8 of the Best Meal Replacement Shakes for Weight Loss (2022)

Did you know that one in two adults have tried to lose weight in the last 12 months? Most of these fail to stay lean after they achieve their goal.

Yes, you are not alone. Trying to lose weight to get to our ideal shape is something we’ve all gone through.

Fun fact: In a survey in 2018, 40% of participants stated that consuming meal replacements helped lose some weight (even if this was not always the main goal). Most also stated that they felt healthier.

I’ve personally experienced the painful weight loss journey and the difficulties of changing our diets. In my case, I had to go from 100kg to 80kg (44lb weight loss) after I got too overweight for my frame (1m74cm or 5ft 9in).

It was due to bad habits I picked up (eating a tub or two of Pringles every day) that I had put on weight, and I would have to change my habits again to lose it.

It was partially due to meal replacements that I was able to improve my eating habits, shave the extra pounds and stay that way. As such, I’m delighted to share with you the best meal replacement shakes for weight loss, for both men and women.

A Foreword On Weight Loss

Obviously, these are not magic potions that will make you lose fat without trying. Whoever is selling you anything like it, it’s clearly lying

Even the best nutrition shakes for weight loss are just but a tool that you need to use efficiently. They will help you in key areas for weight loss, though:

  • Control how much you are eating: know how many calories you are putting in your body
  • Ensure you get a balanced and healthy nutrition. With all the essential nutrients and more.
  • Keep you full for longer than standard meals.
  • Offer you a tasty and enjoyable experience.
  • Easily adapt to your diet (vegan, gluten-free, keto…)
  • Help you stay in a budget
  • Prevent you having “cheat” meals on the go

These are some very important factors to control when you are on a diet.

Therefore, with some determination and balanced meals, I will help you setting yourself up for success. Sometimes, using one of the best fat burners in the market can also help the process. If you are unsure which ones are legit, I’ve chosen the best for you.

best meal replacement powders for weight loss


Meet the Expert

Hi! My name is Enaut and I’m the owner of Latestfuels. Welcome to the home of meal replacements, protein powders, and the latest nutritional trends.

I drink meal replacement shakes on a daily basis, and I’ve been consuming protein powders for over 10 years now. I enjoy analyzing them, breaking them down, and sharing my thoughts with my readers.

Enjoy your shake!


Top Meal Replacement Shakes for Weight Loss at a Glance

Instant Knockout Complete

Instant Knockout Complete

Editor’s choice

  • 400kcal, 35g of protein
  • Packed with protein and fibre for more satiating formula
  • Contains tons of vitamins and minerals + all essential nutrients
  • Add “CUT” – thermogenic booster- to get faster results
207kcal, filling and simply delicious

Diet Meal Replacement Extreme

Best in UK

  • 207kcal, 24g of protein, 5g of fibre
  • Up to 15 delicious flavours; I recommend Digestive Chocolate
  • Includes extra ingredients for weight loss help: glucomannan, CLA…
  • 98% positive reviews from 400 people
  • Available in US, UK., EU

Other Top Weight Loss Drinks

BEST READY TO DRINK SHAKE FOR WEIGHT LOSS –> Orgain RTD

BEST KETO MEAL SHAKE FOR WEIGHT LOSS –> HLTH Code Complete Meal

BEST LOW-CARB SHAKE FOR WEIGHT LOSS –> Ample O

BEST RTD WITHOUT ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS –> OWYN

BEST WEIGHT LOSS POWDER FOR WOMEN –> Daily Essentials


Best Weight Loss Meal Replacement Shakes

1. Instant Knock Out

Editor’s Choice

Instant Knock Out for weight loss meal replacement shake
Pros
  1. Packed with 35g of protein per serving
  2. High in fiber + high in protein = very filling
  3. Designed for sustainable weight loss
  4. Includes all essential nutrients (omega-3s, vitamins)
  5. Can pair with CUT for faster results
Cons
  1. Only 1 flavour
  2. Might need to do half serving

Instant Knockout Complete offers you an actual meal with high-quality ingredients to support your weight loss. This is not a low-calorie blend packed with processed ingredients and overly sweetened, and that’s why I think it’s better for long-term weight loss.

