Diet shakes have a simple concept: stimulate weight loss by lowering the number of calories you take in every day. When you use shakes as occasional meal replacements, that strategy can work well. But commercial diet shakes aren’t always made from healthy ingredients. Mixing up your own shakes at home, however, gives you control over exactly what goes into them and how many calories you’ll drink per serving.
Protein Shakes Are Great For Weight Loss
A key ingredient of a healthy diet and lifestyle is protein, and it is, without a doubt, one of the cornerstones of the health and wellness industry. In fact, the sale of protein supplements in the UK has increased by 17.4%, according to The Financial Times. And for good reason. Protein has been scientifically proven to be a key factor in weight loss and getting into shape. Protein shakes are some of the most popular choices among the masses when it comes to losing weight. What is it that makes these protein shakes so beneficial to weight loss? Here are ten reasons why protein shakes are great for shedding those extra pounds.
Protein Shakes Can Replace Carbs to Speed Up Weight Loss
Protein can be an alternative to carbohydrates. The difference is, carbohydrates give you an immediate energy boost, which allows you to work harder. Protein, on the other hand, takes time to be digested before it can give you energy, making it a better source for the long term.
Protein Shakes Don’t Add to Your Waistline
When combined with rigorous exercise, protein allows many people to gain muscle weight. This type of weight gain often leads people to wrongly perceive protein as the cause behind the weight gain. Additionally, some protein shakes contain sugar and other flavourings to make them taste better.
Muscle Burns Calories and Protein Builds Muscle
Protein builds muscle, and the bigger your muscles, the more calories your body can burn. By consuming more protein, you’re giving your body what it needs to strengthen your muscles.
Protein Shakes Destroy Calories
Some protein—like whey protein—is thermogenic, meaning it burns a lot of the calories in your body, and gives you healthy, strong muscles. Burning off extra calories is essential for weight loss. Even health conscious people who are watching their caloric intake often consume hidden calories.
Protein Shakes Aid The Slimming Process
Protein contains amino acids, like Leucine, which stimulate fatty acid oxidation and burn calories. When you include a protein shake in your diet, you can counteract the occasional cheat or missed workout.
Protein Shakes Can Help You Control Your Appetite
If you don’t feel full, you want to eat, no matter how much you’ve already eaten. It’s a battle against your mind that your stomach usually wins. The right protein can be the equalizer in this war. In fact, research shows that protein can bring down the levels of Ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates the sensation of hunger.
Protein Shakes are an Easy Way to Add the Right Protein to Your Diet
Protein shakes are a great way to add extra protein to your diet without the hassle of extra meal prep. There are plenty of excellent supplements and mixes available to fit the casual dieter wanting to lose a few pounds.
Protein Shakes Are A Healthy Convenience Food
One of the biggest obstacles to eating right is how much work it is compared to ready-in-an-instant processed food. Work, family, and other obligations can eat away at your time. So when lunch or dinner comes around, there’s a strong temptation to toss a frozen dinner in the microwave or swing through the drive-thru at the nearest fast food joint, rather than take the time to prepare a healthy meal.
Research Supports the Benefits of Protein Shakes
A number of studies show that protein shakes contribute to weight loss. In fact, people given supplemental protein lost “significantly” more fat mass and had a notable decrease in total and LDL cholesterol.
Best Meal Replacement Shakes For Weight Loss
When going for a meal replacement, limit yourself to shakes, since meal replacement (MRP) and protein bars tend to be high in sugar. Note: It is not advisable to replace more than 2 of your 5/ 6 meals with protein shakes.
Meal Replacement Shakes vs. Protein Shakes
There is a difference between meal replacement shakes and protein shakes. It is important to recognize the difference between shakes, as there is a big difference in calorie content between meal replacement shakes and simple protein shakes.
Meal replacement shakes and other meal replacements such as bars, soups, puddings and other snacks are designed to REPLACE one or two of your daily meals. Meal replacement shakes are specially formulated for weight loss and weight maintenance. These shakes are designed to give you a wide range of essential nutrients in a low calorie meal substitute, rich in proteins and low in carbohydrates (typically 2:1 ratio). A good MRP shake contains both carbohydrates and protein and between 200 and 400 calories.
A protein shake or smoothie on the other hand, is simply that – protein. This shake contains little or no carbohydrates, fat and other essential nutrients. Protein shakes are very low calorie and are not designed to replace a meal.
Buying The Best Meal Replacement Shake
When buying a meal replacement shake or protein shake powder, consider the following points:
You need to be able to mix the powder with water, juice or milk.
Meal replacement shakes should offer a proper balance of calories from protein, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and all the essential vitamins and minerals.
No or low in saturated fats, trans-fats and sugars. Some shakes are very high in sugar.
Make sure the calorie content is right for you. This will different depending on whether you are using the shake as a meal replacement or snack.
Too much sugar or too few calories can cause you to eat more and defeats the purpose of weight loss.
Remember to look for low carb meal replacements if you are on a low carbohydrate diet.
