Best Meal Replacement Shakes – The Most Effective We’ve Found

Editor’s Note: This list has been updated to contain only the most effective meal replacement shakes available in 2018. Product #1 is our recommendation (as results are guaranteed), but any product in this roundup is great – happy reading!

For the vast majority of us, losing weight is an insanely difficult task. While there are some people (who are extremely lucky) who don’t have any issues shifting excess body fat, the bulk of us need a helping hand.

As we have all heard time and time again, the key to successfully shedding those excess pounds is simple – just burn off more calories than you consume.

While that’s some truly excellent advise, it’s definitely easier said than done! Often the first port of call for anyone looking to lose weight is a calorie-restricted diet plan, which 9 times of out 10 fails.

Anyone who has tried following a low calorie diet will know that they can often be hard to implement, difficult to stick to over the long term and can leave you feeling constantly hungry.

Meal Replacement Shakes are designed to completely remove these headaches, by offering consumers an easy way of placing themselves on a caloric deficit diet without having to rigorously plan out meal schedules, and spend hours in the kitchen cooking up healthy, low-calorie meals.

As the name suggests, these shakes replace your meals – by simply drinking a shake for your breakfast, lunch and dinner, you’ll be crashing your daily caloric intake to the point where weight loss is practically guaranteed (provided you aren’t snacking in-between the shakes).

With sustained correct usage of meal replacement shakes over the long term, the majority of users can expect excellent results.

Meal Replacement Shakes have become one of the weight loss industry’s most popular supplement-types, with more and more of them are popping up on a daily basis due to nutrition companies scrambling to cash in on the hype.

Unfortunately not all meal replacement shakes are created equal, with many brands offering subpar formulations with a bunch of trumped-up claims.

As a consumer, it has never been more important to shop smart and to educate yourself on these products so that you don’t end up with something that doesn’t work.

To help guide you towards a more effective purchase, we’ve created this top 10 list of the best meal replacement shakes we’ve found. If you’re looking for a meal replacement shake that really does work, any product on the list below will be a good choice:

    Top 10 Meal Replacement Shakes - Ranked On Effectiveness

    Position: Highlights:
    1.burner shake product image
    Burner Shake is a powerful, nutritionally-complete meal replacement shake with added fat burning ingredients, produced by Astral Nutrition.

    We have placed this product in the top position of our best meal replacement shakes list because we believe it will produce fast, hard-hitting weight loss results for the vast majority of those who use it.

    Burner Shake is designed to be used as a replacement for your breakfast, lunch and dinner. Each serving only contains 98 Kcals (all-the-while containing all your daily required vitamins and minerals), meaning that you’ll be consuming a total of just 294 Kcal per day, which is low enough to guarantee weight loss results provided you stick to the directions of usage.

    While you may think that eating just 294 Kcal per day may leave you feeling extremely hungry, Astral Nutrition have added a whole host of clinically-proven appetite suppressing ingredients into the formula to counteract this.

    To further help hasten the consumer’s weight loss results, Burner Shake also contains all-natural “fat burning” ingredients, that are designed to increase metabolism speeds, thus causing the body to burn calories at a faster rate.

    When it comes to getting your hands on a 1-month supply, you shouldn’t have too much trouble; Burner Shake is available in most supplement stores and supermarkets – the price is also excellent value for money too considering this is essentially a 3-in-1 product.

    The bottom line: this is a very powerful meal replacement shake with added fat burning ingredients to speed up your weight loss results. It’s nutritionally-complete, can also help improve your energy levels and metabolic rates, and is free from any side effects. Highly recommended by us.

    Rating: (5/5)

    Burner Shake Review

    2.Atkins Advantage Shakes Product Image
    Atkins Shakes are meal replacement drinks for weight loss produced by Atkins Nutritionals.

    These shakes find themselves in position #2 of our best rated meal replacement drinks because of the nutritionally-complete formula and low cost.

    Whether you pick the ready-made or shake mix option, one serving of Atkins Shake is high in protein, low in carbs (great for those who are sticking to a keto diet) and loaded with hunger-reducing fiber.

    When used as meal replacements for breakfast, lunch and dinner, these shakes can help bring your daily caloric intake down to the point where you’ll start to naturally lose weight – this is due to the shakes essentially putting the followers onto a VLCD (very low calorie diet).

    As the Atkins brand is a household name, the shakes can be found in most supplement stores and supermarkets – the price is very reasonable too.

    The bottom line: these meal replacement shakes are affordable, loaded with vitamins and minerals and will not cause any negative side effects. If you’re planning on sticking to the Atkins Diet, these shakes are a perfect low-calorie meal option.