They provide with all essential nutrients, including 35g of protein from plant-based sources (pea, soy, and organic brown rice protein). As such, this is a vegan-friendly shake, without any dairy-based ingredient. It is also extremely rich in vitamins and minerals, which might allow you to have half servings without worrying about not getting enough nutrients.

For faster initial weight loss, you can pair it with their thermogenic booster CUT, which according to them it can help you with: appetite control, nutritional balance, and calorie control. While I don’t consider this essential, it can provide you with a nice boost.

Instant knockout plus cut
Their weight loss combo: CUT + Instant Knockout for faster success. Check now.

As for the taste, Instant Knockout is pretty damn delicious. It’s unfortunate that they only offer one flavour.

Nutrition

  • Energy (kcal): 400kcal per serving
  • Macros (Carbs/Protein/ Fats): 36/35/29
  • Protein (g): 35g
  • Sugars (g): 3g (0g of which are added)
  • Fibre (g): 13g
  • Flavours: Vanilla.
  • Best-Flavour: Vanilla

Need Help Loosing Weight Faster?

Try out the best fat burners in the market to smoothen and boost the process.

CUT – Best for Men

Cut for weight loss
  • All natural ingredients
  • Effective dosages
  • Goes well with meal replacements

Hourglass – Best for Women

Hourglass fit
  • All natural ingredients
  • Free of caffeine
  • Transparent label

2. Lyfefuel Daily

Low Calorie

Lyfefuel Daily Essentials
Pros
  1. 110kcal, 18g of protein, no soy, no gmo, and fully plant based
  2. Natural whole food ingredients, added organic greens, and probiotics
  3. Really tasty, ideal for breakfast and lunch
  4. One of the healthiest shakes you can have
Cons
  1. Premium pricing
  2. Only 2 flavours

Nowadays, there are very few shakes that surprise me. Well, Lyfefuel’s Daily Essential did that when I reviewed it. This is an excellent shake with superb nutritional values, incredibly healthy and tasty.

Personally, I think this is a great weight loss shake due to various reasons:

  • First, it’s low in calories but quite filling. For this reason, I think it’s uniquely suited for women and it might be the best diet shake for women.
  • Secondly, it’s incredibly rich in micronutrients, unlike many competitors. It’s particularly rich in key vitamins like vit B12, vit A, or vit D.
  • Thirdly, it’s packed with nutrients that will ensure you are having the most complete meal you can.

As such, it soon became one of my favourite shakes. The Chocolate flavour is without a doubt my favourite, especially with a drop of oat milk. I would recommend you starting with 4 bags though to make sure you don’t run out.

You can use our code LATESTFUELS10 to enjoy some extra savings at no cost for you.

Key Facts

  • Macros (C/P/F): 14/65/16
  • Kcal: 118kcal
  • Protein (g): 18g – from pea protein and organic rice protein
  • Sugars (g): 3.0g of which 1.5g are from added sugars
  • Allergens: None
  • Profile: High protein, low-calorie, vegan
  • Flavours: Chocolate and Vanilla.
  • Best Flavour: Chocolate.
per serving Orgain All in One DV (%)
Energy (C/P/F) 47/21/32
Energy (kCal) 250 13
Fats (g) 7.0 9
Saturated (g) 1.0 5
Cholesterol (mg) 20 7
Carbs (g) 32.0 12
Sugars (g) 11.0 22
Fiber (g) 2.0 7
Protein (g) 16.0 32.0
Sodium (mg) 260.0 11

3. Diet Extreme

Best for Weight Loss UK/EU

Diet Meal Extreme best meal replacement shake for weight loss
Pros
  1. Only 200kcal per serving
  2. 24g of protein, 5.4g of fiber to keep you full
  3. Added CLA, acetyl-L-carnitine and green tea extract
  4. Up to 13 flavours to choose from
Cons
  1. Ships from the UK (2-5 days)

This is one of the best weight loss meal replacement shakes on the list. It was the best meal replacement shake for weight loss in 2021 and it’s still here.

