2018's Top 12 Diet Shakes - Meal Replacement Shakes Reviewed
18Shake was rated #1 by our research team. Compared with other products, we concluded that it has the best composition and will naturally help people lose weight faster than other shakes. After trying 18Shake we did not want to eat for about another 3 hours.
- Calories: 90Hunger blocker: good
- Sugars: 1gEbook: yes
- Taste: goodPrice: $1.95 per shake
Yoli Shake has a kind of protein called "purawhey" It is hormone-free, non-denatured, minimally processed, and biologically active. This is a good start for a protein shake, and just one of several high-quality ingredients found in the Yoli Essential Shake*.
*Results are individual and may vary. We cannot guarantee the same experience for every consumer.
- Calories: 80Hunger blocker: bad
- Sugars: 2gEbook: no
- Taste: goodPrice:$300/kit
American MLM corporation Beach Body describes the features of their weight-loss shakes on their website. They claim that their product is the best on the market, but we do not trust such statements without trying it out ourselves.Always take a closer look at the facts.
- Calories: 160Hunger blocker: bad
- Sugars: 6gEbook: no
- Taste: poorPrice: $4.0 per shake
How to Choose Right Weight Loss Shake?
Today's market of meal replacement products includes a wide range of options. It can be completely overwhelming and stressful just to think about what to buy. We believe this has led many people to purchase a weight loss option that may not have been the best, but simply the most familiar to them. Unfortunately, familiarity does not always mean effective or good for your body.
Our team decided to privately research many weight loss meal replacement options in order to find the perfect combination of high quality and affordability.
We researched and tested both popular and unknown brands. Needles to say, Our results were actually quite fascinating.
**Results are individual and may vary. We cannot guarantee the same experience for every consumer.
The Kellogg Company the created the Special K shake and breakfast cereal. Special K supports a diet that they call "The Special K Challenge." The diet is simple: replace two meals per day with Special K products. This can include protein bars, shakes, or cereal.
- Calories: 190Hunger blocker: bad
- Sugars: 18gEbook: no
- Taste: goodPrice:$2.50 per shake
The AdvoCare Vegetarian Meal Replacement Shake is just one of the many products that participants can use during the 24-day challenge. But does this shake really meet our standards?
- Calories: 200Hunger blocker: good
- Sugars: 12gEbook: no
- Taste: goodPrice:$3.20 per shake
Slim Fast offers a variety of options for dieters, including snacks, shakes, protein bars, and other supplements. Their products are based on providing consumers with weight-loss options that are healthy and smart. Their products are available in both traditional stores and online.
- Calories: 200Hunger blocker: bad
- Sugars: 9gEbook: no
- Taste: goodPrice:$0.6
Arbonne is an MLM company that sells shakes online. They are involved in the nutrition, cosmetics, hair, and skin care markets, but we will be focusing on their weight-loss products. Specifically, this review is about the Arbonne Essentials Shake.
- Calories: 170Hunger blocker: bad
- Sugars: 9gEbook: no
- Taste: poorPrice:$2.0
Do Meal Replacement Shakes Work?
A fast paced approach to weight loss is often sought after but this can be difficult to maintain long-term. Boredom, repetition, and fad diets can often make achieving sustained weight loss a chore, or at worst seem as if it's impossible with delayed results or insufficient fat loss.
This is why a meal replacement shake can be an effective weight loss tool. It can replace an entire meal to take the guess work out of calorie counting, and you have so many different flavor combinations possible. The trick is then finding the right brand that can actually satisfy appetite, is easy to mix, contains rich vitamins and minerals, and which offers quality protein.
Some confuse a protein shake with a weight loss meal replacement shake but there are often key differences:
|Meal Replacement||Protein Shake|
|Calories can vary but for weight loss meal replacement shakes, calories are lower.||Often higher in calories to help increase weight and or support athletes that burn many calories.|
|Certain brands are exclusively for weight loss.||Made for weight gain or weight maintenance typically.|
|Contains a blend of vitamins and minerals to fully replace the nutrients you'd find in a meal.||More focused on providing rich protein, and may not contain enough nutrients to replace full meals|
|Should contain an appetite suppressant.||Protein is added, but fiber can be lacking.|
|May increase muscle depending on the amount of protein used and the quality.||Typically meant to increase lean muscle growth.|
|Balanced ratio of carbohydrates and protein.||May have a random assortment of carbohydrates and protein.|
|If it's a weight loss meal replacement shake, you can expect something unique added to aid fat loss such as an appetitive suppressing fiber.||Since weight loss isn't the goal, the focus is simply on providing high protein.|
Not all brands are created equal however as meal replacements for weight loss and meal replacement shakes differ as well. Regular meal replacement shakes can actually have even more calories than a protein shake, which is why it's important to make sure you're getting a brand that is made specifically for weight loss.
