In a quest to boost weight loss and increase health, many Americans investigate a variety of diet and exercise plans in the hopes of finding their silver bullet. Shakeology’s meal replacement shakes have become very popular lately, and many who have not yet tried this line of products created by Beachbody wonder if the plan lives up to the hype.We will put that to the test in this review of the Shakeology Meal Replacement Plan.
The plan offers an easy and flexible way for its users to lose weight while improving their digestive health and reducing their cravings. Available in several delicious flavors, Shakeology shakes are a cost-effective way for the health-conscious consumer to cut calories without sacrificing key nutrients.
The Shakeology Recipe’s Key Benefits
The creators of Shakeology claim that by replacing at least one meal a day with a Shakeology shake, users can lose weight, reduce cravings for unhealthy foods, gain energy and help improve their overall digestive health. How well are these claims supported by the shakes’ performance?
First of all, let’s examine the claim that Shakeology helps its users lose weight. Each serving of Shakeology contains a significant amount of protein, healthy fats and fiber, which help prompt a feeling of fullness and provide a boost of energy. For example, each serving of chocolate Shakeology contains 17 grams of protein (or 34 percent of the daily recommended value) and 6 grams of dietary fiber (accounting for 24 percent of the daily recommended value). As sources such as Prevention Magazine and WebMD note, diets high in fiber, protein and healthy fats may be more helpful in promoting weight loss than calorie counting alone. By tweaking the body’s hunger signals, diets high in these key categories of nutrients may help adherents instinctively eat less–and thus lose more weight.
Even only in terms of pure caloric numbers, Shakeology is very effective for weight loss. Depending on the flavor, the shakes range from 130 calories to 170 calories a serving. As compared with approximately 650 calories a meal (for the average American women) or 825 calories a meal (for the average American man), Shakeology provides a significant reduction in daily calories when replacing just one meal a day. As one pound fat equals 3,500 calories, the average women might be able to expect to lose up to a pound per week when replacing one meal with Shakeology.
How Shakeology Reduces Cravings
Shakeology’s key nutrients, which we cover in more depth later, help reduce cravings for unhealthy food by meeting your body’s needs.
For example, Shakeology is an excellent source of fiber. As previously noted, each serving of Shakeology contains approximately one-quarter of the daily recommended value of fiber. Acclaimed physician Dr. Oz discusses the key role that fiber plays in reducing food cravings. Because it is insoluble, fiber takes up space in your stomach while not being processed by your body for energy, making you feel fuller for longer and reducing cravings for sweet treats without increasing your caloric intake.
Meal Plan Also Gives Increased Energy
With over a third of the daily recommended value of protein in each serving, Shakeology has the potential to significantly increase your energy levels. As reported by CNN, protein is key is reducing fatigue throughout the day. Because the body breaks down carbohydrates much faster than protein, carbohydrates provide only a short source of energy, while the boost provided by protein is much longer lasting. Furthermore, because protein is key in helping the body’s muscles regenerate and repair themselves, a diet in high in protein can help make your body more energy-efficient.
Added Bonus: Improved Digestive Health?
One key category of nutrients in Shakeology–which we will discuss in more detail later–are prebiotics, probiotics and digestive enzymes. Harvard Medical School’s Harvard Health Publications notes the many benefits of probiotics in aiding digestive health, noting that “[g]ut-dwelling bacteria keep pathogens (harmful microorganisms) in check, aid digestion and nutrient absorption, and contribute to immune function.” What’s more, WebMD notes that probiotics can help improve more than just digestive health; probiotics can help treat skin issues such as eczema and help prevent colds and allergies while promoting oral, urinary and vaginal health.
What’s in Shakeology?
All of Shakeology’s signature shakes contain five key nutritional elements that help promote weight loss, muscle growth and overall physical health.
