Meal Substitute Shakes Versus Protein Shakes


Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a meal substitute shake and a protein shake? When is the right time to have a meal replacement shake verses a protein shake? Does it make a difference to the body? Which one is more effective for weight loss? Which one is more effective for workout recovery? Is there a simple rule to follow?

If you're like most people, you're looking for a shake that is right for your own specific needs.

Think of a meal replacement shake as simply that – a convenient, on-the-go meal in a cup.

A good meal substitute shake contains a balanced ratio of protein, carbohydrates and fats between 200 to 400 calories and contains additional nutrients commonly found in regular foods such as vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids. Most meal substitute shakes are designed to replace one or even two meals a day and can be used for nutrient dense, calorie-controlled weight loss or simply as an extra meal to do the opposite – increase weight.

A protein shake is a recovery beverage most often used as a post-workout meal to feed torn muscles. The only carbohydrates found in protein shakes are those you may add yourself (such as milk, fruit, yogurt, etc.) and typically contain little in the way of extra nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.

Quite often, I will serve my children a meal substitute shake for breakfast because not only is it quick and convenient, it also feeds their growing brains and bodies.

Think of a meal substitute shake like high octane fuel for your car – the higher the quality, the better it runs. Your body works the same way.

Here are some differences between meal substitute shakes and a protein shakes:

Meal Substitute Shakes:

-Nutrient dense complete meal in a cup

-Contains a balanced ratio of protein, carbohydrates, fats and other nutrients

-Usually contains 200 to 400 calories

-Formulated to help you increase weight, lose weight, or maintain weight depending on how they are consumed

Protein Shakes:

-Designed as a post-workout recovery drink or protein snack

-Provides high quality protein for the development and repair of muscle tissue

-Used as supplemental protein but contains little or no carbohydrates or additional nutrients

-A serving is usually less than 200 calories

No matter what you've heard, meal substitute shakes do not increase your metabolism or help you to lose fat or weight on their own. They are simply convenient meals in a cup that contain high amounts of nutrients.

When lower calories are consumed in your diet, the effect is weight loss. When higher calories are consumed, the effect is weight gain. And when stable amounts of calories are consumed, the effect is weight maintenance.

Meal substitute shakes can definitely find a place in today's active lifestyle. Do your research and find the ones that are best for you!


Source by Janice Walker Pinnington

Weight Loss Shakes Comparison – A Look at Atkins, Slim Fast, and Medifast Shakes


Of all of the questions that I get about medifast and other diets, people ask about the shakes most of all. I think that it’s very appealing to think that a product that’s so convenient and decent tasting can compose a large part of your diet plan and weight loss. I’m often asked about the differences between many of the popular diet shakes on the market. So, in the following article, I will compare three popular shakes (atkins, slim fast, and medifast) in terms of taste, calories, protein, carbs, and sugar.

Atkins Diet Shakes: First up, I’m going to look at the atkins shakes. I’m going to use the standard chocolate flavor for all of these products because I want to remain consistent. I’m looking at the advantage milk chocolate product. This shake contains 160 calories, 9 grams of fat, 4 grams of carbs, 1 gram of sugar, and 15 grams of protein. In terms of taste, I find this product to be a bit chalky and to have an almost artificial sweet taste. This product does have an impressive amount of protein, but it’s relatively high in calories and fat.

Slim Fast Weight Loss Shakes: When I went to do research for this article, I found that the slim fast shakes had recently been recalled. Still, the nutritional information was still available. I will be looking at the original slim fast milk chocolate shake. This shake checks in with a whopping 220 calories, but has only 3 grams of fat. It has a disturbing 30 grams of carbs and 34 grams of sugars. In its defense, it does have 10 grams of protein. Still, the fat, calories, and the high amount of carbs and sugars will probably run counter to this. And to make matters worse, the taste of this product is by far the chalkiest of all three shakes.

Medifast Weight Loss Shakes: Now, I’ll look at the medifast 55 dutch chocolate shake. This one has the least amount of calories – at only 90. There is only 1 gram of fat, 13 grams of carbohydrates, 8 sugars, and 11 grams of protein. This one has the lowest amount of calories and fat by far. And, I find that taste to be the best of the three. I do have to add some extra liquid to this product because I don’t like shakes that are too thick, but with that little modification made, this one is my opinion the best tasting of the bunch.

How These Shakes Fit Into A Plan Of Weight Loss Based Partly On Ketosis: Most of these shakes work under two principals. They want to save you calories on your meals and they want to save you sugars and carbs while giving you more protein. The goal here is to get your body into ketosis so that it’s able to burn fat instead of sugars and carbs. But to make this happen, you have to do your part by taking in enough protein and by taking in less calories and carbs.

