TOP-10 Best Meal Replacement Shakes For Weight Loss | 2020 Awesome Buyer’s Guide By a Dieting Expert
What is the best meal replacement shake? Make sure that it includes natural ingredients and does not contain artificial flavors or preservatives. Choose an option that contains all essential nutrients: protein, fibers, vitamins, and minerals. As for the protein, the more proteins your shake contains the better for your weight loss. It will make you feel fuller and help your body burn more calories. And finally, you should choose a product from a trusted brand to avoid buying low-quality supplements. We believe that Vega One All-in-One Nutritional Shake fits these criteria best.
Why have we chosen it? Vega is a company producing plant-based nutrition without synthetic ingredients and is gluten- and GMO-free. This meal replacement shake contains 20 grams of protein, half of the daily intake of healthy minerals and vitamins, a quarter of daily fiber intake, antioxidants, and probiotics. It has the French vanilla flavor and tastes great! This product will curb your sugar cravings, give you a lot of essential nutrients, and help you shed extra pounds.
What Are Meal Replacement Shakes?
Kim Kardashian and many other celebrities advocate taking meal replacement shakes. So let’s take a closer look at what all the hype is about.
A meal replacement shake is a substitute for a food meal that should be taken a specific number of times per day. The idea of such products is that they include vitamins, minerals, and other ingredients in a concentrated form to meet specific goals. The main reason for taking meal replacement shakes is slimming down.
How does it work? You replace some of your meals with these shakes. As a result, you consume smaller volumes of food and fewer calories while receiving more nutrients and other substances beneficial to your body. Otherwise speaking, you eat less but without harming your health.
Some options are intended to replace all the meals. Generally, they provide about 200 calories, one-third of which account for fats. All the information must be indicated on the label, including warnings and precautions. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t take total diet replacement shakes for more than a month without consulting a doctor. In the USA, meal replacement shakes are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (the FDA), whereas in Europe and Canada, relative government agencies have set certain requirements for the content of such products.
What Is The Main Idea of Meal Replacement Shakes?
- They make you healthier and help you burn fat. Meal replacement shakes are rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. Protein is a crucial component of the body cells and is responsible for building and repairing tissues. Besides, protein is known as a good aid in shedding pounds. This compound reduces the number of hormones causing hunger and as a result, you consume fewer calories. Richard Mattes from Purdue University has analyzed 5 scientific studies and concluded that protein really makes people feel fuller and is crucial for healthy weight loss. Also, your body burns a third of the protein calories while digesting it, meaning that you will eventually get fewer calories.
The fiber is another natural appetite suppressant and is a very useful component. Many beneficial bacteria feed on the fiber, which makes the gut healthier. And the healthier your gut is, the easier it is to lose weight. Scientific studies show that consuming soluble fibers reduces the risk of getting abdominal fat. As for vitamins, they play a crucial role as well. Vitamin B helps your body metabolize carbs and fats, and convert them into energy while vitamin D boosts your immune system.
- They offer different flavors. Many people I know who drink milk replacement shakes first pay attention to how they taste. Indeed, you will hardly drink something on a daily basis if you do not like the flavor. When it comes to milk replacement shakes, flavor diversity is one of their strong points. You can choose between flavors of chocolate, vanilla, salted caramel, strawberry, cream, garden salad, and many others.
- Keeps you energized. An added benefit of such shakes is that they will make your day by boosting your energy. This is due to protein and other useful nutrients that are typically present in such products.
- Low-calorie meal replacement. As a rule, they contain something between 200 and 300 calories per serving. Some products come with 400 calories but they are less common. Replacing some meals with these shakes will help you easily achieve a 1,500-calorie daily diet.
- Boosts metabolism. Enhanced metabolism is good for both weight loss and your overall health. Meal replacement shakes provide the right ratio of carbs to fats to protein, which helps your body to burn more fat.
