Lose weight with shakes: the best tips & tricks to lose weight

Abnehmen mit Shakes: Die besten Tipps & Tricks gegen die Kilos

Want to shed those extra pounds quickly after the holidays? Have you already started countless diets, but never been able to maintain your desired weight in the long term? Then you are exactly right here. Diet variants are now a dime a dozen. All with different approaches, sometimes more and sometimes less complex and time-consuming.

If counting calories is too much work for you and you don't want to sweat for hours in the gym every day, then losing weight with shakes is a good alternative for you. This type of diet is not complicated and can also be easily implemented in hectic everyday life. Everything you need to know about this is presented in this article.

the essentials in brief

  • Shakes can help you lose weight. They also prevent deficiency symptoms, since all nutrients important for the body must be included in the diet. Many well-known brands offer various lactose-free and vegan variants.
  • While taking the manufacturer's instructions should always be followed and in case of doubt, a doctor should be consulted. There are no regulations as to which meals should be replaced. For those who like to experiment, there are numerous recipes for making the shakes yourself.
  • In order to support weight loss while taking the shakes and to be able to maintain the weight in the long term, it is advisable to ensure regular exercise, a healthy diet, enough sleep and little stress.

Definition: What are weight loss shakes?

Weight loss shakes consist largely of protein. The simple proteins known as proteins are the most common (1). Shakes intended for weight loss should not be confused with pure protein shakes for muscle building.

Since these shakes are part of a specific diet, they fall under the German dietary regulations. For this reason, unlike pure protein shakes, weight loss shakes contain ingredients other than protein (2).

Weight loss shakes are part of the formula diet. In contrast to other forms of diet, such as the Paleo diet , the focus here is not on specific foods, but instead replaces at least one meal a day with an industrially manufactured low-calorie product (2). Such products include shakes or ready-made drinks.

The shakes are either mixed with water or low-calorie milk and then drunk. Because weight loss shakes have fewer calories than a regular meal, you consume fewer calories throughout the day and eventually lose weight. Since many different brands now offer weight loss shakes, they come in many different flavors.

  • quick and easy preparation
  • no time-consuming calorie counting
  • supply of important nutrients
  • no permanent solution
  • can become monotonous over time
  • yo-yo effect
  • Background: What you should know about taking shakes to lose weight

    The decision to lose weight with shakes shouldn't be made on a whim. It is not a dangerous form of dieting in itself, but it still means a change for the body. To help you with your decision, we have compiled the most important questions.

    How well do shakes help with weight loss?

    Researchers have tested the extent to which taking formulas as meal replacements can aid in weight loss. They found that weight, BMI, body fat and waist circumference all reduced(3). Conversely, this means that shakes can help you lose weight.

    According to Article 14b of the Diet Ordinance, the manufacture of shakes intended for weight loss must be based on medical and dietary principles (4). This means that the shakes must be proven to have an effect. This prevents any powder from being declared a weight loss shake.

    Lose weight

    Consuming shakes regularly can support weight loss and help maintain weight over the long term. (Image source: Christopher Jolly/ Unsplash)

    Now a legitimate question is whether the shakes only support weight loss or can also help to keep the weight off in the long term. A study on this topic shows that the test subjects were able to maintain their weight even after 3 years if they took the formula product regularly (5). However, regular intake does not necessarily mean every day, but every few months a week or a few days a month.

    How healthy is losing weight with shakes?

    Article 14 of the Diet Ordinance stipulates that you can consume at least 800 kcal and a maximum of 1,200 kcal per day with Formula products (2). That makes between 200 and 400kcal per meal. That's not really a lot, but it's enough for a healthy person and too many excess calories are only stored anyway and are a hindrance to losing weight.

    In addition to protein, shakes for losing weight also contain fats, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins.

    Since complete meals are replaced by the shakes, manufacturers of formula products must ensure that fats, carbohydrates, as well as minerals and vitamins are included in addition to protein (4). As a result, the body gets the nutrients it needs from the shakes.

    In this way, a deficiency during the diet is prevented. While shakes aren't a substitute for fresh fruit and veg and a balanced diet, they don't harm the body and give it everything it needs. In addition, the shakes are much healthier than fast food.

    What should you consider when taking shakes to lose weight?

    Each product can be taken differently. Therefore, you should pay attention to the consumption recommendation on the packaging and stick to it. If you replace all meals with weight loss shakes, you should consider your physical activity. The body is supplied with fewer calories than it is used to, which also affects the energy level and could lead to problems with some sports.

