Meal replacement shakes can help take the guess work out of calculating calories.Jump To The Best
Instant Knockout Complete – The Best Meal Shake For Weight Loss
Rootana – The All Rounder Meal Replacement Shake
Abnormal - A Customised Shake
Huel Black - The Most Popular Meal Replacement Shake For Weight Loss
Shakeology - Best Weight Loss Shake Variety
At TRT Center we believe that meal replacement shakes offer a simple and effective way to assist with weight loss, over the years various food models have been posited by governments around the world, and almost all of them have failed miserably. Meal replacement shakes take the guess work out of dietary requirements. Not only do they present an affordable solution to healthy eating, but they're also incredibly convienient. As far as real world application goes, there is probably little as effective as recommending meal replacement shakes for weight loss.
Meal replacement shakes take out a lot of the common pain points with people who are struggling to lose weight, such as portion control and convienience. Mostly being broken down into around 400Kcal per serving, and prepared in seconds, they provide a real working solution in this area, whereas complicated diet plans allow for under reporting calories, which most people struggling with weight loss do (see study). This led doctors to see if using meal replacement shakes for weight loss was more effective than a traditional calorie restricted diet. The answer was quite simply a resounding yes. Meal replacement shakes made the process of managing calories a lot more simple as having an easy measuring system was far less difficult to maintain so the patients were able to effectively track the calories they were intaking. The trial resulted in 93% of the meal shake patients losing 5% or more of their body fat versus 55% of the diet plan group. Meal replacement shakes for weight loss are even available on perscription in many countries, so it's well noted that they are proven to be effective.
Some of the most commonly asked questions about meal replacement shakes for weight loss
Yes, medically proven and more effectively than dieting in most studies, they're effective at helping people lose weight quickly especially if they have problems keeping track of calories as they take the guess work out of dieting.
Diet shakes are generally less nutritious than meal replacement shakes. The completely shakes that we review here have all your nutritional requirements as balanced by the calories you intake. Protein shakes on the other hand are designed to be an extra to help those training to build muscle meat their protein requirements without adding many calories. Shakes like instant knockout complete, and Huel Black could be considered hybrids between protein shakes and meal replacers, offering the best of both.
Generally it depends on the brand, but if you're using them to lose weight then as you'd expect they are better to mix with water.
Powdered shakes are generally far more cost effective, although if you're out and about then grabbing a pre made one is a sensible option. If you're interested in on the go shakes then check out our list of best pre made meal replacement shakes.
Instant Knockout are mostly known for their weight loss supplements, so it's not much of a surprise that their brand new meal replacement shake is geared towards this goal as well. The blend tastes surprisingly good and the ingredients blend is fantastic for recommending sustainable and healthy weight loss. Instant knockout's complete meal replacement shake is one of the best we've been fortunate to try, only hitting the market in 2022 it's made it's flown straight in to our number one spot. Outstripping some of our previous kitchen staples. It's by far the most filling meal shake that we've ever tried.
Instant Knockout Complete's stand out feature is how full it makes you feel, it's appetite supression is second to none meaning you wont be left feeling hungry.
Anyone who struggles with hunger in general, especially anyone who's tried meal replacment shakes before and not been successful or is struggling to cut fat. It's not just for athletes, but it is designed for people needing to drop weight quickly like fighters before a weigh in.
Instant Knockout Complete contains all the nutrition that you need from a complete meal, but with a focus on high volumes of protein. You can read more about the ingredients here. The protein focus will help you stay satiated and less likely to feel hungry through the day. It is also encriched with the vitamins that you need to make sure that your body is functioning at it's peak. Packed with omega 3&6 something that is highly sort after in a vegan meal replacement shake as well as a whopping 35g of protein it has everything you need to help you lose weight, maintain muscle mass and keep your body healthy. A mix of all natural healthy grains like oats, pulses, seeds and fruits, means you can keep your calories low and get your healthy fats making instant knockout complete great for your body.
