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Best Meal Replacement Shakes for Weight Loss, According to Dietitians

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Best Meal Replacement Shakes for Weight Loss

Meal replacement shakes are an ever-popular way of losing weight. The idea behind popular meal replacement shakes is that they take the guesswork out of dieting for weight loss. Instead of any complicated counting of calories, users simply consume a pre-portioned shake to replace one or more of their daily meals. So, they can be a handy tool in your weight-loss arsenal if you’re short on time.

However, not all replacement shakes for weight loss are created equal. After all, healthy weight loss isn’t only about cutting calories. If the shake doesn’t contain the nutrients you need to maintain optimum health, then it’s not a sensible or safe long-term answer for weight loss. So, when you compare meal replacement shakes, it’s important to check that it will meet your requirements for protein, carbohydrates and fat whilst also providing adequate vitamins and minerals.

Choosing the best meal replacement can be tricky. To help you sort the wheat from the chaff, we’ve created a handy guide with all the information you need to know about choosing the best meal replacement for women. We’ve also written a comprehensive review of our top-rated meal replacement shake, the GNC Total Lean Shake, which we think is the perfect diet supplements that work without exercise.

What are meal replacement shakes?

Meal replacement shakes are designed to replace a meal. They typically come in milkshake-style flavors, and some come pre-mixed in individual bottles. However, these pre-mixed shakes are normally an expensive way of buying diet shakes.

Alternatively, you can buy diet shake powder. These don’t look much different from the powders you might use to make chocolate or banana-flavored milk. These need to be mixed with water, milk, or a dairy-free milk substitute depending on your own dietary requirements and the instructions on the product. An advantage of these mix-your-own shakes is that you can increase the amount of liquid if you find the flavor of the shake is too intense for your liking. You will need to purchase a shaker bottle, as making meal replacement shakes in a glass can be very messy!

How do you use meal replacement shakes?

How do you use meal replacement shakes

When starting out using meal replacement shakes, it’s a good idea to begin by replacing just one meal a day. This helps to ease you into your new weight loss regime and reduces any potential shock to your body. Replacing two meals may make your overall calorie intake too low. If you start off replacing too much of your food with diet shakes, it can be impossible to maintain and cause you to give up altogether.

If you find that replacing one meal isn’t enough to help you lose weight, you can then decide to replace two meals with a replacement shake. However, it’s not usually recommended to replace all of your meals with replacement shakes unless you’ve been specifically advised to by a doctor.

However, replacing meals with meal replacement shakes is not enough to lose weight, especially if you’ve hoping to do it in a healthy way. Even if you replace two of your meals, you won’t achieve long-term, healthy weight loss if your main meal comprises of junk food and sugary treats. So, it’s important to make sure that the meals you’re eating alongside diet shakes are healthy and well-balanced with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. You’ll also need to keep a close eye on portion sizes to make sure that you aren’t overeating at mealtimes.

It’s also important to maintain other healthy lifestyle habits while you use diet shakes. Drinking plenty of water is known to be very important for weight loss and your health in general. Furthermore, drinking plenty of water can help to fill you up and reduce hunger. Regular exercise can also help with your weight loss, and is an enjoyable way to keep yourself healthy during a diet.

Advantages of meal replacement shakes

Meal replacement shakes have several key advantages that make them a great weight-loss tool for some people:

Convenience: Many of us are very time-poor nowadays. This means that it’s easy to fall into eating sugary and fatty convenience foods because they’re quick and simple to prepare. With meal-replacement shakes, you don’t have the ‘no time’ excuse, because they couldn’t be easier to prepare. You can even buy them pre-mixed if you’re incredibly busy. Diet shakes are also a convenient option if you often eat at your desk or on the move.

Nutrition: Most of the top meal replacement shakes are designed to provide a balanced mixture of carbohydrates and protein with reduced sugar and fat. They usually contain supplementary vitamins and minerals to ensure that you get everything you need to stay healthy. This can be simpler than counting up the nutrients you’re getting from fresh food.

Appetite control: It’s now known that consuming meals as soup or a shake can help to keep you fuller for longer. Furthermore, the healthiest meal replacement shakes contain a healthy whack of fiber, which also helps to boost satiety. Some of the best weight loss meal replacement shakes also contain an appetite suppressant, which can help stop you reaching for the chocolate when you hit an afternoon slump.


