The best weight loss shake is a clinically proven vegan meal replacement protein mix that safely drops excess fat with only 140 calories per serving. It also maintains lean muscle. 1,2 Losing pounds reduces pressure on joints, especially knees and hips. If people who are overweight lose 10% of their body weight—20 pounds for a 200-pound person—they can ease joint pain by half, according to the 2017 article, Weight Loss Strategies for Osteoarthritis, on WebMD.3
Top rated meal replacement shakes are fortified with vitamins, minerals and precise ratios of all nine amino acids. When packed with 20 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber per serving they promote effective and safe weight loss. The recommended non-GMO plant-based protein powder is screened beyond organic levels for contaminants, according to its manufacturer.4
Exercise should be part of any healthy lifestyle, especially when trying to manage or lose weight. For people with arthritis and joint discomfort, the benefits of twice weekly exercise and weight loss can be dramatic. A loss of just 10 pounds can take 30 to 40 pounds of pressure off your knees when you walk, the WebMD article quotes Amanda Sammut, MD, chief of rheumatology at Harlem Hospital Center in New York City as saying: If you’re overweight, shedding pounds can ease arthritis pain now and lower your chances of serious joint damage and surgery down the road. And weight loss can help prevent or treat osteoarthritis, said Dr. Sammut.3
“Your chance of getting arthritis in your knee for overweight or obese individuals is four to five times higher than someone who’s not,” Dr. Sammut said. “Losing weight lowers levels of proteins that cause swelling. Fat cells create proteins that cause swelling throughout the body and can damage joints, explained Dr. Sammut.3
The best weight loss shake replaces the nutrient gaps caused by low calorie diets. When people cut back on calories, it can be difficult to get all the nutrients they need from food alone. The best weight loss shakes supply the necessary nutrients to provide a complete meal.
Meal replacement shakes are portable and convenient, and they may help resist the temptation to indulge in unhealthy processed foods. Mixing a shake from protein powder takes less than five minutes.
In fact, one of the biggest barriers to losing weight is the time it takes to prepare healthy, whole food meals. When stressed or in a hurry, it’s much easier to grab a processed convenience food or give in to fast food, which can seriously derail weight loss efforts.
Most processed foods are full of sugar, refined carbs and artificial ingredients, in addition to lacking beneficial nutrients. Furthermore, processed foods that are high in sugar, salt and fat activate the pleasure centers of the brain, which can lead to overeating.5,6,7
The best weight loss shakes are easy to drink on-the-go and are a significantly healthier alternative to fast foods.8
When searching for the right meal replacement product, you must look at each protein shake separately. After all, the nutrients or nutritional value shakes provide varies substantially brand-to-brand with assorted proportions of protein, carbs, fat and sugar. Prices vary widely also. Ignore the claims on the front of the package and read the ingredient list on the back.
If you are considering the best weight loss shake to safely maximize results, you should avoid products that fail the following minimum standards:8
In summary, it’s important to examine each meal replacement product individually in order to gain a full understanding of what it contains.
