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11 Best Meal Replacement Shakes and Bars For Weight Loss That Actually Taste Good

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Whether you’re dieting or just trying to live a healthier lifestyle, finding time to make healthy meals can be just as hard as getting motivated to go to the gym. Life is busy, and you can’t always expect yourself to prepare a tasty (and balanced) meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But good news! If you’re short on time, you don’t have to sacrifice your diet for the convenience of fast food. Instead, try some of the best meal replacement shakes and bars we’ve rounded up below. They not only offer a quick meal on days you’re pressed for time, they can also satisfy a craving for something sweet!

Below, we’ve answered some of the most common questions and included a list of the best meal replacement shakes and bars for weight loss so you can take some of the stress out of dieting. When used in combination with the best weight loss programs, these are a great way to help you shed pounds and feel great doing it!

Are meal replacement shakes good for weight loss?

Following a healthy, low-calorie diet and incorporating exercise into your daily routine is a surefire recipe for losing weight. But sometimes, life gets in the way of the best-laid diet and exercise plans. The best meal replacement shakes and bars are a quick, easy, and delicious way to help stifle cravings without indulging in high-calorie, sugary, or fatty foods that can set you back on your weight loss journey.

In a 2018 study those who drank three meal replacement shakes a day were able to lose more weight than those who were just on a low calorie diet — and had fewer cravings!

What is the best tasting meal replacement shake?

Everyone has their own preference when it comes to taste. Some prefer rich, dark chocolate, while others like fruits and vegetables. With a variety of flavors to choose from, you’re sure to find some meal replacement bars and shakes you’ll enjoy.

Not all meal replacement shakes and bars are created equally, however. The choices we’ve highlighted are not only great-tasting, they contain essential nutrients and proteins that help you maintain a healthy diet.

Which meal replacement shake is best for weight loss?

The ideal shake or bar will fill you up so you’re not craving fatty junk foods later. (Looking for expert diet tips? We’ve got those, too!) They will also provide you with many of the same proteins, vitamins, and nutrients that traditional meals would give you. Beware of shakes and bars that have a lot of sugar and calories that can add pounds, rather than helping you lose them.

Keep scrolling to shop our picks for the best meal replacement shakes and bars for weight loss!

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What are the best meal replacement shakes and bars to buy in 2021?

Nutrisystem Protein and Probiotic Chocolate Shakes

Best meal replacement shake
meal replacement shakes and bars
NutriSystem

Buy on Nutrisystem ($39.99)

Why we like it:

  • Contains proteins and probiotics
  • Includes 21 vitamins and minerals
  • Makes up to 14 servings per tub

On days when you don’t feel like cooking and would rather reach for the nearest take-out menu, skip the greasy food and blend a quick protein shake instead. This NutriSystem meal replacement shake is made with 21 vitamins and minerals to provide you with your basic protein and probiotic needs — and it even comes in flavors like chocolate and vanilla for the days when you’re craving something sweet. The ready-to-mix powder is perfect for adding to your favorite shake recipes or making all by itself. Reviewers love the taste and tend to enjoy it as a quick breakfast option.

Promising review: “I was really surprised how much I liked these. I’m not usually a shake person, but the chocolate is rich and filling.”

Weight Watchers Protein Booster Variety Pack

Best meal replacement shake variety pack
meal replacement shakes and bars
Weight Watchers

Buy on Weight Watchers ($47.99)

Why we like it:

  • It’s on sale!
  • Variety pack includes 3 flavors
  • Contains 25 grams of protein per scoop

Can’t decide what you’re in the mood for? This Weight Watchers variety pack is perfect for mixing it up. It includes three classic flavors (vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate), has 25 grams of protein per scoop, and is even on sale! You don’t have to join Weight Watchers to enjoy this tasty protein powder, but if you’re a member, you’ll get a customized diet plan that helps guide you towards your personal weight loss goals. It’s hard to put in the time to research every bite you put in your mouth, but Weight Watchers takes some of that burden away. They offer foods and meal replacement shakes that provide you with the proteins and nutrients you need to lead a healthier life, in the amounts you need to reach your weight loss goals.

This reviewer loves how versatile these powders are, and even incorporates them into recipes: “I … use it in many recipes – shakes, pancakes, muffins, etc. Love the flavors, always feel full and satisfied.”