I find it questionable that the slim fast shake would meet this criteria. There is simply too much sugars and calories. The atkins shake is better in this regard, but it still has significantly more calories and a whopping nine grams of fat, which I find pretty problematic. I might be biased because I regularly consume medifast shakes, but I find them to be the winner both in terms of nutrition and taste.


Source by Lindsey Price

Slim Fast Shakes Vs Medifast Shakes – A Comparison


I get a lot of emails asking me to compare medifast products to other diet products.  One very popular request is to look at both the medifast and slim fast shakes side by side.  So, in the following article, I’ll do just that.

Choices / Flavors: It used to be that medifast won in this category hands down as it boosts it’s “regular” 55 shakes as well as the higher protein 70 variety, the ready to drink variety, the appetite suppression, the diabetic option, the joint health, the women’s health, the ready to drink, and the momentum metabolism boosting. Almost all of these have several flavors available so there are tons of different options and varieties here.

Recently though, slim fast has come up with some more options in addition to the “original” line.  There is a now an “optima” line which is said to control hunger, the higher protein line, the easy to digest option, and the “low carb” variety.  If you want to get really technical about it, medifast still does have more choices available, but, slim fast has come a long way with this, so I’m going to call it a wash.

Calories / Carbs / Protein Content: I know that few people consider these variables as important as I do.  But my opinion and experience is that drinking diet shakes is a waste of time if they are contain too many carbs and calories (and not enough protein) to get you into fat burning mode (called ketosis.)  When I compare shakes, this is often where medifast comes out way on top.  Many grocery store products contain way too many calories and sugars, so let’s take a look.

If I compared every shake on both plan, this article would take forever to read, so I’m going to go with what I feel are the most popular shakes on both plans. This would be slim fast’s “original” and medifast’s “55.” First up, let’s look at slim fast.  This shake has 220 calories, 25 grams of fat, 40 grams of carbs, and 10 grams of protein.  Now, onto medifast.  We’re looking at 90 calories, 10 grams of fat, 13 grams of carbs, and 11 grams of protein.

So how significant is this difference? I believe it’s pretty significant.  In terms of calories, you could drink two of the 55 and still have calories to spare.  And, 40 grams of carbs is in my opinion too many to get you into ketosis.  At the very least, you should look at the lower carb option if you are interested in slim fast, but I have to tell you that even this option has around 190 calories.

Taste / Texture / Cost Comparison:  To be honest, other than the high calories and carbs, the biggest drawback that I see to the slim fast shakes is the chalky texture that these are sort of known for.  There are some decent flavors, but there’s just not getting around this odd texture.  This is my opinion and I realize that others may have a different one.

Granted, the medifast ready mixed shakes aren’t my favorite either in terms of texture.  But, the 55 are so versatile that you can make sure that you get them creamy and light. This makes a big difference to me.  If I’m going to stick with a diet, then I’m going to need for the food to be palatable.

In terms of cost and price, there is not as big a difference as you might think.  You’re looking at around $8.50 for a case of 6 for the slim fast.  There’s no denying that medifast cost slightly more, but if you buy this as part of a package, you’re only paying around $2.00 each.  This small difference is most definitely worth it to me because I’d rather pay slightly more and actually lose weight pretty quickly and enjoy consuming the product. 

Also, Medifast offers many other foods (chili, soup, eggs, oatmeal, pudding, etc.) which gives you more options and keeps you from getting as bored. This makes it the better option in my own opinion, but everyone will have their own criteria in making this determination.


Source by Lindsey Price

Can I Use Or Substitute Atkins Shakes on the Medifast Diet?


The other day, I had someone email me and basically say: “I’m very interested in the Medifast diet. I’m very intrigued by the dramatic results my friend has had, but I want to know if I can just substitute the Atkins shakes in the grocery store for the Medifast ones.” I have to say that probably the majority of questions that I get about this diet have to do with the shakes.  There seems to be a perception that this plan is defined by them.  I understand this somewhat.  These items are tasty, filling, and pretty convenient, so there is a lot to like about them.  But, there are only one of many food choices.  However, I’ll answer the question about substituting the Atkins shakes in the following article.

Why Medifast Shakes Are So Popular And Are Beyond Comparison:  I believe that these shakes get so much attention because they are known to be pretty tasty while still being very low in calories and carbohydrates, and very high in protein and fiber.  There are not a lot of diet foods which are able to retain a decent taste and texture while being so sound nutritionally.  This combination (along with the other foods) puts you body in what I called the promised land which is technically defined as ketosis.  In this metabolic state, your body begins to turn on and burn it’s fat stores because you aren’t giving it the excess carbohydrates that commonly help with this job.

