Will Shakes Help Me Lose Weight?


Hey there everyone.

Ok, let’s get real about shakes and weight loss shall we?
Ooh yes, we shall!!!

I just got a great message on Snapchat from a lovely lady who is doing a great job reaching her health goals by making small changes. She’s starting to see results and is ready to kick things up a bit.

Her message said this…
“I was looking into drinking whey protein shakes. I was reading that they help build lean muscle. Would you recommend them?”

Let’s dive right in:
I’m going to address this to the average person. That’s you and me! For people who are training for a body building competition or a fitness contest or athletes, your needs are different and you have different reasons for using protein shakes.
This blog post is for the recreational exerciser and people trying to lose some weight.

You don’t NEED shakes to build muscle or to lose weight. You can get great nutrition and great protein by eating REAL foods. There is nothing magical about shakes that will help you get more results faster. There are many benefits to shakes and there are many things you need to know so you don’t buy shakes that are actually going to damage your health. Keep on reading…

Some people report gastric upset (aka GAS) with whey protein, these people typically have an issue with dairy. There are a number of protein sources in shakes besides whey. They are all great so try them all to see which one your body likes most. Sources include whey, soy, pea, hemp and egg. I like to change it up and use them all. Variety is super important when it comes to nutrition.

Benefits of Shakes:
Shakes are super convenient. You can shake them in a blender bottle or throw them in the bullet and drink them on the run. Shakes are a great when the alternative might be skipping a meal altogether or going through a drive through for fast food, because, let’s face it, eating healthy is time consuming. I no longer have the time to make my diet my main focus in my life. I have to make healthy eating as easy as I possibly can. This is where shakes are perfect for me.

When making healthy changes in your diet it’s important to keep it fun and yummy. I love using real food for my protein sources but eating eggs. chicken, fish and steak can get al little boring at times. Shakes are a great way to ‘shake’ things up (pun intended). You can play with flavors and ingredients very easily so you don’t get bored.

A high quality shake will have great nutrition and a balance of nutrients, protein, fiber & carbs (if it’s
a meal replacement shake. Protein shakes don’t typically have carbs). And if you add some veggies, fruit and super foods (like chia seeds) to the blender then you can super charge your nutrition in that shake.

Drawbacks of Shakes:
Not all shakes are created equal. Too many products out there are lacking in ethics but full of hype. It has been proven that many shakes out there have false information on their nutrition labels. So a shake can say there are 25 grams of protein per scoop, but in reality there are only 2 grams. It is important to do your homework before you decide to trust a company. Look for independent studies, NOT just the studies that the company is providing you with.

Byproducts in many shakes out there can actually cause damage to the kidneys and liver. This happened to me. Years ago I was using just a general whey protein shake from my local chain supplement store. I was only using 2 scoops a day, I was eating a healthy diet and drinking a gallon of water a day and the product still affected my kidney function. In blood work my kidney levels were out of the roof. One month after removing the shake from my diet my levels were significantly improved. I have a number of friends who have had this same experience.
Artificial sweeteners are not safe and not a smart thing to consume, PERIOD. Many shakes out there have these in them to make them seem sweet. Be on the lookout for ingredients such as: Aspartame; Acesulfame Potassium; Acesulfame K; Sucralose. Avoid these ingredients as much as you can.

Shakes and Weight Loss:
I absolutely LOVE to use shakes with my clients who are sugar addicts. I use a high quality meal replacement shake that is chock full of nutrition, protein, carbs, fiber and is low glycemic. This means that there are sugars in the shake, but they are healthy sugars and they are so balanced with all the other nutrients in the shake that they don’t spike the blood sugar. Shakes like this are pretty close to a

miracle for someone who is addicted to sugar. Have you ever tried to give up sugar cold turkey? It’s awful and it sucks!! The withdrawals, cravings and pissed off mood are overwhelming. I have rarely seen a sugar addict succeed at giving up sugar cold turkey. However, when I use shakes as a means to reset a person’s habits and cravings I could put a tray of cupcakes in front of them on day three and they wouldn’t even want one. IT IS IMPORTANT to note that the use of shakes should be a small part of a much bigger picture. I use shakes to help people kick sugar cravings and to help clients find convenient and varied meal ideas – but this is part of a bigger picture that includes learning to eat REAL FOOD.

Which Shakes Are Good?
With every single ‘friend’ on Facebook peddling some sort of Miracle Shake product these days it’s important to discuss how you can tell a good shake from a crap one.
– Do your own research. Get down and dirty on the internet and read reviews, check out Consumer Labs (you have to pay to join but it is SO worth it). Is the product GMP certified? Is it NSF approved? Who manufactures the product? Most companies pay outside manufacturers to slap their label on a bottle, this is not good. Look for companies that manufacture in house for most of their products (even the greatest companies have to go out of house for some things).
– Read the ingredients: if there is a SECRET ‘Proprietary Blend’ are you able to look online and find out exactly what is in that blend? If not, RUN! Look for those nasty artificial sweeteners (listed above) and stay away if they have them.
– Call the company and ask questions. If they don’t know the answers then move on. If you can’t get a hold of a human then move on. Ask to be put in contact with their team of researchers (typically available via email in a good company). If they don’t have their own team of researchers and scientists to answer important health questions, RUN!
– It’s no secret that I am completely in love with the USANA Health Sciences company. Heck, I even partnered with them, they’re THAT amazing. They have shakes, they have them in whey, soy and plant base and they have a number of flavors. This is the company I use the most and the ONLY shake product that I give to my kids (My kids LOVE shakes and it’s a great way for me to know they’re getting good nutrition). You can check out USANA on my page at www.QOLI. USANA.com
– There are TWO other companies that I use and recommend: 1.) About Time – this is a whey protein and you can order flavor samples on their website to see which ones you like. They got their name because it’s ‘about time’ someone made a clean protein. And, 2.) Sun Warrior – this is a plant based protein that I love too.

Learn about the USANA Health Sciences shakes and bars in this awesome video HERE

What questions do you have?
Did you find this blog post helpful? Do you have further questions? Fire em at me below.


Thanks for reading
~Gemma Rayne Fountain
Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Exercise Physiologist & Fitness Expert
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One Comment

  • Thanks, Gemma. I love reading your blogs! �� I'd like to to hear your take on the itworks products, I think 90% of the people I know are selling it and posting things about it constantly. And what is your take on the shakeology shakes? Thanks!!


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