Weight Watchers Peanut Butter Lovers Variety Pack

best meal replacement bars for peanut butter lovers
meal replacement shakes and bars
Weight Watchers

Buy on Weight Watchers ($25.99)

Why we like it:

  • Variety of sweet and salty flavors for peanut butter lovers
  • Portion-controlled packages

Peanut butter fans rejoice! This variety pack includes three different sweet and salty options — peanut butter, chocolate peanut butter, and chocolate peanut butter pie — to help stifle any cravings and hold you over until your next meal. The portion-controlled packages also help prevent over-indulging, so you can stay within your allotted calories or points for the day. Stock up on these protein bars whether you plan to join Weight Watchers or just want a quick and healthy snack option to complement your weight loss program. If you’re in a rush, these make a great on-the-go snack or dessert — and they’re on sale now!

One reviewer enjoys how low in Weight Watchers points this option is: “I love peanut butter, but it’s so high in points. These snacks give me my favorite treat but keep me within my points.”

Gainful Personalized Protein Shake Powder

best personalized meal replacement shakes
meal replacement shakes and bars
Gainful

Buy on Gainful (from $39)

Why we like it:

  • Personalized for your body’s needs
  • Optional flavor add-ins
  • Gainful makes recommendations based on your fitness goals

Every body is different, and Gainful aims to make sure you’re getting the right nutrients for you. When you take the quick and easy quiz on their website, they’ll analyze it to see what your goals are and what type of protein shake will help you reach them — whether that’s meal replacement, weight loss, or to help with muscle strength. From there, you’ll fill out personal information such as height and weight, and they’ll create a protein powder that uniquely matches your health goals. Each powder comes unflavored, but you have the option to include flavor add-ons such as chocolate, vanilla, chocolate peanut butter, matcha green tea, and more. When you sign up for a subscription you’ll also be paired with a dietitian for personalized advice — you’ll even get a recommended fitness plan!

This reviewer described it as having a “phenomenal taste and consistency” especially for those who are sensitive to dairy: “I’m lactose intolerant and have always struggled to find a protein powder that tasted good and didn’t upset my stomach. Gainful checks all the boxes!”

Evolve Chocolate Protein Shake

best to-go meal replacement shakes
meal replacement shakes and bars
Amazon

Buy on Amazon ($23.67)

Why we like it:

  • Free of dairy, soy, and gluten 
  • No refrigeration required
  • Packed with 20 grams of protein

Bring this protein shake with you anywhere and don’t worry about refrigeration. The dairy-free formula in this plant-based shake won’t spoil, so it’s perfect for taking on-the-go. The soy-free, gluten-free formula is packed with 20 grams of protein to give you all the nutrients you need. Whether you’re looking for the perfect post-workout fuel or don’t have time to cook a full meal, this shake can help satisfy you without filling you up with empty carbs.

Wrote one chocolate-loving reviewer: “This is my favorite meal shake so far. The Classic Chocolate is the way to go! It’s delicious and I like the nutrition and ingredients label! I have this for breakfast because I’m lazy, and it’s cheaper and healthier than coffee and a bagel, donut, muffin, etc. for breakfast.”

Aloha Organic Plant Based Protein Bars

best vegan meal replacement bars
meal replacement shakes and bars
Amazon

Buy on Amazon ($19.99, originally $23.99)

Why we like it:

  • Free of artificial ingredients
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Great for on-the-go

If you’re not a fan of protein shakes, then a meal replacement bar is probably a good fit for you. These Aloha protein bars aim to help fill you up so you spend less time snacking throughout the day. The ingredients are plant-based and vegan-friendly (no artificial flavors!), and the convenient to-go packaging is perfect when you’re running around all day. You can even choose from eight different flavor packs including vanilla almond crunch, chocolate mint, caramel sea salt, chocolate fudge brownie, and more. Whether you’re a chocolate-lover or vanilla fan, this brand offers something for everyone.

One reviewer praised the taste of these bars: “I’m always on the hunt for vegan snack and protein bars for a mid-day snack. These are so good, they remind me of a candy bar.”

Pure Protein Bars Variety Pack

best gluten-free meal replacement bars
meal replacement shakes and bars
Amazon

Buy on Amazon ($16.28)

Why we like it:

  • Gluten-free formula
  • Perfect for on-the-go
  • Provide carbs and protein for energy

Who says that healthy foods have to taste bad? These meal replacement bars provide proteins and carbs to help keep you energized throughout the day. Rather than stick to one flavor, this pack comes with multiple chocolatey flavors (perfect for those after-dinner dessert cravings). Have a gluten allergy or sensitivity? They’re gluten-free! Enjoy up to 21 grams of protein per bar and feel satisfied until your next meal. Some reviewers found certain bars taste too sweet, but with so many options to choose from, you can easily find the one that’s right for you.