If you pick up and examine say a slim fast shake, you’ll see that there is really no comparison.  Most “diet shakes” are really full or sugar, calories, and carbs and therefore aren’t nearly as effective in getting you into ketosis.

Medifast Shakes Versus Atkins Shakes. Which Is Better?:  OK, let’s take a look at them side by side. I’ll be looking at the chocolate royale for Atkins and the dutch chocolate 55 for Medifast.  And know that I’m evaluating them based on their ability to get you into fat burning mode. (Although I do have to say that the Atkins shake has that chalky after taste that is nasty and typical of so many diet foods. I don’t find this on the 55 version. ) Any way, these two shakes are pretty similar in terms of protein, carbs, sugars and fiber.  In all of these categories, either would get you in ketosis (so long as you ate either diet’s meals for the remainder of the day.)  However, the chocolate royale has a whopping 170 calories per serving.  This is almost double the dutch chocolate’s 90 calories.

I find this to be a deal breaker. That’s almost like consuming two meals (at least in terms of calories) instead of one.  The whole point to this is to keep your calories low so that you can get in fat burning mode.  Why go through all the work and trouble and then consume a product that has twice as many calories?

What Are You Really Saving With The Atkins Shake?: I asked the person who sent the email why she wanted to substitute the other shake? She said she liked that she could pick them up at the grocery store and she perceived them to be a bit cheaper.  This actually isn’t really true.  These shakes average out to be well over $2 each. This is about what you would pay for Medifast too, sometimes less. 

And, I can’t stress this enough.  You are eating a variety of foods on this diet, and many of them aren’t liquid.  You will also eat eggs, chili, oatmeal, bars, etc.  And, most people place monthly orders and have the food shipped right to their door.  You don’t need to buy grocery store products on top of that. If you do, you’re spending more money than you need to for something that has many more calories than what you would get other wise.

If you use coupons or discounts, you can basically get 5 Medifast meals each day for about $8 each day (less then $2 each.)  But, if you add on a grocery store shake or two onto this, you’re bumping this up to $10 -$12 per day for food you don’t need that is giving you more calories.  It’s just unnecessary when they provide you with everything you need.


Source by Lindsey Price

Are There Any Diet Shakes Comparable to Medifast?


Of all of the over seventy foods (70) food options available on Medifast, the shakes are by far the most popular.  They are pretty tasty, quick, convenient, and easy.  Plus, they are nutritionally sound, full of protein and fiber, and low in sugar and carbohydrates.  This combination helps your body get into a metabolic state called ketosis which helps you to lose a lot of weight potentially quickly. So, there’s a lot of interest in these and I sometimes get emails which ask if there are any that are as good or as effective.  I’ll answer this question in the following article.

Shakes That You Can Get In The Grocery Store: A Slim Fast Comparison: I find that when many people ask this question, most are really asking about slim fast because you can buy these in any grocery or drug store.  They are readily available, but how good are they? Well, they aren’t any cheaper than the Medifast shakes.  They’re well over $2.00 each, which isn’t any significant savings at all.  And, they are higher in calories, sugar, and carbohydrates.  Specifically, I’ll look at the slim fast chocolate shake.  It has 200 calories, 18 grams of carbs (which is a lot), only 2 grams of protein, and only 4 grams of fiber.  In my opinion, this is too high of a calorie  / carb content to get you in ketosis. Most people don’t understand this so they’ll pick up a case thinking that they are really getting the same thing when in fact they are not.  

In contrast, now I’ll look at the Medifast 55 dutch chocolate version.  It has only 90 calories, 13 total carbs, 12 grams of protein, and five grams of fiber.  As you can see, the real difference is in the calories and the protein content and this can be very important.  The Medifast option has 1/2 the calories and six times as much protein.  This makes a big difference as far as ketosis goes. 

Atkins Advantage option has some of the same problems and issues.  It has a whopping 160 calories and tastes a lot more chalky and artificial in my opinion.  The whole idea behind is these diet products is to consume less of what is bad for you and more of what is good for you.  These fall short of this in my opinion.

Shakes Aren’t The Only Option: Another important thing to consider with medifast is that you aren’t only limited to liquid options. There are over 70 foods so although these drinkable meals are tasty and filling, you can also get great results by consuming the eggs, oatmeal, chili, pudding, stew, bars, etc.

Of course, some people will want a diet where they can just pop the lid on their drink and off they go.  But, it’s just as easy to peel the wrapper off a bar or to add milk to some pudding.  All of the foods have roughly the same nutritional make up, so you will get the same results no matter which “meal” that you chose.  Granted, the company does sell items individually, so you can limit yourself if you wish, but I think this eventually makes you burn out or cheat more quickly. I believe that variety is very important but this is just my experience and opinion.


Source by Lindsey Price