Types Of Meal Replacement Shake
- Powder/Ready-to-use meal replacement shakes. If you have to drink it while on the go or somewhere in public spaces, chose a ready-to-use option. You just open a bottle and drink the solution. You can easily put one or two such bottles in your bag and carry them with you throughout the day.
However, many people prefer meal replacements in powder formulas. Why? First, they are cheaper and more versatile. You can easily mix it with other supplements, milk or whatever you like. The best choice is to use both types: the powdered shakes at home and ready-to-use drinks when necessary.
- Meal replacement/Total diet replacement. Most commercially available products are designed to substitute some of your daily meals or snacks. If you are going to replace all your meals with such products, first consult a doctor to make sure that this will not harm your health. Typically, they include all ingredients from your regular food but in a dried form. Also, these products contain all essential vitamins, fats, minerals, fibers, and other nutrients.
Also, there are different forms of meal replacement products. Depending on your preferences and diet plans, you can choose shakes, soups or bars. The latter ones would best substitute snacks but not main meals.
How To Choose Best Meal Replacement Shake?
There are several important things to consider when purchasing a meal replacement shake.
- Storage Conditions. If you opt for a ready-to-use product, check whether it requires refrigeration or can be kept at room temperature.
- Natural & Healthy. The market is filled with natural meal replacements, so it is quite a simple task to pick one such product. Make sure that it is GMO-, lactose and gluten-free. Nor should it include synthetic components or preservatives. A solution based on certified organic ingredients would be the best bet
- The Number of Calories. A healthy meal replacement shake should be no less than 200 calories but no more than 350 calories per serving.
- Protein. Make sure that the product contains 10-20 grams of protein. Apart from being a major building material for your body, this ingredient will make you feel full for several hours.
- Fiber. Meal replacement shakes should be high in fiber, containing no less than 3 grams of this nutrient. Fibers contribute to weight loss by increasing satiety and keeping your gut healthy.
- A wide range of vitamins and minerals. One serving should contain at least 20 different vitamins and minerals, which are necessary to support the vital functions of your body.
- Healthy Fats. Yes, you need fats even when dieting, however, their amount should not be more than 7 grams per serving.
- Low Doses of Sodium. One serving should contain no more than 300 mg of sodium. But in fact, the fewer, the better. High levels of sodium lead to fluid retention and, therefore, will hinder your weight loss efforts.
TOP-10 Best Meal Replacement Shakes For Weight Loss
Nature’s Bounty Complete Vitamin & Shake Mix | Best For Woman
This solution is rich in protein that accounts for 10 grams of the content. More importantly, this is a plant-based pea and rice protein, which has the advantage of being lower in calories and fats compared to animal proteins. The powder also includes fibers and two dozen healthy vitamins and minerals. This blend of vitamins is particularly beneficial for women as it will make your hair, nails, and skin healthier and more beautiful.
The product is sweetened with stevia, which is a healthier alternative to sugar. Customers recommend it for those who are on a vegan diet because there are no animal proteins. They also say that when mixing the powder with water, you get a very thick shake. This will make you feel fuller for a longer time. As for downsides, some buyers did not like the flavor, saying that the taste is not appealing and does not resemble chocolate.
PlantFusion Complete Meal Powder | Best Non-GMO Shake
This is another solution based on plant proteins that contains neither GMOs nor gluten. The product also includes cruciferous greens, six grams of fibers, and over four grams of omega fats. This blend will keep you full for many hours. Due to a significant amount of amino acids, this shake will work not only for weight loss but also for gaining muscle mass when taken during workouts. The list of nutrients is impressive and includes vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K.
One of the strong points of this product is its wonderful creamy vanilla flavor. It is naturally flavored using the company’s unique technology of mixing whole food ingredients. The sweeteners used in the product are all-natural as well and include erythritol and stevia. What customers especially like is the quality of ingredients and flavor of this powder. They also note that it mixes well with various liquids and keeps them full for 5 hours and more.