Drinking a protein shake as breakfast in the morning is a simple, foolproof weight-loss method. The fact is, when you’re trying to lose body fat, you can’t skip breakfast—but you may be too busy to think about calories and to make healthy choices, according to the article, Breakfast Shakes—Drink Yourself Skinny on the Dr. Oz web site.9
Four benefits gained from a high protein morning shake includes:
Simply put, weight loss occurs when your metabolism gets moving and you put out more calories than you take in.9
If you were to replace your 750-calories bagel and orange juice meal with a 140-calorie protein shake, you’d save 610 calories per day. And you’d see the results on your bathroom scale in no time.9
Protein shakes support muscle growth and repair after exercise and are a quick meal replacement. Research demonstrates one meal replacement shake daily is effective for weight maintenance when combined with two sensible, healthy whole food meals.2
Drinking two high quality shakes daily instead of full meals is an excellent short-term weight loss strategy, especially in the first three months. One study published in 2014 in the journal Obesity compared weight loss results from a 12-week program, with follow-ups after one and two years, among participants who had used meal replacements and those who had reduced calorie diets and modified their lifestyles. Both groups lost weight, but in the check-ins one and two years later, the meal replacement group had regained significant weight and the reduced-calorie, modified-lifestyle group had not. Researchers theorized that the meal replacements became a “crutch” of sorts and worked for short-term weight loss but were not a reliable long-term tool for weight maintenance.10
The best weight loss shake with 20 grams of plant or soy protein per serving, helps curb hunger, making a low-calorie diet easier to follow. A study published in the journal Obesity in 2007 showed that a high daily protein intake can help increase metabolism and decrease appetite. When dieting, an intake of 30 percent of daily calories from protein diminished the effects of the hormone that stimulates appetite.11
The recommended protein shake is not sold ready-to-drink. It is homemade by mixing a non-GMO protein powder in liquid (water, milk) and other ingredients (fruit, vegetables, healthy nuts, etc.) in a shaker or blender. It is available in pea (plant) protein, soy protein and whey protein powders. Ready-to-drink shakes are sometimes contaminated with heavy metals and could pose a health risk, according to tests performed by Consumer Reports in 2010.12
When replacing whole food meals with two daily shakes it is of utmost importance that a best weight loss shake protein mix be fortified with vitamins, minerals, all nine essential amino acids, omega 3 ALA (an essential fatty acid) and calcium.
Consumer Reports investigated the levels of contamination in the top-selling protein powders and found all contained detectable levels of heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, mercury, lead, and bisphenol-A (BPA), according to the article, Arsenic, Lead Found in Popular Protein Supplements by Jesse Hirsch on March 12, 2018.13
Virtually all the 134 products tested from 52 brands contained at least one heavy metal and 55 percent tested positive for BPA. These substances have been linked to cancer, brain damage, and reproductive issues. The products were screened for over 130 toxins and were tested and reviewed by a third-party analytical chemistry laboratory.
This is not the first research that has shown high contaminant levels in such products. A 2010 Consumer Reports study detected arsenic, cadmium, lead and/or mercury in samples of all the 15 powders tested.12
“These toxins accumulate in your body and can stay there for years,” says Tunde Akinleye, a test program leader in Consumer Reports Food Safety Division. “Frequent consumption of foods that contain them can have adverse health effects over the long run,” she said in the article.13
A lack of sufficient raw material testing by U.S. manufacturers, weak industry regulations, and cheap foreign ingredients have all contributed to these findings.
The best weight loss shake is a protein that is tested for purity and quality (so you’ll know that you’re getting what you expect based on the label and ingredients and that there are no additives or other surprises), said Steve Hertzler, Ph.D., Abbott Nutrition senior research scientist and dietitian in a Livestrong article.14
Consumers can look for a product that is checked for banned substances and has label claims verified via a National Science Foundation (NSF) or U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) type certification.
Don’t grab the protein powder that simply provides the most grams of protein for you buck, as the quality of protein powders varies greatly, Hertzler advises. Start with the ingredients first; if it’s a long laundry list that includes fillers, binders and additives like artificial sweeteners, you can find better.
Higher quality protein powders deliver all the nutrients you need and help your muscles to recover from exercise or simply help you boost your daily protein intake, while others lack quality, taste and purity.
The recommended best weight loss shake contains the following label declarations on purity:4
The best weight loss shake checks all the boxes on what a recommended protein powder should contain. It provides a delicious (preferred by 90% in a blind taste test), all-in-one meal proven by clinical trials to provide purity, satiety, increased energy and help achieve a healthy weight.
The recommended weight loss shake includes the following benefits:15
If you’re looking for the absolute best weight loss shake, you’ve found it here:
Follow this link for the recommended plant protein shake featuring a proprietary blend of pea protein, L-leucine, organic chia seed protein, and organic pumpkin seed protein.