Why? For starters, they have a very interesting high-protein and low-fat formula (unlike the low-carb options); that’s very efficient at keeping you full.

The 200kcal shake does an excellent job at it. Plus, they use their knowledge on nutrition supplements and add CLA, konjac glucomannan, green tea extract and acetyl-L-carnitine to help you with the process. These are popular supplements among those looking to trim down.

Besides, they also have an extensive catalog of flavours, with Banana Sundae, Caramel Latte, Dark Choc Raspberry, and more.

These shakes are some of the smoothest and best-tasting shakes in the market. I love Digestive Biscuit, truly a treat.

Diet Meal Replacement Extreme is the best diet shake you can buy in the UK, period. It has over 400 reviews with 98% rating by customers; all the people I referred have loved it. This is my personal choice, too.

Key Facts

  • Macros (C/P/F): 39/46/15
  • Kcal: 207kcal
  • Protein (g): 24g – from soy protein isolate, whey protein isolate, micellar casein
  • Sugars (g): 1.0g
  • Allergens: Milk, Soy, Oats, Gluten
  • Profile: Low fat-high protein
  • Flavours: Banana Smooth Sundae, Butterscotch Ripple, Caramel Latte, Cheeky Choc Coconut, Choc Hazelnut Heaven, Choc Mint Brownie, Choc Peanut Cookie, Chocolate Silk, Cookies & Cream, Dark Choc Raspberry, Millionaire’s Shortbread, Chocolate Digestive, Salted Caramel Bandit, Strawberries N’ Cream, Tiramisu Italiano, Vanilla Creme Crush, and White Choc Peanut Sundae.
  • Best Flavour: Digestive Chocolate.

4. Orgain All-in-One

Best Organic

Pros
  1. Easy to consume anywhere
  2. USDA organic, gluten free and dairy-free*
  3. Choose between vegan and whey-based
  4. Smooth and easy to drink
Cons
  1. Low in fiber and high in sugars
  2. Only available in the US

Orgain is a US brand that specializes in organic meal replacement shakes. However, what makes this one of the best nutrition drinks for weight loss is the combination of low calories and high protein content.

Besides that, it also comes with a fruit and vegetable blend that will provide you with quality nutrients. While the sugar content is on the high end for my liking, it is otherwise well balanced and a good drink to satiate your cravings.

Enjoy your soy-free and gluten-free meal shakes in both Smooth Chocolate and Vanilla Bean.

Nutrition

per serving Orgain All in One DV (%)
Energy (C/P/F) 47/21/32
Energy (kCal) 250 13
Fats (g) 7.0 9
Saturated (g) 1.0 5
Cholesterol (mg) 20 7
Carbs (g) 32.0 12
Sugars (g) 11.0 22
Fiber (g) 2.0 7
Protein (g) 16.0 32.0
Sodium (mg) 260.0 11

5. Ample

Best Low Carb

Ample O best meal replacement powder for weight loss
Pros
  1. Top quality ingredients filled with nutrients
  2. 3 formulas that adapt to you: Plant based, whey based and keto
  3. Easy to digest: contains probiotics, prebiotics and digestive enzymes
  4. Very filling and tasty; easy to drink often
Cons
  1. Doesn’t include all vitamins and minerals
  2. Only one flavour per variety

I love Ample shakes because they offer quality meal replacements that are extremely tasty and satiating. The last two are very important the top meal replacement shakes for weight loss; since they allow you to stick to them and keep a healthy diet.

Furthermore, Ample O will provide you with you 25g of grass-fed whey protein and 10g of fiber; two key ingredients to keep you full. They also contain probiotics (4 billion CFU), premium fats, and organic greens (with antioxidants). Everything to ensure healthy digestion. Plus, if you want a top vegan shake you can get Ample V (or even a keto version).

Nonetheless, the smoothness and fantastic taste of the shake is what will end up hooking you up to Ample. This is one of the best-tasting meal replacement shakes for weight loss.

