Several years ago I would have never imagined my decision to drink a meal replacement shake to lose weight would lead me to this point in my life. Perhaps like you, I wasn’t sure I could be satisfied with a meal replacement shake instead of a cheeseburger from Sonic. However, looking back, a meal replacement that is nutritionally a full meal was the catalyst to my weight loss.
Drinking the right meal replacement shake with protein is the foundation for weight loss, building muscle and maintaining good health.
Note: This post has been updated to reflect current my protein choice and can be found at the bottom of the post.
I was an overweight 41-year-old woman who had never had to work very hard at losing weight…until after 40. After my hysterectomy, my weight began to increase rapidly.
Once I made the decision to lose weight, I knew my eating habits had to change. The frequent fast food stops, the processed food, and desserts needed to be traded for healthy meals.
At the time, I only knew how to cook foods high in calories and I knew time spent in the kitchen would only lead me to eat those foods I had come to love but not need. My go-to foods were almost all simple carbs that would not support weight loss goals.
Thankfully, I made the decision to visit a local GNC and talk to someone about losing weight. The GNC Lean Shake was recommended so I thought I would give it a try.
I had never tried losing weight with a meal replacement shake before. Knowing how much I loved eating, I have to admit I was a bit skeptical.
It took a couple of weeks to transition to satisfy my hunger with a drinkable shake, but once I did, a domino effect began to happen.
How I Started Loving Meal Replacement Shakes
First, the meal replacement shake tasted great. I have always loved chocolate, and the GNC Lean Shake Chocolate flavor is like drinking a treat. The shake quickly replaced my need for a daily sweet treat and I was happily having 2 – 3 shakes a day.
This meal replacement has so much fiber it makes it extremely filling.
Sometimes I would have it alongside a little bit of food as I transitioned to only having the shake for a meal. It’s true, sometimes you just need to chew on food to feel like you’re eating in the early transition period.
In the evening, during my usual after dinner dessert or snack time, I would instead have a shake. I allowed myself some of what I craved but also worked in a shake, helping me to reduce my food portion size.
The transition to full meal replacements and healthy eating was driven by both my goals and my cravings. Meaning, I didn’t force myself too hard to change overnight.
This kind of slower transition led to more success than if I had stopped everything I was accustomed to eating overnight.
I never felt like I was forcing myself to drink meal replacements instead of a plate of food. I think that is really important to note.
I had meal replacement shakes for weight loss because I wanted to put good, healthy nutrients in my body and at the time, a protein supplement loaded with vitamins and fiber was the way to do it.
How many calories are in a meal replacement?
The calories in the GNC Lean shakes are about 150 calories using water.
I added about 1/3 cup of almond milk, the rest water, which made the shakes about 200 calories each.
What makes this shake different?
The key to losing weight after 40 is cutting back the snacking on junk food (ie: sugar and other simple carbs) we have become accustomed to eating. Plus, somewhere along the way, we started the emotional eating which is a really hard habit to break.
The GNC meal replacement shake is loaded with fiber. A whopping 8 grams of fiber per serving! That’s more than any other meal replacement shake I have tried, or even that I have seen on the market.
The fiber is one of the components for filling us up and satisfying our hunger for longer periods of time, perfect for replacing a meal.
Also in the shake is high in protein, 25 grams, another bonus. Protein is essential for rebuilding and toning muscles that we have lost over the years. When we tone our muscles, metabolism increases, therefore we burn more calories throughout the day.
Healthy protein shakes are the foundation for millions of people wanting to live a healthy life today. What used to be a bodybuilder’s supplement has become a household standard for people of all ages and goals.
My teenaged daughter was so concerned for me when I began drinking the meal replacement shakes for weight loss instead of eating what she considered real food. My meal replacement drinks were so much healthier than the food she was eating!
When choosing good protein shakes like this one, you can feel good about drinking it because it is packed with vitamins and minerals your body needs daily.
This truly is not an ordinary meal replacement shake. I stayed on the GNC Lean Shake for the first year or so of my weight loss journey before switching to others. Now, I use a variety of protein shakes.
While I know there are a lot of good quality protein shakes available, the best meal replacement shake for weight loss is still the GNC Lean Shake. Once you feel more comfortable with smaller portions, the 8 grams of fiber may not be as needed as it was in the beginning.
There are some great meal replacements on the market, but for weight loss, the GNC Lean Shake is the entire package needed by women over 40.
Are Meal Replacement Shakes Good for Weight Loss
So many women tell me drinking shakes aren’t satisfying; the need for eating and chewing is still there.
I totally understand. It was an adjustment period for me too. There were days in the beginning when I would have my shake with a little bit of food. It’s okay to add a shake to a small meal as you learn to adapt.
The meal replacements should never be the only thing you have during the day. Protein shakes are beneficial for weight loss, toning muscles and improving health.
The average person doesn’t eat enough lean protein, especially when trying to lose weight and tone muscles. It can be difficult to eat enough lean protein without adding too many calories – which is where a protein shake or meal replacement shake is needed.
For more information on drinking protein shakes regularly for weight loss, make sure to read this post on Protein for Weight Loss. The difference between this meal replacement shake and other protein powder is mainly the amount of fiber.
You can even use the meal replacement for snacks! Snacks and eating ENOUGH is important to better health including losing weight.
Chances are, your snacks often end up being more than 200 calories, and empty calories even! Isn’t it better to have a snack loaded with vitamins, protein, and fiber?
I think yes!
Once I became accustomed to drinking a shake for a meal, I usually had one for breakfast, lunch and sometimes a snack. Dinner would be healthy with protein and vegetables.
The variety of GNC Lean Shakes makes it easy to stick to drinking them. Plus, you can create different smoothies using them! Also a bonus…they are pretty economical. Most of the time they are BOGO!
After I was able to have a kick start of losing weight with meal replacement shakes, it motivated me to work harder. I worked out harder, made better choices with food and stayed consistent.
What I am drinking now
I highly recommend all of the members of the Fit Found Me Weight Loss Challenges to supplement with protein powder daily to meet their protein goals. Without a good quality supplement, it would be very difficult to eat the right amount of protein our body needs.
Even if it’s only as a snack or post-workout protein drink, the fiber and protein are great for good health and will help you reach your goals.
Protein shakes are still a regular part of my nutrition. Making sure to meet my protein macros every day helps maintain muscle tone.
Now, I prefer the 1st Phorm protein supplements because of the quality of the processing and manufacturing retains a higher quality protein. It is processed in a low heat which holds more nutrients, therefore it is better for digestion and usage.
Have you tried a meal replacement shake to lose weight before?
Meal Replacement Shake for Women's Weight Loss
- 1 scoop Level-1, Vanilla
- ½ cup ice
- 6 oz water
- 1 cup strawberries
- ½ cup blueberries
- 1 cup Kale
- Put all ingredients into blender.
- Blend until smooth.
Additional Shake Info:
Nutrition for weight loss can be a tricky thing to learn when transitioning to a healthy lifestyle. Eating enough lean protein for weight loss can be the trickiest. Consuming too little can lead to a weight loss plateau.
No doubt, protein for weight loss could, in fact, be the link you’ve been missing. As women over 40 embarking on our first real journey of sustainable weight loss, fitness and overall good health, there can be a lot to learn.
For a Vegan Shake to Lose Weight:
Call me crazy, but this whey protein loving girl is going vegan! Okay, well, not quite, but I just drank fermented vegan proteins shake…and I liked it! Eeeeek!