Weight Loss Shakes Vs Meal Replacement Shakes: What’s the Difference?

Last Updated 2nd November 2020
woman drinking meal replacement shake

There are many different types of shakes on the market and it can be difficult to know which best suits your needs.

In this article we explain the differences between two of the most popular types of shakes: weight loss shakes and meal replacement shakes.

What Are Weight Loss Shakes?

Weight loss shakes are calorie-controlled drinks designed to help the individual consuming them to lose weight. They are usually intended to replace one or two solid-food meals a day.

The idea of a weight loss shake is that it contains less calories than the consumer would absorb from their usual meal; therefore forcing them into a calorie deficit and their body breaking down fat stores for energy. 

What Are Meal Replacement Shakes?

Meal replacement shakes are designed to replace your meals.

They are particularly useful for busy lifestyles when you don’t have time to prepare meals and so reach for something quick instead.

They are also useful if you struggle to consume solid foods.

Meal replacement shakes are designed to have a complete nutritional profile, thus providing you with essential nutrients that you would normally get from your regular meals.

Meal replacement shakes may not always have less calories than a regular meal as they are designed to be a meal.

natural meal replacement shakes

What is the Difference Between Meal Replacement Shakes and Weight Loss Shakes?

The main difference between the two shakes is the calorie content. Weight loss shakes have fewer calories than meal replacement shakes.

This is because the shakes are designed for different purposes.

Weight loss shakes are designed to help you lose weight whereas meal replacement shakes are designed to replace a regular meal nutritionally.

You may also find that weight loss shakes contain ingredients which are specifically included to help you lose weight, such as caffeine or even laxatives. Always take a look at a shake’s ingredient list before purchasing as too much caffeine or the inclusion of laxatives can be damaging to health.

Even though meal replacement shakes are not specifically designed for weight loss, they can have weight loss benefits.

The greater nutrition within a meal replacement shake should help the consumer feel fuller for longer than they would if they’d just consumed any other beverage in place of a meal. This is often achieved by including ingredients that promote satiety (the feeling of being ‘full’) such as oats, chia seeds and protein powders.

Nutribuddy Shake Complete by JustHelina
Nutribuddy Shake Complete by JustHelina

Is There Always a Difference or Do Other Factors Determine How a Shake Works?

Every shake is different, so every product needs to be judged on its own merits.

It may be that a weight loss shake has been formulated to have a thorough nutritional profile, or that a meal replacement shake hasn’t been, and their titles have just become convoluted or misused by the brand promoting them.

In order to determine how a shake will work for you, it’s best to understand the ingredients list and nutritional values of the drink.

Whilst a super-low-calorie weight loss shake may cause you rapid and short-term weight loss (which can come with some serious health risks, including developing a dangerously slow metabolism, developing food obsession, becoming dehydrated and losing muscle mass rather than fat), it is unlikely to be beneficial or sustainable in your weight loss journey long-term.

How you use a shake is also a very important factor in how it will work.

For example, if you replace two meals per day with a meal replacement shake which is lower in calories than your regular meal, this should help you to lose weight.

Exercising alongside your shakes will also assist weight loss.

woman exercising at the gym with a meal replacement shake

Are Nutribuddy Shakes Weight Loss Shakes or Meal Replacement Shakes?

The Nutribuddy shakes are primarily intended for use as meal replacement shakes – as their thorough nutritional balancing means that you’re able to absorb all of the protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals that your body needs with a considerably lower calorie content than a normal meal.

Many people choose to use Nutribuddy shakes as their meals for convenience (plus, they’re delicious!) because they’re busy or travelling through their usual mealtimes (or, OK, they just don’t have much in the cupboards).

However, they can very easily be used for weight loss if included as part of an otherwise healthy diet and lifestyle.

Nutribuddy shakes are suitable to replace up to two meals a day and there’s a variety of flavours to choose from to mix it up.

For more information on how to lose weight with Nutribuddy, check out this article on how to lose weight with Nutribuddy shakes.

Numerous Nutribuddy customers have lost weight. You can view their testimonials and before and after pictures here.

Nutribuddy Shake by JustHelina
Nutribuddy Shake by JustHelina

If you are looking to actively lose weight and use Nutribuddy shakes as part of your efforts to do that, consider playing around with different recipes using the shakes to include some extra fruit and other nutrients as part of your meals.

The milk or milk alternative you choose to use can also have an impact on weight loss, as some milks contain more calories than others.

Nutribuddy products are all vegan, so customers often use plant-based milk alternatives, but it’s personal choice and anything you like can be used.

Individual brands vary, but the lowest calorie milk is usually unsweetened almond milk, followed by coconut milk and soy milk.

Different types of cow’s milk vary in calorie content, but it’s worth noting that cow’s milk is literally designed to bulk up – baby calves need to be up and out in the fields in just days after their birth, so this milk helps them do just that!

Nutribuddy Breakfast Shake by Laura Lucas

The Bottom Line

There are a great number of variables in the quality and design of weight loss products available, and it’s important to understand exactly what you’re consuming and how it will affect your health.

Always opt for something with an easy-to-understand ingredients list, as well balanced a nutritional profile as possible, and transparency around how it can help you lose weight.

Openness and honesty around your health is always the most important thing!


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.