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Meal Replacements for Weight Loss

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About Meal Replacements for Weight Loss

Meal replacements are a convenient way to reduce your energy intake to promote weight management or fat loss. Simply add water, shake and you’re away! To keep you nutrition level optimsed, the best option is to only replace one meal per day, perferably the most unhealthy meal option for the day. For most people this is dinner, which tends to be a larger meal and often with dessert. For rapid weight loss, you may wish to replace two meals per day as long as you take nutritional precautions. Let's dig a little further into why this is important.


Food contains literally thousands of natural chemicals, many of which have not yet been identified through the field of science. Therefore, we don’t yet know just exactly how many essential nutrients there are in food to keep us healthy and happy, supporting longevity. So it becomes important, when replacing two meals per day, to at the very least support yourself nutritionally with a multivitamin and mineral formulation and/or a natural greens product. This ensures that your micronutrient (vitamin and mineral) intake does not drop too low. After all, we do not want to set ourselves up for micronutrient deficiencies, such as inadequate zinc or vitamin B6, while we go on a quest to improve body composition, as this would be counterproductive in the long-term. 


Some meal replacement powders contain a small amount of carbohydrates, though all of them contain a significant amount of protein to cover your essential amino acid needs. Regardless, they all have low energy values, starting at a mere 96 calories, which is quite good for a chocolate flavoured shake. Given that the average meal can contain up to 700 calories, a 100-150 calorie liquid meal replacement shake can create a nice energy deficit with which to lose weight over time. After all, weight loss is all about more caloric expenditure than intake. This system is effective for healthy individuals, and the foundation for most weight loss programs.


Sometimes mere calorie restriction may not be enough to promote fat loss, which can often be the case with insulin resistance. If you are finding the calorie restriction process slow and arduous when it comes to results, it may be best to limit your carbohydrate intake, focusing the majority of your calories on proteins, high fibre foods and fats. It doesn't necessarily need to be to the point of ketosis. This will help to reduce your insulin levels, allowing your body to access your fat stores for energy once again. In this case, look for a meal replacement shake containing around 5 grams or less of carbohydrate per serve.


Do everything in your power to make your fat-loss efforts sustainable. Ever heard of the cabbage soup diet? When weight starts falling away, which can be an amazing feeling, we first have to ask what will happen when the diet stops. And what kind of weight are we actually losing? When we drop our dietary calorie intake, the large majority of dieters drop their protein intake as well. This has been researched quite thoroughly. When we lose weight, more often than not, some of it is important muscle mass.


Muscle mass is a crucial reservoir of amino acids, which keeps us mobile and reduces risk for falls as we age. It is actually one of the most important markers of general health as well. So, when constructing a dietary plan, try to keep protein up, which usually involves experimenting with protein meals and finding what works for you. Importantly, ask yourself how can I incorporate aspects of this program into my lifestyle—once the diet is finished—from this point forth? Participating in resistance exercise at least twice weekly, in addition to regular aerobic exercise, such as walking and swimming, is also a great way to stimulate anabolic or muscle-building responses in the body, and also helps one achieve a slightly higher energy expenditure. Most importanly, however, is finding types of exercise that you can enjoy, preferably with other people.