Canstar Blue’s weight loss shakes review compares ALDI Slim & Trim, Aussie Bodies, Rapid Loss, Nature’s Way (SlimRight), The Lady Shake, The Man Shake, Optifast, Atkins, Optislim and FatBlaster on effectiveness, hunger satisfaction, taste, variety of flavours, texture & consistency, packaging design, value for money and overall satisfaction.
Try as we might, no matter how hard we sweat at the gym, or how fresh and healthy we eat, those last few kilos just seem to stick around. And with summer never far away, many Aussies will be feeling the squeeze – literally – of trying to fit into our old swimmers. When it comes to losing weight, there are plenty of options to choose from, from the traditional blood, sweat and tears approach, all the way through to the questionable – and potentially unsafe – practices. With so many dieting fads around, narrowing down which one to pursue is almost as tough as losing weight.
One option that many people turn to is weight loss shakes, with plenty of brands making the promise to help you get your ideal body in no time – and they can even taste nice! While some consumers may be suspicious about dietary supplements – and sometimes rightfully so – many offer an easy way for Aussies to safely lose weight quickly, provided they still put the work in! But when it comes to finding the right weight loss shakes for your lifestyle and tastebuds, it’s important to do your research, and that’s where we come in.
To help you find out which weight loss shake might be best for your needs, we’ve again asked more than 700 Australians to weigh in on the meal replacement shakes they have purchased and used in the last six months. Respondents reviewed brands on their effectiveness, hunger satisfaction, taste, variety of flavours, texture & consistency, packaging design, value for money and overall satisfaction. Those which received the minimum survey sample size of 30 responses are compared in this report.
So, what did we find? ALDI’s Slim & Trim has shredded the competition for the third year in a row, recording five-star reviews across most research categories once again. The supermarket shake has consistently rated higher than the rest of the established market, proving you don’t need to spend the big bucks to help you drop the pounds.
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Here are the best diet shakes in Australia, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s latest review:
For the third consecutive year, ALDI Slim & Trim was rated best for trimming the fat – being the only brand to achieve five-star reviews for overall satisfaction and in the majority of categories. Aussie Bodies, Rapid Loss, Nature’s Way SlimRight and The Lady Shake followed behind on four stars for overall customer satisfaction, while the rest landed on three stars.
The Lady Shake was the only brand that managed to beat ALDI’s diet shake, scoring the only five-star rating in the variety of flavours category. Nature’s Way SlimRight got full marks for taste, similarly to Aussie Bodies when it came to effectiveness. But that’s it for the five-star reviews.
Considering that over a third (32%) of survey respondents have tried more than one brand of diet shakes, narrowing down your options can be just as tough as shedding a few kilos. With 26% of respondents turning to weight loss shakes as a last resort to lose weight, it can also be a daunting market to navigate, especially when all brands claim to do the same thing.
If you’re looking to lose a few kilos before summer starts – or you’re just interested in how weight loss shakes actually work – read on to find out what the big brands in our comparison have to offer. And we’ll also do our best to answer the questions you may have, starting with the most important of all… do weight loss shakes really work?
Yes, weight loss shakes can work. 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 diet pill that will see you shedding kilos in no time. Losing weight requires patience, dedication, and willpower.
The weight loss shakes you buy can help you along the way, but their success or failure will – ultimately – be determined by you. 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 with a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise.
Ultimately, the best weight loss shakes should keep you full and satisfied between meals, to avoid naughty temptations. The danger of consuming shakes with very few calories (usually between 50-200 calories per serve) is that you could end up more prone to snacking or even turn to the sort of meals you are supposed to be replacing.
When asked whether they have lost weight using diet shakes, survey respondents told us:
Just over one in 10 (12%) respondents said they strictly stick to their recommended program, slightly down from last year (13%). Although it seems more Australians are showing better self-control, with fewer people (27%) admitting to snacking on foods in addition to their recommended daily intake, compared to last year (30%). A third (35%) of respondents are also exercising regularly to support their weight loss regime.