Reduce Hunger with Proteins and amino acids
Protein is an important element of any diet plan as it reduces hunger while aiding in the building of muscle. Shakeology’s shakes contain whey protein isolate, which is a particularly easy-to-absorb and high-quality form of protein. Amino acids, which work hand-in-hand with protein sources, aid in the restoration of muscle tissue and the reduction in the feeling of hunger. Together, proteins and amino acids promote mental clarity and optimal brain functioning.
As previously noted, protein is key in prompting a feel of fullness, leading to greater weight loss. Amino acids can act in concert with proteins by alleviating fatigue and boosting concentration, according to WebMD. Similarly, Shape Magazine notes that amino acids are key in promoting your body’s ability to create muscle–and are thus critical in your body’s ability to burn fat. By preventing the deterioration of existing muscle tissue and helping increase energy, amino acids work together with protein to promote the creation of muscle. And because muscle burns more calories than fat–even when the body is at rest–increasing your muscle mass will enable you to reach your weight loss goals faster.
Key protein and amino acid sources in Shakeology products include goji berry, sprouted quinoa, whey protein, amaranth, sacha inchi and camu-camu.
Improve Digestion With Probiotics and digestive enzymes
This group of nutrients is key in promoting a healthy and well-functioning digestive system. By promoting the helpful bacteria in your digestive system, prebiotics and probiotics maintain your digestive processes and foster the absorption of key minerals and nutrients. How do prebiotics, probiotics and digestive enzymes work together to promote a healthy digestive system?
Prebiotics help stimulate the growth of the right types of bacteria in the body’s gastrointestinal tract. Typically, prebiotics are insoluble fiber compounds that function by passing through your GI tract and helping to promote the growth of healthy bacteria. Probiotics, on the other hand, seek to introduce the healthy types of bacteria directly into the digestive system; as outlined by WebMD, probiotic sources can help reintroduce “good” bacteria that has been lost while balancing out the “bad” bacteria that can invade your digestive tract. Lastly, digestive enzymes have anti-inflammatory properties and can add in digestion, as the Cleveland Clinic has found.
Key ingredients in Shakeology that provide prebiotics, prebiotics and digestive enzymes include yacon root and pea fiber.
Manage Stress With Adaptogens
Adaptogens are naturally-occurring substances that help your body manage stress, and Shakeology shakes boast nine different adaptogens. The adaptogens in Shakeology provide a multitude of benefits, including stabilizing the endocrine and immune systems, increasing energy and helping the body adapt to stress.
Shakeology’s adaptogens include Maca root, Suma root, ashwagandha, holy basil leaf, reishi mushroom, astragalus and schisandra.
“Bullet-proof” Immune System with Antioxidants and phytonutrients
Antioxidants–substances that help delay or prevent cell damage–and plant-sourced phytonutrients are key components of Shakeology shakes. By promoting a healthy immune system, these antioxidants and phytonutrients help counteract against damaging free radicals while lowering inflammation and possibly decreasing the occurrence of degenerative diseases.
As WebMD notes, antioxidants help fight the damage caused to the body by harmful free radicals. Free radical damage has been suggested to lead to cancer, blood vessel diseases and other serious conditions. Exposure to free radicals is nearly impossible to avoid; pollutants in the environment, the absorption of certain medications and routine processes in your body (including the conversion of sugar into energy) all produce free radicals. The antioxidants in Shakeology help to counteract this free radical damage and might aid in the prevention of serious and debilitating diseases.
Essential vitamins and minerals
Shakeology shakes contain 23 vitamins and minerals required for your body to function at its optimal level, including vitamins B, D and E, folic acid, thiamine, calcium and iron.
How to Use Shakeology’s Shakes
While Shakeology should be used every day to fully take advantage of the shakes’ benefits, it is up to the user to decide what meal to replace. Most users find that drinking Shakeology for breakfast is most helpful in terms of minimizing food cravings and providing energy. However, some Shakeology users prefer to consume the shakes as pre-workout boosts. Regardless of when you decide to use your Shakeology supplement, you should be able to realize the benefits of weight loss, increased energy and improved overall health.
