Natural Weight Loss Shakes: Everything You Need to Know

Last Updated 30th July 2019
natural coconut and berry meal replacement shake

Embarking on the search for products and supplements to complement a healthy lifestyle can get complicated.

You simply need something healthy which fits in with your existing busy schedule and commitments – but the internet immediately confronts you with a myriad of internet marketing promises, rapid results, delicious tastes, unbeatable value propositions and a whole new healthy, slimline, better you. 

There are many words and terms that you’d associate with health products – ‘organic’, ‘natural’, ‘whole foods’, ‘diet’ and ‘calorie controlled’ being some of the most common. Realistically, however, these words often mean very little and are often simply used as part of a marketing strategy. Some have their usage restricted by legislation and legal requirements, but many don’t – and ‘natural’ is one that brands have free reign over.

strawberry natural meal replacement shake for weight loss

All-Natural Weight Loss Shakes: Let’s Start With the Basics

The Oxford English Dictionary defines ‘natural’ as all plants, animals, things and materials that exist in the universe and are not made by people. There’s no legal definition stipulated for the word in the UK, but it’s broadly accepted that it refers to products that are not artificial.

Realistically, however, this only needs to be one natural ingredient amongst a string of artificial additives – and even then, the single natural ingredient could have been heavily processed before inclusion. 

What are Natural Weight Loss Shakes?

Natural weight loss shakes, when legitimate, contain only ingredients that are naturally occurring and have not been unduly processed. This means that there is nothing synthetic included and the nutrients derived from the ingredients within the shakes are wholly absorbed by the body and are of the utmost benefit to the body. 

Such weight loss shakes are available, but they’re few and far between – so if you come across a brand offering authentic natural blends, stick with it!

Natural mixed berry smoothie with black straw

Are Natural Weight Loss Shakes Better than Artificial Weight Loss Shakes?

The vitamins and minerals consumed through using weight loss shakes work in the same way as those consumed through eating solid food.

There is evidence to suggest that the human body absorbs synthetic nutrients (also known as isolated nutrients) differently to naturally occurring ones. This is because the artificial strand is detached from other mineral compounds and so doesn’t benefit from the same ‘package deal’ that nature provides. 

You can learn more about the benefits of wholefoods over artificial vitamin blends in our article here.

Healthy natural weight loss shakes, such as the Nutribuddy Breakfast Shake, are better absorbed by the body, so give a faster and more optimised nutritional balance than their artificial counterparts.

Nutribuddy Vegan Breakfast Shake for weight loss
Nutribuddy Breakfast Shake

Do Natural Weight Loss Shakes Actually Work?

There are numerous reviews online that claim artificially-enhanced weight loss shakes provide accelerated results. But this is often the result of losing water weight – which is unsustainable, as once the body is rehydrated, it immediately comes back.

Whilst you may find that using natural weight loss shakes instead of artificial ones takes a longer time to reach a tangible result, the more balanced vitamin and mineral content provides premium nutritional value and the weight lost will be far easier to maintain over the long-term.

Natural weight loss shakes do work, but they can take time. It’s important to stay patient and enjoy your new bill of health as it settles in.

Women working out using a fitness ball

How Much Weight Can I Lose Using Natural Weight Loss Shakes?

Everyone and everybody is different, so brands of weight loss shakes which make specific claims are not just unreliable… they’re patently untrue!

Exactly how much weight you can expect to lose by including a weight loss shake as a dietary supplement depends on a variety of factors, each of which you can prioritise and work on to maximise your loss and hit your goal in a healthy way rather than a crash or fad diet. These include:

  • Your overall level of activity and exercise.
  • Your diet (aside from the meal replacement weight loss shakes).
  • The balance of vitamins and minerals you consume.
  • Your existing weight. 
  • Your goal weight.

Natural meal replacement shakes can help you to lose weight while maintaining a well-nourished physique, but they will only work as well as you allow them to – and that means using them as a dietary supplement rather than your sole effort. 

