Can You Replace Meals With Protein Shakes

How To Lose Weight With Protein Shakes

Dietary Guidelines : Taking Protein Shakes & Meal Replacements

Mia Syn, MS, RDN is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a master of science in human nutrition. She is also the host of Good Food Friday on ABC News 4.

Many people try to lose weight with protein shakes. There are many protein powders, pre-measured mixes and commercial drinks that might make this strategy an easy choice. But can you really lose weight with a protein shake diet plan? And if so, what’s the best protein powder for weight loss?

Garden Of Life Raw Organic Meal

Garden of Life offers a raw, vegan, certified organic meal replacement shake with its hallmark 44-superfood blends mixed in. Each 115-calorie serving is packed with 100% of your B12 needs, making it a perfect choice for vegetarians and vegans.

The protein content is excellent at 20 grams per scoop, and the 7 grams of fiber exceeds most other meal replacement shakes on the market. As for sweeteners, the only one included is the natural sweetener Stevia.

Calorie Benefits Of Protein Shakes

The advantage of protein shakes is simply that they offer protein, often with fewer calories than whole foods that contain protein. A scoop of whey protein, for example, contains about 90 calories and offers about 17 grams of protein, whereas a 4-ounce serving of beef contains 144 calories and 25 grams of protein. Steak is usually cooked with calorie-laden sauces or marinades and served with complementary foods that boost its overall calorie count.

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Composition Of Protein Shakes

Ready-to-drink protein shakes are sometimes contaminated with heavy metals, according to tests performed by Consumer Reports in 2010. When these shakes are used daily, this contamination could pose a health risk.

Make your own meal-replacement protein shakes so you can tweak the nutritional content and minimize exposure to potential contaminants. Use powdered protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, a teaspoon or two of healthy fat such as nut butter, coconut oil or flax meal and milk or water.

Watch the proportion of extra ingredients you add to the shake, though. You can easily raise a shake’s calorie count if you add too much banana, peanut butter, honey or juice. You may end up with more calories than you’d have eaten in a nutrient-dense salad containing chicken breast, raw vegetables, a sprinkle of sunflower seeds and olive-oil dressing.

Best Tasting Meal Replacement Rumble Supershake

Meal Replacements or Protein Shakes? Choose Whats Right ...
  • Nutrition: 250 calories, 8 g fat , 26 g carbs , 200 mg sodium, 20 g protein
  • Size: 330ml
  • No vitamin and mineral information

Nutrition and Ingredients

At 250 calories, 20g of protein, and 8g of fat per serving, Rumble Shakes are much closer to the size of a full meal than many other meal replacement shakes. Much of the fat content comes from flaxseed and MCT oil, which provides omega-3s that are often missing in our diet.

Its all-natural ingredient list includes grass-fed protein , grass fed butter, green tea extract, and organic vegetables like kale, broccoli sprouts, carrot, and spinach.

All of the Rumble products are low in allergens, making them accessible to a wide variety of people, however there are no dairy-free options, so they are not suitable for vegans.

The downside is the sugar content. The ingredient list includes brown rice syrup, tapioca syrup, and maple syrup, as well as monk fruit juice concentrate, all of which contribute to the 11g of sugar in every serving.

The ingredient label also lists a number of vegetables, however there is no micronutrient information included in the nutrition facts, so it is impossible to know how many vitamins and minerals you are getting with one of these shakes.


Rumble gets high praise across the board for its taste. The company is still relatively new, so they currently only offer 3 flavours: Dutch Cocoa, Vanilla Maple, and Coffee Bean.


  • 180 calories is low for a meal

Also Check: How Do I Know How Much Protein To Eat

Some Contain Unhealthy Ingredients

Plenty of meal replacement shakes are made with wholesome ingredients.

Others contain unhealthy ingredients like added sugars, corn syrup, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, artificial flavors and chemical preservatives.

Unfortunately, some shakes that are marketed for weight loss contain more grams of sugar than grams of protein. Thats why you should always read the label before purchasing a meal replacement shake.

