers’ opinions and most of them find the taste to be good or acceptable, and not too sweet or bad.
Vega have improved their formula and this new version has no grains. You can always add ice to make it smoother.
Vega One costs $2.54 per serving, being the most expensive of this Top 3. Remember that is also the one with a bigger scoop size (41 grams).
If you compare with the other two of this Top 3 selection, it’s more expensive, but when you compare in the market the price it is still very good and acceptable when you take into account the ingredients included (superfoods – what are these ?, probiotics – and these ?, sugar-free, protein source) and the taste.
If you are Vegan, than this product is a no brainer. It’s the best vegan meal replacement shake available on the market.
If you are not a Vegan, I would still consider this product as it’s packed with high quality ingredients from a very well-known and respected company.
By far, the best feature of this shake powder is that its ingredients are Non-GMO, grain-free and Vegan certified.
These high standards make the product more expensive than others, but if that is important to you then this is the meal replacement shake for you. Available at Amazon.com .
3- RAW Organic Meal Vanilla by Garden of Life
Containing 33.5 oz (949 g), contains 14 servings of 2 scoops serving or 28 serving of 1 scoop (34 grams). 1 scoop is recommended for snacks or breakfast, and 2 scoops when replacing a lunch or dinner. Available at Amazon.com .
For 1 scoop (34 grams, ideally for breakfast or snacks)
- Only 1 gram of total Fat
- 0 mg of Cholesterol
- 10 mg of sodium: no water retention
- 140 mg of Potassium
- Total Carbohydrate is 8 grams, Only 1 gram of sugar
- 20 grams of Protein: plant-based protein
- 45 Superfoods: for extra nutrients and energy
- Probiotics: helps your immune and digestion system healthy
Perfect for vegans and lactose intolerant, soy allergies, it’s:
- Gluten Free
- Dairy Free
- Lactose Free
- Soy Free
- No Artificial Flavors or Sweeteners
With only 1 gram of sugar, very low levels of sodium and potassium and practically no fat (1g of Total fat), this product meets all the requirements for a meal replacement shake for losing weight, especially for diabetics.
Nutrients and Digestive System
Including 45 natural and non-GMO superfoods, provides a very good selection of nutrients, healthy fats, vitamins, energy and minerals that your body needs.
Probiotics are “good”/healthy bacteria that are beneficial to your immune and digestive system, making digestion easier.
RAW Garden Life it’s a very respected and well-known company, but their shakes are known for their “not so good” taste. Although I must say that this new version of the vanilla flavored shake is a huge improvement to the old version. If you don’t like the taste, I recommend you to add almond extract or vanilla extract to your recipes.
Note: This shake is vanilla flavored with very low sugar levels, so don’t expect the typical sugary vanilla taste.
When using 2 scoops (I only use one as I mentioned earlier) the shake gets really thick so don’t add banana and remember to add juice/water/ice to make it thinner. If you are going for only 1 scoop, the drink is perfect for snacks or breakfast as it doesn’t get so thick.
If you use 1 scoop per shake, which I recommend for breakfast and snacks, one serving costs $1.25. When using 2 scoops it’ll cost $2.50. This is a very good price-quality-healthy ingredients ratio.
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla formula includes superfoods and live probiotics, which will give you energy and improve your digestive system.
It’s very low in sugar, sodium and potassium and this will help you to lose weight.
Being Lactose, Gluten, Vegan and Soy free makes it suitable for most of us.
The taste is not the best, especially the first time, but you can always add ingredients like cinnamon, ginger, and vanilla extra, almond extract, berries to spice it up.
It’s only $1.25 for shake, when using 1 scoop, which is a very good price.
If you are looking to lose weight, this is definitely a candidate for your meal replacement shake. Available at Amazon.com .
Which one is the best for you ?
All the 3 products are perfect meal replacement shakes for losing weight.
With top market products like these to choose from, in the end, it comes to:
1 – IdealShake® Meal Replacement Shake (Chocolate) $1.93 per serving
2 – Vega One – All in One Nutritional Shake costs $2.54 per serving.
3 – RAW Organic Meal Vanilla $1.50 per serving (for snacks or breakfast) or $2.50 per 2 servings
Option 3 is the cheapest when using 1 scoop (34 grams) but option 1 has a better taste and includes a free shaker bottle.
Number 2, is the most expensive but it’s one with the higher ingredient standards.
