Best Meal Replacement Shakes for Weight Loss in 2019 Reviews

One of the best meal replacement shakes for weight loss in a glass, next to it protein bars, a spoon, a tape measure and a spoon of it in powder form.

I think most people will agree with me when I say that those of us in the weight loss world are always on a constant search to find the most effective way to shift those pounds.

Meal replacement shakes are by no means a new thing, I am sure many of you have heard about them on TV, online, or through friends. But do they really work? Or are they just another gimmick to get you to spend your hard earned cash?

Meal replacement shakes are certainly a go to product within the dieting community, so much so that you can’t turn in a health store without spotting one. But which one do you go for? With so many options it could leave you all shook up!

So I thought I would take a look at the mix and get the shake down on the best meal replacement shakes for weight loss, so you can smooth into slim.

Image
Product
Product Details
Our #1 Rated

GNC Total Lean

Lean Shake

Lean Shake
25 mg of protein to boost muscle growth combined with eight grams of fiber to help suppress the appetite.
Our #1 Rated

GNC Total Lean

Lean Shake

25 mg of protein to boost muscle growth combined with eight grams of fiber to help suppress the appetite.

Yumtrition

Dark Chocolate Whole Food Meal Supplement

Dark Chocolate Whole Food Meal Supplement
A gluten-free powder, packed with protein, omega-3 fatty acids, whole food vitamins, probiotics and prebiotics.

Yumtrition

Dark Chocolate Whole Food Meal Supplement

A gluten-free powder, packed with protein, omega-3 fatty acids, whole food vitamins, probiotics and prebiotics.

N53

Lean1

Lean1
A full meal replacement powder that suppresses hunger pangs, encourages muscle growth and burns unwanted fat.

N53

Lean1

A full meal replacement powder that suppresses hunger pangs, encourages muscle growth and burns unwanted fat.

Garden of Life

Raw Organic Meal

Raw Organic Meal
A supplement for the more active person. It assists the building of lean muscle while speeding up workout recovery.

Garden of Life

Raw Organic Meal

A supplement for the more active person. It assists the building of lean muscle while speeding up workout recovery.

IdealShape

Ideal Shake

Ideal Shake
With 11g of whey protein, this meal replacement helps to build lean muscle mass. Includes 22 vitamins and 5g fiber.

IdealShape

Ideal Shake

With 11g of whey protein, this meal replacement helps to build lean muscle mass. Includes 22 vitamins and 5g fiber.

What are Meal Replacement Shakes?

It’s a bit of a giveaway but the short answer is that meal replacement shakes are exactly that – a drink designed as a substitute for one or two regular food meals a day depending on your weight loss goals.

The standard practice is to drink your shake for breakfast and lunch, (which is when you are more time pressured) and then have a well balanced meal in the evenings.

In your shake will be a number of important weight loss helpers, which

all have specific roles, and when combined make a really good team. I have chosen a couple to give you the lowdown:

Protein

Protein is a prime candidate for being an effective weight loss assistant so it’s an obvious choice for a shake. Here are some of the benefits at a glance:

  • Appetite control
  • Preserves muscle
  • Boosts metabolism
  • Promotes fat loss

Fights Off Hunger

Protein is more satiating than other food energy sources like carbohydrates or fat. It also takes longer to digest, so it means your body works harder to process it and you feel fuller for longer. (source)

So by consuming more protein you could be burning more calories and by not feeling as hungry you should also be consuming fewer calories at the same time.

Muscle Preserver

We all know how important it is to exercise when trying to lose weight. Protein also plays a key role with boosting fat loss but holding on to that all important lean muscle.

One trial suggests that by increasing your protein intake, and especially with exercise, fat loss was increased while lean muscle mass was preserved. (source)

Fiber

Dietary fiber is another member of the meal replacement “A” team, here are a few of the top picks in the aid for weight loss:

  • Controls blood sugar levels
  • Gives the fuller feeling
  • Promotes healthy digestion

Appetite Control

When trying to lose weight, if you can decrease your calories you know at some point this is going to result in weight loss. Killing those hunger pangs is a big part of winning the battle.