Nutrition

per serving Ample O DV (%)
Energy (C/P/F) 20/25/55
Energy (kCal) 400 20
Fats (g) 25.0 38
Saturated (g) 11.0 56
Cholesterol (mg) 30.0 10
Carbs (g) 21.0 7
Sugars (g) 4.0
Fiber (g) 10.0 40
Protein (g) 25.0 50
Sodium (mg) 440 20


6. HLTH Code

Best Keto

Best Keto shake for weight loss
Pros
  1. One of the best tasting keto shakes
  2. No artificial sweeteners; no-GMO ingredients, no soy, no gluten, no added sugars
  3. 27g of protein per serving
  4. 4g of net carbs per meal, formula to burn fat
  5. Available in US, EU and UK
Cons
  1. High in fats, optimal for keto
  2. Only 2 flavours available

Ketogenic diets are very popular among people who are looking to lose weight. I personally think that they can be hard to stick to; but I can’t deny the success many people find following them.

If you are looking to make that transition easier, HLTH Complete Meal will be ideal for you.

For once, these shakes taste like delicious thin sweet milkshakes; an absolute delight. Personally, I like the nutty chocolate shake better; but Creamy Vanilla is really good, too.

Besides, this is an incredibly nutritious shake with 50% DV of all your vitamins and minerals. Plus, they add digestive enzymes, probiotics and apple cider vinegar to help you with digestion and overall health. You can truly appreciate how gentle is in your stomach.

You can get all of this for $3.3/meal and enjoy a further 15% discount when you use the code LATESFUELS!

Nutrition

per serving Complete Meal DV (%)
Energy (C/P/F) 12/18/70
Energy (kCal) 400 20
Fats (g) 27.0 35
Saturated (g) 17.0 87
Cholesterol (mg) 43.0 14
Carbs (g) 13.0 5
Sugars (g) 1.0
Fiber (g) 9.0 31
Protein (g) 27.0 55
Potassium (mg) 400 9
Sodium (mg) 203 9


7. OWYN

Best RTD

OWYN RTD Best weight loss
Pros
  1. RTD with improved texture and taste
  2. Vegan, hypoallergenic
  3. Most convenient format
  4. All the nutrients your body needs, only 300kcal per bottle
Cons
  1. Only available in the US
  2. High in sodium

300kcals and 20% of your daily nutrients per bottle. Only What You Need is exactly what the name name says. A meal replacement shake that is soy-free, gluten-free, nut-free and vegan-friendly; plus it provides you with the necessary nutrients and nothing else.

What makes OWYN one of the best meal replacement for weight loss is that contains more micronutrients than the rest. It also comes in an RTD format, which allows you to take it with you anywhere; and stops you from cheating.

Get your OWYN from Amazon and enjoy the two lovely flavours that they offer: Chocolate and Chai.

Nutrition

per serving OWYN RTD DV (%)
Energy (C/P/F) 43/27/30
Energy (kCal) 300 15
Fats (g) 10.0 15
Saturated (g) 1.0 5
Cholesterol (mg) 0.0 0
Carbs (g) 31.0 10
Sugars (g) 5.0
of which added (g) 5.0 10
Fiber (g) 3.0 12
Protein (g) 20.0 40
Sodium (mg) 330 14

8. Huel Black

Popular

best meal replacement shakes for weight loss Huel Black
Pros
  1. 40g of protein per serving, fully vegan
  2. Low GI, gluten free, soy-free
  3. Great to consume regularly; not a sickening flavour
  4. Over 6 flavours to choose from, including unsweetened
  5. Salted Caramel is deliciuos
Cons
  1. Chocolate is not great

One last meal replacement worth mentioning is Huel. The British brand does shakes where “nutrition comes first, taste a close second”. As such, they are not the tastiest you’ll find in this list, but one of the most well-balanced.

Another very distinguishable feature of Huel’s shakes is that they are incredibly satiating. Perhaps, it’s due to the 30g of protein per shake, or the thick texture; but without a doubt, it’s one of the most filling. I’ve personally used Huel for prolonged periods of time, and I have no major complaints.

Nutritionally, each Huel shake gives you 400kcal, less than 2g of sugar, plenty of omega-3 fatty acids and all the vitamins and minerals that you need. Plus, it has a glycemic index of 27 (very low). Huel is the ideal long-term solution.