Expert opinion suggests that weight loss shakes can indeed be an effective way to lose a large amount of weight in the short-term, with many programs specifically designed to last about 12 weeks, helping you to lose weight in a structured way. The question is though, can weight loss shakes lead to long-term weight control? After all, there’s not much point in losing all that 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’ve achieved your desired weight loss, you’ll often be on your own, meaning it’s on you to keep the weight off and to avoid going back to old habits. If being left to your own devices is a bit concerning, looking into a program that replaces just one meal a day, rather than multiple meals, might be the best fit for you, as it allows you to experience the weight loss program but also look to take some of the responsibility yourself. This means you’re not left in the dark when it comes to finding healthy food or meals once you run out of shakes.
Overall, weight loss shakes offer a low-calorie, structured and convenient diet plan, as well as attempting to ensure you’re getting your daily intake of vitamins and nutrients to keep your body functioning properly. They can also be that first step to put you on the right path when used properly. But as with anything to do with fitness and your health, you’ll have to put in the hard yards if you want to see the results.
Weight loss shakes are claimed to be made with a combination of different fibres, proteins, vitamins and minerals, plus some other additives and 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.
Keep in mind that it’s important to check the sugar content of weight loss shakes, which can vary significantly across different products. It’s the same case with protein bars. Some products are packed with over 20g of sugar per serve, while others include less than 2g. Not only is an excessive amount of sugar bad for you, but it’s also unlikely to suppress your appetite for long. If you want a weight loss shake that keeps you full for as long as possible, it could be worth looking at those with a large amount of protein.
Using diet shakes to replace one or two meals each day can prove to be an expensive way to drop the kilos. The average amount Aussies spend on diet shakes per month has increased to $98 since our previous ratings (up from $60 last year), suggesting people are willing to fork out bigger bucks to get trim.
A useful way to judge whether it’s worth trying diet shakes, at least in terms of cost, is to work out how much you would normally spend on the meals that you’re replacing. However, there can be a significant difference in price between brands, so make sure to check how many servings you’re getting for your money. Generally speaking, buying meal replacement shakes in bulk is the cheapest way to go. Some diet drinks also come in sachets – which makes it easy to work out how many you will need for a week or month – while others come in large tubs, requiring a little more brainpower to determine how much you’ll need.
Securing the top spot for the third year in a row, ALDI Slim & Trim offers Aussies several types of weight loss shakes and protein supplement options for those looking to kickstart a new diet. While it may not have the range that other brands have, ALDI’s Slim & Trim line does still have classic flavours like vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, and coffee.
Its shakes come in individual serving sachets, so you can buy exactly as many of each flavour as you like and need, and can avoid getting stuck with a whole box or tub full of a flavour that doesn’t end up taking your fancy. They’re also handy to chuck in your bag or keep in your work drawer so you’ve always got a meal replacement shake on hand.
Aussie Bodies provides a range of fitness-inspired sports nutrition powders, protein bars and drinks. Most shakes are available in tub form, in sizes such as 420g, 455g, 735g and 770g. For something simple, there’s the Aussie Bodies Shape Powder. This is described as a low-carb shake that can be added to your daily nutrition and doesn’t contain any artificial colours, flavours, or preservatives. Another product you can find is the Shape KETO Power Sachet, which is said to be formulated according to the KETO guidelines. That’s a 70:20:10 calorie split of fats:protein:carbs. This is available in 50g sachets in either chocolate or vanilla.
Aussie Bodies has labelled each of its protein shakes as a ‘Pro-active Nutrition’ product, supposedly designed to help improve your body from the inside out. The brand recommends consuming its protein powders within three months of opening, as the quality of the products can change once in contact with air and moisture.
Designed as a ‘bridging diet’ to help you transition into a long-term healthier diet and exercise lifestyle, Rapid Loss meal replacement shakes come in a variety of different flavours, helping to hit the spot if you’re specifically craving something. Rapid Loss shakes are available in 450g and 750g tubs, as well as sachets. The products are available through the brand’s website and in some pharmacies and health food shops.