This is very subjective, but in my opinion, IdealShake® has a good and easy to like taste because of the chocolate flavor.
Vega one is not as “sweet” as IdealShake but contains less sugar.
Garden of Life is the one with a “not so good” taste, but as I said before, you can easily overcome this by adding vanilla/almond extract and other ingredients, as explained in the recipes below, to make your shake tastier.
Vegan One and RAW Organic Meal Vanilla are the winners here because they are both gluten, soy and lactose free.
IdealShake contains milk and soy, so if you are lactose intolerant or have soy allergy it’s not suitable for you.
My personal recommendation
If this is the first time you are trying Meal Replacement Shakes, go for IdealShake. Get it at IdealShake Official Site.
If you are serious about losing weight you’ll continue your diet and you’ll have the chance to try different products, and these 3 products are, in my opinion, the best options on the market today.
So, which one is the winner for you? Let me know with your comment.
Meal Replacement Shakes Recipes
All my favorite meal replacement shakes recipes for weight loss, are published here, and also are available on The Meal Shakes Book.
You can get your own free copy of The Meal Shakes Book.
The book contains 15 meal shakes recipes.
All recipes are low in fat and sugar and contain unhealthy no trans-fats.
Easy recipes with simple ingredients that only take 5 minutes’ preparation.
Get ready to start your meal replacement shakes weight loss plan by following the plan inside the book.
The Meal Shakes Book is available in PDF and iBook formats, and it’s totally FREE. I only ask you to subscribe to my newsletter.
What type of emails I’ll sent you?
Exclusive tips to help you not only lose weight but to create healthier habits. I’ll motivate you to embrace the changes you need to make to feel better and healthier.
Only one email per week, no ads, only exclusive content.
Every email contains an unsubscribe link, so you can unsubscribe any time you want. (More details about the emails I sent here)
Join the other 28 000 amazing people by entering your name and email.
After that you’ll receive a confirmation email, and after you confirm you’ll receive a Welcome Email with the link to download The Meal Shakes Book.
You’ll also have access to my other free book called The Days to Fitness Recipe book with 21 day fix approved recipes. All for FREE
Why I lost weight with Meal Replacement Shakes
When I decided that I wanted to lose weight, I decided to do it with meal replacement shakes. This was an easy diet for me to follow, as it required no extra cooking or meal preparation time.
I replaced my breakfast with a meal shake, using one scoop of Idealshake mixed with water. Find out why this is my favorite meal replacement shake for weight loss here. You can also add strawberries, banana, chocolate, coffee, etc. to your shake to make it taste even better. I have a lot of different recipes that you can try here.
A meal replacement shake contains only 100 calories, but still provides your body with all the nutrients (vitamins, minerals etc.) it needs to be healthy. High in good-quality protein as well a fiber, they keep you feeling full for hours, and prevent you from snacking – right up to lunchtime.
Combined with healthy snacks and homemade meals, this method is highly effective for weight loss, and for cleansing your body.
If you want to lose weight faster, you can go more extreme. As well as replacing your breakfast, you can also swap your lunch for another shake. I have also shared meal shakes recipes specifically for lunch, available here.
What plan should I use to lose weight with meal replacement shakes?
Start with 2 simple steps:
- Prepare your own meals. Plan in advance and prepare your meals ahead of time.
- Replace your breakfast or lunch with a meal replacement shake
With these 2 steps, you will lose weight. I lost two pounds in one week.
You can find this plan in detail here.
Add another healthy step to lose weight faster
- Avoid high sugar foods and beverages: like soda, common breakfast cereals, candies, cookies, processed snacks, and chips
While avoiding added sugar, you can still have as much fruit as you want, and you will continue to lose weight. That’s 100% guaranteed.
You don’t have to take my word for it; experience the benefits yourself. Start my 20 No-Sugar Days Challenge. It’s 100% Free.
Add another simple step to lose even more weight:
- 2 Daily walks, minimum 20 minutes each. Update: Our walking guide is available here
- Running 15 minutes, twice a week
Go the extra mile! Lose more weight and get in shape.
- Low carb diet: avoid white bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, and every other high carb food. Update: 7 Days Low-Carb Challenge with all the recipes you need, click here.
A low carb diet reduces your sugar intake, turning your body into a fat-burning machine. You can find an easy low carb diet in my article The Easy Low Carb Diet. Or you can Start my Low-Carb Week Challenge. It’s 100% Free and suitable for everybody.
If you would like to know more about carbs, you can find out more in my guide What Are Carbs.