Start with Salted Caramel, as it is the best flavour by far.

Nutrition

per serving Huel Powder DV (%)
Energy (C/P/F) 40/30/30
Energy (kCal) 400 20
Fats (g) 12.0 15
Saturated (g) 2.0 10.0
Carbs (g) 42.0 15.0
Sugars (g) 1.0
of which added (g) 1.0 2.0
Fiber (g) 9.0 32.0
Protein (g) 30.0 60
Sodium (mg) 290 13.0

9. Exante

Best for Women

Pros
  1. Multiple delicious flavours
  2. Very high user reviews
  3. Low-calories per serving: 110kcal
  4. Low in sugar and high in protein
  5. Nutrient dense; tons of micronutrients
Cons
  1. Only 2 vegan flavours
  2. Not the cheapest

Exante is one of the best meal replacement shakes for weight loss for women.

On one side, they are designed with a lower calorie intake in mind. Each shake has only 110kcal; but plenty of nutrients to power you. For instance, each shake has 80% of DV of Vitamin A, or 100% of Vitamin C. This is perfect for women.

Besides being nutrient-rich, they are also slightly sweeter than other alternatives. They have 6 flavours available; Chocolate, Vanilla, Mocha, Strawberry… included.

One of the best ways to start out is to get the starter pack for just $24 (8 meals). For longer consumption, I recommend the tubs, which are cheaper per meal.

On top of that, they can also provide you with weight loss plans that incorporate Exante to make your life easier.

Nutrition

per serving Exante DV (%)
Energy (C/P/F) 24/62/14
Energy (kCal) 120 6
Fats (g) 3.0 4
Saturated (g) 1.0 5
Cholesterol (mg) 22.0 7
Carbs (g) 14.0 5
Sugars (g) 2.0
of which added (g) 0.0 0
Fiber (g) 5.0 18
Protein (g) 9.0 18
Sodium (mg) 190 8


Losing Weight

Weight loss is a process that most adults have gone through at one time on another. By no means an entertaining or fun period, but the right choice for a healthy life most of the time. In fact, while losing weight is often considered a single process; I believe that there’s a second, perhaps more crucial step: maintaining your new weight.

As such, I reiterate that weight loss is not a diet, but a change in lifestyle. One that will get rid of old habits, introduce new ones and enable you to evolve into a healthier status.

However, without getting too philosophical, the underline message is that unless you lose the extra pounds in a balanced and sustainable (keyword) way; you are far more likely to gain it back. Hence, the yo-yo effect.

Why Meal Replacements Can Help You Lose Weight?

There are many reasons why I think meal replacement shakes can be helpful on this journey. I outline 5 in the picture above, taken from my in-depth guide on how to lose weight with meal replacements.

In reality, there are 3 pillars:

  • Counting calories and calorie restriction. One of the main positives is that meal replacements will make you very aware of how much you eat. The basics of weight loss is simple: calories in need to be less than calories you burn (out). Thus, it is important you know how much you are eating, and meal replacements make that easy.
  • Convenience. Often when we are on a diet, we see ourselves forced into situations where no healthy alternative is to be found. This is where we fall, and buy some junk food. Because you can take them anywhere, meal replacement shakes will prevent you from those pitfalls. They are also easy to make, thus will decrease your urge for those take-aways.
  • Adaptability. Lastly, meal replacements can be very personal. It does not matter if you are coeliac, or are looking for soy-free food, or vegan alternatives. There’s a meal replacement out there that will suit your needs. Thus, you won’t have to worry about your diabetes, IBS or allergies.

How to Use Meal Replacements to Lose Weight

Below I show a mock plan taken from my infographic on losing weight with meal replacements that you can find here: Weight Loss Infographic and my weight loss guide. Here, you will find more info on problems you might face, or what to do and what not. Feel free to share.

Mock Diet for weight loss
The calories each one will need a day can vary with age, weight, and activity levels. Please make sure to have a rough estimation of how many you need to lose weight before making a plan.

What is the Best Meal Replacement Shake for Weight Loss?

Successful weight loss using huel
Successful weight loss journey using Huel shared on r/Huel.

