With the health industry continuing to boom and increase in popularity, it is safe to say that there are an abundance of choices when it comes to diet programs and products available. The difficulty comes in choosing the one that best suits your specific needs. One of the more popular options is a meal replacement shake. A meal replacement shake makes it easy to incorporate a healthy meal into your day, regardless of your lifestyle and activity level. Meal replacement shakes can be made in the morning and taken with you wherever the day may take you. You can take a meal replacement to work, pack it in your lunch for a day at the beach or take pre-made shakes on vacation to have healthy options on hand. Once again, though, the difficulty lies in which replacement shake to choose from. There are countless ones being touted as the number one choice to help you reach your nutrition or weight loss goals. One of the most popular ones and the one that will be reviewed in depth below is the Beachbody Shakeology meal replacement shake program.
Shakeology is a meal replacement shake by Beachbody touted as the “most delicious, nutrient-dense, super food-packed protein shake on the planet.” Beachbody claims it can help lower cholesterol levels and help you lose weight simply by incorporating it into your daily diet in exchange for one of your meals. Shakeology meal replacement shakes are available in Chocolate, Chocolate Vegan, Tropical Strawberry and Greenberry. This weekend, during the Beachbody Coach Summit in Las Vegas, NV, Beachbody released its newest Shakeology flavor, the much anticipated vanilla. Many have been awaiting the release of this flavor and Beachbody finally came through.
When purchased directly from Beachbody, Shakeology includes a set of two DVD workouts, an eating plan and a slew of recipes available in print and on line. Those who participated in an independent study for 90 days and incorporated the shake, workouts and eating plan, were able to drop approximately ten pounds and shed inches from their waistline.
If you do not have weight to lose but simply want to improve your eating habits, Shakeology can also add a nutrient rich meal or snack to your daily diet regimen. It is a low calorie shake that can be used as a weight loss meal replacement shake or simply as a method to take in all of your necessary nutrients for the day.
Shakeology is one of the more common meal replacement shakes on the market and the main reason is the high quality ingredients that go into each Shakeology shake. Every single ingredient in a Shakeology shake is a natural, whole food ingredient. In one serving of Shakeology, you will get 50-100% of virtually every vitamin and mineral you will need. After drinking Shakeology on a regular basis, you will most likely no longer need to take a daily multi-vitamin. The blends used to make up the Shakeology shakes were uniquely created by Beachbody to help the digestive system rid itself of toxins that take over the body when processed fast foods and junk foods are consumed. According to Beachbody, the Shakeology program is similar to a cleanse for your body that will make it easier for your digestive system to absorb nutrients and lead you to an optimal level of health.
Some of the many ingredients in one serving of Shakeology are as follows:
- Vitamin A, C, D, E, K1, B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12
- Folic Acid
- Isolated Whey Protein
- Flax meal
- Chia meal
In addition to the above named ingredients, Shakeology also includes a variety of Phytonutrient, Antioxidant and Proprietary Adaptogen blends. These blends are made up of natural, organic ingredients including ginko powder, acai powder, spirulina, blue green algae, spinach powder and barley grass. Those are just a few of the super blend ingredients.
One of the more popular ingredients in Shakeology shakes is the isolated whey protein used instead of soy proteins and other proteins used in shakes. The isolated whey protein is crucial in helping build lean muscle and increase stamina during workouts. It helps your muscles recover faster after workouts and also includes essential amino acids that promote brain function.
With the list of ingredients above, it is easy to see why Shakeology has become so popular and continues to be one of the top sellers for Beachbody today. When compared to other shakes on the market, it is difficult to beat the list of all natural ingredients that make up a Shakeology shake.
Although Shakeology shakes feature countless vitamins, nutrients and whole foods, they are still quite low in calories and fat. In one Shakeology shake serving, you will consume approximately:
- 150 calories
- 1 gram of fat
- 15 mg of cholesterol
- 100 mg of sodium
- 17 grams of carbohydrates
- 3 grams of fiber
- 9 grams of sugar
- 18 grams of protein
The above numbers are approximate because each of the Shakeology flavors varies slightly in nutritional values. The most calorie dense of all is the chocolate, but it is also Shakeology’s most popular flavor. With the latest vegan craze, the Chocolate Vegan flavor is one of the newer options available and one that is quickly increasing in popularity. All of the Shakeology flavors are gluten free and contain zero refined sugars or artificial sweeteners.
The Shakeology workouts include one 30 minute DVD and one 50 minute DVD. The 30 minute workout is a basic, classic DVD workout that includes a variety of cardiovascular moves. It is an interval workout so it burns maximum calories and helps rev up your metabolism. The 50 minute workout is a more intense version of the 30 minute workout. Both are very easy to follow, with basic moves and explanations on how to do each one in the beginning of the workout.
When you begin the program, it is suggested you incorporate the 30 minute workout into your fitness routine three to four times per week. After you are used to the pace and intensity of the 30 minute workout, you can incorporate the 50 minute DVD as well, and workout five to six times per week. The key to any fitness program is to begin at your own pace and not overdo it. If you are new to exercise, start slow and slowly increase the intensity. You will feel some soreness and that is all part of any exercise program. If done correctly, you will notice increased muscle tone and improved strength all over.
