Weight Loss Meal Plan

Should I replace meals with shakes?

Should I replace meals with shakes?

Should I replace meals with shakes?

Are meal replacement shakes a good option if you’re too busy to eat but still want to be healthy? I’ll compare popular shakes to whole food meals for nutrition and cost. Subscribe to Nourishable at https://www.youtube.com/c/Nourishable

Hosting, Research, Writing & Post-Production by Lara Hyde, PhD

I make videos and you can watch them for free.

Music & Video Production by Robbie Hyde
Opening Motion Graphics by Jay Purugganan https://www.c9studio.com/WP/

Nitty gritty calculations: http://bit.ly/ShakesCalculations

Script with in-text citations: http://bit.ly/MealReplacementShakesScript

The information in this video is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this video is for general information purposes only.


Images: Shutterstock, Pexels, Pixabay, Freepik
https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background Background vector created by freepik – www.freepik.com
https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/medical, Medical vector created by brgfx – www.freepik.com
https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/design, Design vector created by freepik – www.freepik.com

You’re looking to meal replacement shakes because you’re too busy to eat, but you still want to be healthy. How do shakes compare to whole food meals nutritionally? We’ll look at a McDonald’s Big Mac with fries and a coke, a salad with quinoa, tomatoes, cucumber and almonds in a balsamic vinaigrette or a homemade blueberry banana smoothie with spinach, greek yogurt, almond butter and almond milk versus 6 shakes: Isagenix, Shakeology, Ka’Chava, Ample, Soylent and Arbonne. All these shakes are healthier than the McDonalds when looking at calories, saturated fat, added sugar and sodium. They taste like dessert using added sugar or sweeteners like stevia. Added sugar is anything from honey and organic raw cane sugar to nectars and fructose. Naturally occurring sugars in the blueberries offer sweetness and beneficial nutrients. The salad and smoothie? No added sugar. These shakes? Anywhere from 8 to 22% of your added sugar cap. The salad had the most fiber, with the homemade smoothie, Ample, IsaGenix and Ka’Chava being pretty equivalent, followed by Shakeology, then Soylent and Arbonne. Adults should be aiming for 30g/day of fiber, and most Americans are only getting half of that. Fiber enhances satiety, stabilizes blood glucose, reduces cholesterol, keeps you regular, and nourishes the microbiome. High fiber diets reduce some types of cancer and cardiovascular disease. All these shakes have some fiber, but the way that they were processed means that they don’t have many different types. The superfood blends of fruits and veggies were processed into juice extracts which removes all the fiber. Many add back fibers like gums, inulin or resistant maltodextrin. The best evidence we have shows that diverse fiber intake supports a diverse microbiome, and diverse microbiomes are the healthiest. Shakes inevitably have less fiber diversity than a smoothie. Supplementing individual nutrients is less beneficial than consuming them in whole food. Some include digestive enzymes which seems unnecessary. The McDonalds meal was the most expensive. Ample was the priciest shake, with Shakeology and Ka’Chava more expensive than the homemade smoothie, and IsAgenix, Soylent and Arbonne less. Meal replacement shakes are generally a healthier option than a fast food meal, but not whole smoothies or balanced meals. Replacing meals every once in a while is okay but there are equivalently convenient whole food options that would be better.

Video for Weight Loss Meal Replacement Plan
Weight Loss Meal Replacement Plan youtube video content


  1. I am a throat cancer survivor and I am not able to swallow solid foods well. I get probably 80% of my calories and proteins from Boost drinks. I drink 3 530 calorie boost a day plus eat a meal in the evening. I can't eat much as it is so difficult but I do get some solid foods in every evening. I am looking at possibly switching to powders and adding to 2% milk instead of the Boost. I have found some that are high in calories and I need that because my job does not allow me to make and drink all day. 3 shakes a day plus the evening meal is probably the best I can get in realistically. I also have to be conscience of the cost as I am not wealthy. Before cancer I weighed 170lbs (6ft tall) and ate whatever I wanted. I did not worry about eating healthy either. My question is how can I get my calories in by drinking calories/proteins and staying fairly healthy without spending a fortune? Thanks

  2. While I in principle agree with your overall assessment I have done a cost analysis and find that smoothies are by far more expensive. This is taking into consideration the amount of items your going to put in a smoothie including protein. I find that balanced meals along with a protein shake as a meal replacement is much more beneficial to your health and weight loss plans. They are also way less work while providing quality nutrition.

  3. Just found this channel and want to say THANK YOU! Information backed by science w/sources. I wish more content on YouTube took this approach Vs click bait biased junk. It looks like I have quite a few videos to watch now. Keep it up!

  4. more people need to learn the difference between an RD and a "Nutritionist". i love this video, thank you for putting in the time and effort to do these comparisons. much appreciated.

  5. I think it is important to eat healthy. That according to the food triangle. A sufficient amount of fruit and vegetables and a limited amount of carbohydrates, meat and sweets. In addition to a healthy diet, exercise is also a must. So I don't think a shake-based diet is that healthy. Absolutely not sustainable in the long term!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.