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16 Best Meal Replacement Shakes: Complete Buyer's Guide

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Healthy meal replacement shakes are a great way to cut your food intake and contribute to weight loss, but it can be tricky finding the ones that will actually make a big difference. 

That’s why here at OriGym, we have found 16 great products and provided this clear and informative list of the best meal replacement shakes reviews in the UK, so you can get your weight loss journey back on track in no time.

Before you dive in, learning more about fitness and nutrition can do wonders for changing your lifestyle and being healthy. Check out our REPs and CIMSPA accredited personal training courses or download our latest course prospectus for all the information.

Also, feel free to download our FREE 16 Week Home Strength Training Programme before jumping in.

What are meal replacement shakes?

Meal replacement shakes (or meal replacement drinks) are food supplements that are commonly used to completely replace a meal, snacks, or multiple meals during the day. They either come in the form of powders or ready-made drinks, and usually have a shake-like consistency.

Meal replacement shakes are commonly used for weight loss due to their lower calorie content, and the filling nature of the shakes.

For more information, we have put together an in-depth FAQ section at the end of our list of meal replacement shakes reviews, which answers questions such as 'how to use meal replacement shakes' and 'how much weight can i lose with meal replacement shakes?'.

#1 - Cute Nutrition - Chocolate Meal Replacement Shakes 

Price: £16.99 for 500g 

If you’re looking for the best meal replacement shakes on today’s market, then look no further than this chocolate flavoured product by Cute Nutrition! 

These low calorie meal replacement shakes are mainly geared towards women and have been specially formulated to ensure that you look and feel your best. 

Cute Nutrition's shake has been designed to aid and maintain weight loss. By substituting one to two meals a day with this shake, you can maintain and support your weight loss goals alongside regular exercise and a healthy diet.

These meal replacement drinks for weight loss contain an effective blend of minerals and vitamins that will help to replace any health benefits that you might lose from replacing certain meals during the day. For every 35 gram serving of this shake there are 10.5 grams of protein, 17.4 grams of carbohydrates, and 1.9 grams of fat

If you want to learn more about body fats and how to lose them, read OriGym’s guide on the types of body fat: risks, benefits, and fat loss tips for some great advice and information.

These high protein meal replacement shakes will satisfy your sweet cravings whilst also being low in calories, with one shake only containing 217 calories (when mixed with skimmed milk). Plus, there’s a huge range of flavours available, including: 

  • Chocolate
  • Strawberry & Vanilla
  • Cookies & Cream
  • Coffee Frappé
  • Vanilla 
  • Cherry Cheesecake 
  • Mint Choc Chip
  • And Peaches & Cream, amongst many more! 

This is also a great option if you’re looking for meal replacement shakes for breakfast, as you can drink it right at the start of the day to provide you with a healthy, balanced breakfast on the go. It’s also a great substitute for your lunch and any extra snacking you might do throughout the day. 

On top of being veggie friendly, and having well over 6 and a half thousand brilliant reviews on Amazon, these replacement meal drinks are only going to cost you £16.99 too, making it the perfect choice if you’re after cheap meal replacement shakes for women! 

#2 - StripFast 5000 - Strip Shake SuperLean 

Price: £20.00 for 907g 

Offering support for both men and women, StripFast 5000’s shake is a great option if you’re shopping around for one of the best meal replacement shakes for weight loss in 2020! 

As well as containing a whopping 21g of protein, these diet meal replacement shakes also contain 27 essential vitamins which will support your body during the dieting process. 

There won’t be any need to worry about calories either, with each shake only containing 135 calories. The replacement meal shakes are also low in carbs and fat, which will undoubtedly play a massive part in helping you along on your weight loss journey. 

As if you didn’t need any more reasons to subscribe to these low calorie meal replacement shakes, there’s also the added bonus that they’re also free from GMOs and artificial preservatives. StripFast claims that they’ve created the perfect balance between nutrition and balance with this shake, and it comes in four different, delicious flavours, those being strawberry, chocolate, vanilla, and banana, so there will be some great tasting meal replacement diet shakes for you.

