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Are Meal Replacement Shakes Good for Weight Loss?

Meal replacement shakes are pretty much solely responsible for my weight loss. They were my first step to improving my health and transforming my body inside and out when I was over 40 years old. So, of course, I was completely sold on meal replacement shakes early on. I have learned not all shakes are created equal. 

Weight loss without exercise relies solely on nutrition, and increasing protein is a great place to start. Additionally, check out this list of 50+ ways to lose weight without exercise to improve your results.

I’ve purchased over a dozen different shakes over the years and found out the hard way, not all of them taste good and certainly not all of them have good quality ingredients. You may be thinking the same thing I did at first, as long as the label says meal replacement or has protein, it must be a good choice. Not at all true. 

woman holding a shake in a jar

First shakes instead of regular meals

As mentioned above, I started out with the (affiliate link) GNC Lean Shakes. I would drink 2-3 shakes a day simply because I didn’t know how to eat healthy. My daughter would complain I wasn’t eating well, but in reality, I was getting much better nutrition than she was eating fast food. 

Some shakes are fortified with a lot of the required daily nutrients, however, it should be used as a supplement, not all you’re eating. 

Once I began to learn how to fuel my body with whole foods, I drank shakes 1-2 times per day. 

What I look for in a meal replacement shake

The amount of protein is important, but the type of protein AND the way the protein is manufactured is extremely important. It’s like generalizing buying a steak without specifying which cut of steak you want. A cut of ribeye is very different than flank steak. 

I aim for at least 30 grams of protein per meal/snack, so I like my protein shakes to have at least 20 grams of good quality protein. I have learned protein can be processed in a way that will quickly digest or digest a little slower. For the meal replacement shake, we want it to digest slower. 

Fiber is also important to have as an ingredient. Fiber helps us to feel satiated longer. 

Meal Replacement vs Post Workout Shake 

Unlike the meal replacement, a post-workout protein shake should have very little to no fiber and hydrolyzed protein is best. Hydrolyzed protein will have the ability to get to muscles for repair and replenish after a workout much faster than a typical meal replacement shake will. 

This is something I didn’t realize until I learned about protein powder shakes. These workout shakes are the best I have found for that specific reason. 

How much weight did I lose from drinking shakes?

I lost over 35 lbs, but most importantly, I transformed my body. Before I gained weight after age 40, most of the time I was around 140 lbs wearing a size 8-12. After about 10 mos, I was 140 lbs wearing a size 2-4. 

Have more questions? Comment below and I will be happy to answer! 

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