Meal Replacement Shake Analysis: Does Yours Make the Cut?

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Shafir also points out that Body By Vi uses sucralose as their sweetening agent, a harmful chemical-based artificial sweetener. She says sucralose (Splenda) decreases the effects of medication, releases unsafe toxins during cooking, alters the body’s insulin response, and reduces essential bacteria in your digestive system (leading to weight gain and digestive disorders).

Calories
“The next thing that I would be looking at is how many calories [the shake]provides,” says Shafir. “Usually you would think the less amount of calories the better…but we now know that calories are really just a small part of the story, and it’s really about the quality of the food.” This is where Shafir stresses the importance of a whole food diet instead of meal replacement shakes. “You’re getting all the nutrients along with the calories so its not empty calories,” she says.

Shakeology contains about 160 calories per scoop whereas; Body By Vi only contains 90 calories. As a snack or workout supplement, this calorie count works, but as a meal replacement, Shafir says neither brand is enough to provide your body with the energy it requires to function at peak level.

Shannon Agin, a Registered Nurse, Certified Progressive Care Nurse, and Independent Team Beachbody Coach, agrees. “I definitely don’t recommend consuming below 1200 calories in a day for anybody. That’s not safe. You need to consume enough calories to maintain everyday living.”

As an adult cardiac nurse, Agin is a proponent of Shakeology and stands behind its nutritional value. However, she does not like referring to the formula as a meal replacement, nor does she agree with trading one or two out of three meals in a day with the shake. Instead, she encourages people to eat five to six small meals per day, and use Shakeology in place of breakfast or a snack. She also enhances her shakes with ingredients like whole fruits and all natural peanut butter to boost the calorie count. For Agin, a major warning sign that a trending diet is unsafe is whether or not the product can be consumed long-term.

Many health professionals agree that Shakeology is safe for long-term consumption. Its contains healthy ingredients, including a non-GMO protein source and a sweetening agent that is one of the better alternatives on the market. Readers will find that some health professionals also support Body By Vi, but the number is far fewer because the shake contains soy protein and sucralose.

As a supplement to a healthy diet, Shafir explains that Shakeology is OK, but still maintains that a whole foods diet is best. She recommends creating a healthy grocery list and sticking to it. She also says that preparing your food so that it’s visibly ready to eat will encourage healthier choices throughout the day, despite busy schedules. Above all else, she encourages people to listen to their own bodies and consider whether something is making them feel better. “I’m a big believer of bioindividuality, meaning that we’re all different and we have to respect that. Just because a product works for one person doesn’t mean it will work for you.”

Dr. Dana Shafir is the resident nutritionist for Strategy Magazine. She received her PhD in counseling psychology from Texas Women’s University and later became a licensed professional counselor. As a health and nutrition expert, Dana has reviewed over 100 dietary theories and is a dedicated supporter of real-food diets that incorporate whole foods.

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Jessy Smulski

Jessy Smulski is a regular contributor to Strategy Magazine. She has worked with clients and marketing agencies to define and develop brand image through highly creative web content for nearly a decade. Her topics of interest include Wellness, Organization, and Lifestyle.

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