Yes, even swapping out one unhealthy meal, particularly office snack type meals, sandwiches, chips and similar, which have little nutritional content and often more than 500 calories can make a huge difference to mood, energy, BMR and reducing junk calories is always going to have a positive effect on the body. Instant knockout complete is fantastic at reducing hunger cravings, making it ideal for people restricting their calories.
Instant Knockout was designed for fighters who need to drop weight quickly for weigh ins without losing muslce. So, they want to lose fat fast, but not the muscle they have. As such the formula has been balanced to help make sure that happens. With endorsements from UFC and boxing greats, it works even at the lower range of fat percentages.
But that doesn't mean it's a meal shake just for the healthy. The same principle applies to anyone who is looking for a meal replacement shake to lose weight. If it keeps you full and keeps you energised, whilst making sure you can stay in a caloric deficit that is all you need to lose weight.
This is the one let down of Instant Knockout, as a new meal replacement shake there aren't a great deal of flavours available. It currently only comes in vanilla, but generally speaking when it comes to everyday drinking vanilla is often the best all rounder for most people.
Zac here is one of 100's of example stories available on the instant knockout website. And let's be honest he looks shredded, he talks about trying other meal replacement shakes and weight loss in the past and how Instant Knockout meal replacement shakes for weight loss worked for him where others hadn't.Click Here To See More
Rootana's fully vegan, with no artificial sweeteners. It uses coconut sugars which are healthier than the sugars from cane. It's fully balanced igredients (see below) offer a completely balanced meal. The best thing about Rootana is it tastes great, using coconut sugar as opposed to artificial sweeteners means it avoids that chemically taste that a lot of other meal replacement shakes have, especially the lower calorie options. And if it tastes bad you're less likely to stick to using it, the best way to lose weight is to find healthy options that you enjoy, so the best meal replacement shakes for weight loss are always going to be the ones that have everything you need and still taste good. You can order Rootana meal replacers on their official website.
Rootana's launch in 2022 means it is likely to top our best new meal replacement shakes of 2022 when that get's written. Honestly we're massive fans of Rootana, it contains all the vitamins and nutrients you need along with healthy fats, amino acids and as we've mentioned over and over again it tastes great you can't go wrong with Rootana and it had to make our best meal replacement shakes for weight loss list.
Rootana is the newest meal replacement shake on our list, and we normally wouldn't put something on this quickly, but the second the samples hit the office we had to clamer to stop people taking them all home, it tastes that good.
Rootana's nutritionals may not make it look like a normal diet shake, and that's because fundamentaly it isn't, it's a complete meal. But, what it is, is an incredibly tasty, all natural meal replacer, which will work better than most other diet shakes because it's something you'll actually enjoy and it'll help keep you healthy, making it a sustainable option beyond quick weight loss.Check Prices
We can't recommend Abormal over instant knockout. It's good, but not 50% better for the price and the customisation to your lifestyle whilst a nice choice, is only going to be worth it for those with larger budgets. That said, the great thing about Abnormal is that they offer you a free trial so that you can see if you like their shakes. Generally speaking, at this point most meal shakes taste good, and those that don't have already gone off the market. Although 7 days isn't going to be long enough to really see notable changes in your bodyweight, it will be enough to get an idea as to whether or not you'll be able to stick with abnormal. And the fact that they send everything out in individual sachets makes it really convienient if you're on the go.
Honeslty it depends on how you answer their lifestyle questions. They'll send you the blend that's right for you, as such it can be great for taking the guesswork out. But the product is a little bit expensive and you only get 30 meals out of each delivery, whereas other competitors give you more meals for less money. And the varience is relatively minor. So in short, if you've got spare budget and want an edge. Then it's worth it. Otherwise, stick to a different brand.
