How Do Weight Loss Shakes Work?

Last Updated 7th September 2020
woman on exercise bike

Weight loss shakes are pre-made liquid meals that are designed to be drunk in place of a full solid-food meal.

They work by cutting back on the consumer’s calorie intake for the day, resulting in a calorie deficit that will in turn reduce the mass of the body.

Weight loss shakes are often found in powder form and mixed with water, milk, or a milk alternative, or can be pre-made for fresh consumption.

But how do they actually work to help you lose weight? And are they an effective tool to lose weight?

We investigate.

Do They Work? – Weight Loss Shakes Are Backed By Scientific Studies

The success of weight loss shakes in helping individuals achieve their goals for weight loss depends on several factors. 

The first is the nutritional composition of the shake.

If it is properly balanced and can boast a thorough and healthy nutritional profile, it will effectively replace the meal that it has been designed to.

Examples of well-balanced shakes include Nutribuddy’s range of shakes which are highly-rated by customers and which are made of natural, wholefood ingredients.

However, if the ingredients used don’t compose a well-balanced meal, then the individual will not receive sufficient nutrients to stay well and are more likely to snack later on unhealthy sugary and salty foods.

These foods activate ‘happy hormones’ in the brain and so are extra easy to fall back on if you feel hungry.

In some cases, a well balanced dose of vitamins and minerals from a weight loss shake may be better than that you receive from your usual diet anyway!

The second is the overall lifestyle of the individual drinking weight loss shakes.

There’s no point substituting one meal a day with a weight loss shake if you’re only eating junk food and not getting in any exercise, as the calorie deficit will be negligible toward the otherwise unhealthy lifestyle.

Instead, it should be part of a well-rounded balanced lifestyle.

When formulated well and used as part of an active lifestyle, scientific studies show success in individuals drinking weight loss shakes – even compared to traditional low-calorie diets and in subjects with diabetes.

woman jogging staying healthy

The Science Behind Weight Loss Shakes: How Do They Work?

The science behind weight loss shakes, when properly nutritionally balanced, is positive.

Clinical trials have pitted them against other diets and consistently found that weight loss shakes help individuals lose more weight than other options; and in some cases, even speed up the rate of healthy weight loss without relying on water weight to do so.

Weight loss shakes work by substituting a full meal and providing less calories.

The calories burnt each day by a person depends on three components: the expenditure of calories through activity and exercise, the expenditure of calories through the thermic effect of food (digesting it and absorbing its nutrients), and the expenditure of calories on ‘resting energy’ (that is, keeping you alive: breathing, circulating your blood sufficiently). If you feed your body with less calories than it needs to support these three functions, you will lose weight over time

The needs of individuals varies, of course, but the average healthy deficit without having a big impact on energy or hunger levels is about 500 calories per days.

girl researching product ingredients on laptop

Weight Loss Shakes Are Low in Calories

The key to a successful weight loss shake is balancing a thorough nutritional profile without ramping up the calorific content.

This isn’t easily done with the foods you probably already have in your cupboards at home, but nutritionists and dieticians are able to advise on how to manage this effectively. 

The exact calorie content of Nutribuddy products depends on the milk used, but all are designed by a nutritionist to offer every vitamin and mineral your body needs at considerably less than 200cals.

That would be extremely difficult to do with a solid food meal! 

Weight Loss Shakes Are Filling

All Nutribuddy weight loss shakes contain gluten-free oats.

These are the key to keeping you feeling full, even when you’ve not eaten a traditional solid food meal: the beta-glucan within them means that they delay the time it takes your stomach to empty of food, meaning you feel fuller for longer.

This is ideal when looking to lose weight, as you’ll be less tempted to snack to ‘top up’ when you begin to feel like peckish again.

If you do feel like you need a snack, and in particular something sweet, try Nutribuddy HotSlim. It’s like a hot chocolate… but with less 20 calories per serving!

Shake Complete alongside its natural whole-food ingredients

Weight Loss Shakes Help With Portion Control

If you find that you tend to overeat even with healthy foods, a weight loss shake can be ideal portion control for you, as it’s set.

Products come with a scoop designed to accommodate exactly a certain amount of powder, so you scoop as directed and measure out your water, milk or milk alternative.

There’s no questions or leeway, just a set amount to enjoy.

Weight Loss Shakes Contain Ingredients Which Assist Weight Loss

As well as providing a calorie deficit compared to your usual diet, Nutribuddy products include a variety of ingredients that have been clinically proven to help with weight loss.

The ingredient list varies from product to product, but these include (but are by no means limited to!):

For more information on which ingredients help with weight loss, take a look at our article on 6 weight loss ingredients backed by science.

woman on weight loss scales

How Much Weight Should I Expect to Lose with Weight Loss Shakes?

There is no hard and fast guarantee for how much weight you can expect to lose on any diet – because you’re an individual and your diet and lifestyle will never be identical to anyone else’s.

Indeed, if a weight loss product makes a claim for exact amounts of weight you can expect to lose, avoid it: it probably contains dangerous fat burners or laxatives.

A healthy rate to lose weight, as told by NHS is to lose 2lbs per week.

This is classed as a sustainable and safe rate.

The achievement of pounds shed due to the consumption of weight lose shakes should instead focus on sustainable weight loss that’s long lasting rather than an initial crash – as this is often just water weight lost (which fluctuates naturally anyway) and will plateau. 

How Long Should I Use Weight Loss Shakes For?

Once you find a weight loss shake that works for you, you should continue its usage even when you hit the weight you want to.

It’s important not to substitute more than two meals a day with weight loss shakes, and to continue your otherwise healthy diet and active lifestyle around it.

This is the key to sustainable weight loss and a healthy, happy, toned you.

Do note that not all weight loss shakes contain healthy ingredients so do check their usage instructions to see if there is a time-limit on how long to use them for.

Any natural shake (such as Nutribuddy shakes) won’t have a fixed time-limit.

woman exercising at the gym with a meal replacement shake

Will The Weight Come Back After I Stop Using Weight Loss Shakes?

If you choose to stop using meal replacement shakes, but still want to lose weight, it’s important that the calories are replaced to the same amount with the same nutrients.

If you’re giving up the weight loss shakes for solid food, you’ll need to substitute the shake/s with a meal that provides all of the nutritional content without any more calories: as well as maintaining your fitness and exercise levels.

In the event you’re able to maintain all of this, you should be able to keep the weight at bay.

Obviously, this is no mean feat.

If it’s not an option to maintain all of this, then it’s recommended that you stay consuming weight loss shakes unless otherwise advised to by a health professional.

Conclusion

There are many tools to help you lose weight, and many weight loss shakes on the market.

Many are not, however, with immaculate nutritional profiling, allowing the consumer to maintain a healthy diet alongside a calorie deficit.

Nutribuddy products are formulated and designed by a nutritionist to offer both a nourishing nutritional balance in a low-calorie mixture.

The ingredients within are all natural and many have natural properties that promote weight loss – in a sustainable, long-term and healthy way.

What’s more, they’re suitable for basically everyone because they’re vegan, lactose-free, GMO-free, allergen-free and sugar-free!

If you’ve not used a weight loss shake before, we’d recommend trying the Nutribuddy Meal Replacement Bundle.

This includes three products, designed to substitute different meals, and allows you to work out which is best for you and your weight loss goals. 

A scoop of Nutribuddy Breakfast Shake

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.