Canstar Blue’s 2019 weight loss shakes review has seen ALDI Slim & Trim, Optifast, Nature’s Way, FatBlaster, Optislim, and Celebrity Slim compared on their effectiveness, taste of shakes, hunger satisfaction, value for money, variety of flavours and overall satisfaction.
Try as we might, no matter how hard we sweat at the gym, or how clean and healthy we eat, those last few kilos just seem to stick around. And with summer never far away, many of us 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 the weight.
One option that many people turn to is weight loss shakes, with plenty of brands offering the promise to help you get your ideal body in no time – and they can even taste nice! While some consumers may be suspicious in terms of dietary supplements – and sometimes rightfully so – many offer an easy way for Aussies to safely lose weight fairly quickly, provided that they still put the work in! But when it comes to finding the best weight loss shakes that will suit your lifestyle and your tastebuds, many end up with a sour taste in their mouth. That’s why Canstar Blue produces an annual review of diet shakes, to find out which are helping Aussies on the successful path to a healthier lifestyle. The ultimate aim will be weight loss – but you’ll also want a brand that delivers great taste, keeps you feeling full, and doesn’t cost the earth. So, which brand do you turn to?
To help you find out which diet shakes may be the best fit for your needs, Canstar Blue has once again surveyed over 700 Australians who have recently purchased and used weight loss shakes in the past six months, with ALDI Slim & Trim taking out the top spot for the second year in a row, scoring five stars on value for money and overall satisfaction.
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Here are the best diet shakes in Australia, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s latest review:
Optifast and Nature’s Way SlimRight were rated four stars for overall satisfaction, while FatBlaster, Optislim and Celebrity Slim were rated three stars overall. While ALDI was the only brand to score five stars for value for money, Optifast earned the only five-star rating for effectiveness, while Nature’s Way got the top result for both taste and hunger satisfaction. Celebrity Slim was the sole brand to score five stars for variety of flavours, meaning there’s plenty to consider when it comes to finding the weight loss shakes that will best fit your lifestyle and fitness goals.
Considering over a third (34%) 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 27% of respondents turning to weight loss shakes as a last resort to lose weight, it can also be a daunting market to enter, especially when all brands claim to do the same thing.
If you’re looking to lose a few kilos before summer – or you’re just interested in how weight loss shakes actually work – read on to find out just 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… do weight loss shakes actually 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 will power. The weight loss shakes 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.
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.
When asked whether they have lost weight using diet shakes, survey respondents told us:
In many cases, dieters are not helping themselves. Just 13% of respondents said they stick strictly to their recommended program – that’s down from 38% reported in last year’s survey. In addition, 30% admitted that they often snack on foods outside of their recommended daily intake, suggesting that while many of us are looking to lose weight, snacking is still one of the biggest hurdles.
Similarly, only a third of respondents stated that they exercise regularly to support their weight loss shake regime, meaning you may not be able to blame the shakes if you haven’t lost as much weight as you were hoping.
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 bad, 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, may 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 can offer a low-calorie, structured and convenient diet plan, as well as ensuring 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.
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 vary between brands, the basic idea is to keep your body fuelled with 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 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.
It’s hugely important that you pay attention to the sugar content of weight loss shakes, which varies significantly. 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, it’s unlikely to suppress your appetite for long. If you want a weight loss shake that keeps you feeling full up 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 an expensive way to drop the kilos. Dieting Aussies spend an average of $60 a month on their shakes, our 2019 research found. However, the best way to judge the real cost of weight loss shakes is to work out how much you would normally spend on the meals that you are replacing. You might suddenly realise that 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 will 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.
Securing the top spot for the second year in a row, ALDI Slim & Trim offers Aussies a number 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, the Slim & Trim line has enough flavours to keep you coming back, including 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 short-notice meal replacement shakes on hand.
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 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.