How to find a Good Meal Replacement Shake?
To find the best meal replacement shake for weight loss, follow these guidelines:
- Very low sugar: less than 3 grams
- Less than 200 calories per shake: to force your body to use fat for fuel
- Adequate low-carbohydrate: to provide energy
- Protein: to boost your metabolism
- Include fiber: keeps you feeling fuller for longer
- Includes vitamins and minerals: essential for your body to function properly
- Contains healthy fats: mono and polyunsaturated fats for your health
- Low in saturated fats: the “bad” fats that can make you fat
- Low in sodium: to avoid water retention
- Probiotics: to improve your digestive and immune system
- Natural appetite blockers: so you feel full for hours and to fight cravings
- Optional: gluten-free, vegan, soy-free, lactose-free, non-GMO
- For diabetics, use meal replacement shakes that are:
- Low in sugar, less than 3g per serving.
- Low in Sodium, preferably less than 300mg per serving
- Contain no trans fat
- Low Saturated fat, less than 2 grams per shake/serving
You can find more about how to find a good meal replacement shake here.
What meal shake do you use and recommend? Why?
I use IdealShake meal replacement shakes, click to scroll to my complete review, – chocolate and vanilla flavors. Why?
Contains a natural appetite suppressant: Slendesta means I feel full for around 3 hours after I drink the shake.
Low Sugar: 1 gram of sugar per shake
Very good protein quality: Whey protein isolate
Low calorie: Only 100 calories per shake
Good price: Only $1.50 for each shake
Good taste: Not too sweet
You can always give it a try and, if you don’t like it, get a 30-Day Money Back no questions asked Refund. You can find out more about the ingredients of these shakes in my detailed review here, or order at the official site here.
Where can I find recipes?
I’ve published lots of different recipes for breakfast or lunch, and you’ll find them all here.
But, some people say Meal Replacement Shakes aren’t healthy
There are a lot of different meal replacement shakes on the market. A lot of these products are high in sugar, trans-fats, and salt. Those kinds of shakes are not healthy, and are not an effective way to lose weight. Why? Too much sugar and trans-fats will make you fat.
The shakes I recommend are the best products on the market, and are made by very well-known companies. I searched and tested many different shakes before I selected my top 3 favorites.
In my detailed reviews, you can find all the ingredients that each shake contains. My 3 favorite shakes are:
- Low Calorie: less than 200 calories per serving
- Low sugar: less than 3 grams
- High-quality protein: to boost your metabolism
- Low-Sodium: to avoid water retention
- No trans-fats: you don’t need these bad fats
- Balanced carbs: but not too much
- Contain superfoods: natural energy boosters
- Include fiber and vitamins: very important for your general health
- Include healthy fats: so you will feel fuller for longer
- Include probiotics: to help digestion
By replacing one of your meals a day with one of these shakes, you give your body exactly what it needs, but with a lot fewer calories.
By combining meal replacement shakes with homemade food, you avoid all those fast-food and junk meals, creating the healthy habit of cooking your own food.
Avoiding high sugar and high carb foods and snacks, you will lose weight and start to get rid of sugar from your diet, which is the number one cause of obesity in the world.
In conclusion, meal replacement shakes are an effective way to lose weight. When combined with other habits (like preparing your own food, avoiding high sugar and high carb foods) they provide a very healthy and quick way to lose weight.
Questions & Answers
1.What’s the difference between a meal replacement shake and a protein shake?
Ans: Both types of shake look similar but are actually very different. A meal replacement shake is designed for weight loss. They are low in calories and you drink one in place of a main meal to reduce your calorie intake.
A protein shake is often taken in addition to meals and is designed to help you gain weight in the form of extra muscle. They are often used before or after exercise and can also contain a lot of extra calories – something called a weight gainer shake.
Make sure you use the right one for your goals and read more about the difference on my article “Meal Replacement shakes vs Protein shakes“.
2. I heard that Shakeology is one of the best meal replacements around but they are too expensive for me. Do you know any cheaper alternatives?
Shakeology can seem expensive but remember, the money you spend on Shakeology is money you won’t have to spend on other food.
I get where you are coming from though which is why I wrote this article about “Shakeology Alternatives” that are every bit as good and a bit cheaper too. There is also a nice-tasting recipe you can make yourself.
