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A Person Drinking A Meal Replacement Shakes In The Gym

Top Five Meal Replacement Shakes

Meal replacement shakes are a versatile supplement that can help with fitness goals, ranging from gaining weight to losing fat. Still, there are some key ingredients you should avoid if you’re looking to keep your diet clean, whether you’re bulking or trying to lose weight with meal replacement shakes.

Excess sugar isn’t a good idea, no matter what your goal. In addition to sugar, avoid large amounts of artificial flavours and colours. The best meal replacement supplements come from whole foods, like those you would eat if you had time to prepare yourself a meal. If you’re feeling intimidated by the vast selection of products, keep reading. We’ll teach you how to identify a good meal replacement and suggest the best meal replacement shakes for the two main reasons people use them: gaining or losing weight.

What to Look for in a Meal Replacement Supplement

We mentioned that you should be looking for a supplement that comes from whole foods. Look for ingredients like:

  • whey protein
  • plant-based protein
  • sweet potatoes
  • rice
  • quinoa

These are all excellent sources from which to get your nutrients. Even if you’re not crazy about the foods’ flavours and textures, the benefits of these ingredients are still available through supplements.

Brands have come very far in terms of the nutrition these supplements can offer and the flavours the supplements come in. These aren’t old-school slim fast shakes or chalky, thick milk. They are delicious and densely nutritious supplements. Experiment with the flavours and ingredients and find a formula that works for you. Ideally, the shake you choose will taste great and be very nutritious. Remember, the only way a supplement can help you reach your goal is to use it consistently. As a bonus, many of these supplements include additional supplemental benefits, like amino acids and electrolytes.

How to Lose Weight with Meal Replacement Shakes

Losing weight really comes down to consuming fewer calories than you burn daily, with few exceptions. Meal replacement supplements don’t magically help to drop pounds just by drinking them. Many people choose one meal per day to lose weight with meal replacement supplements and replace it with their supplement of choice. Doing this can cut daily consumption calories because, typically, a supplement has fewer calories than a meal.

Protein powder shake 

How Many Calories Should I Eat?

If you’re brand new to counting calories, determining how many calories your body burns at rest is a good place to start. Do this by plugging your information into this calculation:

Men: BMR = 88.362 + (13.397 x weight in kg) + (4.799 x height in cm) – (5.677 x age in years)

Women: BMR = 447.593 + (9.247 x weight in kg) + (3.098 x height in cm) – (4.330 x age in years)

Once you’ve calculated your basal metabolic rate, account for your activity level by multiplying your BMR by the number which corresponds with your activity:

Sedentary

1.2

Lightly Active

1.375

Moderately Active

1.55

Very Active

1.725

Extra Active

1.9

 

That number is your total daily energy expenditure or your estimated maintenance calories. This means you should strive for that number each day to maintain your current weight. To lose weight, decrease that number by 250-500 calories, or more, depending on how aggressive your approach.

Please note, 1200 calories are the absolute minimum you should be consuming on a daily basis, and even that is truly not enough to keep you healthy and thriving.

Got it, Now What?

Let’s say that after you subtract from your TDEE, you’re looking at 2000 calories per day. You can determine how many calories to consume at each meal and snack to stay within your caloric budget. For example:

- 500 calories for breakfast

- 250 calories for a meal replacement lunch

- 250 calories for an afternoon snack

- 700 calories for dinner

- 300 calories for a bedtime snack

Now that you understand the basics of calculating your calories and cutting them with a supplemental lunch, here are our top five meal replacement shakes to help you lose weight.

The Best Meal Replacements Shakes to Help You Lose Weight

These shakes are typically lower in calories and carbohydrates than their weight gainer counterparts. The idea is to give you lots of nutrients and a hearty helping of protein with limited calories and carbs. Still, a small serving of carbohydrates helps a supplement feel more satisfying and leads to longer-lasting satiation.

  1. Vega One All-In-One Shake

This is a vegan-friendly meal replacement shake. As far as nutrient density, this supplement is incredible. In one supplement, you get:

  • 3 grams of fat
  • 12 grams of carbs
  • 6 grams of fibre
  • just 2 grams of sugar
  • 50% daily value of eleven vitamins and minerals
  • antioxidants
  • omega 3 fatty acids

This meal replacement fits our standards as far as ingredients, too. Things like hemp, pea protein, flaxseed, and more give this protein power the nutrients your body craves. At 123 calories per scoop, it is relatively low for a meal replacement. This is great if you need to cut a significant number of calories, but if you need a little more, easily double your serving.

  1. ANS Ketosys Ketogenic Performance Fuel

Many people are trying the ketogenic diet to meet their weight loss goals. You can still utilize meal replacements to lose weight if you’re on the keto diet. This unique, keto-friendly meal replacement has quality ingredients like coconut oil and flaxseed, all very popular with this particular diet. Each serving contains:

  • 16 grams of fat
  • 5 grams of carbs
  • 4 grams of fibre
  • 0 grams of sugar
  • 10 grams of protein

The high-fat content fits the keto diet, and it helps to maintain ketosis and keep your mind sharp. The serving size is a half scoop which contains 205 calories. Easily customize your serving by increasing to a whole scoop.