The meal replacement shake can be substituted for both your breakfast and lunch, leaving you to enjoy an evening meal of up to 1000 calories! Plus, StripFast 5000’s shake is also suitable for vegetarians. 

One 907g tub of diet meal replacement shakes will only set you back by £20.00. Considering all the protein, vitamins and minerals that have been stuffed into this shake, we find it hard to find a fault with that price! 

#3 - SlimFast - High Protein Meal Replacement 

Price: £7.25 for 438g 

cheap meal replacement shakes for weight loss

Another one of the best meal replacement shakes for weight loss in 2020 has to be SlimFast’s High Protein shake.  

SlimFast’s meal replacement protein shakes only contain 230 calories per serving and have no added sugar. It’s high in protein too, with one serving containing 15g of protein! They are also a great source of fibre. 

Additionally, these protein meal replacement shakes also include 23 essential vitamins and minerals, and contain 1/3 of your daily nutrients in each serving! 

As part of the SlimFast 1,2,3 plan you can replace 1 to 2 meals every day with these shakes, allowing you to enjoy a balanced 600kcal (800kcal for men) meal for dinner. Buying a tub of SlimFast’s meal replacement shake will only cost you £7.25, which is a great deal in itself, and each tub contains up to 12 servings. There are a variety of flavours available too, including chocolate, vanilla, caramel, and strawberry.

On the whole, this product is definitely a great option if you’re after cheap meal replacement shakes! 

#4 - SCI-MX Nutrition - Diet Meal Replacement 

Price: £16.77 for 1kg 

One of the best meal replacement shakes on the UK 2020 market has to be this product from SCI-MX Nutrition. 

Packed with added diet support ingredients, SCI-MX Nutrition’s shake can be a huge help as you undertake your weight loss journey. The shake contains green tea, CLA, and VIT-MIX Trim to help support your diet, and has been specially designed to leave you feeling full and energised for hours. 

These replacement meal drinks can act as a complete meal replacement as each serving contains at least 30% of your daily mineral and vitamin needs. The shake is also high in calcium and zinc. One serving of this nutrient-dense shake contains 25g of protein1.7g conjugated linoleic acid, and just 200 calories. An all-round fantastic option if you’re shopping for complete meal replacement shakes for weight loss. 

Replacing one to two meals a day with this shake can help you achieve your fat-loss and toning goals as part of your exercise and healthy eating regime. Plus, for some extra support with your diet, why not incorporate a portion control plate into your dinnerware? The ingredients in the shake also help curb hunger and cravings, meaning you’ll be snacking a lot less after you start using this shake every day.

These protein meal replacement shakes are available in three different flavours, those being strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate, and are going to cost you only £16.77 for 1kg, which will provide you with around 18 servings. 

Another top option for best meal replacement shakes for weight loss for UK shoppers!

#5 - Garden of Life - Meal Replacement Shake 

Price: £18.11 for 484g 

These convenient all-in-one meal replacement drinks (with UK delivery) are great if you’re looking to lose weight and begin a new diet. 

This meal-on-the-go is packed with incredible nutrition to help satisfy your hunger and manage your weight. Each serving contains 20g of clean, organic plant protein, 2g of fibre, 1g of sugar, and only 130 calories

Not only does this shake work as a substitute for your meals, but it's also a great help with your post-workout recovery. The powder, which has been made from 44 superfoods, including organic peas, fruit, and vegetables, helps build lean muscle and boosts energy. 

To incorporate some superfoods directly into your meals, read our guide on the best superfruits to add to your diet today.

These are some of the best meal replacement shakes for men and women, containing 22 whole food minerals and vitamins, including vitamins B12, C, D and E, as well as biotin

If you’re a vegan or veggie, you’ll be happy to know too that this is also one of the few certified vegan protein powders. If you’re looking for dairy-free meal replacement shakes, then this one will tick that box for you too. As well as not having any dairy, Garden of Life’s shake also doesn’t contain any gluten or soy either. 

There are four flavours available, including chocolate, vanilla, vanilla chai, and lightly sweet. 