3. Can I replace all my meals with shakes to lose weight faster?
While you could do this and lose weight faster, I really don’t recommend it. As good as meal replacement shakes are, they do not provide your body with exactly what it needs. It’s impossible to cram all the essential nutrients into a single shake.
Also, eating great-tasting food is one of life’s pleasures. Why would you want to rob yourself of the joy of eating?
Finally, losing weight too fast is rarely a good idea. In many cases, fast weight loss means fast weight regain and nobody wants that!
Instead, just replace one or two meals per day and let weight loss happen slowly and naturally. You’ll also avoid weight regain this way. I lost weight replacing only my breakfast each day and so can you, find more about my meal replacement shakes plan on my article “How to lose weight with Meal replacement Shakes“.
4. Do I HAVE to exercise to lose weight with meal replacement shakes?
No, you don’t have to exercise but it’s a good idea to do so if you can. Exercise will speed up fat loss and also make you healthier. The key is to find a type of exercise you really enjoy and can do consistently. Don’t become a slave to a workout you hate – you’ll soon resent it and stop doing it if that happens.
Instead try a few different things until you find something you really love. If you hate running, try swimming. Don’t like the gym? Go for a walk. Hate high-energy workouts? Try yoga? Like exercise that allows you to socialize? Join a dance class.
At the very least try and fit in a 30-minute walk per day. For more information on exercised, check out this article
5. How much weight can I expect to lose with meal replacements?
The great thing about meal replacements for weight loss is you can lose as much weight as you want. Unlike many diets that are for 21 days, 30 days, 90 days or whatever, you can replace one or two meals a day for as long as it takes you to get to your target weight. You can expect to lose 1-2 lbs. a week for as long as you want to. Once you reach your ideal weight, simply stop the meal replacement shakes and eat normal, healthy meals again. Stay on top of your new weight by occasionally swapping a meal for a shake – especially after a big meal or in preparation for an important date, like a wedding, where you want to look your very best.
That’s the beauty of meal replacement for weight loss, you are the boss and can use them for as long as you want.
6. There’s a lot of information about meal shakes, but I don’t know where to start?
One of the reasons I love meal replacement shakes so much is that they make dieting easy. All you need to do is replace one or two meals per day with a low-calorie shake, and you’ll start losing weight right away.
Of course, to do this, you need to make a few decisions such as which meals to replace, what type of meal replacement shakes to use, whether to buy meal replacement shake powder or make your own, and how to stick to your new, weight loss plan.
Don’t worry, though; to help you get started; I have written a comprehensive article all about starting out on a meal replacement shake diet in which I cover everything you need to know about this oh-so-simple diet plan. In it, I discuss everything from planning your meal replacement shake schedule to setting weight loss goals to successfully reaching your target weight and what to do after that.
Before you start your weight loss journey, make sure you check out this article. It’s called Meal replacement shakes – How to Start?
7. Can I replace my meals with shakes and protein bars to lose weight?
I’m often asked “Sarah, what is the best way to lose weight?” and my answer is always surprising; the best way to lose weight is the best way for YOU! You see, each one of us is different and what works for me might not work for you. That’s why, on Days to Fitness, I talk about lots of different diets.
While my favorite way to lose weight is using meal replacement shakes, I understand that some people don’t like or get bored of drinking their meals. Sometimes, it can be nice to chew your meals for a change!
I have found that protein bars make a good alternative to meal replacement shakes and can work almost as well for weight loss. Protein bars, like meal replacement shakes, are easy and straightforward to use, are pre-packaged and pre-prepared, so you don’t have to weigh, measure, or cook anything, and are ideal for when you are on the go. In fact, protein bars are more portable than meal replacement shakes.
So, can you use protein bars alongside meal replacement shakes to lose weight? You bet! But make sure you read my article titled Protein Bars Vs Meal Replacement Shakes to make sure you buy the right kind of bars and use them correctly.
8. Do you have any tricks for making a meal replacement shake diet even more effective?
Everyone loves a bargain – me included! And anytime I can save money or get better value for money, you’ll find me at the front of the queue! I have the same mindset when it comes to diet and exercise; I’m always looking for ways to make what I do more effective. After all, why waste time and energy unnecessarily?
Because I always want more for less, I recently spent some time researching ways to make meal replacement shakes even more productive. It’s already a great way to lose weight but, as always, I wanted the best results possible.