Look for a high-protein shake that also contains fiber and a list of ingredients you can pronounce. A healthy meal replacement shake should contain no more than a few grams of sugar.

Which Should I Choose

When deciding on whether to choose a protein shake or a meal replacement shake it all comes down to your long-term goals.

Protein shakes have the added benefit of amino acids to help you repair muscle, are higher in protein, and can benefit most people who go to the gym.

Meal replacement shakes are lower in calories, provide more vitamins and minerals, and aid in weight loss.

If youre someone who enjoys the gym and feels great when they lift I would recommend protein drinks. If your goal is to look and feel strong youll need the extra protein to build muscle.

If instead, youre someone who has a weight loss goal a meal replacement drink will be right up your alley. They contain fewer calories but will still provide you with the necessary vitamins and minerals you need.

Some people suggest you can use a protein shake as a meal replacement shake, but I disagree. I think they serve different purposes. As meal replacements are lower in calories theyre meant for weight loss or weight management.

Protein shakes should be used when your goals are to gain muscle and get stronger.

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Are Protein Shakes Good For You

The unsurprising answer is yes. Of course, an extra dose of protein is a great choice for a snack or meal replacement. Many athletes use protein shakes as a way to refuel after exercise. All adults need a minimum of 46-56 grams of protein each day and these shake recipes are a great way to meet that goal.

The best protein shake recipes, including the 5 that are shown below, rely on whey protein powder for that extra nutrition. Whey protein has many benefits, including all of the following:

  • Builds muscle and strength
  • Works as a appetite suppresant
  • Boosts metabolism
  • Provides balance for the body systems with amino acids
  • Repairs muscles from exercise

Additionally, these healthy drinks are quick to make, portable, and you dont need any cooking skills or preparation to make them!

Courtesy Of 310 Nutrition

Homemade Protein Drink Meal Replacement Shake

“Large volumes of protein found in other shakes sit in the stomach as they are slower to be absorbed and can lead to gas which is then trapped causing digestive discomfort,” says Rodriguez. “The 15 grams of protein in 310 shakes is ideal for avoiding this, yet enough protein to still contribute to satiety thus, leading to fewer calories consumed throughout the day. To further support satiety, 310 shakes are considered a high-fiber food with 5 g of fiber per serving. Beyond satiety, this helps to regulate blood sugar and influence healthy cholesterol levels for overall heart health.”

Nutritionist and health coach Sierra Rodriguez, who works with 310 Nutrition, notes that 310 meal replacement shakes contain probiotics. “The gut microbiome is critical for overall health and maintaining a healthy gut is essential,” says Rodriguez. “Probiotics can help to re-establish an ideal gut flora, throughout the entire body.”

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Meal Replacement Shakes Vs Protein Shakes: What’s The Difference

3 min read

If weight loss is a part of your healthy living goals, it’s important for you to understand the difference. Choosing the wrong one can stall your progress, leading to a weight-loss plateaus, nutrient deficiencies, and be counter productive to your goals. So, whats the difference between the two? Most people mistakenly believe that protein shakes and meal replacement drinks are one in the same. While its true that these products share similarities, they serve different purposes.

With CLICK, now your coffee can be your meal! Plus, tastes heavenly and brings all the benefits of a meal with 16 grams of protein per serving. Its delicious and low in calories, sugar and fat. Each serving delivers 23 essential vitamins and minerals as well as a dose of caffeine to boost your energy. Due to its high protein content, it curbs hunger and sugar cravings, filling you up quickly.

When Should You Chose a Protein Shake?

Unlike meal replacement drinks, protein shakes are not designed for weight loss, but for lean muscle gain. These products support athletes, outdoor adventurers and regular gym goers and those with high protein requirements. Your muscles rely on protein to grow and recover from training. Every cell in your body requires this nutrient to function at its peak. A low protein intake may lead to muscle loss, fragile bones, slow recovery, and sluggish metabolism.

