The Essential Guide to Choosing the Best Weight Loss Shakes for Women

Last Updated 26th September 2019
Nutribuddy Shake Complete review by Laura Kate Lucas

It’s 2019, and whilst we can all agree that being a woman shouldn’t make your life any different to that of men, realistically, equality is sadly still lacking in many ways. Women having autonomy over their bodies has been very topical as of late – and when it comes to maintaining a happy, healthy lifestyle, there are lots of choices that can be made.

And that couldn’t be more accurate in terms of weight loss shakes for women. With so many on the market and more appearing by the day – many of which, marketed towards women specifically – how do you pick the right product for you?

Let’s take a closer look at choosing the best weight loss shakes for women.

Nutribuddy Breakfast Shake Smoothie Bowl with strawberries, blueberries and banana
Nutribuddy Breakfast Smoothie Bowl by @health_happiness_hannah

Best Weight Loss Shakes for Women: Get the Lowdown

There are some obvious biological differences between the sexes that differentiate health between men and women, but some internal (and therefore not easily visible) differences too.

Everyone has unique health needs – and as with anything which impacts health and wellbeing, there’s lots to be considered before a weight loss shake is decided upon, purchased and consumed.

What are Weight Loss Shakes and How Do They Work?

Weight loss shakes or meal replacement shakes, are beverages that are drunk once a day to substitute a full meal. Made up of a nutritionally complete blend of micro & macronutrients, as well as nourishing vitamins and minerals, each shake is designed to contain fewer calories than solid food consumption would have. This, therefore, lowers the calorific intake of the individual and, over time, results in weight loss. 

Acting as a dietary supplement, weight loss shakes should be used as part of a generally healthy lifestyle which includes exercise, plenty of activity and good general nutrition to boot. The shakes may be vegan, organic, gluten-free or specifically flavoured and may be made from scratch or from a powdered mixture to consume.

Originally a favourite diet product of the 1980s, weight loss shakes have seen a new surge in popularity. It’s no coincidence – we’re all getting better at looking ourselves, as evidenced in the growth in the wellbeing industry, which is now worth a whopping $5trillion!

Pink weight loss smoothie with green straw

Are Weight Loss Shakes for Women Different to Weight Loss Shakes for Men?

With pink-packaged, female-endorsed meal replacement shakes here and black or blue bottled shakes which are clearly targeted towards men over there, it’s easy to wonder what the difference, beyond packaging and marketing, actually is.

Whilst there is no doubt that some meal replacement weight loss shakes do have differences in their ingredients and health benefits as a result of being created specifically for one gender over another, realistically, these are few and far between.

Most weight loss shakes aimed at women simply have their calories adjusted so that fewer are consumed than would be for men. Often, this has little to no bearing on the ingredients used (sometimes, simply the serving size is smaller!) so don’t ever buy a female-oriented product without checking more thoroughly into what exactly is included within the shake. You may also find that meal replacement shakes marketed towards men have a higher protein value, though this isn’t always the case.

So, should meal replacement weight loss shakes be different for men and women? There are some biological differences between the genders, as well as predispositions to health issues, of course – but actually, these have little bearing on weight loss shakes. Unless the consumer has specific allergies, dietary requirements or health concerns to take into account, there is rarely a reason that only a weight loss shake aimed at their cisgender should be purchased and consumed.

2 women in sports bras doing a workout with weights

5 Essential Tips on Picking the Best Weight Loss Shake for Women

1. Buy Weight Loss Shakes Based on Your Individual Health and Fitness Goals

We can all agree that women should stick together and continue to battle on for equality, but it’s important to remember that every female is unique and that they can’t all be grouped together! When choosing a weight loss shake, it needs to align with your individual health and fitness goals, rather than your gender alone. 

For example, if you are embarking on a vigorous fitness regime, a meal replacement weight loss shake that’s high in protein is ideal, as it will help to encourage muscle growth as you work out. If you’re struggling to consume a well-balanced diet for your other (solid food) meals and know you’re not quite managing to get your five-a-day fruit and veg in, a high-fibre shake such as the Nutribuddy Breakfast Shake may suit you better.

Once you’ve determined your goals, consider whether you need your shake to be free from any specific allergens and decipher which flavours you’d enjoy. Then weight-up your needs, aims and goals up against an ingredient list until you find your perfect match!

If all of this doesn’t fit in with a weight loss shake that you can find aimed at women, don’t fret. There is no need to avoid a shake that claims to be ‘for men’: go with what is right for you, no matter the marketing. Women don’t all fit in one box and neither do weight loss shakes!

Nutribuddy breakfast shake jar and smoothie bowl
Smoothie Bowl using Nutribuddy Breakfast by MoreThanGreens

2. Prioritise Long-term Health Over Rapid Weight

Of course, all weight loss shakes promise to help you shed some pounds, but the way in which they actually achieve this can differ.

Traditionally, weight loss shakes work as a dietary supplement by replacing one or two meals per day. The shake, which is perfectly balanced with all of the vitamins and minerals that the body needs from a meal, contains fewer calories than a solid food meal would. Reducing the overall intake of calories is an easy way to lose weight – and when used in conjunction with one or two other well-balanced meals each day and a stringent exercise regime, can be extremely effective.

Weight loss shakes that work in this way can take a few weeks to yield tangible, visible results, but their composition of essential nutrients make them as healthy as can be, whilst remaining sustainable in terms of long-term results. Add in the convenience that you can drink them ‘on-the-go’ and make them up quicker and easier than you can a home-prepared meal, and it’s easy to see why they’re so popular!