  1. Mammoth Meal

Mammoth Meal is a traditional meal replacement with stellar ingredients and a convenient formula for dosing. Their goal was to provide a product to cater to a wide variety of consumers, from the bodybuilder to the casual dieter. Each scoop contains:

  • 2 grams of fat
  • 10 grams of carbs
  • 1.5 grams of fibre
  • 1 gram of sugar
  • 10 grams of protein

Each scoop sits right at 100 calories, and again, this formula is easily doubled or even tripled to fit any person’s dietary needs. This quality meal replacement also contains BCAAs and probiotics. 

  1. BSN Syntha-6

Syntha-6 is a versatile product which many people use as a post-workout protein shake. It’s excellent for that, but it also makes an excellent meal replacement due to the macro breakdown and the quality ingredients. This protein supplement also has one of the best flavours and textures on the market. Each serving has:

  • 6 grams of fat
  • 15 grams of carbs
  • 1 gram of fibre
  • 3 grams of sugar
  • 22 grams of protein

At 200 calories per scoop, you’ve got a solid, low-calorie meal. This supplement also contains essential amino acids, healthy fatty acids, and quality, whole-food ingredients.

  1. ANS Lean Muscle Mass Builder

Like Mammoth Meal, Lean Muscle Mass Builder can be used in a variety of ways. It works well as a meal replacement for those who are watching their calories, and it’s easily doubled for more nutrients. Each scoop has:

  • 4.5 grams of fat
  • 30 grams of carbs
  • 2 grams of fibre
  • 4 grams of sugar
  • 30 grams of protein

Its 4 grams of sugar is the highest on this list, but it also comes in highest for the protein content. At 280 calories per scoop, this is a calorie-dense and nutrient-dense product.

 Woman putting fruit in a blender

How to Gain Weight with Meal Replacement Shakes

If you’re trying to gain weight instead of losing it, meal replacement supplements can help you, too. In general, follow the same recommendations for losing weight—you want nutrient-dense, low sugar, plenty of protein, and carbohydrates from whole food sources. You might want to double your servings depending on how many calories you need to eat.

How Many Calories Should I Eat to Gain Weight?

You should follow the same formula from above. Plug in your stats to the BMR formula, then account for your activity level. After that, instead of subtracting 250-500 calories, you will add them. This is how many calories you will need to eat daily to gain weight.

Okay, Now What?

Once you know your calorie goal, you can plan your meals and use your meal replacement supplement to cover the additional calories. Besides eating, you probably want to adjust your exercise routine. If you’d like to put on muscle instead of just weight in general, you should limit your cardio workouts and increase the intensity of your resistance training.

Here are the best supplements to replace an extra meal and help you gain weight. 

The Best Meal Replacement Shakes to Help You Gain Weight

Mass gainer meal replacement shakes have a lot more of everything—carbs, calories, protein, and everything else. These supplements are designed to be very filling and heavy.

  1. ANS N-Mass

This product is the weight gainer equivalent to the Lean Muscle Mass Builder that made our list above—each scoop has a denser:

  • 2.25 grams of fat
  • 62.5 grams of carbs
  • 4 grams of sugar
  • 13.75 grams of protein

This shake is made from quality ingredients designed to keep you full and assist in a clean bulk. Each scoop will give you 325 calories, but a full serving is a whopping 1300 calories.

  1. Mammoth Mass

We’ve got another beefed-up brother supplement, this time from Mammoth Meal. Each scoop has:

  • 2.25 grams of fat
  • 58 grams of carbs
  • 2.25 grams of sugar
  • 15 grams of protein

A single scoop has 312 calories, and a serving is four scoops. As you can see, this is a serious meal in a convenient shake supplement. 

  1. Perfect Sports Hulk Clean Mass Gainer

Another quality product to assist with weight gaining efforts, Perfect Sports Hulk has:

  • 2.5 grams of fat
  • 44 grams of carbs
  • 0.5 grams of sugar
  • 15 grams of protein

Each scoop has 260 calories and contains several vitamins and electrolytes to support you. Also included are fruits and veggies, MCT oils, and amino acids.

  1. Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass

Optimum Nutrition’s take on the meal replacement mass gainer is a classic, no-frills approach similar to that of their Gold Standard line. Each scoop has:

  • 2 grams of fat
  • 126 grams of carbs
  • 10 grams of sugar
  • 25 grams of protein

The sugar content is relatively high in this supplement, but we’re not scared of that for a weight gainer meal replacement. It is loaded with vitamins and minerals, electrolytes, amino acids, and more. 

  1. Rivalus Clean Gainer

Rivalus’ take is another quality supplement to choose from; in a serving of two scoops, you get:

  • 7 grams of fat
  • 90 grams of carbs
  • 2 grams of fibre
  • 8 grams of sugar
  • 30 grams of protein

This supplement has 560 calories in a serving, so you’re adding a nice number of calories to your day without a ridiculous serving size.

 Salmon on avocado toast

A Word of Caution About Using Meal Replacements to Gain or Lose Weight

This likely goes without saying, but you should never rely solely on meal replacements or any other supplement to give you the bulk of your nutrition. You should never use these supplements to replace most or all of your meals. A single meal replacement shake cannot make up for a balanced, varied diet.

Meal replacements are a wonderful supplement option for anyone that needs a quick meal on the go or for people who have specific calorie needs. A simple lunchtime swap for a meal replacement shake could be all it takes to drop the necessary calories to help you reach your goal weight. Alternatively, adding a meal replacement shake on top of your typical meals and snacks can help you bulk up in a healthy, manageable way. We have many quality supplements from which to choose, all from trusted supplement brands with whole food ingredients.

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