Follow this link for the recommended soy protein shake featuring a proprietary blend of soy protein concentrate, soy protein isolate, L-leucine, organic chia seed protein and organic pumpkin seed protein.
Follow this link for the recommended soy protein stevia free shake featuring a proprietary blend of soy protein concentrate, soy protein isolate, L-leucine, organic chia seed protein and organic pumpkin seed protein and 10 gram natural cane sugar.
Each best weight loss shake links above contain detailed product information including a video presentation, price, product labels and clinically-proven details.
Note: Also available as a whey protein smoothie.
Disclaimer: Health statements on this Best Weight Loss Shake page have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease
1 Shaklee 180™® program has been clinically proven to help people lose weight and keep it off. Westcott W, Colligan A, Puhala K, Lannutti K, La Rosa Loud R, Vallier S. Journal of Exercise Physiology Staged. 2017 Feb 1;20(1).
2 Westcott W, Colligan A, Lannutti K, La Rosa Loud R, Vallier S. Effects of Resistance Exercise and Protein on Body Composition Following Weight Loss. Journal of Clinical Exercise and Physiology 2018;7(2):25-32
3 Morgan-Griffin R, Smith MW, MD; Article, Weight Loss Strategies for Osteoarthritis, published WebMD, December 14, 2017 https://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/features/oa-weight-loss-plan#
4 Product labels, Life Shake, Plant Protein and Soy Protein, by Shaklee Corporation, 4747 Willow Road, Pleasanton, CA 94588
5 Stanhope KL, Schwarz JM, Havel PJ.study, Adverse metabolic effects of dietary fructose: Jnl Current Opinion in Lipidology, 2013 Jun;24(3):198-206. Doi; PubMed 10.1097/MOL.0b013e3283613bca.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23594708
6 Volkow ND, Wang GJ, Fowler JS Tomasi D Baier R; study Food and drug reward: overlapping circuits in human obesity and addiction Jnl Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences, 2012;11:1-24. doi: 10.1007/7854_2011_169. PubMed https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22016109
7 Kenny PJ, study, Common cellular and molecular mechanisms in obesity and drug addiction. Jnl Nature Reviews Neuroscience 2011 Oct 20;12(11):638-51. doi: 10.1038/nrn3105.PubMed https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22011680
8 Bell B MS RD, article, Can Meal Replacement Shakes Help You Lose Weight? Published Healthline, January 11, 2017 https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/meal-replacement-shakes
9 Lynn L Webpage blog, Breakfast Shakes: Drink Yourself Skinny, published Dr. Oz, accessed May 11, 2019 https://www.doctoroz.com/blog/lisa-lynn/breakfast-shakes-drink-yourself-skinny
10 Lowe MR, Butryn ML, et al, study Meal replacements, reduced energy density eating and weight loss maintenance in primary care patients, Jnl Obesity (Silver Spring), January 2014:22(1):94-100 PMID 23894101 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3869862/
11 Leidy HJ, Mattes RD, Campbell WW, study Effects of acute and chronic protein intake on metabolism, appetite, and ghrelin during weight loss, Jnl Obesity (Silver Spring), May 2007 15(5),1215-26 PubMed https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17495198
12 Investigative Report, Health risks of protein drinks, published Consumer Reports, July 2010 https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/04/protein-drinks/index.htm
13 Hirsch J, Investigative Report, Arsenic, Lead Found in Popular Protein Supplements, published Consumer Reports, March 12, 2018 https://www.consumerreports.org/dietary-supplements/heavy-metals-in-protein-supplements/
14 Bede PN, article, Things to Consider When Choosing a Protein Powder, published by Livestrong, September 4, 2018.
15 Fall 2018 product catalog, Healthy Weight section, Shaklee Life Shake, the Foundation of the 180 Program, Shaklee Corporation, Page 59, Item # 76691 (New 7/18), Shaklee Corporation, Pleasanton, CA 94588
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