Caloric Deficit Tips: 5 Reasons to Stay FAR Away from Meal Replacement Shakes

I understand (probably better than anyone) how hard and frustrating it is to lose fat.  Oh my!  I have battled some major plateaus.  Seeing the weight go up and down, battling the food and cravings.


Anyone that says it’s easy, hasn’t done it, or is looking to take your money.

It’s not easy, it’s not straight forward, and it’s as frustrating as hell.  And these are the exact reasons why people are not successful losing weight, but even more so, don’t have the ability to keep it off.

There are so many wonderful advantages that make the entire process so worth it!  You get the body that you dream about.  You take control of your health and wellness.  I was able to completely reverse my high blood pressure.  It’s totally controlled now, without pills, and has been for a few years.  You get to see the transformation of body and mind.  I have learned so much through the process.

It’s a wonderful experience, and if you can get over the ups and downs and the plateaus – if you can get through it, you will see how wonderful it is.  You will see how life affirming it is.  Life just takes on new color and meaning.

You can make it easier on yourself from the beginning, which is why I wanted to start this series, Caloric Deficit Tips.  It’s about starting right, and making it easy on yourself from the beginning – with the right messaging and tips to help make more people successful in their journey.

Today I’m talking meal replacement shakes.

Someone once told me, “Lisa, meal replacements makes it easier to get started.”

My response, “The process is the easiest when you get started.  All you need to do is change a little bit, stop eating so many Oreos and Tostitos, exercise 30 minutes a day (or even less) and you will lose weight.  This is especially true if you have a lot of weight to lose.  I would argue, that meal replacements are not only unnecessary but a deterrent when you get started.  It’s the middle and end that’s hard.”


There are thousands of meal replacement shakes on the market.  Everyone wants to collect your money, and help you jump onto the, “easy weight loss” train.

Meal replacements not only won’t help you get to your goal, but will be the blocking force from you getting there…and here are 5 reasons why…


  1.  Meal replacements don’t teach you how to create a caloric deficit.  It’s the caloric deficit that causes you to lose fat, not the meal replacement.  If you eat less food, you will lose fat.  You don’t need a meal replacement.  Even though it’s more work, in the long run (read below), it’s better to learn how to count macros and track your food.  Not only do you learn how your body reacts to different foods, you will be more successful long-term keeping the weight off.

  3. Meal replacements don’t work for long.  Above, I talked about creating a caloric deficit.  Well, your body is pretty smart – and can figure out how to change your energy output to match your food intake, and eventually you will stop losing weight.  If you are just starting, it might take 2-4 months for that to happen, but it will definitely happen.  Then what do you do?  Do you say, “my body is broken, I can’t do this and I am meant to be fat?” Is that what you say, then give up and gain all the weight back plus 10 lbs more?  It impacts your self-worth and self-esteem.  Or, do you replace another meal?  Yes, it’s creating an additional deficit which is why you would continue to lose weight, but is it healthy?

  5. They are expensive.  Who has $100-$200 a month (or maybe more) to spend on a processed powdered meal?  I mean, really.  You can get some nice lean meat, produce, and grains and eat well – actually chewing your food while making good choices for your body.

  7. They are full of additives and junk.  I would agree with the macro people who you don’t need to eat clean to lose weight.  You can lose weight on an Oreo cookie diet, if you want.  You would just eat less of caloric dense foods.  As long as you are in a deficit, the fat will go.  But is eating Oreo cookies really ideal for your body?    To function properly, your body needs a variety of vitamins and minerals.  It’s not all about being skinny, ripped, or losing weight.  It’s about having a body that functions well, that carries you through life in a healthy way.  I would argue that what you put in your body is extremely important, and while the junk is okay, that most of your food should be rich in vitamins and nutrients.

  9. They will keep you from reaching your weight loss and fitness goals.  This goes back to #1.  You don’t learn, from the beginning, what’s really important for weight/fat loss, which is a deficit.  You don’t learn how to create a deficit.  You don’t learn how to reset, so when you do plateau, what do you do?

I know this is the long way, and I know this is the hard way, but tracking your food, weighing and measuring, and counting macros (fat, protein and carbohydrate content) is the only way to go.  You have to stand back and see the bigger picture.  You want to get from here to there, you gotta do the work.  There aren’t any shortcuts.  Shortcuts keep you from obtaining your goals.

About Lisa

Hey! Thank you so much for stopping by. I'm Lisa - a homeschool mom of 3 (2 boys and 1 girl). I care about the strength of the family in America, and often blog about babies/kids, natural parenting, homeschool, and marriage. Before you leave, please sign up for my monthly newsletter (on the top right). If you do, you will be well rewarded with notification of all giveaways and sales - which will not be announced on the blog. Google+ Profile

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