Promising review: “I have been a fan of Pure Protein bars for quite some time, but I’d never tried the dessert flavors. Now that I have, I will make regular purchases because they are simply delish. The lemon bars do tend to be a tad sweet — they walk the fine line between sweet and too sweet to me, but I do like them a lot for their decidedly lemony flavor … If you want a break from the standard flavors, this combo pack may be just what you’re looking for.”

Care/Of Plant Protein Powder

best unflavored meal replacement shakes
meal replacement shakes and bars
Care/Of

Buy on Care/Of ($28)

Why we like it:

  • Comes in packets or a 15-serving tub
  • Made with organic pea, pumpkin seed, and hemp proteins
  • Get it flavored or unflavored

Protein is essential to any diet, which is why this supplemental shake is packed with plant-based proteins to give you plenty of energy to take on the day. Each serving contains 18 grams of protein that you can mix into a shake or add into your own recipe. Choose from chocolate, vanilla, and unflavored and personalize to your own needs. To use, just mix about three scoops of the powder into 12 ounces of liquid, whether that’s water or almond milk — your choice!

One reviewer gushed over her experience with the brand: “Care/of is a convenient way to insert healthy habits into your life. The brand is not only aesthetically pleasing but honest, genuine, and customer service oriented. I have been a customer for over two years and enjoyed every minute.

Orgain Organic Protein Powder

best organic meal replacement shakes
meal replacement shakes and bars
Orgain

Buy on Orgain ($29.99)

Why we like it:

  • No gritty texture
  • Free of artificial sweeteners
  • Made with an organic plant-based formula

Nothing is worse than drinking a smoothie or shake and getting a mouthful of chalky chunks. This protein shake aims to provide a smooth texture that almost completely eliminates the gritty texture — and with six different flavors to stock up on, you’ll look forward to this healthy option. No artificial sweeteners were used, and the plant-based formula will fill you up with 21 grams of protein. Reviewers say that unlike other protein powders, which can often have a chalky consistency, this one has a smooth and delicious taste.

Promising review: “This is my favorite protein powder ever! Finding a non-whey protein that wasn’t chalky, tasted great, and didn’t upset my stomach felt like searching for the holy grail. This product checks every box and is now a daily staple.”

Orgain Organic Protein Bars

best organic meal replacement bars
meal replacement shakes and bars
Orgain

Buy on Orgain ($19.99)

Why we like it:

  •  Plant-based formula
  • Protein-packed
  • Subscription option

Looking for a meal replacement bar that lets you skip breakfast or lunch and still have the fuel you need to get through the day? These Orgain protein bars are just the ticket. Made with plant-based ingredients, they contain up to 10 grams of protein per bar — and they come in mouth-watering flavors like chocolate brownie, chocolate chip cookie dough, and s’mores. When you buy them directly through the site, you can sign up for a subscription that delivers them straight to your door every 30, 45, or 60 days. (You’ll also save 35 percent when you subscribe!) Next time you get a craving, skip the junk food and satisfy it with one of these plant-based energy-filled bars instead.

One reviewer praised how filling the bars are, writing: “The bar was good. It’s a great alternative to eating junk food and helps to curb the appetite.

Garden of Life Organic Meal Replacement Powder

best vegan meal replacement shakes
meal replacement shakes and bars
Amazon

Buy on Amazon ($45.49)

Why we like it:

  • Vegan-friendly
  • Made with 44 superfoods
  • 4 flavors to choose from

If you want more than just protein in your shakes, this meal replacement powder is made for you. Packed with 44 superfoods, it’s available in chocolate, vanilla, lightly sweet, and vanilla chai flavors. The formula is vegan-friendly, doesn’t contain any artificial sweeteners, and is a top seller on Amazon. With 22 whole food vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12 and Biotin, this powder gives you the nutrients and energy you need after a workout — or if you just don’t feel like cooking!

Promising review: “I knew that I needed something to fill me up because some days I just don’t have time to prepare a healthy, mostly plant based meal. This, my friends, is the answer.” 

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