If you're someone who’s looking at meal replacement shakes reviews, then you’ll be glad to know this one has excellent ones, with Amazon awarding it with a 4.3 star rating from over 3,000 reviews. If that doesn’t convince you that this is a top product, we don’t know what will! 

#6 - Grenade - Carb Killa Protein Shake 

Price: £14.89 for 8 x 330ml 

These are some of the best meal replacement drinks by Grenade that will help you stick to your weight loss scheme and keep you away from any unnecessary snacking. 

These are high protein meal replacement shakes with one 330ml bottle containing over 25g of protein. There are also less than 200 calories per bottle, which is perfect for those who are watching their weight but still want a little sweet treat every now and then.

The Carb Killa replacement meal shakes are low on sugar but don’t compromise on taste. You can easily satisfy your sweet tooth cravings with one of the 6 flavours available, which include:

  • Banana Armour
  • Chocolate Mint 
  • Cookies & Cream
  • Fudge Brownie 
  • Strawberries & Cream 
  • And, White Chocolate 

Packed full of flavour, the Carb Killa low sugar meal replacement shakes can be consumed at any time, whatever you’re up to. You can drink it on the go, drizzle it over your dessert or even pour it over your cereals. It’s also the perfect post-workout refreshment and a great alternative to your usual, calorie-heavy sweet treat.

This is a shake we recommend you checking out, especially if you’re looking to buy a ready-made meal replacement shake that you can drink on-the-go. The Carb Killa are easily one of the best meal replacement drinks for weight loss on today’s market! 

#7 - Purition - Wholefood Plant Nutrition 

Price: £22.95 for 500g 

best meal replacement shakes for women

For those who are after dairy free meal replacement shakes, Purition’s Wholefood Plant Nutrition will have you covered.

Purition uses real food ingredients packed with naturally occurring nutrition for healthy and natural meal replacement shakes. Proteins, fats, and fibres found in the foods that they use, such as almonds, strawberries, pistachios, and pumpkin seeds, combine to deliver energy, vitamins, minerals, and digestive support so not only will you look great, but you’ll also feel healthy.

Due to the ingredients that Purition uses, these healthy meal replacement shakes are high in protein, high in fibre, and low in sugar. They're also vegan friendly, gluten-free, and contain zero GMOs. They're 100% plant-based, so you won’t be finding any hidden nasty additives within their ingredients.  

There’s a wide range of flavours available too, including:

  • Vanilla
  • Hemp Chocolate
  • Chocolate Orange
  • Strawberry
  • Hemp Original 
  • Blackcurrant 
  • Coffee & Walnut
  • Beetroot 
  • Beetroot & Chocolate 
  • Almond
  • Pistachio 
  • Coconut 
  • Raspberry
  • Pecan & Cinnamon 

All flavours are under 180 calories per serving, so you can easily curb those hunger pangs as well as watching your calorie intake. This product is truly a great option for the best diet meal replacement shakes due to its natural ingredients, and the huge health benefits that it brings to the table because of this. 

#8 - Atkins - High Protein Shake Powder

Price: £19.99 (Chocolate), £17.41 (Vanilla) for 370g 

For low sugar and low carb meal replacement shakes, this option from Atkins is one of the best and offers a high protein boost as well!

These diet meal replacement shakes are described by Atkins as being the perfect way to satisfy your hunger. Containing 19g of protein per serving, they work as a great replacement for your breakfast, lunch, or even your in-between meal snacks. Drinking them will keep your sugary food cravings away, thus helping you to stay in control of your diet and stay on track with your weight loss. 

This protein shake as a meal replacement option is very low in carbs, with one serving only containing 2.7g. This makes it keto-friendly without sacrificing any of the taste! It’s also low in sugar, with one serving only containing 0.9g. The shake has been designed to keep you going between meals and avoid the snacking sugar crash. 

If you’re looking for a healthier option for a sweet snack, take a look at OriGym's list of the top protein cookies available on the market.

The product's lower carb and sugar content make it one of the more suitable options when it comes to meal replacement shakes for diabetics in the UK; just be sure to check the ingredients and with your healthcare provider before consuming it. 