Used sensibly, meal replacement shakes can be a safe and healthy way to lose weight. However, there are a few reasons that some people may prefer another method of weight loss:

Unsustainable: Many people find a diet based on meal replacement shakes hard to maintain, perhaps because they find the shakes unpalatable or because they try to replace too many of their meals with shakes and give up. For this reason, it’s important to find a diet shake that you enjoy the flavor of. If you find one that comes in a wide variety of flavors, this can help to give you some feeling of variation in your day-to-day meals. Making sure that you have at least one balanced meal that isn’t a shake can also help to make this type of diet easier to maintain.

Artificial ingredient: Many of the ingredients in a lot of the leading meal replacement shakes are of artificial origin. Some of these may have side-effects. For this reason, it’s important to check the list of ingredients on any diet shake you’re thinking of using to make sure you’re happy with what you’re consuming.

May cause digestive problems: Some of the ingredients in some diet shakes may cause digestive problems for some people, especially if they already have a condition that affects their digestive system. It can be hard to know how a diet shake will affect you. If you suffer adverse effects, it’s best to try another option.

How to choose the best meal replacement shakes for women

How to choose the best meal replacement shakes for women

So, if you’re looking for top meal replacement shakes for weight loss, it’s important to look out for the best possible product. After all, if you’re replacing one or more of your daily meals with the shake, it’s important to pick one that is both enjoyable and good for your body. How do you pick the very best weight loss shakes for women? Here’s our quick guide:

Check out reviews

If you don’t have the option to try any shakes out before you buy, then it’s a good idea to check out online meal replacement shakes comparisons and reviews. Once your read meal replacement powder reviews, it will help you to know whether users tend to be satisfied with the product and whether it helps them to lose weight.

Good taste

Because you’re replacing at least one meal a day with your diet shake, it’s important to choose one that you find tasty. Otherwise, you’ll quickly give up as no one wants to drink something they don’t like every day. Fortunately, many of the best meal replacement shakes in 2018 come in a range of flavors. Not only do they come in traditional flavors such as chocolate and banana, but many are available in more exciting flavors too.


Without enough fiber, you’ll quickly find that you become hungry again. Furthermore, eating plenty of fiber is vital for proper digestion. So, it’s important to make sure that any meal replacement shake you’re regularly using has adequate fiber.

Low sugar

The last thing you want from a diet shake is for it to be loaded with sugar. Sugar is not great for weight-loss and is also disastrous for your teeth. So, make sure that your diet shake is low in sugar.

Low calorie

While it may sound obvious, a diet shake needs to be reasonably low in calories in order for you to lose weight. That’s because weight loss relies on creating a calorie deficit between what you’re eating and the amount you’re burning off. Also, having a lower calorie shake means that you have calories left for some healthy and nutritious snacks.

Meal replacement shake for weight loss review

Meal replacement shake for weight loss review

Now that you understand everything there is to know, it’s time to check out our top-rated meal replacement shake for weight loss. We recommend the GNC Total Lean Shake as a tasty option that really helps to kick-start and maintain weight loss. Read on to find out why we love it so much!

What is the GNC Total Lean Shake 25?

The GNC Total Lean Shake 25 is one of the top meal replacement shakes for weight loss. It comes as a powder in a tub. To make a shake, you need to mix two scoops of the powder with water.

The makers of GNC Total Lean Shake 25 say that their shakes are suitable for those on a low carbohydrate diet. This is good news, as low-carb diets are an effective way of losing weight for many people. It contains plenty of fiber and protein which is designed to prevent hunger, and the shakes are supplemented with vitamins and minerals.

The manufacturers recommend that you replace two of your daily meals with a GNC shake, eat one balanced meal and participate in regular exercise. However, there’s no reason that you shouldn’t start off with replacing just one meal and work your way to two if you need to.

Is it nutritious?

Each 2-scoop serving of this great shake contains 180 calories, making it a good weight-loss option. Each shake also contains 18g of carbohydrates, 8g of fiber and a whopping 25g of protein. This is a great balance, especially as the shake is designed to be suitable for a low-carb diet.

The powder is also supplemented with 22 vitamins and minerals. So, these shakes make a good replacement for a nutritious and healthy meal.

Is the GNC Total Lean Shake 25 value for money?

Each tub of GNC Total Lean Shake 25 comes in at $39.99. The tub contains 1.83 lbs of powder, which makes 16 two-scoop servings. That means that each shake comes in at $2.50, which is reasonably affordable given that it replaces a full meal. So, if you were to replace one meal a day with the shake, you would be spending $17.50 per week on the powder. Two meals per day would come in at a weekly cost of $35. Also, as this powder is designed to be mixed with water, you won’t have to spend any extra money on milk or milk replacements.