    Furthermore, the German Society for Nutrition advises consulting a doctor if you consume the formula product for longer than 3 weeks (2). The maximum intake time for most products is 12 weeks. Even if you want to replace all meals a day with a shake, you should consult a doctor beforehand to be on the safe side.

    Anyone who takes shakes to lose weight for longer than 3 weeks or replaces all meals should definitely consult a doctor.

    Are there lactose-free and vegan shakes for losing weight?

    Lactose intolerance is an intolerance to milk sugar, and its severity depends on whether the body is completely deficient in lactose, a milk-storing enzyme, or has some left over (6). People with lactose intolerance can therefore not consume dairy products. This also includes milk or whey powder. Anyone who eats vegan eats absolutely no animal food.

    Since lactose intolerance and veganism are now widespread, many well-known brands also offer their shakes lactose-free and vegan. Some products are even free of lactose and animal ingredients in the standard version. Many lactose-free variants are based on soy or egg instead of milk and are also available in many flavors. Many vegan variants are also gluten-free . Lactose-free and vegan shakes for weight loss are clearly marked as such on the packaging.

    Which meals are replaced with shakes?

    There are no exact specifications for this. The number of meals to be replaced by a formula shake often depends on the manufacturer's specifications and your own goals. Which meals are ultimately consumed liquid is up to you.

    If you still can't decide and would like a clue, you can follow the well-known rule that you shouldn't eat too much or too heavy food in the evening. Studies have also found that those who eat more in the evening tend to gain weight (7). Therefore, replacing dinner is a very good idea.

    Can you make your own weight loss shakes?

    There are numerous recipes for weight loss shakes online. These consist mainly of lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as milk, nuts or legumes, among other things. There are actually no limits to the imagination. However, you should pay attention to the right protein sources so that the body consumes enough protein.

    In addition, it is advisable to also pay attention to the other nutrients that are typically contained in weight loss shakes. This means that the homemade shake should also contain a good ratio of vitamins, fats and minerals. For a first clue, it's worth looking for a few recipes online and trying them out. This form of preparation is a lot more complex than formula products, but is usually the cheaper option.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that the effectiveness of homemade shakes has not been scientifically proven. Therefore, there is no guarantee that these shakes will support weight loss as well as the industrially manufactured weight loss shakes from the well-known brands.

    Lose weight with shakes: The best tips & tricks to let the kilos tumble

    To help you achieve your desired weight with the shakes, we'll give you a few things to keep in mind when buying, during the diet, and afterwards. In this way you can lose weight healthily, without a guilty conscience and in the long term.

    Ingredients of weight loss shakes

    First of all, animal and vegetable ingredients are classified. These two differ in composition and bioavailability of amino acids (8). The components of proteins are called amino acids, they are responsible for many important functions in the body (9). The bioavailability indicates how quickly and in what quantity the substances enter the bloodstream and can be absorbed by the body (10).

    Animal products usually contain all the amino acids the body needs and can easily meet the needs of a healthy person (8). Animal products in shakes are mainly whey and milk proteins. Plant-based ingredients are usually not equipped with all the amino acids at the same time, which means that you have to combine several plant-based substances in order to be able to cover the requirement (8).


    Since soybeans contain a lot of protein, they are often used in shakes as a source of amino acids. (Image source: EVERSON DE SOUZA/ Unsplash)

    Vegan shakes often consist of soy protein or legumes. This means that with plant-based shakes for losing weight, you should pay attention to different compositions so that the body receives all the important amino acids.

    Regardless of whether you choose plant-based or animal-based ingredients, you should pay attention to the origin and extraction of both. Special care should be taken with products containing soy proteins. Soy cultivation is often not really sustainable and thus harms the climate (11).

    So that you don't have to spend hours researching the background to each individual product, quality seals such as organic or Fresenius can give you a clue. It is also advisable to keep an eye on the sugar content.

    Lose weight with shakes additional aids:

    In order to lose weight sustainably and avoid a yo-yo effect, shakes alone are not enough. Because at some point the intake limit is reached and the shakes have to be paused first. In order to be able to maintain the weight in the long term, you should deal with other known factors that affect weight right from the start. We briefly present the most important ones below.


    It's no secret that exercise can support weight loss. Everywhere it is preached that sufficient exercise can help you lose weight. Exercise is also healthy, but one study found that the effect exercise has on the body varies from person to person (13).

    sports and fitness

    Regular exercise keeps the body fit and helps us to maintain weight permanently. (Image source: bruce mars/ Unsplash)

    For some, exercise can curb appetite and thus reduce calorie intake by eating less, while others experience cravings and consume more calories than they would without exercise.