Compare different brands in order to make the most informed decision. Compare calorie, fat, protein and carbohydrate content. When looking at carb content, see how much of those carbs are sugar.
Popular Meal Replacement Shakes
Beachbody’s Shakeology is getting a lot of hype in the world of meal replacement shakes, as it boasts the inclusion of over 70 ingredients to aid in your body’s digestive health and fat-burning capabilities. Beachbody states that the digestive enzymes added to Shakeology are from natural sources such as papayas and pineapples, and these sources also provide high levels of antioxidants that can help prevent premature aging and degenerative disease. This is a perfect choice for someone who doesn’t have the time or desire for breakfast, but needs an energy boost before lunch.
With so many different meal replacement shakes on the market, Orgain Protein Powder makes its mark by providing shakes that are completely gluten-free, soy-free, non-GMO, and free of all artificial ingredients. Orgain not only wants you to get that protein boost that you’re after, but they want you to feel as healthy as possible in the process. While they do have dairy-based shakes that are made with all grass-fed whey and milk protein concentrates, they also have great vegan options that are made using completely organic ingredients.
GNC Total Lean Lean Shake
Total Lean Lean Shake’s main goal is to provide you with a meal replacer filled with 25 grams of whey protein per serving in addition to vitamins and minerals that aid in a healthy metabolism and lean muscle mass. GNC offers the details of its no-frills approach on its website, listing all of the ingredients of the shake so you know exactly what you’re putting into your body.
IdealShape’s meal replacement shakes are geared toward those who are looking to lose weight and control cravings. It’s not for those who are necessarily trying to gain muscle, increase their metabolism, or improve their digestive health. The IdealShape website shows how replacing just one meal a day will assist in weight loss when accompanied with a calorie-controlled diet, as the powder formula they provide is a mere 90 calories per serving. Most other meal replacement shakes are around 180 calories a serving, and coupled with blending those formulas with berries, bananas, or nut butters, that calorie count can skyrocket and ultimately sabotage all attempts at weight loss. IdealShape boasts that just one 90-calorie serving of the shake is enough to keep you satisfied for up to three hours because of the inclusion of the all-natural potato protein called Slendesta.
Herbalife is a company that has more than just a meal replacement shake to offer — it also has nutrient-dense snacks, vitamins, and products. The most beneficial part of Herbalife is that it encompasses an entire system to make you look and feel your best. Discover Good states that Herbalife centers around more than just the dietary shakes and supplements and keeps its focus on living an active life and building an overall confidence in its clientele.
Visalus Vi-Shape’s meal replacement shake is a drink that’s not just for weight loss. The nutrient-dense formula is designed for anyone looking to live a healthy and active lifestyle with or without a weight loss goal in mind. According to the Vi-Shape website, the formula includes a protein blend of whey and soy proteins, a full day’s serving of fiber, and 25 other heart-healthy vitamins and minerals. The shake also only has one gram of fat, less than one gram of sugar, a low-sodium content, and only 90 calories per serving.
If you’re looking for a plant-based protein shake that not only offers a satisfactory meal replacer, but also offers vitamins, probiotics, and antioxidants, the Vega One Nutritional Shake may be your best bet. Vega offers a variety of powder supplements to fit your needs, whether that’s the Vega Essentials shake that boasts 3 servings of greens in one serving, or the Vega Protein & Greens blend that offers 20 grams of protein per serving. However, the Vega One Nutritional Shake provides the full package of protein and nutritional needs to fit into any lifestyle.
Originally known for their sustainable wine, California Natural Products has a new creation that appeals to health fanatics everywhere. While many of the meal replacement options on this list come in either pre-mixed formulas or powder supplement form, Svelte keeps it simple with one option: an organic pre-mixed protein shake that doesn’t disappoint on flavor. Though you can only purchase individual CalNaturale shakes, their variety of flavors far exceeds many of the other meal replacement shakes on the market. These single-serving shakes come in either an 11- or 16-ounce size, and you can get them in banana crème, chocolate, French vanilla, cappuccino, or spiced chai.
There are many options when it comes to purchasing Muscle Milk — you can go for one of the six pre-made protein shake options, or you can try one of their four powder formulas, each boasting different benefits depending on which you choose. If there’s anything that’s consistent with all of the Muscle Milk products, it’s that they are incredibly high in protein and low in calories and sugar, making them ideal for those looking to build strength after a workout.
The Bod-e Shake is designed to balance protein with carbs and healthy fats so that you can build lean muscle mass and suppress your appetite to achieve your goal weight.
This meal replacement shake comes in powder form, and there are only two basic flavors — chocolate and vanilla. While there may not be a whole lot of variety to this formula, this could be a great option for those looking for an easy, straightforward shake that’s jam-packed with nutrients. In each 2 scoop serving of this shake, there are 16 grams of whey protein concentrate, 7 grams of fiber, 24 grams of carbs, and 660 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids. Not only are you getting your protein with this powder, but you’re also getting a healthy dose of nutrients that you may not otherwise consume in your everyday diet.