There are two flavours available from Atkins at the moment, which are chocolate and vanilla, so this is a great option for those with a sweet tooth. This is a product we highly recommend if you’re looking to buy low sugar meal replacement shakes in the near future! 

#9 - TheProteinWorks - Diet Meal Replacement 

Price: £28.99 for 1kg 

meal replacement shakes for diabetics uk

TheProteinWorks option is another one to take a look at if you’re shopping for protein shakes as meal replacements. 

TheProteinWorks meal replacement diet shakes are high in protein and dense in nutrients, and have been designed to help with weight loss while still providing essential nutrition. 

Each serving of this shake is packed with slow digesting carbohydrates, 20g of protein and just 250 calories. This combination will increase your feeling of fullness whilst keeping your calories low at the same time. 

As well as being vegetarian friendly, TheProteinWorks diet meal replacement shakes contain a special vitamin and mineral blend. The blend consists of a wide range of essential vitamins that your body needs, including Vitamin B12, D3, Ascorbic Acid, and calcium. These all work together to help with the normal functioning of your nervous and immune systems. 

Additionally, these low calorie meal replacement shakes are naturally low in fat, giving you another reason to consider investing in these shakes if you’re hoping to lose weight. 

This diet meal replacement is available in 11 different flavours, including:

  • Banana Smooth
  • Butterscotch Ripple 
  • Caramel Macchiato 
  • Choc Mint Brownie 
  • Chocolate Silk 
  • Dark Choc Raspberry
  • Strawberries ’n’ Cream

Due to all of the flavours that are available, we're sure that these are some of the best tasting meal replacement shakes out there, and overall the TheProteinWorks product is one of the best meal replacement shakes in the UK for sure.

#10 - SlimZest - Diet Shakes

Price: £20.00 for 907g

SlimZest’s shake is one we recommend if you’re shopping for some of the best meal replacement shakes for weight loss in the UK. 

SlimZest’s shakes are packed with 27 carefully selected vitamins and minerals to help keep you feeling fit and healthy whilst you’re on your diet. These complete meal replacement shakes are high in Vitamins B6 & B12, which help contribute to normal energy-yielding metabolism and the reduction of fatigue, as well as magnesium, zinc, and iron, which help with the maintenance of healthy muscles, skin, and bones. 

Each serving only contains 114 calories, and is low in sugar. The weight loss meal replacement shakes are also high in protein too, with one serving containing 24g; helping you stay fuller for longer, meaning you won’t have to turn to snacking and jeopardise your dieting! 

For some healthier snacks that will help fill you up, look through our article on the best healthy cereal bars here.

Taste is also important to SlimZest, which is why they have four different flavours available. These include ‘Banana Blast’, ‘Indulgent Chocolate’, ‘Succulent Strawberry’, and ‘Vanilla Ice Cream’. These flavours mean you can still satisfy your sweet-tooth cravings with some of the best tasting meal replacement shakes without eating calorie heavy sugary snacks.

If a main contributor to making a purchasing decision is based on the best meal replacement shakes for weight loss reviews, then you’ll be glad to know that over 2,000 people online have given this product over 4 stars, proving that it is a top quality product. 

This is an excellent choice if you’re after healthy and complete meal replacement shakes. 

#11- Women’s Best - Slim Body Shake 

Price: £25.49 for 1.2kg 

low sugar meal replacement shakes

Here’s a good option if you’re specifically looking for one of the best meal replacement shakes for women (men will benefit from them too, though).

Women’s Best claim that the most important ingredient in this shake are the plant-based proteins that are abundant in the powder, such as pea protein, soy protein, and rice protein. One serving of this shake contains 20.6 grams of protein, which is a huge amount! 

These plant based proteins are combined with super-foods, carbohydrates, healthy antioxidants, and essential minerals and vitamins to create a high-quality formula that has been designed to be a huge help towards helping you achieve your weight-loss goals. Some of the essential vitamins and minerals included in these meal replacement protein shakes are zinc, iron, Vitamin K, Vitamin B2, B3, B6, B5, B12, and magnesium.

