As we age, it’s not uncommon to struggle to lose weight — and the reverse is equally true, with many women experiencing unintentional weight loss. That’s because the older we get, the harder it can be to to ensure we’re getting all of the nutrients we need for a healthy, balanced diet. Meal replacement shakes are an easy way to serve your body the fuel it requires — especially if you’re an older adult — without all the unwanted calories. Swapping a traditional meal with a filling shake supplies you with plenty of vitamins and minerals, with some also offering important protein and fiber. Did we mention they also equate to less clean up time in the kitchen?
What are meal replacement shakes?
Essentially, meal replacement shakes are drinkable concoctions formulated with all of the nutrients you’d find in a normal healthy and balanced meal, but with fewer calories.
How much weight can I lose with meal replacement shakes?
The amount of weight that you will lose (or in some cases, gain, if that’s your goal) with meal replacement shakes will depend on several external factors, such as your metabolism and how committed you are your goals.
A 2018 study found in Appetite magazine showed that drinking three meal replacement shakes per day led to greater weight loss than a regular low-calorie diet, plus fewer food cravings.
An earlier study from 2013 published in Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering Reviews backed this data, finding that weight loss was more significant in subjects supplementing low calorie meals than those using regular low-calorie diets.
Still, it’s important to note that switching back to regular food can result in weight being put back on if you haven’t learned to properly control portions in actual meals, according to a 2013 report in Diabetes Spectrum.
What are the best meal replacement shakes?
To help you stay full, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite meal-replacement drinks. There’s something for everyone on our list, including vegan, low-calorie, low-carb, organic, and dairy-free options. Keep scrolling to shop Woman’s World’s picks for the best meal replacement shakes for women over 50.
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Best Meal Replacement Shake for Weight Loss
FitMiss Delight Protein Shake
Where to buy: $25.28, Amazon
Looking for a meal replacement shakes with whey protein? Try FitMiss' Delight, which is made with SolaThin — a potato protein extract that helps you feel full so you can eat less. It's gluten-free, low in carbs, and made with a nourishing blend of fruits and veggies that are beneficial for digestion. You can also choose from three delicious flavors — cappuccino, chocolate, and vanilla chai — to enjoy in place of your regular meal.
Best Meal Replacement Shake With Protein
RSP Nutrition TrueFit
Where to buy: $36.97 (Originally $39.97), Amazon
Many women age 50 and older aren't getting enough protein — and RSP's TrueFit protein powder can fix that. Each serving (one scoop) has 25 grams of protein, plus 4 grams of the metabolism-regulating amino acid glutamine and 5 grams of branched-chain amino acids (studies suggest they aid in weight loss). This drink is good for your gut, too, thanks to a combination of pre and probiotics and 8 grams of fiber from sweet potato powder. It's also gluten-, added sugar-, artificial color-, and preservative-free, as well as low in carbs. With five yummy flavors, including chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon churro, everyone can enjoy the taste, too.
Best Vegan Meal Replacement Shake
Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal
Where to buy: $37.51 (Originally $59.95), Amazon
Garden of Life is well-know for its vitamins and supplements, so we had to include its highly-praised Raw Organic Meal. Made with 20 grams of clean plant protein, this meal-replacement shake powder is great on its own or after a workout. The ingredient list is a who's who of superfoods, with 44 organic fruits and veggies, 21 vitamins and minerals, and 1.5 billion CFU of probiotics. Vegans and vegetarians alike can enjoy the chocolate, vanilla, lightly sweet, and vanilla chai flavors.
Best Low Carb Meal Replacement Shake
Perfect Keto Collagen
Where to buy: $38.99, Amazon
There are dozens of meal replacement shakes out there for keto dieters, but one we particularly love is Perfect Keto's collagen powder, which comes benefits from added MCT oil. You don't have to be on the keto diet (a low-carb, high-fat meal plan), however, to enjoy it. Mix it with milk or water for the skin-, nail-, and hair-boosting benefits of collagen, and acacia fiber, which is great for your gut and also promotes weight loss. With traditional flavors like chocolate and vanilla, as well as sweet and savory salted caramel, everyone will be happy.
Best Meal Replacement Shake for Diabetes
Glucerna Hunger Smart
Where to buy: $37.76 (Originally $39.96), Amazon
Some meal-replacement drinks are chock-full of added sugar, which is far from ideal for those with diabetes. The solution? Glucerna Hunger Smart shakes. These bottled drinks serve up 15 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, and a lean 180 calories to help you curb hunger and reach your weight-loss goals. Glucerna's shakes are also made with slow carbs, which take your body longer to digest, preventing blood sugar spikes and helping you feel fuller longer. Available in chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry flavors, this meal-replacement shake option is also ideal for anyone that's lactose intolerant.
Best Organic Meal Replacement Shake
Orgain Organic Meal
Where to buy: $33.75, Amazon
Orgain's Organic Meal, an all-in-one nutrition powder, is a delicious blend of organic sprouts, fruits, veggies, greens, vitamins, and minerals that provides you with 21 grams of plant protein, 8 grams of dietary fiber, and no added sugar — all with just 220 calories. What's more, it's also a great source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, riboflavin, iron, thiamine, and pantothenic acid. Now that's one healthy sip!
Best Meal Replacement Shake for Weight Gain
Ensure Plus Nutrition Shake
Where to buy: $39.99, Amazon
It's not uncommon for older adults to suffer from unintentional weight loss as a result of conditions such as muscle loss, an overactive thyroid, diabetes, depression, or rheumatoid arthritis. If you or a loved one is losing too much weight, Ensure Plus' nutrition shake with fiber is a great dietary solution. Each high-fiber meal replacement supplies your body with 350 calories, 16 grams of protein, vitamins E and C, and selenium. Butter pecan, chocolate, and vanilla flavors make sucking it down a breeze.
Meal Replacement Breakfast Shake
Carnation Breakfast Essentials
Where to buy: $25.98, Amazon
If you're not a morning person — and many of us aren't — a meal-replacement shake can save you precious time. Carnation's Breakfast Essentials are designed to be mixed with milk and enjoyed in favor of a regular a.m. meal. You can also buy them in a grab-and-go bottle ($27.96, Amazon) if you'd rather not fuss with milk and mixing. The powder version comes with 13 grams of protein, 21 vitamins and minerals, and added vitamin D and calcium in each glass. Choose from vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, or mocha when you need a quick pick-me-up.
Best Low Sugar Meal Replacement Shake
SlimFast Advanced Nutrition
Where to buy: $12.78, Amazon
Meal replacement shakes that are loaded with sugar can threaten to derail your weight-loss goals. Fortunately, SlimFast's Advanced Nutrition shakes contain just 1 gram of sugar per serving, while still fueling your body with and 24 vitamins and minerals, 20 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fiber. These bottled protein shakes are also great for sipping on-the-go.
Meal Replacement Shakes Low Calorie
Where to buy: $15.95, Amazon
If you love dessert, but hate what it does to your hips, you'll want to devour WonderSlim's weight-loss shakes. They come in nine delightful flavors — chocolate cream, chocolate salted caramel, cocomint cream, dark cocoa cream, hazelnut cocoa cream, mocha cream, strawberry cream, vanilla cream, and a variety pack option — so you can satisfy your sweet teeth in a healthy way. Each meal-replacement shake has 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 grams of protein, and only 100 calories. Best of all, however, WonderSlim provides two meals for people in need through Feeding America for every box sold.