Providing that your weight loss goal is achievable for your lifestyle choices and body type, using a natural weight loss shake can help you to shed the pounds in a healthy manner. If in doubt, it’s always best to speak to a nutritionist, dietician or doctor for advice.

Woman weighing herself whilst sat on bed

Are Natural Weight Loss Shakes Safe?

Weight loss shakes that are truly all-natural allow the user to have full visibility over what it is they’re consuming with no room for misunderstanding or miscommunication. Shakes containing lots of artificial ingredients are less likely to be understood (unless, of course, you’re a nutritionist or dietician!) so consumers could potentially consume something they don’t intend to.

All-natural products can contain organic allergens but unless you have an allergy or intolerance to one of these, are entirely safe to act as a dietary supplement – and, for most people, enhance their dietary intake of health-boosting vitamins and minerals.

woman researching natural weight loss products and ingredients

4 Things to Remember During Your Search for the Best Natural Weight Loss Shake

1. Be Marketing Savvy: The ‘Natural’ Label Means Nothing

Deciding to take steps toward a healthier and leaner lifestyle is exciting, so it’s easy to get swept into the marketing world of meal replacement weight loss shakes and buy into labels and terms that aren’t accurate or honest.

Whilst there are FDA (Food and Drug Administration) guidelines applying to the word ‘natural’ in the US, there are no such regulations in the UK, so ‘natural’ can literally be used on any product without meaning anything at all. Stay wise to the tricks used by brands and make your product purchase decisions based on facts rather than spiel.

Check out the Nutribuddy Shake Complete label here – we bet you recognise all of the ingredients. If you’re looking for natural weight loss shakes, this is the kind of ingredients list you should be aiming for – no hard-to-pronounce chemicals in sight!

Nutribuddy Shake Complete ingredients list and instruction labe
Nutribuddy Shake Complete Ingredient List by JustHelina

2. Beware of Senna: ‘Natural’ Ingredients Aren’t Always Healthy

There is a ‘natural’ (ha!) association toward naturally occurring ingredients and the perception of healthiness, but it’s important to remember that not everything pure or unrefined is healthy – there’s good and bad in everything. Just think: earthquakes, disease and tsunamis are all naturally occurring, but are rarely thought of as positive!

One natural ingredient used frequently in weight loss shakes is Senna (senekot), a laxative made from the leaves and fruit of the Senna plant. The inclusion of Senna often warrants a mention of ‘natural’ ingredients on a label, but actually, this is something that should be consumed with caution.

Senna can be prescribed, but it doesn’t need to be – and is available for anyone to buy. Senna takes about 8 hours to work its way through the digestive system and gives a laxative effect. It’s a safe product to consume for most adults, but can commonly result in stomach cramps and diarrhoea, and should never be taken for more than a week. Prolonged usage of Senna can result in the bowel becoming reliant upon it and not functioning properly by itself.

That said, the nature of weight loss shakes becoming a regular dietary supplement is that they’re used long-term, so any such shake containing Senna should not be used and could have harmful consequences – even though it’s technically ‘natural’!

Consult with your Doctor before ever consuming laxatives, be they natural or organic.

Senna leaves yellow flowers
Natural Senna leaves are laxatives which have bad side effects

3. The Ingredients List is What Truly Matters: Whole Foods are Key

Whole foods are plant foods that are unprocessed and when included in products such as meal replacement weight loss shakes, should be processed as minimally as possible. The term is ambiguous but generally doesn’t include animal products, oils or salts.

The key to selecting a weight loss shake which is of the most benefit to you and will achieve the greatest possible results, is understanding the ingredients blend within. It may seem like a chore, but with so many possibilities and combinations available, it’s worth having complete transparency over what it is that you’ll be consuming.

Anything that’s not patently obvious from an ingredients label is likely to be artificially created or enhanced, so will be absorbed by the body differently to whole foods and have different effects. Stick with what you know and understand, and if you need advice or help, ask an expert – not a marketer!

Woman holding vegan berry meal replacement shake

4. Natural vs Organic: Both are Good, but Organic is Best

Choosing something that’s natural will always champion manmade, but better yet is ‘organic’.