You can substitute these top meal replacement shakes for women for 1 to 2 meals a day. However, it isn’t just weight loss that this shake will help you with: it will also support muscle growth and maintenance too, making it a great pre and post-workout shake too! 

One of the best things about this option is that it won’t leave you feeling hungry and craving snacks. This is a vitally important aspect towards you achieving your desired end result on your weight loss journey! Additionally, Women’s Best’s shake is vegetarian, gluten, and lactose-free too.

With one serving containing just 201 calories, and the choice between chocolate and vanilla flavours, Women’s Best is definitely a top contender for one of the best meal replacement shakes for weight loss in 2020.

#12 - Almased - Meal Replacement For Weight Loss

Price: £18.99 for 500g 

If you’re specifically on the lookout for effective meal replacement shakes for diabetics in the UK then Almased have a fantastic option on offer.

These complete meal replacement shakes are naturally high-quality. The recipe for Almased is simple: it contains high-quality soya, premium yoghurt, and natural honey. Keeping their ingredients natural is one of Almased’s key objectives, and is therefore why it doesn’t contain any artificial flavourings, sweeteners, fillers, or preservatives.  

The high-quality protein from the soya and yoghurt works in ratio with the carbohydrates found in Almased, ensuring that you won’t be consuming empty calories, but wholesome, high-quality nutrition. 

Not only is Almased’s product gluten-free, it’s also suitable for vegetarians, and for people with diabetes. Where most other meal replacement shakes contain higher carbohydrate or sugar levels, or added sweeteners that cause spikes in blood sugars (such as maltodextrin), Almased does not. Almased have found that using this shake sees significant weight loss and improved long-term blood sugar for people with diabetes, making this a great meal replacement shake for diabetics! 

Judging by the online reviews, and the fact that Almased proudly declare themselves Germany’s number 1 diabetic meal replacement shakes for weight loss, we reckon you’ll be in pretty good hands if you’d decide to buy this product.  

While maintaining this level of dedication to a diet may be difficult, investing in one of OriGym's top fitness journals can help you to keep track of your health.

#13 - USN - Diet Fuel Vegan Meal Replacement Shake 

Price: £29.99 for 880g 

best meal replacement shakes for weight loss

If you’re looking for one of the best meal replacement shakes for men and women, then look no further than USN’s top product. 

USN’s vegan diet meal replacement shakes are a great help for people who are wanting to lose weight through an alternative which is high in protein. One serving of USN’s shake contains 26g of protein and supports substituting one meal per day. Additionally, one serving only contains 3.5g of fat and 18g of carbs, making them great low carb meal replacement shakes for UK customers! 

This shake is rich in essential vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin B12 and iron, which help contribute towards a normal energy-yielding metabolism. 

This vegan-friendly, plant-based protein meal replacement shake is also available in 3 different flavours, those being chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, meaning you can still satisfy your sweet tooth without consuming sugary, calorie-heavy snacks. It's clear that USN’s product is a worthy addition to this list of the best meal replacement protein shakes! 

#14 - Huel - Powder v3.0 Nutritionally Complete Food 

Price: £50.00

protein shakes as meal replacement

Huel’s products regularly turn up on lists of the best meal replacement shakes on the market, and for good reason.

Huel Powder v3.0 is “a nutritionally complete meal in powdered form”. Huel’s shake mix contains a balance of protein, essential fats, fibre, carbs, phytonutrients, pre and probiotics, kombucha, and all 26 essential vitamins and minerals. 

Huel Powder is high in protein, with one serving containing 29g of protein from plant-based ingredients. It's also low in sugar, with there being less than 1% in each serving of these low sugar meal replacement shakes. 

The slow release carbs in the shake provide you with energy whilst the essential fats that are present give you Omega 3 and 6, which contribute towards lowering your blood pressure and boosting your memory, along with the common benefit of aiding weight loss!

This is a completely vegan friendly product too, with no animal products being used to make it. Plus, there are a whole host of different flavours available, including: 

  • Vanilla 
  • Banana
  • Chocolate 
  • Berry (a combination of raspberry, strawberry, and blueberry)
  • Mint-Chocolate 
  • Coffee
  • Original (a natural, oat-y taste) 
  • Unflavoured and Unsweetened 

One pouch of Huel will give you around 34 meals, and contains 14,000 calories, which for £50.00, works out at only £1.47 per meal. With such great value for money and huge range of health benefits, it's clear how Huel have made it onto this list of the best meal replacement shakes reviews in the UK.