PlantFusion: Check the current price
GCN Total Lean Shake | Best For Athletes
This tasty shake is available in flavors of vanilla bean and Swiss chocolate. One serving contains 9 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber as well as 23 healthy vitamins and minerals. With this shake, you will get about 180 calories, meaning that it is a great option for people on a strict diet. Mix one serving with eight ounces of water and drink the solution one or two times per day.
Significantly, more than 70% of purchasers gave it five stars. Buyers say that this product has an amazing texture and delicious taste. It is smooth and isn’t grainy at all. As one of the customers put it, the advantage of vanilla is that you can mix it with anything. You may add banana and strawberry if you like or just mix it with cold water.
SlimFast High-Protein Shake | Best Value
One serving of this product has 230 calories and will give you 15 grams of protein, fiber, and more than 20 essential vitamins and minerals such as calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, folic acid. The manufacturer recommends mixing the powder with cold skimmed milk. The ratio is 2 scoops of powder to 250ml of such milk. Then, shake it for a while or use a blender.
Purchasers like this product and especially its convenient portion size. As for the taste, they say that the banana flavor is the best of all other flavors of this brand. They describe it as “just superb” and “lovely.” Also, customers have shared their weight loss results, which seem to be quite promising. So one person has managed to shed 7 pounds in a week, another customer says that she has lost 5 pounds after 4 days of taking this supplement. Actually, their weight loss results vary significantly but this does not affect their satisfaction with the product. For example, one lady says that she has lost 4 pounds in two weeks, calling it a brilliant result.
SlimFast: Check the current price
Ideal Shape’s Ideal Shake | Best For Low Calorie
If you cannot stand the idea that that caramel is a taboo for those who are on a strict diet, this product is definitely for you! It has as little as 120 calories in one serving. However, the powder does contain sugar, though a very small amount — only 2 grams. As for essential nutrients, one serving includes 11 grams of whey protein, 5 grams of fiber, and 22 vitamins. The downside to this shake is that it will keep you full no more than 3 hours. And this is the price you have to pay for fewer calories.
Purchasers like the flavor and versatility of this milk replacement shake. More importantly, it really works. So one satisfied customer says that she has lost 14 pounds in less than a month and is pleasantly surprised with the results. But get ready to be hungry almost all the time as this product is not a good appetite suppressant.
Vega One All-in-One Nutritional Shake | Best For Vegans
First of all, Vega is a trusted brand of plant-based nutrition. All products from this company are vegan certified, gluten-free and GMO-free. Nor does it use preservatives and artificial flavors. This product is based on vegan protein and whole-food ingredients. One serving contains 20 grams of protein, half of the daily intake of healthy minerals and vitamins, a quarter of daily fiber intake, antioxidants, and probiotics. You can mix it with coffee, juice or simply water in the ratio of one to four.
Purchasers say they like the quality of ingredients and the French vanilla flavor of this product. However, some buyers describe it as being “too sweet.” Another downside they mention is the high level of sodium. Still, it works great and, as one of the customers, put it, curbs sugar cravings, gives you a lot of beneficial nutrients, and keep your weight off.
Nature Fuel Keto Meal Replacement Shake | Best For Keto
“Burn Fat — Not Carbs”, the product label says. In fact, this is the motto of a so-called keto diet or low-carbohydrate diet, which works by making your body burn fats rather than storing them. Customers say that this product curbs appetite and tastes delicious. As for the disadvantages, the powder is quite expensive for what you get and runs out fast. As a rule, it lasts about a week or so.
One can includes 14 servings, with one serving containing just 9 grams of carbs. The label says that there are no artificial sweeteners or flavors in the product. However, no further details are provided on Amazon and the company’s website.