I have shared my research in my article 10 Ways To Make Meal Replacement Shakes More Effective. In it, you’ll find some great ways to making your weight loss journey even easier such as:
- How to make a meal replacement shake weight loss plan
- Why adding exercise to your plan can make a huge difference to your health and weight loss
- How to reduce stress for faster weight loss
- Why sleeping more will speed up weight loss
- How to incorporate sugar-free desserts into your meal replacement shake diet
9. There are so many different weight loss shakes to choose from – how do I know which one is best?
I was recently doing some more research on meal replacement shakes, and I was amazed at how many different ones are now available! There are so many now that it can be very hard to know which one to choose! Some of them are very good products, and others don’t seem quite so good. It reminded me that, sometimes, making the choice to be healthy can be hard.
To help steer you along the right path to choosing the best meal replacement shake, I have written a comprehensive article that details everything that a good shake should (and shouldn’t) contain. The article is called How to Choose Meal Replacement Shakes for Weight loss.
In this article, I discuss many important things including how much sugar, carbohydrate, protein, and fiber a good meal replacement shake should provide and other good and bad things to look out for. By the time you have read my article, you’ll be a real meal replacement shake expert!
10. A friend told me that I ought to take probiotics to boost my health; what do you think?
Your friend might be right! Probiotics are very good for your health, and since I started taking them, I have become a huge fan of them. I also recommend that most people include them in their meal replacement shakes.
Your body is full of bacteria. That might sound like a bad thing, but some bacteria are actually very good for you. The bacteria in your digestive system is essential for your health and is involved in several important biological functions such as the proper breakdown of the food you eat and maintaining your immune system.
Unfortunately, the modern diet and some medical practices mean that you may have fewer good bacteria than you need to be healthy. Overuse of antibiotics, using too many antibacterial cleansers and hand gels, and food that has been treated with antibacterial agents can mean that your good bacteria is wiped out alongside the bad.
Luckily, there is a way to replace or repropagate your good bacteria – probiotics. You can use probiotic supplements or eat foods that are naturally high in probiotics such as kefir and sauerkraut. Many commercial meal replacement shakes also contain probiotics.
You can read a lot more about probiotics, their benefits and their sources in my article How Probiotics Have Helped Me.
11. I’m on a tight budget and can’t always afford to buy meal replacement shakes powder. What can I do?
Meal replacement shakes CAN be expensive – especially some of the more well-known brands like Shakeology. And if any diet is too expensive, it won’t be long until you have to stop following it. That’s why I spent a long time not only looking for cheaper alternatives to Shakeology but also researching meal replacement shakes you can make at home that, very often, cost a lot less than those commercial, ready-made shake powders.
To make your own meal replacement shakes, you need four main things:
- Protein – e.g. protein powder, Greek yogurt, or soya milk
- Low sugar carbohydrates which provide vitamins and minerals – e.g. low sugar fruit
- Healthy fats – e.g. peanut or almond butter, avocado oil
- Probiotics – e.g. kefir
Once you know what to include in your shakes, it’s just a matter of working out the quantities, so you end up with a shake that contains around 200 calories, 10-20 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, and 5 grams of carbs or less. Yes, you’ll need to use a calculator and a nutrition reference website to work this out but, in return, you’ll save a lot of money.
Read more about making your own meal replacement shakes in my article Create your own Meal Replacement Shakes.
12. I’m worried that some of the ingredients in my meal replacement shake are unsafe. What do you think?
You are right to worry about the safety of the ingredients in your meal replacement shakes, and some are definitely healthier than others! I know that, when I was researching meal replacement shakes, I noticed that some brands included things like sugar, artificial colors, and other unpleasant things.
I’ve always believed that weight loss is about more than just counting and cutting calories – it should be good for your health too. After all, we don’t want just to LOOK healthy, we should want to BE healthy too, and that’s one of the reasons I’m an advocate of regular exercise.
Anyway, I did some digging and, from my research, came up with a list of criteria that every healthy meal replacement shake should be able to meet. There are five questions in all and, if your product meets these criteria, you know it’s a good one.
The article is called Are Meal Replacement Shake Ingredients Safe.
13. I was going to replace my lunch with a meal replacement shake, but I see you recommend replacing breakfast instead; why?
Replacing your lunch with a meal replacement can definitely work but, for me, replacing breakfast always works best. Why? I’m happy to tell you!
For one, I’m usually in a rush in the morning and don’t always have the time to make a healthy breakfast. Because a meal replacement shake is ready in one minute and, better still, I can take it with me to drink on the way to work, it stops me having an unhealthy breakfast like a donut.