#15 - XLS-Nutrition - Weight Loss Replacement Shake

Price: £11.05 for 400g

For some of the best meal replacement shakes for weight loss in the UK take a look at the XLS Nutrition product.

By exchanging these meal replacement drinks for weight loss with your normal meals, you can drastically reduce your calorie intake. One serving of this shake only contains 250 calories, making it a great addition to your weight loss plan. 

Not only is it low in calories, but one serving of this shake has 31g of high quality protein in it! The proteins provided are nutritionally complete for optimal health and essential macronutrients. 

These low calorie meal replacement shakes also contain all your essential vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin B for energy release, Vitamins B5 and B12 for normal energy metabolism, and B6 for normal protein promotion and glycogen metabolism. 

You can substitute 2 to 3 meals per day with this shake, ensuring at the same time that the meals you do eat are healthy so as to help you achieve your weight loss goals. 

With 3 flavours available, those being vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry, and one 400g tub only costing you £11.05, this is a great option if you’re after cheap meal replacement shakes! 

#16 - Organifi - Complete Protein 

Price: £60.85 for 30-day-supply 

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Organifi’s shake can be consumed as both a meal and a high protein snack, making this a perfect option for anyone after a protein meal replacement shake.

A high protein meal can boost your metabolism and give you more energy, so you’ll be glad to know that Organifi’s product has plenty of it, with one serving containing 20g of protein. The plant protein power and fats in this shake will leave you feeling full for hours, stopping cravings for sugary snacks in their track.

These meal replacement protein shakes have a complete balance of protein, carbs, and Medium-Chain Triglycerides, making these both great meal replacement drinks and an even better quick snack! 

Featuring complexes A,B,C, and D, as well as over 10 other essential vitamins, Organifi’s shake is bursting with whole food minerals and vitamins, such as Omega-3, iron, selenium, and thiamin, making this an ideal healthy meal replacement shake! 

Additionally, Organifi Complete Protein is Non-GMO, dairy-free, soy free, gluten free and vegan friendly. There are also two flavours available, with those being chocolate and vanilla. 

One 30-day supply of the dairy-free meal replacement shakes will cost you £60.85 ($79.95). This is a little more expensive than some of the other products on this list, but if you want a high quality product that you know is going to work and help you towards your health and weight goals, then this meal replacement shake is one we highly recommend you checking out! 

FAQ

How to use meal replacement shakes

There are some general guidelines for meal replacement shakes and how to use them in order for them to be effective. These include:

  • When mixing your shakes, use either water or plant-based milk so that you don’t add unnecessary sugar and calories into your diet.
  • Replace at least one meal or your daily snacks with complete meal replacement shakes; adding in shakes to your existing diet will just add more calories to your daily amount and potentially lead to weight gain.

Some brands do offer specific instructions so be sure to check the packaging to be sure you’re getting the most out of your shakes. Alongside exercise and a healthy diet, meal replacement shakes can be super efficient in aiding weight loss.

How do meal replacement shakes work?

high protein meal replacement shakes

The science behind weight loss meal replacement shakes centres around the energy and calorie intake of an individual's diet. The basic principles of this type of diet is to intake a lower calorie/energy content than the level of calories/energy you use in your exercise or everyday activities.

By substituting a meal (or multiple meals) with low calorie meal replacement shakes, you should be lowering your overall calorie intake. When the calorie/energy intake is low enough and the restrictions kick in, the body begins to burn fat for energy instead of the energy usually stored in the muscles. 