This article will help you learn all about the potential weight loss you can sustain with a weight loss meal replacement shake, and what the year's best brands can offer.
How do Meal Replacement Shakes work?
The science behind a meal replacement shake is simple. You get fewer calories than a standard meal, while still retaining a wholesome blend of vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, and more. So for example you might eat one meal with 800 calories. Some weight loss meal replacements offer around 90 calories per serving which is a significant decrease.
To calculate weight loss a common standard highlighted by Live Strong.com is to look at fat this way:
"A pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories"
So with that you can plug in the following equation assuming you're getting 3, 800 calorie meals a day:
- 1 Regular Daily Eating Cycle: 800 x 3 = 2,400 calories.
- Adding just 1 weight loss meal replacement a day: [800 x 2] + 90 = 1,690 calories daily.
- Regular Eating Cycle Weekly=7 days x 2,400 calories= 16,800 calorie total a week.
- 1 Meal Replacement a Day Weekly= 7 days x 1,690 calories = 11,830 calorie total a week.
- 16,800 calories (regular meals per week) � 11,830 (1 meal replacement daily per week) = 4,970 calorie difference every week.
That's a total of over a pound a week by just replacing one meal a day. Certain meal replacements can replace two meals a day so this can further maximize your weight loss results.
This allows you to lose weight since you're reducing your caloric intake by a significant amount. When caloric intake is high and you have a sedentary lifestyle, you end up either increasing weight or maintain the weight you have now. The added vitamins and minerals can also support your body since you might be fatigued and less energetic if you simply reduced calories without giving your body what it needs to thrive.
Protein and fiber can help with appetite suppression so you're not continuously hungry and unsatisfied after a meal.
You also get the benefit of enjoying a tasty shake (depending on the brand) which can make meals satisfying and easy to prepare. No need to do anymore measuring or calorie counting which can make it tedious and time consuming to diet. You simply blend your shake with your liquid of choice and you can include add ons to mix it up and satisfy your taste buds. Thousands of various flavor combinations and recipes can be found online, so you can continue to mix it up and enjoy your diet shakes to your liking.
A major complication which can arise from any diet is maintaining your regimen during times of:
- Lack of time
- Boredom with the same foods
- Not being in the mood to prepare a meal
Meal replacement shakes are meant to combat the above hurdles by being easy to prepare, available in many different recipes to suit your liking, quickly made, and don't require you to track your caloric intake as it's already on the nutrition label.
Calories are not the only concern however as you also have to ensure that there are additional ingredients which can help with appetite suppression, as well as a quality protein source which can provide well-rounded amino acids.
Protein Shake Diet
A true diet shake should have a rich amount of protein, which is why meal replacement shakes and protein shake diets are often used interchangeably.
When you're dieting you definitely want a shake which is rich in a quality protein source, since it has multiple uses. Protein has what are known as amino acids, and these are essential to good health. MedlinePlus a health information website owned by the US National Library of Medicine describes amino acids as being the:
"building blocks of life"
The reason being is that protein supports all of the following:
- Tissue repair (important when you're exercising and want to grow lean muscle)
- Helping to support important body functions (necessary to help you function normally)
- Have been shown to support lasting weight loss (supports fat loss and appetite suppression)
- Effective at supporting strength maintenance
- Aid mood and sleep (which can then result in more weight loss)
- Regulate blood sugar so your overall health is maintained.
Clearly a protein shake diet would be an optimal solution for weight loss since you're giving your body what it needs to not only lose weight, but it is essential for many important functions.