Get started on weight loss success with our special sampler offer here

So When Should I Use Them

Kelly Jones, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, a board-certified sports dietitian based in Newtown, Pennsylvania, recommends that ready-to-drink plant-based shakes be used to help reduce feelings of hunger after exercise or as an additional supplement throughout the day.

If you have a busy schedule, limited time to prepare snacks, or just feel hungry, Jones believes protein shakes can work into your routine. As a meal replacement, they fall short of energy and essential nutrients which are critical for overall health, performance, and physical and mental energy levels, she says. Its of course better to grab a ready-to-drink shake over skipping a meal, but it isnt something I recommend choosing on a regular basis at mealtime.

If youre craving a sweet snack or youre just shy of hitting your daily macros, LADDER Plant-Based Nutrition Shake has got you covered. Get it here!

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Potential Of Protein Shakes

You can purchase protein shakes from the refrigerator case at your gym or health food store. Alternatively, make your own homemade protein shake by mixing liquid and other ingredients with a powdered protein either whey, soy or another vegetarian version.

A protein shake usually contains about 20 grams of protein per serving and varies in calories. Avoid shakes marketed to bodybuilders or those with sweeteners and other carbohydrates added they often have a high calorie content.

A very small study of seven people published in a 2013 issue of the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine found that drinking two protein shakes as meal replacements per day for 21 days led to significant weight loss.

These participants underwent a complete “dietary purification” program, however, in which their food intake was closely monitored and restricted. They were also provided with additional weight-loss supplements at various times during the program.

Read more:15 New Ways to Use Protein Powder That Will Blow Your Mind

Is Replacing A Meal With A Smoothie Healthy

Protein shakes can act as a healthy alternative for a meal ...

The MOST important thing when blending any meal replacement smoothie recipe is to include healthy fats AND proteins.

This combo will keep you feeling full and give you the energy you need to cruise right through til your next meal or snack. You can learn more about meal replacement boosters in this article, or try one out yourself with this delicious recipe below.

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Eating Less Begets Eating Less

When you dont eat much all day then your stomach gets smaller.

Youll find out that even though you might spend an entire day fantasizing about how much and what you plan to eat for dinner, you wont actually be able to eat that much. I was surprised by how fast I filled up.

The nice thing was that I went to bed satisfied.

Put Em Together And This Is What You Get

Healthy Fat + Plant-based Protein = Meal Replacement Boosters

Green smoothies are the perfect fast food and adding these boosters will save you tons of time in the kitchen and keep you away from any drive-thru food that will wreck havoc on your body. We want you to be healthy and strong!

Use one of these meal replacement booster combos in your next green smoothie. The boosts are measured to work with our plant-based green smoothie recipes you can find throughout the blog here.

  • #1: 2 tbs chia seeds + 2oz silken tofu
  • #2: 2 tbs hemp hearts + ¼ avocado
  • #3: 2 tbs plant-based protein powder + 1 tbs coconut oil
  • #4: 1 tbs almond butter + 2 tbs rolled oats
  • #5: 2 tbs chia seeds + 1 tbs coconut oil

You can find all of these ingredients at your local store, or even order a few online. Amazon is a perfect place to stock up on hemp hearts, plant-based protein powders, coconut oil, and chia seeds. Ready to give our Protein Smoothie Boost a try? Youll find it in our Rawkstar Shop.

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Protein Boosting Meal Recipes

I also love to use protein powder as a protein source in a meal that doesnt naturally have much protein in it. For example, I may eat a quesadilla or peanut butter sandwich for lunch so Ill mix up my IdealLean Protein with water to have as my protein source on the side.

IdealLean Protein comes in six delicious flavors: Piña Colada, Cake Batter, Chocolate Brownie, Strawberries N Cream, French Vanilla and our Brand New Chocolate Coconut! Meaning the options are almost endless for you to come up with and create your perfect meal replacement shake, or protein-packed meal.

Want more proof? Try out our 101 Protein Recipes eBook to help transform your body and your nutrition.