Also, I find that the protein in my meal replacement shake keeps me feeling full up until lunch. No hunger and no cravings mean that I have no problem sticking to my diet.
Finally, I like to have my dinner with my family or friends, and that means eating “real” food at night time. For me, morning shakes work best.
I have written more about this subject in my article Meal Replacement Shake for Breakfast – Why? which you can read here.
14. Is it true that most people regain the weight they have lost when they end their meal replacement diet?
Unfortunately, one of the reasons that some weight loss experts are against the meal replacement diet is that they have found some people DO regain weight afterward. However, before you decide that you’ll skip meal replacement shakes altogether, it’s important to understand why this happens.
If on reaching your goal weight and ending your diet, you just go back to eating your same old diet, you are bound to regain the weight you have lost. This doesn’t just happen with meal replacement shakes but ALL diets. Therefore it is vital that you eat healthily even when your diet is finished.
It’s okay to celebrate your weight loss, but you cannot go on a junk food binge!
Instead, you need to ease back into normal eating by planning a healthy diet for after you finish your shakes. It’s also okay to have a low-calorie shake or two every few days to help maintain your new, lower weight.
You don’t have to gain weight once your meal replacement shake diet is over and you can avoid this problem by being smart. I’ve written an article about this subject called No Regaining Weight After a Meal Replacement Diet, and you can read it here.
15.I really struggle with hunger cravings. Do you have any tips for stopping them?
When you go on a diet, you have to eat less. Less food means fewer calories, and so your body has to burn fat for fuel to make up the difference. However, your body doesn’t know you are eating less on purpose and triggers hunger to get you up and motivated to look for food. Stupid body!
Hunger can completely derail your motivation for your diet, and while you might be able to ignore it for a day or a week, you will eventually crack and over eat. If you eat too much, you might even regain all the weight you have lost – if not a little more for good measure.
For this reason, it is vital that you do your best to keep hunger cravings to the minimum.
Because I have suffered from hunger pangs myself, I have done some research and come up with six simple but effective strategies for beating hunger. Trust me; they work!
Make sure you check out my article How Do You Stop Hunger Cravings? here.
16. Why do you think that meal replacement shakes are so good?
There are literally hundreds of diets you can use for weight loss, and each one has worked for someone. However, in my opinion, and the opinion of many Days to Fitness readers, Meal replacement shakes are one of the best. And it’s not just as that think this; many people share our opinion!
So what makes meal replacement shakes so great? That’s a good question and one I have thought about a lot. The reasons include:
- They are simple – no cooking, weighing or measuring ingredients required
- They are portable – no reason to break your diet as you can take your meals with you
- They are filling – the combination of fiber, protein, and healthy fats reduce hunger
- They are convenient – no special groceries to buy; just your meal replacement shake powder
- They taste good – chocolate for breakfast? Winner!
- They work – you’ll see rapid weight loss from the day you start a meal replacement diet which is very motivating
You can learn more about this topic in my article Why Meal Replacement Shakes are so Popular – read it here.
17. I’m bored of the same old meal replacement shakes! Do you have some good recipes to share?
One of the biggest drawbacks of meal replacement shakes is what the experts call “taste fatigue” which to you and I means boredom. That shake you loved so much a month ago is now so boring you can hardly bring yourself to drink it! Don’t worry – I’ve been there too!
One way around this is to buy a variety of flavors and drink them in rotation such as strawberry for breakfast, vanilla for dinner, chocolate for your next breakfast and so on. However, buying all these different flavored shake powders can be expensive.
Instead, why not consider making your own meal replacement shakes. That way you can change the taste whenever you want and avoid boredom completely. I’ve found and shared lots of meal replacement shake recipes on Days to Fitness, and each one is healthy and delicious.
I’ve got all recipes for weight loss meal replacement shakes here.
Meal replacement shakes that are ideal for lunch here.
Meal replacement shakes for breakfast here.
18. What does Non-GMO, grain-free and Vegan certified mean?
When you are looking for healthy food to eat, it’s vital that you learn to read food labels correctly. Everything you need to know about your food is listed on the labels but, sometimes, it can be hard to decipher and understand. It’s all too easy to buy something your THINK is right for you that isn’t!
Three terms you are bound to have seen on food labels and probably wondered about are Non-GMO, grain-free, and Vegan certified.