DEFRA (the government Department for Food and Rural Affairs) provides a legal definition of organic food, which is “the product of a farming system which avoids the use of manmade fertilisers, pesticides; growth regulators, and livestock feed additives”. This essentially warrants the ingredients fitting under this label as natural but levelled up; as there can be no major processing or artificial enhancements made to them. 
Meal replacement weight loss shakes containing organic ingredients are, therefore, the ideal product for nutrition and nourishment – but they do come at a premium, price-wise!  Generally speaking, the hierarchy of health food products have organic ingredients at the top, then natural, then synthetic. With each step down comes a drop in price, but also a drop in quality.

Plus, while organic weight loss shakes may be a little more expensive, they’re still great value. The 100% organic Nutribuddy Breakfast Shake, for example, costs around 68p per meal as part of a 56 day supply – not bad for organic, huh? It ticks all the boxes of a perfect meal replacement shake for breakfast.

Nutribuddy weight loss smoothie bowl next to recyclable jar
Smoothie bowl using Nutribuddy Breakfast Shake by MoreThanGreens

All-Natural Weight Loss Shakes: The Take-Home Message

Weight loss shakes make for a fantastic dietary supplement to complement a balanced diet and active lifestyle to best help achieve lean body weight and good health. ‘All natural’ is a phrase that you’d think would be positive, but in the British food and drink market, it holds little gravitas and so is, unfortunately, frequently used as a marketing spiel rather than a genuine product claim.

Weight loss shakes act by substituting a meal a day with a drink that contains fewer calories than solid food would. This substitution must act as a supplement to an existing healthy diet, and when well blended, offers a complete balance of the necessary vitamins and minerals required by the human body for good nutrition. 

In order to create a well-balanced recipe that’s nutritionally whole, a wide variety of ingredients must be included and so when pre-prepared by a brand rather than made from scratch, aren’t cheap to make. As the wellbeing market for health food and drink products becomes bigger and more competitive, there’s a constant race between companies to produce the cheapest possible weight loss shake. This has so far resulted in the inclusion of artificial sweeteners, colourings and flavourings and synthetic vitamin blends.

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Whilst the production of such manmade materials is now cheaper than ever (hence their usage in budget brand drinks), scientific evidence and research into them has shown disparities in their health benefits and ability to contribute to ambitious and sustainable weight loss goals. In some cases, artificial ingredients may even be detrimental to the consumer’s health and weight loss journey. Therefore, choosing a truly natural meal replacement weight loss shake is always preferable to one full of synthetics, if your budget allows it.

Nature presents some beautiful things, but not everything ‘natural’ is healthy! There are a few ingredients commonly used in weight loss shakes that can have unpleasant side effects and should be avoided.

Building your new diet and healthy lifestyle from scratch is the best possible way to find the right regime for you and your goals. Deciding to supplement your diet with a meal replacement weight loss shake is one factor in this and should be approached with the same care and attention that anything else health-related would be too.

The key to this is building a thorough and comprehensive knowledge of the product/s you’re choosing to consume and making dietary choices based upon such awareness. Check out the ingredients list and take some time to research everything you don’t already know about, to ensure it’s something that you’re happy to consume.

If in doubt, go natural and trust in organics. Here at Nutribuddy, when we say natural, we mean it. All our shakes are made with legitimately natural (and healthy) ingredients which provide a complete range of nutrients. So, why not buy our natural weight loss shake as part of our great value Vegan Meal Replacement Bundle and try them out for yourself?

Vegan weight loss shake bundle

Stock image credit: UnsplashPexels & Pixabay

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Nutribuddy Ltd.

Author Bio!

Post by Lex

I’m a full-time Marketing Manager and Copywriter but also a qualified yoga teacher and keen runner; so I know a thing or two about maintaining a healthy lifestyle with a good dose of fitness! My previous roles include marketing and social media for the likes of the household names including the Cabinet Office and Aviva. Outside of work, I’m a Mum, passionate social rights campaigner and bookworm.