Meal replacement shakes are a proven way to lose weight and keep it off. A study published in the "Journal of the American Dietetic Association" in 2001 found that women who lost weight using meal replacement drinks kept their weight off for more than a year, while women who used a regular low-fat diet regained nearly all of their weight in the same amount of time. A study from Harvard found that these kinds of results held true for 10 years. According to "Men’s Health" Magazine, the typical over-the-counter meal replacement drink contains around 200 calories along with vitamins and minerals. Some of the over the counter drinks can be expensive and lacking in taste. Making a tasty alternative at home can be a great way to get the meal replacement benefits without taking a hit to your wallet or taste buds.
HealthRecipes.com has a nice selection of protein packed smoothies and shakes that work well for meal replacements. One that differs from the normal meal replacement is the tropical shake. To make it, blend half a frozen banana, four frozen strawberries, half a mango, 1 1/4 cup water, 2 tbsp. frozen pina coloda mix, one scoop protein powder and six ice cubes in a blender. This recipe produces one 300-calorie shake.
Another option is the banana strawberry smoothie. HealthRecipes.com recommends making this by blending together six frozen strawberries, one frozen banana, 1 tbsp. nonfat milk powder, 1 1/4 cup water, and one scoop protein powder. This shake provides about 320 calories.
Eileen Behan, author and registered dietitian, has two great options for “meals in a blender” outlined in her book "Eat Well, Lose Weight While Breastfeeding." She says that these helped her have a ready-to-eat snack on hand. Make her banana frappe by mixing 1 cup low-fat milk, 1/2 cup orange juice and one ripe banana in a blender. The entire concoction has around 300 calories and is the perfect size for a meal or split it in half for two tasty snacks.
Another option is her orange cream shake. Mix 6 oz. frozen orange juice, 1 cup nonfat dry milk, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 1 cup of water and 2 1/2 cups of ice cubes in a blender. This recipe yields three shakes, 200 calories each.
Yogurt adds many benefits to meal replacement drinks like protein and probiotics, healthy bacteria that help keep the digestive system running smoothly. Pucker up with a lemonade tart smoothie based on a recipe from SmoothieWeb. Mix together 2 cups of reduced calorie lemonade, 2 cups of frozen strawberries, 1 cup low-fat strawberry yogurt and 1/2 cup of ice. Blend together and serve. This recipe makes two smoothies for about 300 calories a piece.
If you are looking for a basic smoothie recipe, try the vanilla yogurt smoothie from SmoothieWeb. Add one banana, 1 1/2 cups vanilla yogurt, 3/4 cup frozen peaches, 1 cup frozen strawberries and 1 tbsp. orange juice concentrate to a blender. Fill the blender the rest of the way with ice and blend until smooth. This recipe makes two smoothies, each about 270 calories.
- WebMD: Diet Shakes: Sipping to Slimness
- "Men’s Health" Magazine: Drink Yourself Skinny
- HealthRecipes.com: Healthy Fruit Protein Shake Recipes
- "Eat Well, Lose Weight, While Breastfeeding"; Eileen Behan, R.D.; 2006
- SmoothieWeb: The Carb-o-nator Smoothie