Abnormal do a load of good things for people and the planet, which is a nice bonus for people who are socially concious, personally it's more important to us that the product is good, and it is, so the fact that all their sachets are made of paper and they contribute towards fighting world hunger with every purchase you can feel like you're doing your bit too.
Abnormal does force you into a subscription, which is a little annoying, we like the shakes, but it wouldn't be the first or the last time we ended up forgetting to cancel a subscription and got stuck with a stockpile of shakes that we hadn't actually used. Although, that's not really all too much of a complaint.
Come on it's Huel, we couldn't not talk about them, but the question that comes up is, which version of Huel should we talk about? At this point they have versions that are high protein, and they have complete meal replacement shakes that are more balanced. There's so much variety in their product range that it's even hard to nail them down on taste or ingredients. Huel is probably the meal replacement shake that you've heard of, it's also one of the most conveinient meal replacers, with it being available pre made in most stores. Whilst it isn't quite the original, with meal replacement shakes being used medicinally for years before it's launch, it is perhaps the first to bring a complete meal shake to a large audience.
Technically the answer is Huel Black, but, that does assume that you like Huel Black, whilst it is the best meal replacement shake for weight loss and muscle growth as it packs the most protein, it definitely doesn't taste the best. And flavour matters, for most people on the first step of their weight loss journey we tend to recommend better tasting shakes as transitioning to healthier eating habbits isn't always the easiest thing to do. Huel does have the advantage of having a flavour for everyone though, so it's almost certain you can find one that you like.
Short answer yes, but as you can see by it's position on our list we'd recommend that you pick a different meal replacement.
Shakeology do one thing really well, and that's offering a range of sample size meal replacement shakes meaning you don't necessarily have to commit to large purchase. So, if you’re unsure about which flavour to get, BeachBody also sells taste samplers and combo packs so that you’re never lost on what to eat next making it a great option for people looking for a diet shake.
What Flavours of Shakeology Can You Get?
A USP of Shakeology and why they made our best meal replacement shakes list, is that there is a range of flavours that are available as sample size shakes, so there’s always something new to try if you tend to get bored of one flavour quite easily. Currently available in the US you can find:
Cookies & Cream Vegan - Strawberry - Strawberry Vegan - Vanilla - Vanilla Vegan - Cafe Latte - Cafe Latte Vegan - Chocolate - Chocolate Vegan
A shake from one of the largest and best-known fitness and nutrition companies in the US, Shakeology is brought to us by the good people of BeachBody.
Described by some as a “powerhouse” of a shake, Shakeology is packed with protein, superfoods, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. Released back in 2009, the shake has remained at the forefront of meal replacement shakes thanks to its expertly crafted blend.
Like many meal replacement shakes, BeachBody claims that the shake will help you lose weight while also providing a boost in energy, support digestion, and perhaps most importantly help fight those deadly junk food cravings. But does Shakeology work? Let’s find out!
If you’re looking to enjoy a healthy lifestyle while losing weight, then Shakeology could be the meal replacement shake for you. Expertly crafted for those looking to drop a few pounds while also improving their health, Shakeology offers a lively and convenient solution.
A single serving of Shakeology (36 grams) contains approximately 150 calories and 16 grams of protein. With over 70 superfoods within the blend, the serving comes packed with an astonishing amount of nutrients. Those in the fitness industry know that BeachBody is big on superfoods, and this is no different for its Shakeology line of meal replacements.
It’s important to note that unlike some of the other meal replacement shakes on this list, Shakeology is not currently gluten-free. The company says: “In designing Shakeology, we carefully selected ingredients that are not gluten based (such as wheat or barley). However, that does not mean that incidental inclusion of gluten-based grains may occur in some ingredients during farming.”
When it comes to protein, Shakeology takes it from three sources; pea, soya, and whey. Depending on which flavour you’re enjoying, however, the shakes will have different ingredients.