That’s where fiber can come in handy, it fills up the stomach and tells your brain that you are full. Since it takes longer to digest, it prolongs the effects of having a full belly. (source)

Blood Sugar Leveller

I’m sure most of you have probably heard the term “sugar spike” before.

Certain foods we eat process through the body more quickly than others. This causes insulin to rise too fast which then locks onto your fat cells, preventing them being used as energy meaning they will end up being stored as fat.

Soluble dietary fiber absorbs water in the gut and slows down digestion of these sugars into the bloodstream, therefore regulating the blood sugar levels. This prevents the spikes and allows the energy to be used and preventing storage of fat.

Stable blood sugar levels also mean steady energy levels throughout the day and can stave off hunger pangs.

The Benefits of Meal Replacements Shakes

We all know how difficult dieting is. We have those good intentions to eat right when we want to lose weight, but temptations always try to creep back in. That’s where a meal replacement shake could have hugs benefits.

Focus Away From Food

With a replacement shake, you avoid food. All you need to do is drink that shake and your meal is done. The convenience could also help you avoid the temptation of just grabbing a quick processed meal.

Are You a Breakfast Dodger?

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day so why do so many of us skip it? Is it because it’s too early or perhaps you are in a hurry?

Studies suggest that those who avoid breakfast are more likely to be associated with people who are overweight than those who don’t. (source)

That’s where meal replacement shakes could be beneficial for those breakfast dodgers, as it’s better to eat something rather than nothing.

Helping Hand

A meal replacement shake could be a really great way to spur on the effects of weight loss. Whether you are on a plateau or just starting out, usually the initial results are usually fast acting which boosts motivation and gives you encouragement.

Calorie Control

When you are trying to count every single calorie down to the last crumb, a meal replacement is a very effective way of knowing exactly how many you are getting.

There’s no weighing, checking apps or anything like that. All you have to do is follow the directions and you know that the serving will provide you with a specific amount of calories.

When you are cutting back you know how much you have for your well balanced meal of the day.

Shake Off Hunger Grumbles

As meal replacements have a good level of protein and fiber which are both known for their high levels of satiety, so in theory it should stave off the effects of hunger and make you feel fuller for longer.

This means those grumbling tummies should be kept to a minimum, preventing you from heading to the vending machine on your tea break.

Weight Loss and Keeping It Off

When you take all these points into consideration, meal replacement shakes seem like a no brainer for reaching those weight loss goals. It also could be a really good way to keep in check after getting to your target.

Even supplementing one meal a day could be a good way to keep your weight where you want it.

Considerations

The best meal replacement shakes for diabetics in glasses, surrounded by berries, on a wooden table.

As beneficial as a meal replacement shake could be, there is always the other side of the coin which I must also address.

Is it a Long Term Solution?

The issue with drinking something instead of eating is how long could you really sustain it for? If you start to feel deprived of something, it’s only natural you will want more of it.

If your willpower isn’t strong enough, you could end up binging on those foods you really miss, which defeats the objective.

There is nothing quite like eating something solid and the satisfaction you get from the taste. Could a shake just be beneficial in the short term?

Unhealthy Eating Habits

If you have poor diet habits before you take on a meal replacement diet, they don’t really teach you to change your ways.

If you hit the shakes every time you gain a few pounds, yes you will no doubt lose weight if you stick to it. But if you go back to eating the same way as before, you will be on a never ending carousel and back to square one.

You really should try to look at what and why you are eating and think about changing or switching foods to healthy alternatives.

It’s Not a Miracle in a Glass

If you think that a meal replacement shakes is going to make the weight fall off without doing anything, then you are going to be disappointed. This is one of the primary misconceptions about meal replacements.

Remember, you still need to put the effort in to achieve results.

Variety is the Spice of Life

We all need to mix it up every now and again, a change is as good as a rest; or so they say. That could be an issue with meal replacement shakes.

You could get bored with the same flavor day in day out, which could lead you astray and into temptation.

I will agree there are more choices available now than ever before to help you, but the choice can still be limited. Most common brands are available in chocolate, strawberry, vanilla.