However, it’s worth keeping an eye out for any special offers to make the diet cheaper. Currently, GNC are running a promotion on their website where you buy one tub and get the other half price. This would also qualify you for free shipping, as GNC don’t charge shipping for orders over $49. So, you may decide it’s best to buy the powder in greater bulk in order to save money in the long run.

How does it taste?

One of the stand-out features of the GNC Total Lean Shake 25 is its wide range of flavors. This is great as it allows you to have a little more variety taste-wise. For this reason, you might want to take advantage of their multi-buy offer and get a few different flavors. Even better, some of their flavors are a little more outside the box, which can help to prevent boredom. The flavors currently available are:

  • French Vanilla
  • Banana
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter
  • Mixed Berry
  • Orange Cream
  • Rich Chocolate
  • Cookies and Cream

However, the million dollar question is, do the shakes taste good? Most people seem to enjoy the flavors, and the shakes don’t have too much of the ‘chalky’ flavor which can be an issue with diet meal replacement shakes made from powder. Also, if you don’t like the taste of one flavor, there are plenty more options to try.

Some people may find that the flavor of these shakes is a little too sweet for their taste. If you find them overly-sweet, this can be compensated for by adding more water to the same amount of powder to make it more diluted. You could also add some ice as an alternative to dilute the powder and achieve a more milkshake-like texture.

What else is included?

Helpfully, GNC include a handy diet and exercise guide with their meal replacement shake powders. This is a nice touch and shows that GNC take the health and fitness of their customers seriously. Also, it helps draw your attention to the fact that any diet is unlikely to succeed without a balanced diet and sensible exercise regime. The advice within the guide is sound, so when you buy this shake you really have everything you need to establish healthy habits that you can maintain in the long-term.

Does it work?

The most important thing you’ll want to know when you’re considering using a meal replacement shake is, does it work? Will using this meal replacement shake actually lead to real, lasting weight loss?

As far as the GNC Total Lean Shake 25 is concerned, the answer appears to be yes. There is some evidence to show that using the shakes as part of a 1,500 calorie-per-day diet will help you lose weight. However, you will need to be prepared to make sure your meals are balanced and healthy and that you also participate in regular exercise.

Customer experience would tend to back up these claims as well. Just a quick look at the reviews on their websites reveals many satisfied customers who say that they have managed to lose significant amounts of weight. This may be down to the pleasant taste of the shakes, as people seem to enjoy them.

Smartshake Original 20 oz. Bottle

The Smartshake original 20 oz. Bottle is the perfect accessory for your new meal replacement shake regime. It’s a good idea to buy a shaker bottle if you’re planning on embarking on diet shakes because they reduce the mess when you’re mixing you’re shake (mixing in a glass is notoriously splashy). Many people find that shaking also helps them to achieve a smoother mix. The other main advantage of a shaker bottle is that it allows you to carry your meal replacement shake with you. Many people choose to put the powder in their shaker bottle and then add water when they’re ready for their meal. This approach helps to avoid spills.

We love the smart neon-blue color of this bottle, and the design is super-stylish. Even better, it’s designed to be leak-proof, so you could prepare it beforehand if you wanted without worrying about sticky shakes leaking out into your bag. The plastic this bottle’s made from is BPA free, so it doesn’t pose any risk to your health even with repeated and long-term use.

Another great feature of this bottle is that it’s multi-purpose. It’s designed to withstand daily use and can be used in the microwave and freezer without damage. So, you can use this bottle to make more than just meal replacement shakes. Even better, the bottle is designed to be washed in the dishwasher once you’re done. So, this makes clean-up quick and easy too.

Inside the shaker bottle, you’ll find three removable compartments. This allows you to store dietary supplements such as tablets, meal replacement powders or even snacks without them getting mixed up. Of course, you’ll have to add any liquid later on if you choose to use this feature. This allows you to carry around everything you need for your diet in your shaker bottle, saving space in your bag or purse.

The bottom line

Diet meal replacement shakes can be a great way to lose weight and keep it off. However, it’s really important to check that the shake you’re choosing is nutritious and enjoyable enough to consume every day. For this reason, we recommend the GNC Total Lean Shake 25 as the perfect way to use diet meal replacement shakes in a healthy way. Just like with any new weight loss regime, it’s important to make sure that you are maintaining an all-round healthy lifestyle to make sure that you are losing weight in a healthy way. This includes taking exercise, eating balanced meals and staying properly hydrated.

It’s also a good idea to consult with your doctor before starting a diet involving meal replacement shakes to make sure it is healthy and safe for your particular needs. This is especially important if you have any pre-existing health conditions. Also, make sure that you check the ingredients carefully if you have any allergies before drinking any meal replacement shake.