If you need a helping hand trimming down, we’ve compared the best brands for weight loss shakes in our customer review and ratings.
After three years of sitting pretty at the top of our customer ratings for weight loss shakes, ALDI Slim & Trim has finally been replaced by the protein-packed power of IsoWhey. Hundreds of dieting Australians have been telling us about their experiences with the brands in this year’s review, and while ALDI and Tony Ferguson join IsoWhey in receiving five stars for effectiveness, only the latter took out top marks for taste and overall satisfaction. This is a vast improvement on previous results for IsoWhey, which emphasises the importance of regularly comparing your weight loss options. There are lots of things to consider when choosing the best shakes for your need, and plenty of traps you can easily fall into. We’ll get into all that soon, but first of all, let’s address the most important question:
Yes, they can. That’s the short answer, but only if you follow the guidelines properly and really commit to the challenge. Weight loss shakes are not a magic solution or magic pill that will see you shedding kilos in no time. Losing weight requires patience, dedication and will power. The diet shakes you buy will help you along the way, but their success or failure will, ultimately, be determined by you and you alone. Stick to the advice of your chosen weight loss program (this will typically involve replacing one or two meals per day with shakes) and supplement your shakes will a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise. According to the Weight Management Council of Australia, meal replacement shakes have been shown to produce weight loss of 3 to 9.5kg.
But be prepared to feel hungry. Diet shakes can be very low in calories. Associate Professor Tim Crowe, a practicing dietitian and nutrition researcher at Deakin University, said the following of meal replacement shakes in this ABC article on losing weight:
“An advantage of using shakes to help with weight loss is they are very easy to use. But to lose weight, you do need to eat sensibly around them, and your other meals still have to be portion controlled. They are reasonably high in protein and lead to a feeling of fullness. But as part of a calorie reducing diet, you will be hungry. You can’t hide that.”
To find the best, most effective, weight loss shakes for you, you need to find a brand that keeps you feeling full up and your appetite satisfied between meals. The danger of consuming shakes with very few calories (usually between 50-200 calories per serve) is that you could be prone to snacking, or even turning to the sort of meals you are supposed to be replacing. Our survey of dieting Aussies found that almost two-thirds (64%) often end up snacking between meals when their shake leaves them feeling hungry. This will help explain why just 60% of respondents have successfully lost weight using weight loss shakes, while 30% actually put weight on.
Expert opinion suggests that weight loss shakes can indeed be an effective way to lose a large amount of weight in the short term. Many programs are specifically designed to last about 12 weeks, giving you the rapid weight loss you want, very quickly. The other question is, however, can weight loss shakes lead to long-term weight control? There’s not much point losing all the weight if you’re only going to put it back on again. As most weight loss shakes are designed for short-term success, once you have achieved your weight loss, you’re on your own. You’ll have to get used to preparing healthy, balanced meals each day. For some people, this could result in a slip back into old eating habits. If this is a concern for you, a weight loss program that involves replacing just one meal per day, rather than two, could be the way to go. This means your weight loss could take a little longer, but you’ll get there without radically changing your regular eating patterns. As they say, slow and steady wins the race.
Overall, weight loss shakes can offer a low-calorie, structured and convenient diet plan, with most of the essential vitamins and minerals our bodies need. They promote behavioural change and nutritional education. When used properly, and as part of a healthy, balanced diet, you can expect to lose weight.
The great thing about weight loss shakes is they are quick and easy to prepare. You also get the benefit of trimming down by drinking shakes that taste like chocolate, or caramel! Weight loss shakes normally come in powder form, and just need to be mixed with water or skimmed milk (obviously choosing water means even fewer calories). This means they are easy to prepare in the morning and take to work, or grab when you get home with an empty stomach at the end of the day. While the ingredients of weight loss shakes varies between brands, the basic idea is to keep your body fuelled with all the vitamins and minerals you need, while suppressing your appetite.
Weight loss shakes are made with a combination of different fibres, proteins, vitamins and minerals, plus some other additives or flavours depending on the brand. The ingredients lists found on some products can appear a little scary, packed with long words and numbers you’ve never heard of. Some brands are better at detailing their ingredients online than others, but as a guide, we recommend checking out the ingredients listed on the IsoWhey or Optifast sites.
It’s hugely important to pay attention to the sugar content of weight loss shakes, which varies significantly. Some products are packed with up to 23g of sugar per serve, while others include less than 2g. Not only is an excessive amount of sugar bad for you, it’s unlikely to suppress your appetite for very long. If you want a weight loss shake that keeps you feeling full up for as long as possible, look for those that have a large amount of protein. IsoWhey is one such brand that includes a high quantity or protein. Another is The Man Shake.