What to Look for in a Meal Replacement Shake

Obviously everyone has different priorities and weight loss goals, but here are a few key points for you to consider in order to get the most out of your shake.

Watch the Sugar

Some shakes can be full of sugar which may make it taste better, but it’s

not going to help with weight loss. Try and choose something as low in sugar as you can and definitely don’t go higher than 3 grams.

Calories

Aim for a meal replacement around the 200 calorie mark. If you go too low, you could have trouble sustaining that level and end up damaging all your hard work. On the other end of the scale if you go too high, you could end up putting on weight.

Fiber

Look for something that has between 5 to 10 grams of fiber to help you with your hunger control. You don’t want to feel peckish and then give in to temptation.

Nutrients

Meal replacement shakes are supposed to be nutritious so should include essential vitamins and minerals which you need for your day to day functions. Aim for something containing over 20 of these good guys.

Protein

For the protein serving, studies suggest you need to be looking around the 20 gram figure. (source)

This will not only help satiety levels, but also prevents muscle loss, and helps with fat loss.

Carbohydrates

You will need energy in your body to keep you going, so try to look for something that’s well balanced in proportion to the protein levels.

Fats

You don’t want to be seeing trans fats on the ingredients list, and any saturated fats really need to be kept to the minimum.

Best Meal Replacement Shakes for Weight Loss

When looking for a meal replacement shake you will soon realise that there are a quite number of products to choose from and it can often be difficult to shake down who offers the best quality.

So I have looked at the options available and chose five of the best meal replacements shakes for weight loss that should suit almost everyone.

Our #1 Rated
Our pick our #1 rated

GNC

Total Lean Shake Powder

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

GNC are a very reputable brand in the nutrition world, and they have created a healthy meal replacement to support lean muscle tone and a healthy metabolism.

To keep those cravings at bay and keep you fuller for longer it contains a combo of 25 grams quality whey and milk proteins and 7 grams of fiber.

The 18 grams of carbs should be adequate to keep your energy levels up to get you through the day.

And with 24 essential vitamins and minerals it should help you fill in the nutritional gaps to maintain health and wellbeing.

The orange flavor makes a refreshing change from the usual chocolate varieties you tend to find, but some people do say it’s a little chalky and can leave a slight aftertaste.

Pros
Pro 200 calories per serving
Pro Dietary fiber 9 grams
Pro Sugars 3 grams
Pro Protein 25 grams
Pro Carbs 18 grams
Pro Sodium 150 mg
Pro Fats 3 grams
Pro 24 vitamins and minerals
Pro 16 servings per tub
Cons
Con Chalky texture
Con Leaves a slight after taste
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Our #2 Rated
Our pick our #2 rated

NutraBlendz

Meal Replacement Shake

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

Nutrablendz have taken the natural approach with their meal replacement powder so you can combine the benefits of clean eating and weight loss wrapped up together in one shake.

Artificial ingredients are something you won’t find on this label.

Over 14 natural whole food vitamins from fruits and vegetables have been used in this shake so you maintain adequate nutrition.

To support muscle growth and give you the energy you need it contains a fairly well balanced 13 grams of healthy slow release carbs sourced from organic grains. It also offers 17 grams of protein from grass fed whey.

The fact it’s been independently tested for purity and strength just reinforces the quality of this product and it’s a really good price too.

I love the fact they have even given you a smoothie recipe on the back of the pack giving you alternative ideas on how mix it up a bit and keep your motivation up.

The addition of probiotics and enzymes could be beneficial for digestion, but it is a little low on fiber at 4 grams per serving so you might hear a grumble in your tummy before you really want to.

Pros
Pro 140 calories per serving
Pro Sugars 2.5 grams
Pro Protein 17 grams
Pro Carbs 13 grams
Pro Fats 2.5 grams
Pro Sodium 95 mg
Pro Probiotics and enzymes
Pro Gluten free
Pro Non GMO
Pro Good value
Pro No artificial ingredients
Pro 15 servings per tub
Pro 4 flavors
Pro 3rd Party lab tested
Pro Made in USA
Cons
Con Low fiber 4 grams
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Our #3 Rated
Our pick our #3 rated

Lean1

Nutrition 53 Lean 1 Vanilla

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

Nutrition 53 have created a meal replacement to help you control your calorie intake while fighting hunger and giving you all the vital nutrients you need to maintain a healthy balance.