Non-GMO means that the food in question contains no “genetically modified organisms.” Some crops are genetically modified to increase yield or protect them from pests or disease. However, there are no long-term studies on the healthfulness of GMO foods, and so many people prefer to avoid them.
Grain-free foods contain no grains which mean they are free from gluten. Gluten can cause digestive upset in some people, and many of use prefer not to eat it. You may also see that some foods are listed as gluten-free too.
Vegan certified means that the food in question contains no animal produce at all – not even milk or eggs. Some vegetarians eat no meat, fish, or chicken, but still eat eggs and milk. Veganism is a very strict form of vegetarianism.
You can learn more about this subject in my article What does Organic, Non-GMO, grain-free and Vegan Certified Mean?
19. What unhealthy ingredients should I look out for in meal replacement shakes?
People lose weight for lots of different reasons but one of the biggest reasons is better health. Bad food choices and being overweight can lead to illness and disease, as well as taking years off your potential lifespan.
It makes sense then that the WAY you lose weight should be as healthy as possible. After all, what is the point in losing weight to improve your health if the method you use puts your health at risk?!
As you know, I’m a big fan of meal replacement shakes for fast, easy, and convenient weight loss but I’m also the first to admit that not all meal replacement shakes are nutritionally equal; some are definitely better than others.
Make sure you choose the healthiest shakes by avoiding as many of these ingredients as you can!
- Sugar and sugar alcohols
- Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and saccharine
- Artificial colors and flavors
- Too many carbs
- Vegetable oils and other sources of trans fats
- Synthetic vitamins and minerals
- Chemicals such as stabilizers, anti-caking agents, preservatives, and anti-oxidizers
The best meal replacement shakes contain very few of these things, and some are even free from them entirely. Make sure you read the labels to see exactly what is in your meal replacement shake. After all, there should be more to weight loss than just cutting calories. Continue reading.
20. Are meal replacement shakes safe for kids?
I’m always sad to see kids who are overweight. Not so many years ago, such a sight was rare, but now it seems like there are more overweight kids than slim ones. Overweight, unhealthy kids soon become overweight, unhealthy adults and that is a real shame.
You CAN help your kid lose weight using meal replacement shakes – especially if you find it hard to convince them to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables. However, you should also make sure you teach them the importance of healthy eating too. I’d also suggest you make them homemade meal replacement shakes as most commercial formulas are meant for adults. Continue reading.
21. Are Meal Shakes Suitable for Vegetarians?
There are lots of different diets around, and one of the most popular and common is vegetarianism. Vegetarians do not eat meat or other animal products. Some very strict vegetarians, called vegans, do not eat or even use anything that comes from an animal including eggs, and diary and many will not even wear leather.
However, vegetarianism and veganism are not specific weight loss diets. They are diets followed for reasons of belief or religion. The person may be against animal cruelty or be a Buddhist for example.
Also, vegetarian and vegan diets are not automatically healthy. There are still lots of unhealthy things left to eat – including sugar.
If you are a vegetarian or vegan and you want to lose weight, you can still use meal replacement shakes. Either make your own so you know it’s free from animal products or look for commercial meal replacement shakes that are vegan-certified. Also, read the ingredients list to make sure they do not contain any animal products. Continue reading here.
22. How Long Can I Stay on the Meal Replacement Shake Diet?
Most diets are designed with a specific timeframe in mind – maybe a month or 90-days. That’s because most diets are hard to stick to so it’s good to know that, on a specified date, your diet will be all over! But, what if you don’t lose enough weight in that time? What do you do then?
Some diets are also potentially unhealthy if you stick with them for too long. That’s particularly true for diets that eliminate certain food groups such as no-carb diets.
So, what about meal replacement shake diets? How long can you stay on this type of eating plan?
In my opinion, you can stay on a meal replacement diet for as long as it takes you to reach your target weight. And then, on reaching your target weight, you can continue to use meal replacement shakes from time to time to maintain your progress.
Meal replacement shakes are healthy and safe for most people so, as the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Continue reading.
23.I’m pregnant – are meal replacement shakes safe for me?
Weight gain can happen for lots of reasons including vacations, celebrations, holidays, changes in lifestyle, and stress. But one of the happiest reasons for weight gain is pregnancy.
A pregnant woman can expect to gain anywhere between 25-35 pounds although some gain more. Weight gain is a natural part of pregnancy, and some of that weight will be fat, some of it will be fluid, and some will be the growing baby.