Diet shakes will often refer to the quality of their protein for good reason, protein is the most satisfying of all macronutrients, and this includes fiber. A study published in a scientific journal Cell found that:
"proteins... lead to a "satiety" message... sent to the brain after a meal"
Their findings found that this can potentially support the:
"prevention of obesity"
Web MD also note a study by Purdue University which said:
"most likely to feel fuller after eating protein than other nutrients"
Their study showed that when 30% of one's calories came from lean protein, that users maintained their muscle mass better and they felt generally better. In other words they looked good and felt good without the nagging discomfort that can come from calorie cutting.
Therefore you can keep losing weight without having that crash or tough time constantly thinking about food which can lead to you breaking your diet. You also gain the benefit of being able to sustain the diet so you do not have to jump back and forth between fads or short-term plans which claim to provide quick weight loss that doesn't stick. A protein rich shake is meant for lasting weight loss where you can maintain your goal weight.
Following a diet that offers a protein rich shake isn't as simple as it seems however, since the quality of protein will beat quantity.
What Protein is best?
High protein may seem like the logical conclusion for weight loss but it's not quite as simple as that. Just like not all calories are created equal since 90 calories of broccoli versus 90 calories of sugar has a different effect on the body, the same goes for where you source your protein from.
Plant based protein and milk based protein are typically easy to digest and they're used in diet shakes though there are key differences:
Plant based protein and milk based protein are typically easy to digest and they're used in diet shakes though there are key differences:
|Plant Based Protein||Milk Based Protein|
|In order to get the full range of amino acids essential for the body, this often needs to be mixed.||Can be found in just one protein source.|
|Often have a vegetable like taste.||Flavor profile is often better.|
|Commonly uses soy which is frequently GMO unless otherwise stated.||Rarely if ever GMO.|
|In the form of soy, pea, hemp, sunflower, rice, and a few others.||Offered in whey concentrate, whey isolate, milk protein concentrate, milk protein isolate, and a few others.|
|Typically lower in branch chain amino acids.||TOften high in branch chain amino acids.|
|This is often a cheaper to source protein source.||Can be cheap in price but if it's whey, it's a quality protein.|
|Can sometimes be considered chalky in its texture, which is why additional ingredients are used to mask the consistency.||Many times it can be easy to mix and does not require additional fillers to be blended correctly.|
A clear winner out of all forms of plant and milk based protein is whey. Whey is rich in branch chain amino acids, can be used for lean muscle gains, is easy to digest, and has a full range of amino acids that the body needs when replacing meals.
Examine.com has further looked into whey protein and they found that it:
"may be healthier than other forms of protein"
It also has lean muscle building properties so you can decrease fat and have a more toned physique. When looking for a quality meal replacement shake it's best to find one with mixed whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate since one has more protein by weight, and the other more vitamins and minerals. You get the best of both worlds to help improve your overall nutritional intake.
How Much Protein Should I be consuming?More protein isn't always better since it's often suggested by groups such as The US Department of Agriculture that a daily intake of protein should be:
"0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight"
Take a person 170 pounds and you can fit them in this equation:
- 170 pounds x 0.36 daily advised protein = 61.2 grams.
Therefore a 170 pound person should be eating around 61 grams of protein daily.
Bulking protein shakes can have upwards of 30 grams of protein per serving or more, but this is meant more for bodybuilders or people who are constantly active and doing a lot of weight lifting exercises.
For the average human being looking to maintain or begin weight loss there's no need to have excess amounts of protein. The focus should then be on consuming a weight loss diet shake that has a protein source like whey around the amount of 15 grams per serving.
Some meal replacement shakes even allow for you to drink 2 a day, so assuming there's 30 grams for the 2 servings; you'd be close to fulfilling the daily advised protein amount. The rest can be enjoyed via your snacking and or meals.
Meal replacement shakes should have the total amino acid content shown so you can make sure that they add it in substantial enough amounts to nourish your body. As mentioned before whey protein is a better form of protein since it often has much more amino acids per volume than plant based protein. This is often why many plant based protein meal replacements will neglect to offer a full list of the amino acid content.
Best Meal Replacement Shakes for Weight Loss
There are so many diet shakes out and this no doubt can cause confusion. Where does one begin to look for in a brand when you don't have the time or inclination to read reviews, examine all the ingredients, check prices, and finally determine the pros and cons of each brand? You have to not only be an expert in so many fields but you need to consistently look out for new brands and try and determine if they fit your specific needs.