This shake has a good serving of 20 grams of whey protein and 10 grams of dietary fiber to help preserve muscle and let you take charge of your appetite.

It contains a combination of 27 essential vitamins and minerals along with extracts of 17 anti-oxidising fruits and vegetables to compliment your daily nutrition and health.

They have also included green bean extract to help with fat burn and probiotics to promote healthy digestion, both could be beneficial in weight loss.

The downside to this shake is it’s very sweet tasting and that’s not at all surprising when you see it contains 10 grams of sugar, which is not what you really need when trying to lose weight.

Pros
Pro 190 calories per serving
Pro Dietary fiber 10 grams
Pro Protein 20 grams
Pro Carbs 22 grams
Pro Green bean coffee extract
Pro Probiotics & enzymes
Pro Gluten free
Pro 27 vitamins and minerals
Pro 15 servings per tub
Pro 7 flavors
Cons
Con Sugars 10 grams
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Our #4 Rated
Our pick our #4 rated

Garden of Life

Meal Replacement

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

Garden of life are all about the raw ingredients. This long standing supplement company has created a meal replacement shake which is both organic and suitable for vegans.

They offer a good serving of organic plant protein (a great alternative to soy and dairy) and fiber, together with low sugar, fats and sodium content. This shake could be beneficial for naturally satisfying hunger and managing your weight loss.

This product certainly has the nutritional value to help you with your daily needs, with blends of 44 superfoods included and 21 vitamins and minerals.

The carbs are a little on the low side in comparison to protein at 8 grams per serving. At 115 calories per serving you could be mistaken for thinking this is more of a protein shake with extras than a meal replacement.

Pros
Pro Dietary fiber 7 grams
Pro Sugars 1 gram
Pro Protein 20 grams
Pro Fats 1.5 grams
Pro Sodium 140 mg
Pro 21 vitamins and minerals
Pro Probiotics & enzymes
Pro Gluten
Pro dairy and soy free
Pro Non GMO
Pro 4 flavors
Pro Made in USA
Cons
Con Low carbs to protein ratio
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Our #5 Rated
Our pick our #5 rated

IdealShape

Meal Replacement Shake

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

The Ideal Shake is a quality product which is aimed at controlling cravings and providing balanced nutrition in a drink to help you with weight loss.

With a good balance of 11 grams whey protein, 10 grams of carbs and 2 grams of fat it supports development of lean muscle and enhanced fat burn, which plays a big part in the all important target of slimming down.

As at 100 calories per serving I would say this seems too low for what should be termed a meal replacement. For me personally I would not be able to last until lunchtime, you would surely need hardcore willpower.However, it could be more suited to those that choose to take smaller meals but on a more frequent basis throughout the day.

The powder does mix well, but this flavor is really not the greatest which could leave you a nasty taste in your mouth.

Pros
Pro 100 calories per serving
Pro Dietary fiber 4 grams
Pro Sugars 1 gram
Pro Protein 11 grams
Pro Carbs 10 grams
Pro Sodium 470 mg
Pro Fats 2 grams
Pro 22 vitamins and minerals
Pro Gluten free
Pro 30 servings per tub
Pro 12 flavors
Cons
Con Flavor not great
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Our Choice

The one that stands out from the crowd and the clear winner for me would have to be GNC’s lean shake 25.

It offers a quality well balanced meal replacement shake which should help promote weight loss, but also encourages combining exercise into your programme.

It has a good serving of protein, which should support and protect your muscles, keeping them lean and the balanced carbs should keep your energy levels up.

In addition the adequate fiber will aid in appetite control and help you curb those cravings.

For these reasons I think this meal replacement shake could be a suitable option for anyone thinking about trying to lose weight.

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