It’s important to understand that weight gain is necessary and so you should not try to stop it from happening. You might, however, want to avoid gaining excess body fat and that’s where a healthy meal replacement shake may be useful.
Meal replacement shakes are high in nutrients but low in calories which means they provide you with all the healthy things your body needs. However, some commercially-made meal replacements contain extra nutrients that might not be good for the baby.
For this reason, I recommend using homemade meal replacement shakes so you can control what you eat, and discussing your intention to use meal replacement shakes with your OBGYN or doctor who will be able to advise you of your best course of action.
Finally, remember, even if you don’t use meal replacement shakes during your pregnancy, you can use them afterward to help you lose your baby weight more quickly. Continue reading here.
24.How many meal replacement shakes can I have in a day
If you have a lot of weight to lose, you might be tempted to try and lose that weight as fast as you can. To do this, you could skip several meals a day, do lots of exercise, or otherwise put yourself through the mill. However, trying to lose weight very fast is not easy, pleasant, or sustainable.
Many people ask me if it’s okay to use three or more meal replacement shakes a day and basically give up solid food to lose weight faster, and my answer to this is always “NO!”
Meal replacement shakes are undeniably a good way to lose weight, but I do not think they should be abused. Your body needs solids, and even the best meal replacement shake can only provide limited nutritional benefits.
As for faster weight loss – rapid weight loss is often soon followed by rapid weight regain, so it’s always best to lose weight slowly and sensibly if you want to keep it off.
So, to answer your question, I suggest you stick to one or two meal replacement shakes per day. Yes, you’ll lose weight more slowly, but you are more likely to enjoy the process and keep the weight off that you lose. More information here.
25. How can I make my commercial meal replacement shakes taste better?
I’ve got a confession to make – I really like the taste of my meal replacement shakes. But that’s because I spent a lot of time researching and testing different ones to find the one that had the best flavor. This was not an easy process and took lots of trial, error, and experimentation.
When it comes to meal replacement shakes, the taste is crucial because, if you don’t like it, you won’t want to drink it and you’ll end up blowing your diet and not losing any weight.
Some meal replacement shakes taste better than others, but what one person enjoys, another person might hate – we are all different after all.
If you have bought a meal replacement shake and discovered you really don’t like the taste, here are a few tips for making it better:
- Add berries
- Add almond or peanut butter
- Add natural yogurt
- Add coconut milk or cream
- Add stevia or another natural sweetener
- Add vanilla extract
- Add sugar-free chocolate or fruit-flavored syrup
Whatever you add, make sure that you don’t increase the calorie content of your shake too much, otherwise, you’ll just end up gaining instead of losing weight! Read more here.
26.Sarah – what is your all-time favorite meal replacement shake recipe?
I’ve been making my own meal replacement shakes for a long time. Don’t get me wrong; I like commercial meal replacement shakes too and enjoy protein bars – both store-bought and homemade. But one of my favorite things to do is make my own meal replacement shakes.
I guess I like making my own shakes because I can tailor the ingredients to my needs, adjust the taste to the way I like it, and make sure that all the ingredients are the best ones for me.
There are lots of shakes that I like, but if I had to choose my favorite, I’d probably go with a mocha, banana, and nut butter shake.
Why? Because it includes all the things I love and is a perfect way to start the day!
All you need is 1 scoop IdealShake Meal Replacement Shake – mocha flavor (available at official site), one small ripe banana, 1-2 teaspoons of instant coffee, and a teaspoon of peanut butter. Put all the ingredients in a blender, add a cup of water and a few ice cubes and then whizz it up for 30-60 seconds.
Try it – I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I do! Learn more about my favorite meal shake here.
27. Can I use soup in place of meal replacement shakes to lose weight?
I have always loved soup. When I was a kid both my mother and grandmother made great soup, and I always looked forward to having soup for lunch. Soup can be easy to make, it’s warming, satisfying, and filling.
While I do love meal replacement shakes, there are days when I want to have something different. I sometimes get fed-up with the idea of drinking another sweet shake. You CAN make savory shakes, but to me at least, they taste weird! I like my savory drinks hot and my sweet drinks cold, thank you very much!
Because you can make high protein, low-calorie soups, they can definitely be used as an alternative to meal replacement shakes. There are also a few commercial diet-friendly soups available but, because soup is so easy to prepare, there is no reason not to make your own.
The next time you feel like you need a change from meal replacement shakes, why not make some soup? Better still, make a big batch, so you have some for today AND tomorrow! Continue to read here.