As the market has become more crowded with new weight loss shakes, product developers have turned to blends that promise quicker results – only, the way these work isn’t as sustainable as traditional methods.

Rapid weight loss shakes are lower in carbohydrates, to lower the overall carb intake of the individual. When the body’s carbohydrate intake isn’t sufficient, it burns glycogen as an energy source instead. Everyone has a store of glycogen. However, glycogen cells are attached to water and the process of metabolising them also uses up water. Once the body starts using its glycogen reserves, it takes a lot of water along with it. This results in quick weight loss, but only over the course of a week or so before it plateaus and stops – because once the glycogen, and its associated water weight, is gone, it’s gone. It also is extremely easily regained; as new intake of carbohydrates will replenish the glycogen reserves, and the water along with them.

Weight loss shakes which contain laxatives and senna leaves are a similar story – you may lose weight at first, but it’s totally unsustainable and potentially dangerous. 

Whilst it’s tempting to try out a rapid weight loss shake to quickly see a difference and help motivate yourself further, there are associated health risks with the brisk loss of water weight. Dehydration can occur easily, which puts a strain on almost every internal organ. It can also leave the consumer feeling nauseous, dizzy or out of breath. It is unsafe to lose more than about 2lbs a week, dependent on your existing weight.

Woman sat on bed stepping onto scales

3. Focus on the Ingredients List Rather than Packaging and Marketing

Pretty-in-pink packaging, claims of the potential to lose a stone in just 2 weeks and endorsements here there and everywhere – but no matter how pretty the packaging or clever the marketing, it means nothing if the shake isn’t well-balanced nutritionally. 

Instead of buying into the promises made by those being paid for it, buzzwords such as ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ and statement packaging, judge the product on its merit. Consult the ingredients list and establish whether the shake contains everything you need to help maintain a robust nutritional balance and your dietary requirements. Ensure you understand exactly what you’re consuming and if you’re not sure of anything, ask for advice and support. Aesthetics and adverts mean nothing!

Woman sat on bed and typing on a laptop

4. Don’t Underestimate Vegan Weight Loss Shakes

If you’re not a vegetarian or vegan, chances are you’ve skim read over weight loss shakes listed as ‘vegan’ without even looking through their description for more info. This is a mistake – there’s no reason to assume that a weight loss shake that fits a vegan diet would be inferior to any other!

Creating a weight loss shake that contains no animal products or derivatives actually means that synthetic ingredient options are limited, and so, there’s a much higher likelihood of them including only naturally occurring materials and whole foods – which are always nutritionally preferable. There is also a popular misconception that it’s harder for vegans to achieve the optimum level of protein in their diet, as of course, it is usually ingested through the consumption of meat. In reality, plant-based foods can provide all of the essential amino acids that the body needs, so there’s no need to eat meat to reach the correct protein balance. 

Vegan weight loss shakes can be just as efficient and healthy (if not healthier!) than their non-vegan counterparts. The inclusion of a varied range of whole foods to reach the desired/required nutritional balance means that vegan blends can be gentler on the stomach, too. If you suffer from allergies, sensitive bowels or have intolerances to certain foods, a vegan shake may be able to nourish you more suitably than something containing artificial additives and animal products.

If you feel a vegan weight loss shake would be best suited to your unique needs, take a look at the Nutribuddy storeevery single one of our products is 100% vegan and cruelty-free! Find out more about cruelty-free weight loss shakes in our ultimate guide to vegan meal replacement shakes.

Scooping Nutribuddy Shake Complete into mixed berry smoothie
Nutribuddy Shake Complete by JustHelina

5. Buy a Weight Loss Shake to Complement a Healthier Lifestyle

It’s important to remember that a weight loss shake is a dietary supplement, and so, is designed to work in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle rather than a standalone solution. 

While cutting your calorie intake by replacing one or two meals a day with a weight loss shake is a great way to shed some extra pounds, it shouldn’t be done in isolation. Your other one or two other meals a day should be healthy, balanced and complemented by a stringent activity and exercise routine. This will help to train the body for true health and a healthy, sustainable weight – not just for drastic weight loss and yo-yo dieting. 

A healthy lifestyle and exercise regime benefits women in a number of ways, particularly in negating and mediating the effects of hormonal changes – throughout the whole month and not just once during it! Sweat reduces bloating and exercise can cure headaches, ease cramps, aches and pains, as well as reduce the risk of contracting chronic illnesses. It’s always better to do something than nothing, even if that’s just running half a mile, cycling for five minutes or getting off the bus a stop early and walking the rest of the way. Prolonged exposure to exercise improves performance over time and allow the new, healthy weight achieved through the use of weight loss shakes to be far easier to sustain.

Even in 2019, women are faced with a huge range of targeted messaging; although it isn’t always presented in the pink it used to be! Whilst it’s important to acknowledge the biological differences between men and women when it comes to health and the products used to complement it, there is no reason for women to select a weight loss shake based on gendered marketing alone. Women are unique, women are significant, and women are strong – and their shakes should support them in that, no matter their gender.

Before you go, make sure to take a look at the Nutribuddy store. Our shakes were designed with women in mind but can be used by anyone and aim to provide a natural, nutrition-boosting meal in the form of an uber-convenient and tasty shake.

Bundle of Nutribuddy Women's Meal Replacement Products

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.