Using weight loss shakes to replace one or two meals each day can be an expensive way to drop the kilos. Dieting Aussies spend an average of $57 per month on their shakes, our survey found. However, the best way to judge the real cost of diet shakes is to work out how much you would normally spend on the meals you are replacing. You might suddenly realise it’s not so expensive after all. There can be a big difference in prices between brands, but make sure you check how many servings you are getting for your money. Generally speaking, buying weight loss shakes in bulk will be the cheapest way to go. Some shakes come in sachets which makes it easy to work out how many you need for a week or month, while others come in larger tubs, requiring a little more brain power to determine how much you will need.
Seven out of ten respondents to our survey (71%) have tried more than one brand of weight loss shakes, which suggests it may take a little trial and error before you find the best one for your personal preferences. You might want a brand that delivers the widest range of flavours, has the highest protein content, or is simply the cheapest to buy. Our research identified the following drivers of customer satisfaction:
Now let’s have a close look at each of the brands in this year’s ratings, to see what they offer:
IsoWhey declares its range of products scientifically formulated by qualified healthcare practitioners to give you pure whey protein in the right balance to help nourish your body, manage your weight and feel your best – inside and out. The range includes numerous snacks and five flavours of shakes – Ivory Coast chocolate, banana, Madagascan vanilla, strawberry and classic coffee.
ALDI says its Slim & Trim range of meal replacement shakes are nutritionally balanced and a “good source of protein and vitamins”. It also promises no artificial colours or sweeteners, and no added preservatives. The shakes are available in four different flavours: chocolate, banana, strawberry and coffee.
You’ve no doubt heard of the Atkins Diet, and as you’d expect, this brand is all about low carb and sugar, high protein shakes. Atkins has two weight loss programs to pick from based on whether you want to lose more or less than 40 pounds, and its shakes come in eight flavours.
Celebrity Slim’s weight loss program consists of three phases – focused on rapid, kick-start success, trimming down to reach your goal and then maintaining that weight loss. The rapid phase has been devised to reduce carbohydrates from the diet and encourages rapid weight loss by forcing the body to burn primarily fat instead of glucose for energy. The rapid shakes come in a variety of flavours and have been “formulated to eliminate cravings and get you motivated for the next phase”.
Losing weight has never been tastier and easier, claims FatBlaster. Its shakes come in chocolate, vanilla, double chocolate mocha and raspberry ripple flavours, and are “nutritiously packed with protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals to help you feel full and to give you the energy you need”. FatBlaster also offers a wealth of dietary advice and meal plans.
Exercise, a calorie-controlled diet and the right nutritional balance are the key ingredients for weight loss, according to Nature’s Way, which says its SlimRight range of shakes delivers all of those factors and more. Nature’s Way shakes include chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and green coffee bean-flavoured shakes.
Optifast provides members with a recommended program to suit their weight management needs. Members are encouraged to record their eating and exercise progress and share their experiences with the Optifast community. The brand has a wide range of meal replacement products, including soups, desserts, bars and shakes that are available in a variety of flavours. They include caramel, banana, coffee, chocolate, strawberry, vanilla and assorted packs.
Tony Ferguson says it uses the latest evidence in weight loss and nutrition to bring you a supportive program that is focused on long-term weight loss and weight maintenance. Its shakes are available in a wide range of flavours, including strawberries & cream, café latte, espresso, chocolate macadamia and chocolate cherry coconut. Tony Ferguson encourages achievable weekly weight loss of up to 1kg per week.
Herbalife proclaims to make weight loss easy with a “science-based program” that combines cellular nutrition and the power of protein so you can “manage your hunger, maintain a healthy metabolism and feel energised as you lose those unwanted kilos”. The Herbalife program consists of two shakes each day, targeted supplements, protein-rich snacks and a balanced, portion-controlled main meal. You’ll find shakes flavoured French vanilla, Dutch chocolate, berry, and cookies ‘n cream.
Optislim says losing weight should be easy – and that’s always been the goal at the heart of its business. Its extensive range of diet shakes includes chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, banana and espresso flavours. It also sells a range of soups, bars and other snacks. Optislim also provides a web-based support programs and range of “detox” or “toning” meal plans.
Rapid Loss claims to do exactly what its name suggests – help you lose weight, fast. It says its meal replacement shakes are calorie-controlled with a “unique fibre” that absorbs water and swells inside the stomach, making you feel full without calories. The shakes are supported by a “highly successful” plan that consists of a meal plan and exercise program. All up, Rapid Loss says you could lose up to 3kg per week.
Canstar Blue commissioned Colmar Brunton to survey 6,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased and used a weight loss shakes in the last six months – in this case, 891 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
Weight Loss Shakes - October 7th
Optifast is designed for people who are in danger of weight-related illnesses. Find out what the Optifast program involves and if it works at Canstar Blue.– Read more
Weight Loss Shakes - October 4th
How does the Atkins diet work? What foods can you eat? Find out everything you need to know about the Atkins diet at Canstar Blue.– Read more