Rapid Loss offers two different types of shakes, including its Original Formula and the brand’s 30% Less Sugar range. These can be used as either meal replacements (when mixed with milk) or as low-calorie snacks (when mixed with water). The powder is said to contain 25% of your RDI of vitamins and minerals, as well as high fibre and protein contents to help you feel fuller and to keep control over those between-meal cravings. Rapid Loss also lists articles and recipes on its website for when you get stuck on your weight loss journey, with shakers and kits also available for purchase. You can also join the Rapid Loss Weight Management Program, which provides a detailed meal plan and a tailored exercise program.
The SlimRight range for Nature’s Way offers a variety of weight loss options to suit different people and lifestyles. The list includes the Slimming Meal Replacement range, the Probiotic Skinny Gut meal replacement drink range for weight loss and the ‘One-A-Day’ plant-based meal replacement line for weight management. The brand also offers Before Meal shots to keep you feeling fuller for longer, and ‘MetaboLift’ shakes to supposedly increase your metabolism and burn fat. SlimRight also provides instant natural protein vegan meals.
Most SlimRight shakes are sold in tub form, except for the One-A-Day range which comes in sachets. These can be purchased from supermarkets and a number of major pharmacy chains. Nature’s Way additionally has several other labels under its umbrella, such as Adult Vita Gummies, Superfood and Beauty Collagen.
Losing weight doesn’t mean staying hungry. That’s why The Lady Shake offers a variety of weight loss shakes which are said to be packed with collagen protein and fibre to keep you feeling satisfied for longer. Containing 15 serves per 840g bag, these weight loss shakes are described as probiotic, gluten-free and a natural fat burner. The Lady Shake range of weight loss shakes is also claimed to be low in sugar and made without artificial colours, flavours, or sweeteners.
The Lady Shake offers a range of packs to suit different weight loss goals, such as the RAPID Weight Loss Pack, Ultimate Rapid Weight Loss Pack, Weight Loss Starter Pack, The Maintenance Pack, The Lady Shake Vegan and The Immunity Booster Pack. Some flavours include choc mint, caramel, coffee, strawberry, chocolate and vanilla.
The Lady Shake is claimed to be designed specifically for women. The brand recommends replacing two meals a day with The Lady Shake to support a healthy balanced diet. In terms of sweetness, this range is said to contain up to 84% less sugar than other replacement shakes.
The Man Shake is described as a ‘healthy meal in a shake’ for ‘men to lose the beer gut without losing all the beers’. Similarly to The Lady Shake, it’s claimed to have 84% less sugar than other meal replacement shakes.
The Man Shake offers a variety of packs to suit different goals. Some include The Ultimate Weight Loss Pack, The Fast Weight Loss Pack, The Man Shake – One Week Supply, The Man Shake – Maintenance Pack and the Vegan Man Shake. For those on the go, The Man Fuel comes in a 12-pack of 375ml bottles.
The Man Bar is also available as a snack, and comes in choc hazelnut, choc peanut butter, choc mint, choc berry and chunky choc.
For a meal replacement shake that’s suitable for the Very Low-Calorie Diet program (VLCD), one option is Optifast. Its VLCD range can be consumed according to four different levels (or stages) including, the Intensive Level, Active 2 Level, Active 1 Level and Maintenance Level.
Available to purchase from most major pharmacies, Optifast’s weight loss shakes come in a variety of different flavours, including chocolate, caramel, vanilla, coffee, banana, strawberry and chai, with each flavour gluten-free. These can be purchased as a single-flavour box of 12 or 18 sachets, or as a 10-pack assortment if you’re looking for a bit of variety when it comes to mealtime. Optifast additionally offers the ProteinPlus shake range which has 28g of protein per serve, which is said to be 40% more than other Optifast shakes, ideal for those looking for a protein boost to their diet.