    Rating: (5/5)

    Atkins Shakes Review

    3.Reflex Diet MRP Product Image
    Diet MRP is a meal replacement produced by Reflex Nutrition.

    This vegetarian-friendly MRP (Meal Replacement Powder) finds itself in position #3 of our best rated list because of the nutrition-packed formula, value for money and excellent protein macros.

    Diet MRP contains a premium protein blend unlike that of most other products on the market. Not only is there a blend of milk powder, casein and whey, Reflex have also added a vegetable-protein blend of pea and wheat protein – it should come as no surprise that this is the most protein-packed meal replacement on our list!

    In addition to the premium ingredients, Diet MRP also contains a full vitamin and mineral complex (27 in total), meaning dieters don’t need to worry about becoming deficient in vital nutrients.

    After further research, we found that when Diet MRP is used for a period of 8-12 weeks, it can lead to slow and gradual weight loss – this is because the shakes put users onto a VLCD.

    The bottom line: Reflex have loaded with their Diet MRP shakes with lots of vitamins and minerals – there’s also some metabolism-boosting compounds thrown in for good measure. When used for a sustained period of time, these shakes will very likely help users lose weight.

    Rating: (5/5)

    Reflex Diet MRP Review

    4.Advocare Meal Replacement Shake Product Image
    If the name wasn’t already a giant give-away, this is a line of meal replacement shakes produced by AdvoCare.

    We’ve placed this product in position #4 of our best meal replacements list because they’re nutritionally-complete, very affordable and are a fantastic product to use for the purposes of weight loss.

    Perhaps most importantly, AdvoCare have ensured their meal replacements are low in calories, making them excellent VLCD shakes. One full serving only contains a mere 90 kcals, and if used correctly (as a replacement for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with no snacking in-between the shakes) will produce quick weight loss results over a period of 8-12 weeks, as you’ll be consuming just 270 Kcals per day.

    Most of us know that while dieting, it can be somewhat difficult to ensure we consume our daily required nutrients, luckily the AdvoCare meal replacement shakes contain an extensive vitamin and mineral complex that provides the consumer with 100% of their daily required nutrients.

    As we mentioned earlier, AdvoCare have ensured their meal shakes are affordable (as any good MRP should be), so sustaining usage for a period of 8-12 weeks won’t be any more expensive than purchasing food from the supermarket.

    The bottom line: these meal replacements contain all your required daily vitamins and minerals and are based on a premium whey protein blend. They’re low in calories, low in carbohydrates and have good protein content too – perfect for those who are looking to tone up.

    Rating: (5/5)

    AdvoCare Meal Replacement Shakes Review

    5.Plexus 96 Product Image
    96 (also referred to as P96) is a high-protein meal replacement shake produced by Plexus International.

    This product finds itself right in the center of our best rated meal replacement powders list because it’s a high in protein and nutritionally-complete shake to use for losing body fat. It also contains appetite-suppressing ingredients too.

    Firstly, as this is a weight loss product, Plexus have ensured that each P96 sachet is extremely low in calories – only containing 100kcal.

    It’s important to note that it’s not the ingredients within P96 formula itself that’ll trigger weight loss, it’s the directions in which Plexus direct you to use them.

    By consuming one serving of the 96 shake for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and not eating anything else in-between them) you’ll be placing yourself onto a VLCD diet – only consuming a grant total of 300 Kcals per day.

    In addition to being low in calories, Plexus have also made their P96 meal replacement shakes to be both high in protein and very filling – this has been achieved by adding large amounts of dietary fiber and a premium whey-based protein blend into the formula.

    If you’re looking for a cheap meal replacement shake, this product may not be for you, however it’s certainly not overpriced in our opinion – we think that the price is a pretty accurate reflection of the ingredients used.

    The bottom line: while P96 isn’t Plexus’ most popular weight loss product, you shouldn’t look past it. These high-protein meal replacements are a low calorie meal option that can genuinely help you drop the excess weight (provided you stick to the directions carefully of course).

    Rating: (5/5)

    Plexus 96 Review

    6.Redcon1 MRE Product Image
    Redcon1’s MRE Meal Replacement powder find’s itself in position #6 because it’s unlike anything else on our list.

    Unlike the vast majority of meal replacement shakes that use a whey-based protein blend to provide the majority of the macronutrients per serving, Redcon1 have opted to completely prohibit the use of any protein powders in their product.