Key questions to ask are:
- Does it work for appetite suppression? How long can it suppress appetite? If it does then is the calorie content low enough to help me achieve sustained weight loss?
- Are there any cheap additives which are potentially harmful or not as good for me as alternative ingredients?
- Have customers of this brand lost weight successfully and do they like the taste?
- Does it require a blender or can I mix it with a shaker bottle?
- Can it mix with ease and can I use it alongside other foods like fruits and vegetables?
- Is the company who sells it reputable? Do they offer a money back return? Do I have to commit to an auto-shipment plan or deal with a multi-level marketing program?
- What kind of protein does it use and is it added in a meaningful amount?
There are no doubt a lot of additional questions which have to be asked about each individual diet shake, and then you have to do this continuously for each and every brand.
To simplify this process our review experts make a top 10 list every year which is constantly being renewed and updated to find any new brands on the market. Here is a list of the top rated weight loss meal replacement shakes of the year:
1) 18Shake: All-natural, made with a rich protein source, contains the right amount of vitamins and minerals, low calories, well-reviewed by customers in terms of taste, weight loss, and appetite suppression, and this shake is sold at a fair cost. There's nothing to dislike about 18Shake and this includes the company that makes it, since they have been highly touted via customer reviews. The only notable concern is that you can only find this online. stimonials are also offered as well as impressive before and after photos to help showcase what you can gain from it. This was the number one meal replacement shake for good reason. It outperformed other diet shakes by a wide margin on all categories. You can also have 2 full servings a day and with 90 calories per serving you're getting just 180 calories from 2 full meals.
2) Yoli Essential Shake: Made with a high quality protein source and natural ingredients. It is pricy and reviews of its appetite suppressing effects are underwhelming. This was seen as a decent diet shake though some did not like the multi-level marketing approach the company takes. The company does use grass fed whey protein which is a great appetite suppressing and amino acid rich protein.
3) GNC Lean: A popular weight loss shake that is low in price and often described as being mildly effective at providing an appetite suppressing meal. There isn't much protein added to it and they do add cheap protein sources which can be sourced elsewhere for a reduced cost. They offer this in a plant based form and with milk based protein, as well as versions with a higher amount of protein.
4) Shakeology: A well-known brand that uses a blend of plant based protein as well as whey protein. They include much more exotic ingredients than the standard protein shake. Customers weren't happy about the high price and the sometimes questionable taste. There were also notable complaints about their business practices. This brand is notable for their marketing and often rarely seen blend of plant and milk based protein.
5) Herbalife Formula 1: Lower in price than most diet shakes, this brand is offered in many flavors which some said was enjoyable. The glaring flaws have to do with the high amount of sugar, unnecessary artificial additives and certain flavors use of soy that is most likely GMO derived. There are no trans fats or cholesterol added, and they use a blend of 21 vitamins and minerals. Unique in their use of not often seen flavors, and they have non GMO blends as well.
Successful weight loss has been achieved by from the use of meal replacement shakes. They help simplify the dieting process by offering a wide array of essential micro and macronutrients. They also offer a tasty way to lose weight so you won't feel like you're dieting.
The provided protein can be used to successfully build lean muscle mass while reducing appetite and giving the body what is often referred to as the building blocks of life.
Finding the right diet shake is essential for making sure you optimize your weight loss results, while avoiding cheap or unnecessary additives which can stall weight loss or not give sufficient nutrients. Not all meal replacements are the same as some actually contain a high amount of calories, which is why one should look only for a weight loss meal replacement shake or diet shake which also has a rich source of protein.
Of the meal replacement shakes seen this year; the one which was the overall best in terms of price, weight loss results, business ethics, and all other essential aspects is the top ranked 18Shake. Customers loved its ease of use as it can be mixed without a blender, the fact it only uses natural ingredients, and that it was helpful in suppressing their appetite and assisting in lasting weight loss results.
The company provides some great testimonials as well as before and after photos from customers who said they had difficulty with weight loss in the past. If you're looking to maximize your weight loss potential with a meal replacement then the top rated 18Shake can help deliver results.