Optifast also features several meal replacement snack bars, plus new additions to its line of soups and desserts. The brand’s website provides guidance for consumers to adopt its suggested Optifast VLCD Program, as well as other tips and information for healthy weight loss.
For those looking to maintain a healthy weight or cut back on the carbs, Atkins is one of the most well-known diets in the world. To help you with a low-carb lifestyle, Atkins has a number of ready-to-go and ready-to-mix shakes that are low on sugar and packed with protein, according to the brand. Available in 400ml bottles, Atkins Plus Protein shakes offer flavours like iced coffee, banana caramel and dark chocolate. The ready-to-drink range similarly comes in 330ml bottles and includes flavours such as chocolate, ice coffee and vanilla. The Atkins range also includes pasta, bread, crispbread and bars.
Atkins also sets about rewarding deserving members of the community, offering 15% off bars and shakes every day to veterans, service members and first responders.
Optislim has various weight loss shakes and programs, giving you plenty to choose from depending on your body and weight goals. The Optislim VLCD Classic range comes in chocolate, strawberry, espresso, vanilla, and banana flavours, sold in boxes of 21 individual sachets. The advanced VLCD Platinum shake (coming in the same flavours as the Classic range) kicks it up a notch with increased fat burning, reduced hunger, and higher energy levels for even faster results, according to Optislim. For a less intense weight management program, the Optislim LCD Life range comes in the widest range of flavours, some of which you’d be hard-pressed to find from other brands – such as honeycomb, lemon cheesecake, choc mint, and French vanilla. These can be purchased as boxes of seven sachets of the same flavour, or as a variety pack containing the first five flavours.
For even more variety, Optislim has a number of different bars, soups, and even cookies among the various product lines, making it easier to grab a quick snack without worrying about your weight loss progress. Optislim products can be purchased online and in major pharmacies.
Among its many weight loss products, including many detox drinks, weight loss pills and superfood supplements, FatBlaster provides three types of weight loss shakes. The ‘regular’ diet shake range comes in vanilla ice cream, double chocolate mocha, chocolate smoothie, and raspberry ripple, with a 30% less sugar range also now available. The FatBlaster Super Shake line comes in two flavours (vanilla bean and milk chocolate), which contain four ‘superfoods’ – green tea extract, chia seeds, maca powder, and green coffee beans. Both ranges are sold in 430g tubs, containing 13 servings.
FatBlaster also offers the Clinical range, coming in strawberry, vanilla and chocolate flavours, with 18-sachet packs available for purchase. If you’re after something to curb those cravings, ‘Ultimate Indulgence’ may be the range for you, with flavours such as rocky road, cookies and cream as well as salted caramel available, although they only come in packs of seven sachets.
In addition to the rated brands covered above, there are a number of others readily available for Aussies looking to lose weight.
The Celebrity Slim range has plenty to offer, including Rapid Shakes, Low Carb, Meal Replacement Shakes, as well as Dairy & Gluten Free Shakes to help suit your dietary requirements. Across the shake powder range, most varieties come in a choice of individual serving sachets (sold in boxes of single flavours or as variety packs) and bulk tubs. Flavours include chocolate, vanilla, banana, coffee, caramel, choc orange, strawberry, berry, choc mint, cookies & cream, and choc caramel.
There are three phases within the Celebrity Slim diet program – Rapid, Trim, and Maintain – although you can also start at any phase. The Celebrity Slim website additionally offers healthy eating tips, recipes and meal plans, as well as exercise plans. Celebrity Slim weight loss shakes can be purchased directly from the company online, or from supermarkets and some major chemists, with a store locator available on its website.
Focused on promoting healthy life choices, Isowhey has a range of products targeted towards health-conscious people at different life stages who are looking to lead a healthier lifestyle. The Isowhey Weight Management range is said to be scientifically formulated by qualified healthcare practitioners, who ensure you get the ‘right balance’ of ingredients needed to fuel your body and manage your weight.