    This product is what’s referred to as a “real-food formula”. Essentially, what consumers are getting with Redcon1’s MRE Meal Replacement is a bunch of ground-up organic food powders – nothing more, nothing less.

    As it contains so many organic food sources, the product is full of nutritional goodness, being high in protein, high in fiber, and relatively low in calories.

    While Redcon1 don’t actually directly state their MRE is intended for the purposes of losing fat, this product is a highly effective meal replacement shake for weight loss (as long as it’s used correctly).

    By replacing your three daily meals with Redcon1 MRE, you’ll be lowering your daily caloric intake down to around 660 Kcal, which is low enough to almost guarantee gradual weight loss results when sustained over a period of 8-12 weeks.

    As you’d expect from a product that claims to be a “premium real-food-only meal shake”, it’s not cheap, but if you’re looking for a product that’s free from whey protein, this could potentially be worth paying the extra money for.

    The bottom line: this whey protein-free meal shake is formulated entirely with real whole food sources. It’s reasonably low in calories, loaded with nutrients and is perfect for those who are weight training. It’s not exactly cheap, but considering this product only uses powdered real-foods, we believe the price is acceptable for what you’re actually getting.

    Rating: (5/5)

    Redcon1 MRE Meal Replacement Review

    7.USANA Nutrimeal Product Image
    Nutrimeal is a meal replacement shake for weight loss made by USANA Health Sciences.

    This meal replacement drink is at #7 of our best rated roundup list because it’s full of nutrients, low in calories and overall is a very useful weight management tool.

    While USANA are a relatively new company, they certainly have not made any compromises when it comes to Nutrimeal.

    These meal replacements for weight loss are extremely low in calories, and when the directions are followed precisely, will very likely produce noticeable fat loss results for consumers.

    In addition to being a good weight management supplement, Nutrimeal is also fortified with vitamins and minerals, contains added probiotics to support a healthy gut, and has added dietary fiber to help keep the user feeling full.

    The bottom line: each serving of Nutrimeal is low in calories and contains a decent amount of protein. USANA have also added a full multivitamin and mineral complex to each serving, as well as topping it off with added natural dietary fiber.

    Rating: (5/5)

    Usana Nutrimeal Review

    8.opti-lean meal replacement powder product image
    Optimum Nutrition’s Opti-Lean Meal Replacement Powder finds itself in position #8 of our top meal replacement shakes roundup because it can help to reduce the user’s body weight when used correctly for a sustained period of time (8-12 weeks).

    By replacing your breakfast, lunch and dinner with single servings of Opti-Lean Meal Replacement powder, you’ll be dropping your daily calorie intake down to exactly 615 Kcal, which is a significant enough caloric deficit to trigger slow and steady fat loss (provided you aren’t eating in-between the servings of course).

    This product is also great for those who are weight training or are concerned about losing muscle while dieting, as Optimum Nutrition have packed in 20g of premium, slow-release protein into each serving.

    In addition to the excellent protein content, Opti-Lean Meal Replacement Powder also contains high quality carbohydrates from organic sources (oats, flaxseed and ground chickpeas) – these “good carbs” can help provide clean energy and likely won’t cause a “carb crash”.

    This is another very competitively priced meal replacement shake that offers very good value for money, especially when you consider this product can actually replace your need for a conventional protein shake.

    The bottom line: as you’d expect with an Optimum Nutrition product, the Opti-Lean Meal Replacement shakes are packed full of protein, are very affordable, contain all your daily required nutrients and also have 7.3g of appetite-reducing fiber in each serving. When used in the context of an energy-restricted diet plan, this product can certainly help you lose weight over a period of 8-12 weeks.

    Rating: (5/5)

    Opti-Lean Meal Replacement Powder Review

    9.PlantFusion Complete Meal Product Image
    Complete Meal (formerly known as Phood) is a plant-based meal replacement shake for weight loss made by PlantFusion.

    We have placed this highly popular product in at position #9 because it’s a best-rated meal replacement shake with a vast amount of legitimate, highly-positive customer feedback.

    As you’d expect, Complete Meal is a great product to use for the purposes of weight loss – being low in calories, high in protein, and low in saturated fats. When used as a replacement for your three daily meals, this product will place users onto a VLCD, which if sustained for 8-12 weeks, will cause reliable weight loss results.

    What makes this product somewhat unique to the rest is that it uses a vegan-friendly protein blend of Pea Protein Isolate, Artichoke leaf and Algae Protein Isolate as its base, and contains an added “ModCarb” proprietary blend of whole foods to top off it’s nutritional values (it’s worth noting that if you’re looking for a low-carb meal replacement shake, you’ll likely need to opt for a milk-based product, as this is entirely plant and carb-based).

