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Shakes for weight loss: protein shakes or meal replacements?

When it comes to protein shakes, there are so many different types that choosing the right one can be both overwhelming and confusing. From mass gainers to plant-based protein, whey, casein, collagen, blends and meal replacement shakes it all depends on your goals and your lifestyle. If you’re looking for a shake to support your weight loss journey, you’ve come to the right place. Here, you’ll learn the key differences between protein shakes and meal replacement shakes, whether shakes for weight loss work, and which ones are available to help you achieve your unique health & fitness goals.

Protein shakes or meal replacement shakes: what’s the difference?

It’s easy to get a little confused about the difference between protein shakes and meal replacement shakes. The main difference is that meal replacement shakes are designed for people looking to lose weight. They contain essential nutrients like protein, vitamins, fibre and minerals — everything you would normally get in a healthy, well-balanced meal. Protein shakes, on the other hand, are made for people who want to increase their protein intake or build muscle. They’re high in protein yet don’t usually contain the additional nutrients of meal replacement drinks and shakes.  

What are protein shakes and what do they give you?

After water, protein is the second most abundant chemical compound in the human body. An essential part of all living organisms, proteins act as structural components of body tissue, especially the muscles. When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s important that you get enough protein so you don’t lose muscle mass. You can find proteins in many foods, like legumes, cereals, dairy products, fish and meat. 

You can also support your body’s intake with protein shakes. These are especially rich in protein and usually have little fat and sugar. Typically, a protein shake contains about 100 calories, 21g of protein and less than 2g of carbohydrates and fat per serving. Protein powders made from whey, a by-product of the cheese making process, are the most common. Our whey protein shakes include Body&Fit Whey Perfection, Body&Fit Isolate Perfection and Body&Fit Whey Isolate XP. You can also support muscle growth and maintenance with vegan protein powders such as Body&Fit Vegan Protein or Body&Fit Vegan Perfection Special Series.

Good to know: protein powders and shakes do not replace a balanced and healthy diet and certainly not a complete meal. They are designed to provide protein in an efficient, convenient and practical way alongside your normal intake of food.

After water, protein is the second most abundant chemical compound in the human body.

What are meal replacement shakes and what are they used for?

Meal replacement shakes are designed to replace an entire meal — breakfast, lunch or dinner. You can find them as a powder to mix yourself, or as ready-to-drink shakes, in all sorts of delicious flavours. Unlike protein shakes, they contain not only proteins but all the nutrients that are important for a healthy diet, including carbohydrates, fats, sugars, fibre, minerals and vitamins. Weight loss shakes contain between 200 and 400 kcal and are a great way to support a calorie-restricted diet (no more than 1,200 kcal per day).

How do you use meal replacement shakes?

To use meal replacement shakes, simply replace one or two meals a day with a tasty shake alongside your diet. You could replace breakfast with Body&Fit High Protein Breakfast, for example, or lunch with Body&Fit Low Calorie Meal. This, alongside adequate exercise and a healthy diet, is a great way to help you achieve your weight loss goals.

Shakes for weight loss: do they really work?

Despite all the tips, tricks and “expert advice” you often see around social media, there’s no magic secret to losing weight. Weight loss shakes[SL1] , however, will help you get there. To get the most out of them, you’ll need to maintain a calorie deficit, where you consume less calories than you’d normally use up in a day. If you eat 500 kcal less than you burn every day, for example, you’ll lose about half a kilo in a week. You can find lots of great low-carb recipe inspiration via our Instagram channel, like this delicious low carb breakfast wrap with chicken, mozzarella and avocado.

Always remember that health is always more important than a number on the scale.

In addition to your diet, getting enough sleep, reducing stress (for example with meditation or yoga) and drinking plenty of fluids is important when trying to lose weight. Of course, you’ll also need plenty of exercise. A good way to stay motivated is to find a sport you enjoy, grab yourself a gym buddy or get in touch with a personal trainer. You can discover more detailed advice on how to lose weight with Body&Fit ambassador Shelly Wubbe or check out our workouts page to find the right program for you.

Give yourself time and be patient with yourself. Losing weight is a marathon, not a sprint. We all have different bodies and see results in different ways, so don’t worry if a friend is losing weight faster than you are. Don’t give up and be consistent. It won’t do you any good if you starve yourself one day and find yourself bingeing in front of the TV the next. Finding a routine that works for you can provide structure, making it easier to put the weight loss tips mentioned above into practise.

Which weight loss shake is right for me?

If you want to lose weight sustainably, healthily and effectively, meal replacement shakes can be an ideal supplement. These are our three best shakes for weight loss, which meet different needs, but are all equally effective in helping you lose weight. Oh, and they taste good, too!

1. Smart Protein shake for weight loss

A protein shake rather than a meal replacement shake, Body&Fit Smart Protein contains no less than 18 grams of protein per shake. Unlike other conventional protein shakes, it has added vitamins such as vitamin B2, B3, B5, B6 and B12 plus valuable minerals. At only 90 calories per shake, it’s not a substitute for a full meal. Instead, you can combine it with a low-calorie, varied and healthy diet to help maintain your muscles during your weight loss programme. 

2. Low Calorie Meal for weight loss

Body&Fit Low-Calorie Meal is our #1 meal replacement for weight loss. It consists of 36% protein and contains just 6 grams of fat, 15 grams of carbohydrates, and 30% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamins and minerals. What’s more? There’s no added sugar. Simply replace 2 meals per day with Low Calorie Meal for next-level support in your weight loss journey.

3. Low Calorie Meal Ready to Drink for weight loss

If you struggle to find time or would rather enjoy your weight loss shakes on the go in an easy and uncomplicated way, our Low Calorie Meal Ready to Drink is an ideal option. Just give it a quick shake, unscrew and start drinking. Exactly like Low Calorie Meal, replace 2 meals per day whether you’re on your morning commute, at the office, or heading out for a great session in the gym.


It’s no secret that losing weight is tough. Even when using meal replacement shakes, you’ll still need to put in the hard work, eat right and stay determined to get to where you want to be. That being said, meal replacement shakes do give you the support to keep your calorie intake low while providing the body with all the nutrients it needs. You can check out even more meal replacement shakes across our leading range and discover our Food Series for pantry essentials and snacks specially designed to match low carb and low fat diets. If you’re still struggling to find the right meal replacement shake for you, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Nutrition Experts, who can provide all the expert advice you need to achieve your weight loss goals.