Offering three types of weight loss shakes, SlimRight is a family-owned company which manufactures right here in Australia. The original SlimRight weight loss shakes come in a choice of three flavours – vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry with raspberry ketones. The ‘SkinnyGut’ shake formula includes weight loss probiotics and comes in rich chocolate flavour if you’re after something a little different, with Nature’s Way also offering the MetaboLift, which includes a fat burner to increase metabolism.
The SlimRight range additionally includes Detox ‘n Burn supplements, which are stated to assist with detoxification, as well as reduce abdominal bloating. All come in tubs, purchased from supermarkets and a number of major pharmacy chains. Nature’s Way SlimRight also has other weight loss products, such as fat burner tablets, superfoods powder and SkinnyGummies, all claimed to help boost fat and carbohydrate metabolism.
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 available. The FatBlaster Super Shake line comes in two flavours (vanilla bean and milk chocolate), which contain four ‘super foods’ – green tea extract, chia seeds, maca powder, and green coffee bean. 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-satchel packs available for purchase. If you’re after something to soothe those cravings, the 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 satchels.
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 also 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. With nutritional information available via their website, Optislim products can be purchased online in addition to major pharmacies.
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 diet 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 of your choosing. 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.
In addition to the above brands that met the requirements for our 2019 ratings, there are a number of others readily available for Aussies looking to lose weight.
Keeping things nice and simple, Bodytrim provides just two flavours of weight loss shakes – chocolate and vanilla. Both of the meal replacement shakes and fast shakes can primarily be purchased as 495g tubs at supermarkets and pharmacies. These nutritionally balanced meal replacement shakes are gluten free and contain no preservatives, artificial flavours or artificial colours.
Bodytrim does offer a bit more variety for those looking for easy meal replacements for their weight loss journey, with toffee bars, slices, fudge bars, and cookies in multiple flavours.
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, sold on the brand’s website, as well as in some pharmacies and health food shops.
According to Rapid Loss, its shakes 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 the 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.
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 health 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 claimed 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 in 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 which 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.
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 bag, these weight loss shakes are described as probiotic, gluten free and a natural fat burner. The Lady Shake range of weight loss shakes are also claimed to be low in sugar and made without artificial colours, preserves, flavours or sweeteners.
The Lady Shake offers a range of packs to suit different weight loss goals, including the RAPID Weight Loss Pack, Ultimate Rapid Weight Loss Pack, Weight Loss Starter Pack, Lady Shake – One Week Supply, the Lady Shake – Maintenance Pack and the Vegan Starter Pack. Some flavours include choc mint, caramel, coffee, strawberry, chocolate and vanilla.
The Man Shake is described as a ‘healthy meal in a shake’ for ‘men to lose the beer gut without losing all the beers’. It’s claimed to have 84% less sugar than other meal replacement shakes, which is apparently up to 88% teaspoons less of sugar each week.
Similar to The Lady Shake, 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 12-pack 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 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. 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 include flavours such as chocolate, ice coffee and vanilla. The Atkins range also includes pasta, bread and crispbread, pasta and bars.
Used correctly, weight loss shakes may help kick-start you 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 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 Content Lead, Megan Birot. She’s an expert on household appliances, health & beauty products, as well as all things grocery and shopping. When she’s not writing up our research-based ratings reports, Megan spends her time helping consumers make better purchase decisions, whether it’s at the supermarket, other retailers, or online, highlighting the best deals and flagging anything you need to be aware of.
Photo Credits: Verca/shutterstock.com, Rostislav_Sedlacek/shutterstock.com, Syda Productions/shutterstock.com, Iakov Filimonov/shutterstock.com
Our weight loss shake ratings saw a number of brands perform well in a variety of areas.
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||2g||16.9g||14.2g||16.66g||628||40g|
|Celebrity Slim Rapid Chocolate Shakes 840g||1.2g||13.7g||13.6g||14.2g||568||40g|
Information sourced from respective brand websites, October 2019.
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 6 months – in this case, 725 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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