    In addition to being effective for weight loss and suitable for vegetarians and vegans, Complete Meal contains a whole host of ingredients that support general health. The formula is fortified (i.e. it’s infused with a multivitamin and mineral blend), contains flax and algae oils, which provide essential fatty acids, and it even contains digestive enzymes to aid gut health.

    The price isn’t unreasonable, but if you’re on a budget it may not be suitable for long-term usage – but in defense of the product, it does contain a lot of boutique ingredients that most other shakes do not.

    The bottom line: this amazon best-seller contains a high quality vegan protein blend and is perfect for those looking for a 100% natural, alergy-free meal replacement option. These shakes will help improve your energy levels, build and repair muscle, and of course lose weight (when used three times daily as meal replacements while sticking to a low-cal diet).

    Rating: (5/5)

    PlantFusion Complete Meal Review

    10.Almased Product Image
    And finally, in position #10 we have Almased, a powdered meal shake created by a company of the same name.

    This product finds itself onto our top 10 meal replacement shakes list because of how easy it is to stick to, the excellent manufacturer reputation and the highly-positive customer feedback it has.

    You may have seen this product referred to as a “weight loss phenomenon” – Almased were one of the first meal replacement shakes to hit the market, bringing the whole concept of VLCD shakes to the general public.

    Almased have amassed a huge amount of praise for their meal shakes; many customers stating the shakes were easy to stick to and helped them lose weight in a relatively short period of time.

    By replacing your three daily meals with this servings of product, you’ll be placing yourself onto a significant caloric deficit which will cause healthy weight loss over a period of 8-12 weeks. Almased is fortified with vitamins and minerals and contains adequate fiber content to help stave off your hunger cravings too.

    Almased is very low-cost and is widely available in most supermarkets across the world – it can also be ordered directly from the manufacturers themselves.

    The bottom line: Almased is another shake that offers users a low-calorie meal option that contains all their daily required vitamins and minerals. While it has no fat burning ingredients, It’s low-cost, is easily-found and is perfect for those who are just starting out with these types of weight loss products.

    Rating: (4.5/5)

    Almased Review

    In order for a meal replacement shake to gain our approval and become one of our recommended products, it must meet the following criteria:

    1. It should be affordable for longterm usage – Meal replacement shakes are products that need to be used over a long period of time to really deliver weight loss results, as a result, we do not recommend any meal replacement products that are overly-expensive as it’s just not cost-effective for the consumer.
    2. It must have an effective formula – Any recommended product on this top 10 list has passed our rigorous approval process. We carefully analyze the ingredients inside the product to ensure the product actually will work and be effective.
    3. The manufacturers should be truthful about the shakes ability – We do not approve any product that has manufacturers making false claims about it. Every product on this list has had the manufacturer claimed verified, to ensure you really will get what’s promised.
    4. Manufacturers should have a great reputation and clean trading history – We don’t recommend sketchy, shady or unheard of brands; only reputable brands with good consumer service find their way into our top 10 lists.

    Meal Replacement Shake Frequently Asked Questions

    Below you’ll find a list of the most commonly asked questions. If you don’t find your answer you can always drop us an email!

    Q. How Do Meal Replacement Shakes Work?

    Answer: Meal Replacement Shakes work by, yep you guessed it, replacing your daily meals.

    The concept is extremely simple – by replacing your solid-food meals (which are typically higher in calories) with a low-calorie, nutrient-dense shake, you’ll be lowering your daily caloric intake.

    Q. Are Meal replacement Shakes Effective For Weight Loss

    Answer: While you don’t necessarily have to use meal replacement shakes for the purposes of weight loss, that is the most common reason to use them.

    As we stated above, the shakes easily allow you to lower your daily caloric intake without needing the consumer to stringently plan out and stick to a low-calorie foods list – simply mix up and shake with some water or milk and you’re good to go.

    When used for a sustained period (usually around 6-12 weeks), Meal Replacement Shakes typically produce excellent weight loss results for consumers, as the general concept is pretty much foolproof.

    Q. Can I Use Meal Replacement Shakes While Pregnant Or Breastfeeding?

    Answer: Meal Replacement Shakes are not something you should consider while pregnant, in our opinion. This is because some products can contain thermogenic ingredients, which could potentially prove to be harmful.

    Of course, you should always consult with your doctor as they’ll know best.

    Beth Coats, RD LN
    Staff Writer at DietProbe
    Beth is a registered dietician with over 20 years experience in general nutrition.