Food & Nutrition

5 of the best meal replacement shakes you can buy

Published by Finn Hayden

If you want to lose weight, then there is no getting around it - you need to control your calorie intake. The easiest way to do this is to change the food you eat, but this is definitely easier said than done. We've found that swapping meals for meal replacement shakes can really help you to take control of your diet, without leaving you hungry.

These shakes provide all of the nutrients that you'd get from food, but they tend to be much lower in calories and are very useful for people who are trying to control their weight. There are lots of options out there when it comes to meal replacement shakes, so we thought it would be useful to round up the best that we've found, based on our experiences and on third-party reviews. Let's get into it:


We actually included the YFood shakes in our Huel alternatives guide because these shakes really reminded us of Huel, but we actually like the taste of these even better than Huel. You can buy a powder version of these shakes, but the readymade shakes are much more convenient and way more popular. Each shake contains all essential nutrients, including 26 vitamins and minerals. We were also impressed to find a whopping 33g of protein and dietary fibre in each bottle. Also, each 500ml bottle contains 500 calories, which is really handy as it helps you to keep track of how many calories you're consuming. Another thing which really impressed us about the YFood range is the variety of flavours you can choose from - there are 9 classic flavours which include options like Chocolate and Vanilla, but there are also some really interesting flavours such as Peanut, Cookies & Cream, and even fruity flavours such as Mango. We also love that there are vegan versions of the YFood shakes, which are still packed with nutrients and still very tasty. And just like the standard shakes from YFood, the vegan shakes contains 26 vitamins and minerals, and are also sugar free. The YFood team claims that these shakes will keep you feeling full for 3-5 hours, which makes them a great alternative to a meal. We're very impressed with these shakes, and it looks like lots of people agree with us as the brand has a 'Great' rating on Trustpilot from more than 4000 reviews. Learn more and buy it here -
YFood range at Holland & Barrett


We'd say of all the meal replacement shakes that we tried for this guide, Complan was the best tasting, especially when we mixed the powder with milk. We had absolutely no problem drinking it and it actually reminded us of a tasty milkshake. Complan is packed with 26 different vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin D to help your immune system, and Iron to help with fatigue. It also contains B Vitamins including Vitamins B2, B6 and B12. You can buy a tub of Complan to make up your own shakes, or you can buy handy sachets which make life even easier. Complan is 100% vegetarian-friendly, and is also gluten free. We're also really impressed to see that it's made without artificial colours, sweeteners or preservatives. Learn more and buy it here -


Ensure Nutrivigor

The Ensure meal replacement drinks are often given to people on prescription, but they can also be bought in places such as Boots. You can buy these shakes readymade, but it makes a bit more financial sense to buy the powder form to make your own shakes at home. The Ensure shakes actually contain 27 vitamins & minerals, which is more than any other shake we included in this guide. It's also packed with protein at 17g of protein per 460ml serving. This was one of the highest-rated meal replacement shakes that we could find on the Boots website, with a rating of 4.5/5 from more than 120 reviews for the Strawberry flavour. Learn more and buy it here -

Ensure shakes

Shape & Slim by Sainsbury's

We didn't expect any of the UK supermarkets to have an own-brand meal replacement shake, so we were very surprised to find this product in our local Sainsbury's. These are sachets that you mix with cold skimmed milk, and they're available in 3 flavours - chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. Each sachet is packed with 24 different vitamins and minerals, which include Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, Magnesium, and Zinc. It's also high in protein, with 18.5g of protein per sachet. On top of all of this, this product contains absolutely no added sugar, and all of the flavours are made without artificial colours, flavours and preservatives. We're very impressed to find such a great own-brand meal replacement shake product from a UK supermarket, learn more and buy these sachets here -

Shape & Slim by Sainsbury's


Most people need no introduction to the Slimfast brand as it's a really popular health brand here in the UK. The shakes from Slimfast are ideal for anyone who is watching their weight and looking to replace a meal with a shake - they're high in protein which helps you to keep feeling full, The range of flavours includes simple options like Chocolate as well as more interesting flavours such as Café Latte, so there is something for everyone. All of the Slimfast shakes contain 23 vitamins and minerals, as well as 14g of protein and 230 calories per serving. Slimfast might be the most popular meal replacement shake brand in the UK, and we think they're probably worthy of that title. Learn more and buy it here -


We hope this guide helps you to find some great meal replacement shakes to help you with your diet goals. Let us know if you've tried any of these or if you have any other recommendations for us!

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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