    Although it is now disputed whether or not exercise promotes weight loss, exercise can help maintain weight over the long term. Because of the many other positive side effects of regular exercise, WHO recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week (14). Moderate units are characterized by the fact that the heart rate is not so high that you can no longer speak.

    Sport alone cannot make the pounds tumble, but it can provide support and help to keep the weight off. However, if you replace all 3 meals with a weight loss shake, you should exercise cautiously due to reduced energy intake and definitely consult a doctor beforehand.

    Healthy eating

    Healthy eating is a prerequisite in every weight loss guide. For many, this is the decisive factor, ahead of sport. Stanford University researchers found that it matters less whether you eat a low-carb or low-fat diet (15). They identified 3 factors that work best to lose weight permanently:

    1. eat less sugar
    2. consume little white flour products
    3. eat lots of vegetables

    These 3 factors should not surprise anyone. These tips have been found in nutrition guides for years. This means that if you have decided on a formula diet, you should change your diet at the same time. In this way, customer success is consolidated in the long term. Since not only the remaining meals are healthy and low in calories, but also all the others.

    However, that doesn't mean you should give up sweets and fast food forever. Sin from time to time is perfectly fine as long as you don't overdo it.

    Sufficient sleep

    Another factor that can help or hinder weight loss is sleep. After a night without enough sleep, you not only struggle with constant tiredness , but at the same time your body tries to compensate for the energy deficit with food (16). The feeling of hunger is greater after short nights, which means that one eats larger portions, while at the same time the craving for sweet things increases (17).

    Adequate sleep

    Little sleep has a negative effect on our body and leads us to eat more, especially the craving for sweet things. (Image source: Burst/ Pexels)

    Too little sleep can also have a negative effect on body weight in the long term. After just 4 days of little sleep, insulin levels in the body increase and glucose breakdown slows down (16). Both can have an impact on obesity over time.

    So if you want to lose weight with shakes, you should also make sure you get enough sleep. Otherwise you will not only lack energy the next day, you also run the risk of consuming more calories than you actually want. Sport and a healthy diet are also linked to adequate sleep.

    avoidance of stress

    In today's world of growing expectations and more tasks in less time, mental stress is practically inevitable. Unfortunately, there is a negative correlation between stress and obesity (18). The stress hormone cortisol is related to our body’s fat metabolism, protein turnover, and carbohydrate balance (19).

    Stress has a negative effect on our body and prevents us from losing weight.

    In stressful situations, we release more cortisol, which has a negative effect on our body and can hinder weight loss. Stress can, among other things, promote a lack of sleep, which, as we have already heard, can have an even greater impact on weight. Moderate exercise sessions are a good way to reduce stress in everyday life. Above all, endurance sports such as jogging can reduce stress in the long term (20).

    Foods high in protein:

    Favoring foods high in protein has the implication that protein reduces appetite (21). In the end, you eat less, save calories and lose weight. Nevertheless, one should make sure that protein is not only obtained from one source, such as only through shakes.

    Because researchers have found that if the body is only supplied with certain amino acids, this is more likely to promote weight gain and, among other things, can shorten lifespan (22).

    This means that you should also consume enough protein from other sources during your formula diet. The normal daily requirement for an adult between the ages of 25 and 51 is around 0.8g per kg of body weight (23). To give you a starting point, here are some foods high in protein(24):

    Groceries Protein content (g/100g)
    Parmesan 35.6
    wheat germ (dried) 26.6
    peanuts 25.3
    pumpkin seeds 24.4
    soybeans 23.9
    lenses 23.5
    Peas 22.9
    minced meat (beef) 22.5
    oatmeal 13.3
    chicken egg 12.8

    This list only offers a small part of the overall picture, but it can show you that it does not always have to be animal products in order to consume enough protein. In order to lose kilos in the long term and in a healthy way with weight loss shakes, other sources of protein should end up on your plate or in your shake at the same time.


    Shakes that replace meals are easily suitable for losing weight. The fact that the production of such shakes is subject to the German dietary regulations guarantees that the body still receives all the nutrients it needs. The intake varies from product to product and the manufacturer's instructions should be followed. Even those who unfortunately suffer from lactose intolerance or eat a vegan diet will find a large selection.

    There are no rules as to which meals to replace, it depends on personal preference. If you want to prepare such shakes yourself, you will find many recipes online to try out. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, enough sleep and avoiding stress help to keep the weight off over the long term.


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