Meal replacement shakes are great for people who want a simple and convenient approach to weight loss without much diet prep.
I personally don’t follow a strict meal replacement shake diet but do use meal replacement shakes as a post workout meal. I also use them sometimes a substitute for lunch or breakfast.
I just find it so much more convenient than having to prepare a meal. Just mix content using a blender or shaker cup. Maybe throw in a banana or two if your blending and your good to go.
The great shakes listed below are some of the best low carb meal replacement shakes for weight loss on the market. You can’t say this for all meal replacement shakes for example Isagenix.
They also happen to be very affordable compared to some ridiculously expensive shakes like shaekology.
As a self obsessed Nutrition lunatic, I have tested and trialled many of the low calorie meal replacement shakes listed below.
My favourite has to be Tru-fit and Orgain. However, the others below are right on par with the ones I personally take.
You can take 2 meal replacements a day, for example lunch or breakfast. I personally only do one meal replacement that is normally in the morning as a post workout or as a substitute for lunch.
I don’t recommend doing anything unhealthy. Some “starvation diets” such as calorie diets such as starvation life recommend placing all meals with meal replacement shakes, bars, and the occasional soup.
This is not healthy so do not set yourself up for a damaging weight loss transformation. 1-2 meals max is your goal here.
Tips if you are hungry
The below shakes should fill you up. You should also be on a high protein diet, which add to your fullness. However, in case those hunger pans come knocking on the door eat these snacks.
- Mixed Nuts
- Apple slices with peanut butter
- Oat biscuits (Can also pick gluten free)
- Energy Nut bars (Make sure low sugar!)
These shakes are incredibly versatile and can be used as post workout shake, a breakfast smoothie, a lunchtime meal replacement or a evening dinner.
The general myth is that meal replacements are only applicable to the gym and health freaks of the world that could not be further from the truth.
Meal replacements are perfect for all people and also people who do not hit the gym.
If you’re a father or mother, you all know the joys of a busy lifestyle. A meal replacement would be perfect to fit into your routine.
Working professionals who find it difficult to find the time to prepare a nutritious meal
College kids/Uni students who are looking for alternatives to the sugar and low quality shakes seen on popular body building forums.
Gym and Fitness boys and gals who are looking for a pre or post workout shake to fuel their muscles and energy.
Opinion on low carb meal replacement shakes
Every Meal replacement shake is geared towards helping you lose weight. This is why most shakes never really exceed the 200 calorie per serving mark.
In my mind meal replacement shakes are the exact opposite from mass gainers in the sense they have little carbs. Nonetheless, that still doesn’t mean you should be starving yourself.
Meal replacements are great for some short term weight loss but should never replace a healthy nutritious diet.
The recommended amount to replace meals is normally breakfast and lunch. I normally replace one meal a day. Either lunch or breakfast. Do NOT replace 3 meals a day.
Healthy whole foods that help you operate at a calorie deficit is always going to be the secret to long term weight loss.
Consequently, shakes should be used to help you along your journey but never as a full diet replacement.
How much calories should you really be eating at each meal?…Will a meal replacement shake really suffice?
I’m not a calorie counter personally. I normally just have a shake blended with a banana and 1 – 2 snacks in between meals.
Honestly I’m a little bit lazy to count every calorie that goes into my body. Remember with meal replacements the great thing is the calorie counting has already been done. The calories per-serving rarely exceeds 200 per serving.
If you really are a meticulous calorie counter for every meal, then my fitness pal is a great app to help you count calories.
I have used and researched the best workout shakes on the market below. Here my personal tips when buying the best meal replacement shake for weight loss.
- No one likes the same meal everyday. Vary it up by trying different shakes and different flavours. One day you can have Vega One and bananas and the next Labrada with blueberries and oats.
- Use shakes that contain all the nutrients the body needs. These include vitamins, protein, probiotics, carbs, fiber and minerals.
- Don’t ever be afraid to add snacks between meals or even into your shakes. Fruits, vegetables, berries, are all great options.
- I have said this many times but do NOT replace every single meal. Use meal replacement shakes only for the meals you find the most convenient to replace.
Labrada happens to be a very popular shake on the market. It has its roots invested in the fitness and bodybuilding world considering this shake was founded by pro body builder v Lee Labrada.
I normally recommend trying to pick shakes that are 3g or below in sugar level. However, Labrada is my exception to the rule.
Many people give up on their weight loss shakes because of the foul taste in their mouths.(there are ways to make crap shakes taste better.)
So I wanted to find something that taste good but doesn’t sacrifice in quality. Labrada is up there with one of the best tasting shakes on the market today.
For example, if you go for the chocolate flavour mixing it in with banana, oats. Or berries makes it taste like a creamy dessert.