Here are some of my fav meals to eat using IdealLean Protein. Nutrition info is listed per-serving. So feel free to add more or less to increase or decrease calorie content.

1/2 tsp. of baking powder2 egg whites2 tbsp. of unsweetened vanilla almond milk1/3 of a medium banana, mashed1/3 c fresh strawberries, dicedOptional: sugar free cool whip and fresh strawberries and bananas.

INSTRUCTIONS1. Start by mixing together the dry ingredients: oat flour, baking powder, and protein powder.2. Next add in the wet ingredients: egg whites, almond milk and banana.3. Once mixed, fold in strawberries.4. Heat Belgian waffle maker and spray with nonstick spray.5. Using 1/2 cup of the batter, cook waffle according to waffle maker instructions. Enjoy!

Servings: 2, Calories: 323, Protein: 24g, Carbs: 45g, Fat: 5g

Delicious Homemade Meal Replacement Shakes Recipes

Protein shake DIET in long term

Originally, medical professionals created meal replacements to help sick people meet their basic nutritional needs. Now, meal replacement shakes are a convenient aspect of many healthy people’s daily diet. Meal replacements are most popular as protein shakes in the form of smoothies and drinks. But are homemade meal replacement shakes effective and can support weight loss? Keep reading to discover tasty homemade meal replacement shakes recipes to support your weight loss goals.

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How Many Meals Can You Replace With Protein/meal Replacement Shakes

Meal replacement shakes arent going to do all the work on their own, and you still need to eat, chew and digest real food. If your aim is to lose weight, studies have found that people who chew their food feel fuller for longer, even if theyre consuming the same amount of calories.

An example of a way to consume both a meal replacement shake and a protein shake in a healthy and sustainable way would be:

  • Replace breakfast with a meal replacement shake

  • Eat lunch

  • Protein shake for a snack

  • Eat dinner

The main takeaway is that the majority of your calories should still come from real, whole food, regardless of your goals or why youre considering consuming a shake to replace a meal. Protein shakes on their own dont constitute a meal, and should only be used as supplementation alongside well-rounded meals however, you can safely consume a proper meal replacement shake for one meal a day, provided your other meals are just as nutrient-dense.

Which Meal To Replace

There is no one right way to do this, so choose the meal that works best for you. If mornings are such a rush that you often skip breakfast, make your protein shake the night before, or purchase premade protein shakes. Make sure you read the labels and find one that has 30 to 40 grams of protein and no or very little added sugar. Pay attention to the sodium count as well.

If you generally snack or indulge in fast food at lunchtime, try substituting a protein shake for that meal. If a shake alone doesn’t seem filling enough, add a piece of fruit and a small handful of unsalted nuts. People who get home from work very late might find it helpful to replace dinner with a protein shake. You may have to experiment to find what works best for you, and it might even be different meals on different days so don’t be afraid to be flexible.

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What Are Protein Shakes

Protein shakes used to be something that only professional bodybuilders took, but now more and more people are considering the value of these shakes in their daily exercise routines.

Protein is important as it keeps us feeling full and it can help with muscle repair.

A protein shake can be as simple as mixing a certain amount of protein powder with water or other liquids. However, more and more shakes on the market may taste better, but they may also contain more sugar, calories, or artificial ingredients.

All you need is protein from this shake you can take it before or after exercise and it will boost your muscle growth, make it easier for you to recover, etc.

Most of the shakes that you can buy or make contain whey protein or casein protein. They both serve a specific purpose.

With whey, you will absorb it quickly and you should take it immediately after a workout to help with muscle repair, especially if you exercise several times a day.

However, casein is absorbed slowly. So, you can take it before sleep to repair your muscles overnight. Of course, you can mix both of these proteins together as well.

On the market, you can buy whey in many forms its the most commonly used protein. In the form of concentrate, youll be able to find it pretty inexpensively, but it contains the most protein in isolated form.

Since neither whey nor casein is vegan, you can choose to take protein from soy, brown rice, pea protein, or other plants.

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