LABRADA Nutrition Meal Replacement Shake | Best For Muscle-Building
I recommend this shake for those who regularly do their workouts and want to build muscles, not just become slimmer. What makes it good for athletes is the amount of protein — 35 grams in one serving. This is the one of two products on our list that come with BCAAs (6 grams), which are essential amino acids necessary for muscle growth. It also includes 7 grams of dietary fiber and more than 20 various vitamins and minerals. On top of that, there is a wide range of flavors to choose from: chocolate, peanut butter, latte, salted caramel, and strawberry.
The solution contains all you need to burn calories and gain muscle mass and is easy to use. It contains no trans fats or preservatives and is naturally flavored. It is noteworthy that this product has won the Gold Medal Taste Award five times. This award was established by the American Culinary Institute, a very reputable college.
CLICK All-in-One Meal Replacement Drink Mix | Best For Coffee Lovers
If you like something, stick to it. This is my deep belief. If you are a fan of coffee, opt for coffee flavor as it will make you more satisfied and, hence, feel fuller for longer. More importantly, this product contains natural caffeine (150 mg per serving), which not only flavors the shake but also helps you lose weight. This ingredient works as a powerful stimulant that makes your body burn more calories. Besides, caffeine is an excellent appetite suppressant, so you kill two birds with one stone.
The solution is low in calories (just 120 calories) and includes 15 grams of proteins per serving. All this leads to the conclusion that this meal replacement shake is very powerful and will help you lose weight within a short period of time. The product is highly popular among customers who suggest drinking it in the morning instead of breakfast.
MET-Rx Original Powder | Best For Workout
Well, 39 grams of protein may seem too much… but not if you want to improve your workout results. This product has a powerful blend of protein, l-glutamine (3 grams), and BCAAs (6 grams). Low in fat and gluten-free, this shake is a great source of essential vitamins and minerals for your body. Keep in mind that this is a very concentrated solution, therefore, mix one packet with no less than 16 ounces of cold water. Drink one or two shakes daily. If your goal is muscle-building, add high-calorie foods such as a buttered bread. If you want just to slim down, add only low-calorie foods.
Over 80% of customers gave it five stars, which speaks enough for itself. What they especially highlighted was its amazing extreme chocolate flavor. If you are not satisfied with the taste, mix only a small amount at a time or use a blend. The problem with this stuff is that it is thick and needs to be thoroughly dissolved in the water.
10 Best Meal Replacement Shakes For Weight Loss Comparative Table
Pros and Cons of meal replacement shakes
These products have more benefits than downsides, so let’s take a look at them.
- Generally, they are a good source of essential nutrients, protein, fibers, vitamins, and minerals.
- Do not require cooking
- Low in calories
- Good for increasing muscle mass
- You can track calories much easier
- You can take them only occasionally.
- Your body distinguishes calories contained in liquids from those in solid foods. It is only solid foods that can give you the true feeling of fullness.
How are meal replacement shakes different from protein shakes?
Protein shakes contain more proteins, whereas meal replacement shakes include a variety of nutrients essential for your body. Whereas the reason for drinking protein shakes is increasing muscle growth, meal replacements are taken instead of a meal and are should be part of a healthy weight loss program.
How many meal replacement shakes a day should I drink?
Drink no more than 2 shakes per day. Do not replace all your meals with supplements without consulting a doctor.
Are meal replacement shakes good for losing weight?
This is one of the most effective ways to shed pounds. Really. You consume fewer calories, eat smaller meals and, at the same time, receive all necessary nutrients boosting your metabolism.
Is it safe to use?
If you take meal replacement shakes for too long or more than twice a day, they will hurt your body and bring down your energy levels. The thing is that powder will never become a full-fledged substitute for solid meals and should replace them only occasionally. Also, there are some contraindications. People with heart issues, types 1 and 2 diabetes, as well as pregnant women, should not replace their meals with these supplements without consulting a doctor.
How to take/use meal replacement shakes?
Take them once or twice a day instead of your meal. If the product comes in a powder form, mix one serving with eight or more (depending on label directions) ounces of water, juice or milk. You can use a blender to stir the powder thoroughly to get a smooth and tasty solution.