How Does Shakeology Taste?
Shakeology comes in seven flavors: chocolate, vanilla, café latte, strawberry, greenberry, vegan chocolate and vegan topical strawberry. This variety of flavors can help eliminate the monotony found in many meal replacement programs–but only if the shakes are actually enjoyable. How does the taste of the shakes measure up?
The success stories from Beachbody’s customers help sum up the average user’s reaction to the taste. Jessica H. noted that she “loved the way it tasted.” Similarly, Nate B. found that he “actually crave[s] the taste of Shakeology.” Hilary M. was impressed that she could have a shake each day that is “nutritious” while “tast[ing] so good.” Overall, Shakeology’s users seem to be pleased with the taste and consistency of the shakes.
The Economy Value Provided by Shakeology
Shakeology often strikes new users as expensive at first blush; with 30 servings per $130 bag, Shakeology runs a little over $4 per serving. Only after researching the shake’s ingredients can new Shakeology users understand the value offered by this plan.
According to Beachbody, in order to equal the nutritional value in each serving of Shakeology, you would have to consume:
- 3 cups of romaine lettuce
- 4 cups of raw mushrooms
- 1 shot of wheatgrass
- 1 bowl of exotic fruit
- 3 raw onions
- 7 raw carrots
- 4 cups of non-fat yogurt
- 4 cups of red radishes
- 4 cups of raw broccoli
- 1 cup of peas
- 10 cups of cauliflower”
In other words, in order to match the benefits of a single serving of Shakeology you would need to spend in excess of $40 on raw ingredients. In comparison, Shakeology’s per-serving price of $4 seems to be a bargain.
Furthermore, Shakeology users who opt for the Shakeology Home Direct program that automatically ships on a monthly basis save over $12 a month on shipping fees. In this way, prices are reduced for users committed to the program.
Reviews and Testimonials
User Reviews of Shakeology
Shakeology has helped an enormous range of people from all walks of life lose weight and improve their health. Effie H. lost 42 pounds by using Shakeology, and she was able to eliminate her cravings for junk food in the process. Louis S., a police officer for 26 years, lost 24 pounds and greatly improved his sleep and energy levels. Bethany C. found that her unhealthy relationship with food was transformed by Shakeology, and the shakes helped her shed more than 80 pounds.
The user testimonials go on; too many Shakeology consumers to count have benefited from the product.
However, many individuals who are considering Shakeology are more concerned with what health professionals think of the product. Users can attest to Shakeology’s weight loss potential, and that is important. However, only doctors can confirm that using Shakeology will result in healthy weight loss and an overall increase in well-being. So what do doctors think about Shakeology? The following video helps summerize the thoughts of 100 doctors on the product:
In short, a large number of doctors across medical disciplines found that the nutrition in Shakeology helps not only promote weight loss but also reduce cholesterol, boost energy and provide greater nutrients than most fruits and vegetables commonly available.
The FDA and Good Manufacturing Practices
While the Food and Drug Administration does not have an approval process for dietary supplements, the FDA does create guidelines and set regulations for supplements. Shakeology completely conforms with these guidelines, allowing users to feel comfortable trusting the product.
Conclusion: Who is Shakeology Beneficial For?
At the end of the day, Shakeology can benefit a wide range of individuals. Certainly, anyone who is looking to lose weight should seriously consider giving Shakeology a try. The shakes are low in calories and high in nutrients that boost weight loss, helping anyone who is having trouble starting–or maintaining–a weight loss regime. But even those already at healthy weights stand to gain by supplementing with Shakeology. The overall health benefits from the shakes’ antioxidants, probiotics and other essential vitamins and minerals can help even the most in-shape person boost their feeling of well-being. At a great price point and with enjoyable flavors, almost everyone stands to gain from giving Shakeology a try.