The vegan chocolate Shakeology, for instance, will contain pea, flax, quinoa, and rice, whereas the whey chocolate flavor includes whey, pea, sacha inchi, chia, flax, and quinoa. It's also GMO free as you can see in the image to the right.
As mentioned already, Shakeology comes packed with superfoods, which also vary depending on your choice of shake:
Regular whey chocolate flavour: camu-camu, bilberry, goji berry, acerola cherry, green tea, luo han guo, rose hips, and pomegranate.
Vegan chocolate flavour: camu-camu, acerola cherry, blueberry, bilberry, luo han guo, pomegranate, goji berry, and rose hips
Café latte plant-based vegan flavour: whole coffee fruit, camu-camu, acerola cherry, blueberry, bilberry, lycium, berry (goji berry), luo han guo, pomegranate, and rose hips.
Shakeology meals also come with a range of digestive enzymes, including amylase, cellulase, lactase, glucoamylase, and invertase.
These important enzymes help your body absorb the nutrients in food, and with these extra doses to offer a helping hand, you know that you’re getting absolutely everything you need from the shake.
Meal replacement shakes are exactly what they sound like, shakes that have all of the essential nutrients required to replace meals. Pretty straight forward. They offer more than a traditional protein shake, and are deemed to be suitable as a complete meal. This means that they're ideal for people who don't have time for meal prep and need to make sure they have a healthy option to fall back on. A lot of them use plant based proteins like pea protein rather than whey found in protien shakes to allow for a better flavour as they're not as concerned with being low calorie, but still tend to help for weight loss. They typically include all eseential nutrients, vitamins and minerals as well as amino acids to help maintain optimal health.
Well this is quite simple, if you swap out an average office lunch, let's say a cheese sandwich and a can of coke, for a meal replacement shake you'll not only stay full for longer (it may take a few more minutes for you to feal full after drinking it) you'll probably half your calories. A cheese sandwich and a can of cola is usually around 800 calories, and a meal replacement shake is 400. Over the course of 1 month that's the equivilent to 3 and a half pounds of fat. Added to which you'll be getting far more protein, and vitamins and minerals that your body needs to stay healthy with just one very small change. Over the course of a year that one chance can add up to 40lbs! Just from swapping your unhealthy lunch to a meal replacement shake. And let's be honest, it's a lot easier to keep a bag of meal replacement powder at the office than it is to always go to the store and grab a healthy lunch, or always make sure you have one prepared to take in the morning.
This is a slightly complex question, most complete meal replacement shakes will recommend using two scoops of powder, this is to ensure that you hit your RDI (recommended daily intake) of vitamins and minerals and calories, so they're normally balanced to be around 400Kcal per 20% of your nutritional needs. However, there is absolutely nothing from stopping you using a single scoop and in some cases we actually prefer single scoop servings with some getting a little thick with a double scoop.
The average price of a bag of good meal replacement powder is around $60, they can be more of less expensive and there are some decent cheaper ones available they just don't tend to be as nutritionally balanced or taste as good. That said this usually works out to be around $2-3 a meal, which is cheaper than an unhealthy sandwich and soda 9 times out of 10. Some more expensive options or pre made drinks can run as high as $5 a meal, but the joy of meal replacement shakes is you're less likely to be caught short.
ALWAYS AND WE MEAN ALWAYS PUT THE WATER IN THE SHAKER FIRST!
Trust us you'll thank us later, if you do it the other way around the powder will clump up and you'll have some not so delicious chewy clumps of powder in your shake.
There are more than a couple of benefits when it comes to using meal replacment shakes as part of your diet plan, the top 5 should to most people seem pretty straight forward.
Unlike Protein Shakes they're designed to be complete meals and are nutritious by default. A good meal replacement shake should have all the macro and micro nutrients you need for a complete meal, this helps take the complicated math and or in most cases guess work out of maintaining a healthy diet.