The Shakeology eating plan includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack ideas, as well as recipes for each meal. If you decide to follow the plan, you will be eating mini meals each day, including three main meals and two snacks. Ideally, you should be eating every two to three hours to keep your metabolism working at an optimal rate and your body constantly burning calories. The eating plan has a variety of options, with eating plans at different calorie levels, to better suit the amount of weight you need to lose and the time you want to take to lose it.
When choosing your meals each day, Shakeology emphasizes the importance of varying your diet and including fruits, vegetables, lean protein and dairy. Fiber is also a crucial component since it helps with digestion. What you should aim to stay away from are processed foods, refined carbohydrates and foods with a high sugar content. Your meals should be approximately 350-450 calories and your snacks should be between 100-150 calories. If you need ideas for your meals, you can always log onto Beachbody’s website. There you will find a long list of ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Shakeology and Beachbody also offer a long list of recipes for each meal of the day as well.
In addition to your daily meals, the Shakeology program also reminds you of the importance to hydrate. Your body requires 64 ounces of water each day, at minimum. If you sweat a lot due to strenuous workouts, you will need to replenish that and drink even more. Ideally, you should aim to drink eight to ten glasses of water each day. This will not only help improve your skin tone and elasticity but will also help with digestion and eliminating toxins in your body. Drinking plenty of water will also help keep you from eating between meals. If you are not the biggest fan of water, try drinking sugar free tea or adding zero calorie flavor drops to your water.
Shakeology offers an abundance of delicious, healthy recipes with their shake program. You can download lists of recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks directly from the Shakeology website. Most of the Shakeology lunch and dinner recipes even come with variations of 350 and 450 calories. If you are upping your calorie intake, either because you want to maintain or lose weight at a slower pace, you would opt for the 450 calorie option of the recipe. If you are taking a more strict approach and want to minimize your daily caloric intake, you could opt for the 350 version of the recipe. Samples of recipes for each of your daily meals are below. As you will see, choices are varied and you will not be missing out on much while on the Shakeology program.
Mediterranean Egg White Omelet – Ingredients include 3 egg whites, 1 oz low fat or fat free feta cheese and 1 cup of spinach. Make an omelet with the ingredients above, and add a half of a whole grain English muffin on the side.
Strawberries ‘n Cream of Wheat – Add sliced frozen strawberries to a bowl of Cream of Wheat made with skim milk or soy milk.
English Breakfast Sandwich – Toast a whole grain English muffin and add 2 slices of turkey bacon, 1 scrambled egg and 2 slices of tomato. Add 1 cup of fruit on the side.
Turkey and Avocado Sandwich – Begin with a six inch whole wheat pita. Fill it with 3 ounces of turkey breast, 2 slices of avocado, 2 slices of tomato and mustard. If you are opting for the higher 450 calorie recipe, you would add 4 ounces of turkey, 3 slices of avocado and 2 tablespoons of hummus as well.
Asian Shrimp Salad – Toss 4 ounces of boiled shrimp, 1 cup of shredded green cabbage, 1 cup of shredded purple cabbage, ¼ cup of shelled edamame and ¼ of shredded carrots in a bowl. Toss with 2 tablespoons of reduced sodium soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and salt and pepper to your liking. If you are opting for the higher calorie count recipe, you would use 5 ounces of shrimp instead of four and increase the edamame and carrots to ½ cup instead of ¼.
Herbed Tilapia – Place 5 ounces of tilapia on a broiler pan. Top with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of rosemary, 1 teaspoon of thyme and 2 tablespoons of whole wheat breadcrumbs. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes and serve with ½ cup of cooked quinoa and 1 cup of steamed spinach. To increase the calorie count, simply increase the tilapia to 6 ounces and the quinoa to a whole cup.
Pasta Primavera – After cooking ¾ cup of whole wheat rotini pasta, toss with 1/3 cup shelled edamame, ¼ cup corn kernels, 5 cherry tomatoes cut in half, ¼ cup sliced mushrooms and ½ tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve alongside a spinach, cucumber and hearts of palm salad. The increased calorie recipe includes 1 cup of pasta, ½ cup of shelled edamame and 1/3 cup of corn kernels.
Cottage cheese & Almonds – ½ cup of 1% cottage cheese with 1 tablespoon of slivered almonds on top
English Muffin Mini Sandwich – 1/2 toasted whole wheat English muffin with 1 slice of tomato and ½ slice of reduced fat Swiss cheese on top.
Shakeology Shake Recipes
In addition to recipes for standard meals, Shakeology also provides recipes you can make with the Shakeology shake mix. These recipes are a great way to mix up the meal you choose to replace with a shake and avoid boredom of the same shake each and every day. Below are a few examples of the many Shakeology shake recipes you can make.
Lemonana – Mix 1 scoop of Greenberry Shakeology, ¾ cup of organic lemonade, ¼ cup of organic rice milk, ½ a banana and ice to your liking in a blender.
