Shake it Up: Using Meal Replacement Shakes for Weight Loss
Two of the heaviest (no pun intended) words in the English language.
Weight loss is something almost every woman wishes for, thinks about, and wants.
We’ll get to my story in a minute, but for now, I want you to know that meal replacement shakes are a great option for helping you lose weight.
When starting any new program, there is a lot to learn and a lot of questions you need answered. That’s why I’ve put together a guide to help you understand how to use meal replacement shakes for weight loss.
In this article we will go over three main topics:
Each section provides you with a lot of helpful information about weight loss smoothies. You can read them all or feel free to skip ahead to the section that interests you most.
Currently my weight loss goals are specific to figure competitions, but it wasn’t always like that. I went through my own weight loss struggles and learned a lot along the way.
There was a time when I needed to lose weight. I was healthy. I exercised regularly. But, I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted and I was beyond frustrated. That’s when I learned how important nutrition was to my fitness (and figure) goals.
I had to ask myself a lot of questions to help me learn what I needed to know so I could get the body I’d always dreamed of.
Most of my questions were answered through nutrition. I learned about the value of meal prepping and about meal replacement smoothies.
It can be overwhelming to embark on any weight loss journey. Then you throw in crazy ideas like replacing meals with shakes/smoothies and it makes you want to hide in the basement with a carton of ice cream and just give up.
After all, our lives seem to revolve around food and replacing our meals means what?
That we need to start starving ourselves?
Meal replacement smoothies (aka weight loss smoothies or weight loss shakes) are one of the easiest ways to cut calories without starving yourself.
While they may sound scary at first, once you educate yourself by answering a few basic questions, you’ll learn that meal replacement smoothies are a great weight loss choice for EVERYONE!
So, if you’re thinking about starting a weight loss plan that includes weight loss smoothies, here’s what you need to know.
How Do Meal Replacement Smoothies Work?
First things first.
Let’s talk about calories. I know that they tend to be labeled “bad guys” and that they have a way of messing with your head and your weight.
But, calories really are “good guys” It’s actually in their job description to keep you alive and help your body function. When you use them correctly and understand how to make them work for you, calories can be your best weight loss friends.
However, when you don’t understand them or even worse, when you abuse them, they turn into major weight loss nightmares.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Almost everything you eat or drink contains calories.
- Calories are what your body uses for energy. And not just the kind of energy you need to get up and exercise. It’s more like the kind of energy you need to survive. The kind of energy that does little things like keep your heart beating and your blood pumping. The kind of energy that is a pretty big deal when it comes to your health.
- Consuming too many calories means your body has too much energy and that energy needs somewhere to go. Your body is super smart and stores that excess energy for later use. Sadly, the best way for your body to store that energy is to turn it into fat.
- Thankfully, your body is also smart enough to survive at a calorie deficit. That simply means burning more calories than you consume. If you’re able to do that you will start losing weight.
- A good rule of thumb is that if you cut 500 calories from your diet a day, you will lose about a pound a week.
Now that you’ve had a crash course in calories, it’s time to get back to weight loss smoothies and what they can do for your waistline.
Cutting Calories with Meal Replacement Smoothies
If you want to lose weight you’re going to have to figure out a way to cut calories from your diet.
However, cutting calories from your diet means consuming less food. Consuming less food usually leaves you feeling hungry. And, I don’t know about you, but when I’m hungry, I usually have a mean case of hangry and I’m no fun to be around.
That’s when a meal replacement shake comes in handy.
What is a Meal Replacement Smoothie?
A meal replacement smoothie/shake is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a shake or smoothie that is used to replace an entire meal. By replacing a traditional meal with a much lower calorie option you’ll see quicker weight loss results.
If you find that hard to believe take a look at a calorie comparison between an IdealShake Meal Replacement Shake and several common breakfasts and lunches:
*all calorie counts are approximate
We’ll get into what you need in a weight loss shake in a little bit, but for now, let’s focus on the idea that one small, quick and convenient beverage can be used as an entire meal. And, if you use it right, it might just be the best thing that’s ever happened to your waistline.
All this information might have you wondering if meal replacement shakes really are the best option. Couldn’t you just eat less food and forget the shakes altogether?
You could try, but studies have shown that you’re much more likely to succeed with meal replacement shakes than you are with a reduced calorie diet.
It all comes down to hunger.
If you skip out on calories by eating less at each meal, you’ll definitely feel hungry. Feeling hungry will make it harder for you to stick to your diet.
But if you skip out on calories by using a shake or smoothie for your meal, you’ll be surprised by the lack of hunger pangs.
Because most meal replacement shakes contain a secret weapon for weight loss… hunger-blockers.