Isowhey Weight Loss Shakes are available in 672g tubs and come in a variety of flavours, including mango coconut, salted caramel, banana smoothie, classic coffee, ivory coast chocolate, strawberry smoothie and Madagascan vanilla. Isowhey alternatively offers Isowhey sachets, with several different flavours in each box. Each package comes with either seven, 10 or 14 sachets. Weight loss bars and snacks are also available.
The Australian-owned premium health and wellbeing brand encourages customers to use its products in conjunction with the Isowhey Living Programs, which are designed to incorporate healthy eating plans and regular exercise. Isowhey products can be found in various pharmacies and health food stores.
Musashi offers a variety of sports nutrition products, with many claiming to be scientifically supported and proven. The brand has four different ranges tailored to suit specific health goals: Fuel, Bulk, Shred and Recover.
Musashi’s ‘Shred’ line includes products like Musashi Shred and Burn, a protein powder stated to help you build muscle. Available in chocolate and vanilla, these can be found in 340g, 900g and 2kg tubs. For busy people who need a snack on the go, the Musashi Shred and Burn additionally comes in a convenient pack of six 375ml bottles.
Musashi also has its own line of carnitine products. Carnitine is described as an antioxidant that supposedly helps reduce free radicals formed in the body, as well as support energy production and assist with post-exercise recovery. Musashi Carnitine comes in 60g tubs and in capsule form, with each bottle containing 60 capsules. The Musashi Fat Metaboliser with carnitine is similarly available.
Used correctly, weight loss shakes may help kick-start your dieting journey, but experts suggest they are unlikely to take you all the way there, meaning you won’t be able to solely rely on them to help you get the body of your dreams. Finding a program that keeps you interested will certainly help though, which means having a wide variety of flavours to choose from, and ultimately being nice to drink. Eating well all day and then coming home to a horrible-tasting weight loss shake is likely to see you reaching for the biscuit tin in no time. Also, consider shakes with above-average protein content because this is likely to help keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Ultimately, which weight loss shakes you decide to go with – if you decide to use them at all – will come down to your own individual circumstances and goals, as the weight loss brand that suits one person may not suit another. To ensure that you end up with the best dieting brand for your needs, our ratings provide a helpful, high-level guide, but it’s also worth asking around your friends and family to get their views. And be sure to consult your GP before making any drastic changes to your diet.
This report was written by Canstar Blue’s home & lifestyle journalist, Tahnee-Jae Lopez-Vito. She’s an expert on household appliances, grooming products and all things grocery and shopping. In addition to translating our expert research into consumer-friendly ratings reports, Tahnee spends her time helping consumers make better-informed purchase decisions on all manner of consumer goods and services while highlighting the best deals and anything you need to be aware of.
Photo Credits: Verca/shutterstock.com, Rostislav_Sedlacek/shutterstock.com, Syda Productions/Shutterstock.com, Iakov Filimonov/Shutterstock.com.
ALDI Slim & Trim dominated our latest review of weight loss shakes. This is what we found:
Each brand offers a number of shakes within its range. We’ve taken a comparative shake from each brand in regards to flavour to help you compare their nutritional information:
|ALDI Slim & Trim Chocolate Shake||2.3g||25.2g||23.4g||18.2g||858||55g|
|Optifast VLCD Chocolate Flavour Pack||4.5g||18.2g||9.5g||20g||840||53g|
|Nature’s Way SlimRight Chocolate 375g||<1g||18.7g||16.1g||6.2g||507||35g|
|FatBlaster Weight Loss Shake Chocolate 430g||2.4g||17.4g||8.1g||5.9g||481||33g|
|Optislim VLCD Meal Replacement Shake||3.4g||16.9g||13.7g||17.7g||692||43g|
|Celebrity Slim Rapid Chocolate Shakes 840g||1.2g||13.7g||13.6g||14.2g||568||40g|
Information sourced from respective brand websites, November 2020.
Canstar Blue surveyed 6,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased and used a weight loss shake in the last six months – in this case, 746 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 by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
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