Meal Shakes and Unhealthy Ingredients

Losing weight should be health-enhancing. Being overweight is very unhealthy and can lead to lots of different illnesses and disease, so it makes sense that losing weight should do you good. If you build your diet around lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, natural fats, lean proteins, whole grains, and other healthy nutrients, you should be well on your way to not just losing weight, but getting healthy too.

It’s standard advice to avoid processed goods because, as we know, the chemicals and lack of healthy nutrients mean that the foods that cause weight gain are also very bad for you.

So, why is it that some meal replacement shakes contain the same unhealthy chemicals as processed foods?

It’s true, some meal replacement shakes are low in calories, but they are also low in vital nutrients and contain the very ingredients that made you gain weight in the first place. This isn’t the case for ALL shakes – some are very healthy indeed – but others are not much better than powdered soup!

Less healthy meal replacement shakes will often contain:

  • Sugar
  • Synthetic vitamins and minerals
  • Artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
  • Refined vegetable oils and trans fats
  • Cheap sources of protein
  • Wheat – a source of gluten

A good meal replacement shake should contain mostly natural ingredients, and be good for your health, and not just good for weight loss.

But, you’re thinking, if it’s low in calories, why does it matter if it’s healthy or not? Good question!

The thing is, your body runs on vitamins and minerals, and if you want to burn fat effectively, you need vitamins and minerals to power the process. Also, if you are deficient in vitamins and minerals, your body will not work as efficiently as it should, and that means you’ll lose weight more slowly.

I’m often asked if it’s okay to use three or more meal replacement shakes per day to lose weight faster, and my answer is always the same: NO. Why? Because even the best meal replacement shake will probably contain at least some of these unhealthy ingredients and you need real food to make sure you get all the nutrients you need to be healthy.

The next time you are thinking of buying a meal replacement shake, make sure you look at not only the number of calories it contains but the ingredients list too. If you see too many unhealthy ingredients, move on to another product. If you need more information about the ingredients in your shake – maybe you don’t know what some of them are – contact the manufacturer and ask. Most reputable companies have product helplines specifically to answer your questions.


Remember, losing weight should be about more than just calories – it should improve your health too. If your meal replacement shake is not much better than any other processed food, you really should look for a different product.

I’ve shared my favorite shakes here and my plan to lose weight with meal replacement shakes here. Enjoy your journey.

Ask Sarah

Let me know your questions, let all learn together how to better improve our quality of life. Ask me your questions here.

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Hi, my name is Sarah and I’m so happy that you’re here! I've shared my story here

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