Some shakes have a gritty or tough texture when blended. Labrada has a smooth thickness to it that is not over bearing. If your quite picky when it comes to taste then labrada is a great tasting shake.
I had the strawberry flavour and it taste similar to a milkshake I would have in a coffee shop.
In terms of feeling full I personally believe this is down to the individual. However, from my personal experience of trying this shake I have felt full after having it. You can always add additional carbs to your shakes likes oats if you do feel full.
I do not personally use TrueFiit, but this shake definitely meets every criteria for being an amazing shake.
Affordable, quality ingredients, low in sugar, great tasting and can be utilised as a post workout shake and meal replacement.
TruFit comes with all the crucial ingredients to replace a meal – Protein and amino acids, fibre, natural fruits and vegetables of which are non-GMO. Also includes some essential vitamins and minerals.
What customers say:
Customers love the taste. Once again for a shake that is low in sugar at only 2 grams this is an amazing achievement. Customer say it tastes like a chocolate malt… mmmmm
You never want to starve yourself thin. True fit although being low in calories and g per serving, leaves you full and satisfied. Having this for breakfast or lunch should keep you going throughout the day and until your next meal.
The texture is not gritty or chalky but quite smooth.
My struggles in the past was having crunchy type shakes that taste bad and are hard to gut. The texture is the opposite with true fit.
If combined with either a milk or water the shake can taste similar to that of a nesquick mix or chocolate malt. Its definitely up there being a great taste.
Orgain Organic Plant Based Meal Powder
Orgain are a popular vegan nutrition and supplement company. The most important thing I love about Orgain is the fact they pride themselves on being one of the most healthy shakes on the market.
The fact their companies mission is all about finding the healthiest ingredients that are organic without the added sweeteners and preservatives some shakes have on the market is testament to their great values.
Remember damage never happens when you drink something for a short time. The damage is done long term so consuming something that is in effect replacing a meal needs to be well thought out and shake needs to be healthy!
If you are a vegan this product is perfect.
Lets take a look at the things this shake is free from:
- Non GMO
- Lactose free
- Soy free
- 1 grams of sugar
- Dairy Free
- Gluten free
I knew instantly after reading the ingredient list that Orgain really do uphold their “higher standards” to make sure their shakes are one of the healthiest on the market.
To lose weight one of the rules is to increase protein intake while restricting carbs. Orgain has a low amount of calories per serving at 150g and a high amount of protein at 21 g.
Like Trufit there are 20 servings per container.
Similarly, with all my shakes that are chocolate in flavour I love mixing 2 servings in with a banana and almond milk. Blue berries are also optional. This is also the recommended way to take Orgain.
Optimum Nutrition NO:1
Optimum Nutrition is NOT a meal replacement shake but a protein shake. However, just because something is a protein shake does not mean it can’t be used as a meal replacement.
I would recommend optimum nutrition for those that are regular gym goers and lift weights on an occasional to regular basis. This product is the best of the best when it comes to building muscle and dropping those pounds.
The protein source is from quality ingredients like the other plant based meal replacement shakes recommended in this article. Pea, brown rice and Saachi inchi proteins are all the ingredients that make up the protein composition.
BCCAa’s are also a plenty in optimum nutrition. BCAAs stand for branch chain amino acids. They help push the body into a state of protein synthesis.
Most protein powders come without BCAAs in the standard form of whey protein isolate or plant based protein. Adding the BCAA’s gives that extra boost when it comes to building muscle.
This is because BCAA’s help enhances protein synthesis.
However, it also works at the other end and prevents muscle loss.
After a heavy workout Optimum Nutrition Protein really can help increase your weight loss by building/maintaining muscle mass.
Optimum also acts as a great low carb meal replacement considering 1 serving only contains 140 calories.
How to get the most out of optimum nutrition
Like anything this shake chocolate flavour mixes well with almond milk. To get the added vitamins/ enzymes/ probiotics that meal replacement shakes have you can add berries, bananas. And leafy greens like spinach to add get all the nutrients your body needs.
Flavours include plant chocolate, and plant vanilla.. With any plant based protein sources, taste on average is generally worst than their less healthy whey protein alternatives.
Nonetheless, Optimum nutrition plant based protein tastes great for a shake with no added preservatives or sweeteners.
Some shakes have a bitter or grainy after taste. Optimum nutrition does not. The chocolate flavour tastes very much like chocolate milk.
If you feel are busy and don’t have time to prepare a healthy meal, the nutritional shakes above will set you on a focused direction to losing weight.
All shakes are versatile, high quality, and taste great.
In my mind there is nothing wrong with taking meal replacements shakes. The main goal is to find ones that are low in sugar and feed the body the nutrients it needs to lose weight.