The science behind it can be a little confusing, but the bottom line is that by using complete meal replacement shakes properly your overall calorie intake will be lower and therefore trigger weight loss. Crucially, using meal replacement shakes as opposed to traditional dieting methods has actually been proven to be a more effective and healthier way to lose weight, as stated by Manny Noakes, Paul R. Foster, Jennifer B. Keogh and Peter M. Clifton in the Journal of Nutrition:

The effectiveness of the meal replacement program by a measure of “nutritional adequacy” thus is as sound if not somewhat nutritionally protective, compared with the conventional weight-loss program. (Noakes et al., 2004)

So if you’re serious about losing weight, then meal replacement shakes could be the best way forward, and if learning about nutrition like this sounds interesting to you then maybe it would make a great career! Check out our guide on how to become a nutritionist here to see if it’s the right job for you, or our guide to nutritionist salary.

How many meal replacement shakes a day?

This really depends on how much weight you’re looking to lose and how quickly. Usually, 1 or 2 is the recommended amount to lose weight healthily, although some brands (such as Almased) recommend starting their meal replacement shakes with 3 per day, replacing all meals. 

Whilst the answer to this question depends a lot on your goals, we recommend starting off slowly to see how your body reacts to the replacement meal drinks and to judge whether your diet will be sustainable.

How to make meal replacement shakes

natural meal replacement shakes

This is actually quite simple! The powdered versions usually just require a few scoops (the products will advise you on how many scoops you need per serving) mixed with water or plant-based milk to create a drink. If you want some added goodness or extra flavouring, you can blend in some fruit, cocoa powder, or flavourings such as vanilla as well.

How to mix meal replacement shakes is also simple enough: it’s recommended that you use a blender or protein shaker to ensure a smooth consistency, but you can also use a spoon or a whisk to mix them up to (just ensure thorough mixing to make sure the powder and liquid is completely blended). 

How to make meal replacement shakes taste better

Unfortunately, even the best tasting meal replacement shakes might not be to your tastes, and sometimes the consistency of the powders/shakes can be a little unappetising. Many brands do provide different flavours so trying a few different ones is a good place to start. However, due to the nature of the shakes it’s really easy to spice them up or make them more tasty!

If you have a blender then you can simply throw in fruits, berries, essences, cocoa or coffee powder, to your meal replacement shakes to make them taste better! However, be careful not to go overboard with added sugar or increased calorie levels as this will negate some of the effectiveness of the shakes.

If you don’t have a blender you can still add things like chocolate powder or coffee, and flavourings and essences - for example, vanilla, almond, mint, caramel - for better taste. Adding more milk or more water will also change the taste without adding too many more calories. 

Which meal replacement shakes taste the best?

This is a very subjective question as everyone has their own preferences and tastes, and you can easily improve the tastes of most meal replacement shakes with the advice in the previous question. While we can’t give a definitive answer, the majority of the meal replacement shakes reviews on this list have huge numbers of customer reviews as well, and many have multiple flavours, so we’re sure that one of the products on this list will soon become your favorite.

What is in meal replacement shakes?

best meal replacement shakes for weight loss

Meal replacement shakes are specially formulated with high levels of protein, fiber, essential vitamins and minerals, and have high nutritional values overall. This makes them suitable for replacing foods that would traditionally supply these essential nutrients. As Viduranga Waisundara and Naofumi Shiomi explain in their book:

Depending on the formulation, MR [meal replacements] also possess the advantage of having a low glycemic index (GI) value; low GI diets have been linked to improved weight maintenance and reduction in risk of diabetes and ocular disease...MR also tends to be nutrient dense, meaning that the posses a high ratio of essential nutrients relative to calories. (Waisundara and Shiomi, 2017, pp.258–259).

So, if you’re wondering whether using meal replacement shakes for weight loss is a healthy way to go, rest assured that when used properly they can be effective for short term weight loss and maintaining a healthy diet while you do so.

The majority do use lactose powder or dairy products which adds some sweetness as well as being a binder, producing the milkshake consistency once mixed. This is something to bear in mind if you have intolerances; luckily there are dairy-free meal replacement shakes available.

Similarly, some powders use certain types of sweeteners or have added sugars which won’t be suitable for diabetics (for example, maltodextrin), so be sure to check ingredients if there is something that you need to avoid.  

What to look for in meal replacement shakes?

