Updated: Oct-16-2020

The Science Behind Weight Loss Shakes

Discover the best meal replacement protein shakes for weight loss and decide if the diet can work for you.
Weightloss Shakes
Are meal replacement shakes the way to lose weight fast? Learn the science here. Image via Shutterstock

You're looking to shed off pounds, but you refuse to eat less or be more physically active. Like many individuals who want to lose weight, you think that weight loss shakes might be the solution.

Are they? We'll see about that in this article.

What are Weight Loss Shakes?

Weight loss shakes are products formulated to supply the body with the same kind of nutrients found in a normal, full meal. They are available in various forms, the most common being the powdered form that can be added to water, milk, or juice. These shakes contain anywhere from 200-400 calories per serving and they are often loaded with high amounts of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

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Latest Weight Loss Shakes Reviews

Possible Reasons for Taking Weight Loss Shakes

Weight loss shakes, as the name suggests, promotes weight loss by providing fewer calories than a normal meal. Reduced calorie intake, regardless of how you've done it, stimulates weight loss. In addition, a recent study has shown the weight loss shakes resulted in greater weight loss compared to a meal with the same amount of calories. The study had overweight and obese individuals as participants and for 12 weeks, they were required to subtitute all full meals with weight loss shakes. The results were attributed to low calorie intake and reduced cravings.

Weight loss shakes have also been found to induce weight loss in individuals with type 2 diabetes.

Aside from the obvious reasons, many individuals look at weight loss shakes as meal replacement due to portion control and convenience.

With these products, you don't have to think about what to eat and preparation time is reduced significantly.

What are the Key Ingredients to Look for in Weight Loss Shakes?

The ingredients and composition of weight loss shakes vary according to kind and brand, but the top quality ones are said to consist of the following:

  • Protein: Its main role is to promote muscle growth and repair. Increased muscle mass, in turn, results in increased metabolic rate and more efficient burning of excess fats. Weight loss shakes contain at least one type of protein derived usually from plant sources.
  • Simple Carbohydrate: It supplies the body with the energy boost it needs. Being low sugar means it can easily be broken down. It is also a good source of fiber.
  • Healthy Fats:Sourced from any of the following: coconut oil, almond oil and butter, flaxseed oil, and olive oil. Their main benefits include controlling inflammation and promoting the health of the brain, eyes, skin, muscles, and joints.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: The addition of these nutrients ensure optimum nutrition to keep your body healthy while losing weight.
  • Probiotics: A bonus ingredient in some weight loss shakes. It promotes general health by increasing the amount of good bacteria in the gut. It prevents stomach upset and allows for more efficient digestion of food.

Do Weight Loss Shakes Really Work?

Weight loss shakes are effective for short-term weight loss, but not so much for long-term weight loss. They help you slim down fast because of calorie control. Unless you go on consuming weight loss shakes for the rest of your life, you shouldn't expect that the effects will last forever.

Once you stop using, you are likely to revert to your normal eating habits and gain those lost pounds back.

Can Meal Replacement Shakes Help You Lose Weight?

Eating real food is pleasurable and that's something you will never experience from a weight loss shake, or any other meal replacement product for that matter.

how much weight can you lose with weight loss products
Look for ingredients that will boost energy and keep you full. Image via Shutterstock

A study published in the The Journal of Nutrition, found that those consuming a meal replacement shake lost the same amount of weight as those consuming a low-fat, low-calorie, controlled diet.

Meal replacement shakes may also help with weight maintenance after weight loss has been achieved, according to a study published in the Nutrition Journal. 2010.

How to Choose the Best Weight Loss Shakes?

A good weight loss shake promotes weight loss by suppressing the appetite, causing a reduction in the total amount of calories consumed.

All weight loss shakes are effective only for short-term use, and it is unwise (and actually pretty much impossible) to rely on them for long periods.

According to Appetite. 2015 study, Whey protein has been found to improve satiety and is a good ingredient to look for in a meal replacement shake.

The Bottom Line

Weight loss shakes seem to be a quick and easy way to get rid of a few pounds and fight your cravings. While some individuals found success in their use, experts believe that these shakes might not be the best approach for everyone.

On their own, weight loss shakes are not enough. They are effective in jump-starting your weight loss journey, but that's it. They won't cause you to lose a significant amount of weight unless you reduce your calorie consumption every day.

Whole foods are still the best because they are far more nutritious, well-balanced, and sustainable. Furthermore, a diet that is planned perfectly will not only make you lose with but maintain it in the long run.

**This is a subjective assessment based on the strength of the available informations and our estimation of efficacy.

*Result may vary. If you are pregnant, nursing, have a serious medical condition, or have a history of heart conditions we suggest consulting with a physician before using any supplement. The information contained in this website is provided for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease and should not be relied upon as a medical advice. Always consult your doctor before using any supplements.

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