Now that you know a little more about meal replacement shakes, you might be asking yourself: “Do they really work?”
The answer is yes!!!!!
But don’t just take my word for it. You can find success stories from multiple companies singing praises about their products.
I’m talking real stories from real people who have been able to see real weight loss from using meal replacement shakes.
Picking the Right Product
You may be wondering: “How do I pick the right meal replacement shake?”
It’s a good question. If you’re going to be investing your time and money into something, you want to make sure you get it right.
If you type the words “meal replacement shake” into Google you’ll be bombarded with multiple ads and links to side-by-side comparisons of various products. Those comparisons are a great tool to help you make your decision.
Most comparisons base their rating on the following criteria:
If you’re replacing actual food, it’s essential that you meet your nutritional needs. You need a shake that is high in vitamins and minerals, low in sugar and contains fiber and protein.
Obviously you need to be able to get it down… if you don’t like it, you won’t be able to eat… errr drink… your shake. Taste is a crucial component when it comes to weight loss success.
If your shake/smoothie leaves you feeling hungry it won’t work. You need a powerful hunger-blocker that will take your mind off food. Ideally it should last around 3 hours to help keep hunger at bay.
Realize coming into it that you’re investing in yourself, your health and your wellness. Don’t be afraid to spend some money, but pick a product that fits in your budget.
There are so many different meal replacement shakes out there that it’s hard to know which one is right for you.
It’s no secret that I’m kind of partial to IdealShape and their products. But it’s not just because I work here. It’s because I believe in what they have to offer.
And it’s not just me, countless reviewers give IdealShape glowing ratings and recommendations.
Why? I’ll let them tell you as we take a deeper look at the different rating criteria and see what several independent reviewers have to say about IdealShake.
At IdealShape we believe in providing you with a product that’s nutritionally sound. We take our time, do our research and stand behind every ingredient we put into our products. Helping you meet your daily nutritional needs is extremely important to us and we don’t take shortcuts when it comes to nutrition.
Just because you’re trying to eat healthy doesn’t mean you need to gag down foods, flavors and textures you don’t like, simply because they’re supposed to be good for you.
IdealShape provides you with 11+ delicious IdealShake flavor options (Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, Mocha, Cookies N’ Cream, and more!) all of which taste great. They’re not chalky, blend well and have a great consistency.
IdealShape uses a product called Slendesta as an appetite suppressant. Slendesta is a potato protein extract that promotes an increase in the release of the hormone cholecystokinin (CCK). CCK lets your brain know you’re feeling full and satisfied (which is kind of a big deal when it comes to weight loss).
Last but not least, we come to value, a huge factor that can either make or break your decision to try a product. If you’re going to pay for it, you definitely want your money’s worth.
IdealShape knows you work hard for your money and we don’t want to take advantage of that. Our shakes average around $1.66 per meal which is a steal in and of itself. But we want you to be completely satisfied. That’s why we offer a 30-day money back guarantee.
Getting Started with IdealShake
Hopefully by now, you’re ready to change your diet and your life. Before you get started there are a few things you should know.
1. Be prepared
Get all the products and supplies you need before you start. Make sure you have an ample supply of the shake (and flavors) you plan to use.
Think about how you plan to mix your shake. Do you need a shaker bottle? An immersion blender? A high-tech blender?
If you’re truly committed to a lifestyle change (not an easy way out) get rid of all the unhealthy foods and snacks that have a way of tempting you.
It’s always a good idea to consult a doctor before you start any weight loss program. Set up an appointment and discuss your meal replacement shake plans with your physician.
2. Remember there’s a learning curve
It’s going to take a while to figure things out. That’s especially true when you are changing the way you eat.
Start small. Don’t stress yourself out by trying to change everything at once. Don’t rush. First replace one meal a day with the shake. After you’ve let your body get used to that change, feel free to add another shake to replace an additional meal.
3. Don’t be afraid to shake things up
When using weight loss smoothies, it’s easy to start out by mixing the shake with only water or milk.
After you’re comfortable with that, you can start to get creative with how you prepare your smoothies. The last thing you want to do is get bored with your shake and give up. (Keep reading, we’ll address this in more detail a little later).
4. Have a plan
Getting up one morning and deciding to start meal replacement shakes is one way to get started. But, it’s not the best way.
Instead, you need to start with a plan. Preferably one that gives you a lot of guidance and direction and keeps you accountable.
This might just be the most important part of the whole process. If you don’t have a plan, there’s nothing to keep you accountable.
Your plan should help you figure out what and when to eat as well as give you good health, fitness and exercise tips.
When you commit to using IdealShake meal replacement shakes, you’re starting your weight loss journey on the right foot.