There are a few key factors in the best meal replacement shakes that will ensure their effectiveness, which include:

  • Low calorie content per serving
  • Low sugar content per serving
  • High protein per serving
  • Added vitamins, minerals, and nutrition to ensure your diet remains healthy 
  • Higher fibre content (if possible) as this will keep you fuller for longer
  • Flavours - different flavours will help keep your meal replacement shakes interesting, helping you to stay motivated on your diet
  • Powder or ready-made meal replacement shakes - this is a personal preference as ready-made options cut out the time needed to make them!

How much weight can you lose on meal replacement shakes?

top meal replacement shakes uk

Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer to this question either, but before that puts you off you should know that there have been numerous studies on the effectiveness of meal replacements, and the general scientific consensus is explained by Manny Noakes, Paul R. Foster, Jennifer B. Keogh and Peter M. Clifton once again:

In most studies, meal replacements resulted in a greater weight loss than conventional diets, even when professional nutritional support was incorporated into the program.(Noakes et al., 2004)

How much weight you can lose with meal replacement shakes is really dependent on you and additional factors which include your diet, exercise, commitment, and the length of time you incorporate healthy meal replacement shakes into your lifestyle.

One thing that is important to note is the fact that many customers who have left meal replacement shakes reviews in the UK state that they had significant results from using these supplements, so they could definitely be worth your time.

What are the best meal replacement shakes?

If you’ve read through this article then you’ve already come across 16 of the best meal replacement shakes for weight loss in the UK. The products on our list have all earned their place here, either due to their effectiveness, price, nutritional values, customer reviews, or some unique features, so they are definitely the top meal replacement shakes for your needs!

What are the best meal replacement shakes to lose weight?

We’ve listed a number of the best meal replacement shakes for weight loss in 2020 within our article, and they all have varying benefits. When it comes to uncovering which meal replacement shakes for weight loss will be the best for you, this will depend on your own needs and preferences, so be sure to have these in mind when you are browsing through products.

How many calories are in meal replacement shakes?

This varies from brand to brand, and sometimes depends on the specific flavouring as well. It is incredibly important to check the calorie content per serving before the point of purchase, as this can have a direct impact on the effectiveness of your weight loss. 

The majority of the best meal replacement shakes in the UK contain around 200 to 400 calories.

Where can I buy meal replacement shakes?

meal replacement drinks

Due to the huge surge in popularity in complete meal replacement shakes, they are more readily available both in store and online than you might think. Supplement stores such as Holland & Barrett sell some brands in store, as well as some supermarkets that also sell a limited selection of meal replacement drinks and powders.

All the products mentioned above are available to buy online, which is more convenient for most people and often cheaper.

Before you go!

Incorporating healthy meal replacement shakes into your diet can be hugely beneficial in supporting your weight loss journey in the short-term. Plus, with all those added vitamins, minerals, and nutrients you can rest easy knowing that you’re still being healthy. Alongside regular exercise you’ll see the pounds drop off and your confidence soar.

Perhaps reading about nutrition and healthy living has really grabbed your attention. Want to learn more? Take a look at our level 4 advanced sports nutrition course, or download our free course prospectus for more information.

References

  1. Noakes, M., Foster, P.R., Keogh, J.B. and Clifton, P.M. (2004). Meal Replacements Are as Effective as Structured Weight-Loss Diets for Treating Obesity in Adults with Features of Metabolic Syndrome. The Journal of Nutrition, 134(8), pp.1894–1899.
  2. Waisundara, V. and Shiomi, N. (2017). Superfood and Functional Food - An Overview of Their Processing and Utilization. Intech, pp.258–259.

Written by Dee Hammond-Blackburn

Fitness Content Executive, OriGym

Join Dee on Facebook at the OriGym Facebook Group

Dee holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature, and is currently finishing her MA in Marketing Communications and Branding from Edge Hill University. Her passion for fitness and content writing brought her to OriGym, and she has since become a qualified Personal Trainer and a Sports Nutrition Specialist. Combining her skills in fitness and writing, Dee has a professional interest in fitness blogging, content creation, and social media. Outside of her writing role Dee enjoys reading, healthy cooking, and playing football with her dalmation.

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