In addition to the above and other shake recipes available on Beachbody’s website, you can also mix up your shake recipes with a squeeze of lemon, a tablespoon of natural nut butter, a touch of cinnamon or a tablespoon of non-fat yogurt. Each of these ingredients will add taste to your Shakeology shake and reduce the monotony of having the same shake each day.
If you are looking to clean up your body and possibly drop a few extra pounds, you may want to consider the Shakeology 3 Day Cleanse. The Shakeology 3 Day Cleanse is nothing like the typical cleanses today. Most cleanses restrict calories to less than 500 per day and limit food to liquids only. The Shakeology 3 Day Cleanse is quite the opposite. Depending on which calorie option you opt to go with, you will consume somewhere between 800-1200 calories per day on the cleanse. The purpose of the Shakeology 3 Day Cleanse is not only to drain your system of toxins, but also to turn your body into a nutrient efficient machine. Its goal is to make your body run more efficiently by treating it to only nutrient dense foods for a period of three days.
When doing the Shakeology 3 Day Cleanse, you will still be required to eat every few hours and your meals will still have an equal balance of protein, fats, fiber and carbs. The difference is that you will not be eating as much as you would on the standard Shakeology program and the foods you eat will be much more nutrient dense. When doing the cleanse, you will be asked to drink Shakeology shakes as is, without adding fruits, seeds or butters of any kind. The same will go for your single solid meal of the day. You will eat a salad, sans any artificial ingredients such as dressings, with up to four ounces of lean protein. You can add vegetables to your liking, as well as seeds, nuts and fruits for added taste.
As with the standard Shakeology program, the importance of drinking enough water cannot be stressed enough. All of other beverages, such as soda, alcohol and juice, should be eliminated and coffee and tea should be kept to a minimum. If you opt for coffee or tea, make sure it is consumed without any added sweeteners or creamers.
With most cleanses, workouts and any type of exercise in general is discouraged. With the Shakeology 3 Day Cleanse, workouts are encouraged and that is part of the reason for the increased calorie count when compared to the other cleanses popular today.
When compared to other shakes on the market, Shakeology is on the more expensive end at just about $4 per serving. That is quite high when you consider the fact that you are making the shake yourself at home. Four dollars is the typical cost of a smoothie or shake at a gym or health food store. When you compare the cost of a shake to a typical meal you would consume for lunch, though, Shakeology seems like a deal. Instead of eating a fast food meal with a soda and a side of fries, totaling over 1,000 calories and about $8, you can consume a healthy, all natural shake for half the dollar amount and about a tenth of the calories. When you look at it this way, Shakeology seems like a good deal and one that will improve your overall health as well. The difficulty that most see when purchasing Shakeology is the initial, upfront costs when purchasing a bag of the shake mix and the Shakeology program as a whole. A bag of Shakeology, containing approximately 32 servings, will cost you $129.95, plus shipping and handling. Remember that this includes the Shakeology shake mix, as well as two workouts, an eating plan, unlimited recipes and free online support. As with all Beachbody programs, foods and vitamins, Shakeology shakes come with a full money back guarantee. If you are not satisfied with the product for any reason at all, you can return it for a full refund, minus shipping and handling costs. That seems like a deal you cannot beat. Even if the bag is completely empty, you can return it and get your $129.95 back.
Virtually every review of the Shakeology shake is positive, outside of the fact that it is one of the more expensive meal replacement shakes on the market. Having said that, quality costs money and you are paying for a product that is made of 100% whole food ingredients. That is quite impressive when compared to many other shakes on the market that contain ingredients you can hardly pronounce. Below are a few testimonials from other that have decided to take on the Shakeology challenge. Read them and judge for yourself.
Before beginning the Shakeology program, I suffered from Type 1 Diabetes. It has been a battle I have been fighting for over 20 years. Once I began drinking my Shakeology each morning, I saw a noticeable difference in my blood sugar levels. It kept them consistent and gave me enough energy to make it through a long day.
I suffered from digestive problems for years and every doctor I went to seemed to give me the same answer. Drink more water, eat clean foods and drink probiotics. Unfortunately, this did not help at all and I ended up contracting a serious colon and digestive system disease known as C Dif. After recovering from C Dif, I still had plenty of discomfort and remained on medications to keep the disease at bay. I decided to try Shakeology at the urging of a friend and, within a month, I felt dramatically better. I was able to get off medications and the bonus was that I lost 8 pounds!
Las Vegas, NV
I began drinking Shakeology in hopes of losing about 20 pounds that I had been trying to lose for over a year. After trying a few different workout programs and fad diets, I decided to take the healthy approach and try Shakeology. I figured I had nothing to lose since they would refund me the full amount if I wasn’t happy. It took a while to see results but, after a few weeks, I started noticing a difference in my clothes. I didn’t see weight loss on the scale but my pants were loser and I was able to move a notch up on my belt. The taste was pretty good and definitely improved when I added yogurt, almond butter or bananas to it. After about a month on the program, I lost 6 pounds. I remained on the Shakeology program for 6 months and ended up losing 21 pounds. Although I do not want to lose any more weight, I am still drinking Shakeology every day simply because it makes me feel better.
Los Angeles, CA