Of course you get a nutritious, great tasting, budget-friendly product with proven appetite control. But that’s not all. You also get unlimited access to me through my favorite weight loss plan–IdealPlan!
It includes a meal plan, recipes, workouts and so much more–and the best news of all–it’s FREE!!!
One last thing that might be holding you back from committing to a meal replacement plan is the thought of eating (or drinking) the same thing every day.
When you think of it that way, it definitely can seem boring and maybe even overwhelming.
It’s important to remember that drinking a shake is one option when it comes to meal replacement shakes, but it’s definitely not the only option.
There’s so many other ways to use your meal replacement shake powder and all of them can help you beat the boredom and stay committed to a weight loss plan.
Start With Smoothies
The obvious answer is to spruce up that shake and make it a smoothie!
What’s the difference?
Your meal replacement shake typically contains only shake powder and a liquid.
A smoothie adds fruits and veggies for extra nutrition and flavors.
Luckily, most fruits and veggies taste great in smoothies and come loaded with nutrition instead of calories. All those fruits and veggies are great for your weight loss too.
Remember that fruits and veggies aren’t the only choices when it comes to smoothie mix-ins. You can try different milks, grains, spices, nuts, seeds and superfoods to give you even more variety for your meals.
There are plenty of recipes out there for you to follow, or you can whip something up from your own imagination.
When making a smoothie out of your meal replacement shake, you want to make sure you don’t go overboard with high-calorie ingredients. The point is to continue to keep your calories low.
Try using some of these low-calorie mix-ins:
To keep you from being sucked into common mistakes that make a smoothie bland, boring and even unpalatable, keep the following things in mind:
- Liquid: Add your liquid first to ensure even and smooth blending. There should be enough to cover the blender blade–approximately ¾ Cup for a single-serving smoothie.
- Fruit: Fresh and frozen fruits both work well. Try to pick fruits that compliment each other. For a single-serving smoothie, one cup of fruit is a healthy amount. If you’re using frozen fruit remember that you won’t need as much ice or else you’ll end up with a watery smoothie.
- Veggies: Adding leafy greens to your smoothie is a great way to add more nutrition to your diet. They blend up well and have hardly any calories. Spinach and kale are more mild leafy greens and a good place to start. Carrots, cucumbers and celery are also great veggie add-ins with mild flavors that won’t alter the taste of your smoothie too much.
- Fats: Healthy fat choices include avocados, nuts and nut butters. IdealShake meal replacement powder also contains 3g of healthy fats.
- Protein: Since protein offers a natural boost to weight loss, it’s essential to add some to your smoothie. IdealShake contains 11g of protein.
- Ice: Ice is great for a smoothie if you want to keep it cold and thicken it up. I prefer my ice to come in the form of frozen fruits so that I get the added nutrition, but if you’re looking for a way to fill space without adding calories, ice is a great choice.
- Extras: I hope you thought of meal replacement powder. Adding it to your smoothie will up the smoothie’s staying power and help you feel full for up to three hours. You can also add honey, spices, chia seeds, and anything else you think might make your smoothie better.
Keeping Things Interesting
Even with endless smoothie options, you run the risk of getting bored and that’s the last thing you need when you’re working towards a weight loss goal.
Instead of getting bored–get creative.
Think outside the box and use your meal replacement shake powder to make something impressive. There’s dozens of great recipes just waiting for you to give them a try. Things like,
All those and many more can be found when you follow IdealShape on Instagram.
If you don’t love cooking or smoothies, but want the benefits of a meal replacement shake consider one or all of these options:
- Mix it with yogurt and fruit
- Add it to your oatmeal
- Put it in a pancake mix
- Snack on IdealShape snack bars
- Make your own protein bars
- Add a scoop to your favorite cookies, cakes, muffins, etc. (Add applesauce instead of oil to make them even healthier)
- Freeze your smoothies to make popsicles
- Protein balls (sub a meal replacement shake powder for protein powder in this recipe).
I want you to remember that meal replacement shakes really do work.
They aren’t a magic fix and they won’t make you lose weight overnight, but if you are committed to making them part of your diet and your life, I promise you, you will see results.
Of course, you have to be willing to put in the work and make some necessary lifestyle changes.
It might be hard, but it’s definitely possible. And it’s definitely worth it!
Want to hear the best news of all?
You don’t have to do it alone.
When you choose IdealShape to meet your meal replacement needs, you won’t just be getting a meal replacement powder. You’ll be getting a whole new support network, ready and waiting for you to succeed.
Time to shake off those extra pounds with a craving-killer weight loss shake.
Get started with IdealShake today!