They're Portable and are a great way to avoid prolongued meal prep, or unweildy lunch boxes as you attempt to keep on track with your diet when you're using meal replacement shakes for weight loss this is a massive benefit.
They really help avoid snacking as they're available quickly, this is good for two reasons, one it takes time out of meal prep and if you have been caught short, you're less likely to reach for something unhealthy if it's going to take more time. This plays into the psychological element of making it easier than doing the unhealthy thing.
They state the ingredients, clearly, the protein, carbs, nutrients etc is laid out clearly, you know exactly what you're getting, as above there's no math, we know we've said this time and time again, you could even argue it's the same point as point one, that's how important it is. This is where people fall down on their diets most commonly.
Some are some aren't, we've got a seperate list of the best dairy free meal replacement shakes, although two of the top 3 on this list are in fact vegan meal replacement shakes. Remember, not all meal replacements are created equal, and when you're looking for one that suits your needs make sure you also find one that you enjoy as that will be the most important thing when it comes to sticking to your diets and using a meal replacement shake to help lose weight.
Whey protein is used in most meal replacement shakes, although with this being a milk product, can come with some drawbacks, mostly that it isn't suitable for everyone. It is however considered a complete protien, meaning it naturally has all nine essential amino acids. Plant based meal replacers do tend to have blends of pea protein, soy protein and brown rice protien to create the same effect. However, without the addition of soy, many complete meal replacment shakes will be lower in BCAAs (branch chain amino acids) and some of the essential acids that are required for the most effective muscle protein synthesis. Soy protein does have a complete profile by itself, however it is rare to find a completely soy based shake.
We run through the best of the best dairy free and vegan meal replacers.Best Dairy Free Meal Shakes
When deciding on which meal replacement shake is right for you, you'll want to look at the following things, the ingredients, the calories, the fillers and the macros. Don't worry this isn't as complicated as it sounds. Some of this is going to vary across purposes, for example, if you're trying to build muscle then you'll want higher protein, as a rule of thumb this will be at least 1g for every 2lb of your body weight. After that it's not so important where you get your calories from, but remember higher protein will keep you fuller for longer. You'll want to avoid fillers where possible as these are generally unhealthy so when you're looking for healthy meal replacement shakes you'll want to keep an eye out for the below.
These will help your body break down the food that goes into it and help keep your gut healthy, most good meal replacement shakes are fortified with the correct enzymes to help you process the shake effectively.
Macros are the main thing we look at when creating a balanced meal, they're looking at diet in a broader sense, which is why we call them macros, an ideal blend should be around 50% carbs, 30% proteitn and 20% healthy fats.
A complete meal replacement shake should have the right amount of vitamins and minerals to make sure you reach your recommeneded daily intake, that means if the shake contains 20% of your days calories it should also contain 20% of your daily vitamins and minerals or "micro nutrients". All the ones on our best meal replacement shakes do.
This is particularly important with vegan meal replacement shakes as there are very few sources of essential omega oils (which are needed for brain and joint function) outside of fish or ludicrous consumption of walnuts and flax seeds. So, having refined versions of these becomes incredibly important for people following vegan diets, typically most meal replacement shakes get omega 3 and 6 from chia seeds or flax seeds.
Everybody poops, and if you want to keep your digestive system happy you're going to need fibre, and probiotics, again all the shakes on our best meal replacers list contain the right amount of these, but if you're opting for cheaper brands make sure to watch out for this, especially if you're using meal replacement shakes for weight loss, as these are likely to be quite full of chemicals.
You'll of course want to look out for allergens, this could mean making sure you find a lactose free meal replacement shake, or checking for nut allergens. This will of course be dependant on your personal dietary needs.
We can't get enough of instant knockout complete, definitely the best new meal replacement shake on the market, so to see what everyone is raving about, us included check it out today!Read More
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1454084/ - Underreporting Calories Study
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2851659/ - Meal replacement shakes for weight loss study
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7468918/ - Importance of Omega oils for brain health