In reality, there is no simple answer. It will largely depend on what you need and what you like. Thus, I mentioned very different shakes above; all of which I consider to be great.

For instance, what are the best meal replacement shakes for women that can lose weight with? Personally, I would recommend something low in calories, high in micronutrients and that has sweet flavours available. Something like OWYN or Garden of Life. That’s not to say that the rest won’t work.

On the other hand, Labrada’s Lean Body or something more caloric like Ample might be the best meal replacement shakes for men’s weight loss. Men require more calories than women, which also relates to more protein.

Can I Use a Ketogenic Diet and a Keto Shake to Lose Weight?

keto weight loss story
Incredible story about a dad who lost weight using the keto diet so he could go with his daughters to Disney. Originally posted in r/keto.

Yes, of course you can, and in fact, many people have done so successfully. I recommend you have a look at reddit.com/r/keto to get inspired. However, in my experience, keto diets are not very noob friendly, since they are the very opposite of what most people are used to: high fat, almost no-carb diets. This means literally almost 0g of carbohydrates (bread, pasta, rice, cereals, donuts, bakery….).

Not only they can be hard to start, but also hard to follow in the long run. They might limit your choices at social events (dinners etc.), and they can be hard to stick to.

Nonetheless, the best keto meal replacement shakes can definitely solve some of those issues. In that regard, both Ample K and Keto Meal Shake from Ambronite are fantastic. I highly recommend using either of them.

Meal Replacement Shakes That I Didn’t Include

Perhaps you have a friend or have heard about other popular meal shakes that I have not included here. Shakes such as Slimfast, Herbalife or Shakeology that you might have seen in best meal replacements for weight loss 2018 and similar. The simple answer is that I don’t consider them to be good enough.

  • Shakeology. Like I explain in my Shakeology alternatives list, I consider this to be an overpriced meal replacement shake. It can still be useful to lose weight with, but something like Lean Body or Ample O is a much better alternative.
  • Slimfast. Another company that produces multiple weight loss products. Unfortunately, these are often made considering taste the most important factor. Consequently, they can be high in sugars, have poor quality ingredients, miss out of fiber and not be very satiating at all.
  • Herbalife. Sadly, this is one of the companies that puts a negative connotation of meal replacement shakes. The objective of the company is not to make healthy meals; but to make profit out of you. I would avoid this at all cost.

Protein Shakes and Weight Loss

Alternatively, you might have to look at protein shakes as your healthy weight loss meal. While tempting, I don’t think this is the right approach. Mainly due to the fact that protein shakes are neither balanced nor complete.

This is, protein shakes will be missing many essential nutrients that your body absolutely needs for healthy living. Namely, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals will be missing. Plus, they are also usually too rich in protein and will fall short in carbs and fats.

Therefore, I would advise against using protein shakes for weight loss, and I would recommend you look to the best nutritional shakes or meal replacement shakes, instead.

Other Supplements for Weight Loss

Albeit I’m not the biggest believer in magic pills, I do think that in some cases the best fat burners can be of a little aid on your weight loss journey. I warn you, do not expect any miracles.

However, they do have hunger suppressant properties, and some might even boost your metabolism and make you more active. I would use them as an aid, and not as a replacement of a healthy diet.

Conclusion: The Best Meal Replacement Shakes for Weight Loss Are

… Instant Knockout Complete and Diet Extreme. Both offer very nutritious meals that are designed to be healthy, tasty, and satiating.

Nonetheless, I want to reiterate the idea that meal replacement shakes are but a tool to lose weight. The real progress will come from your willpower to change your lifestyle and the calorie deficit that you are in. The shakes will be your support or scaffolding.

Make the first step now, and commit to a healthier lifestyle!

Sources

1.US Dietary Guidelines 2015-20.

2. FDA Daily Values.

3. Protein and Amono Acid Requirements in Human Nutrition by WHO.

4. Ultimate Meal Replacement List.

5. Latestfuel’s Best Meal Replacement Shakes.

6. Essential Nutrients.

7. In-depth Guide to Weight Loss with Meal Replacements.

8. Examine.com‘s Weight Loss Supplement Guide.

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