Diet Shakes

With warmer weather comes the quest to shed kilos. Two and a half thousand people were surveyed for their opinions on weight loss shakes, formulated meal replacement powders fortified with vitamins, minerals and flavours, mixed with water or skim milk. Seven hundred and fifty dieters who'd used them in the past six months gave their verdicts on 12 top brands.

Some products out there, people are really saying, these don't work at all. Whereas, at the top end, people are pretty convinced that they've got a product that's working for them.

Steve Mickenbecker of consumer research company, Canstar Blue, says almost half the people in the survey named being overweight as the biggest cause of stress in their lives. One in three say they find it hard to lose fat without using diet shakes.

Chiropractor and Nutritionist, Dr Rebecca Harwin, has used some weight loss shakes herself and recommends them to her patients.

For Adelaide Chiropractor and Nutritionist, Dr Rebecca Harwin, has used some weight loss shakes herself and recommends them to her patients. "In conjunction with eating nutrient rich foods and making sure the other underlying causes of overweight are addressed, they're wonderful." Taste is a big factor in the popularity of weight loss shakes.

IsoWhey was the five star favourite on taste. The most important driver of satisfaction is Effectiveness in losing weight. Top marks go to IsoWhey again. Four stars - Blackmores, Herbalife, Nature's Way, Optifast and Optislim. Fat Blaster, just 2.

The overall winners, Blackmores and IsoWhey. The biggest concern for some was shakes that had the opposite effect.

Almost sixty per cent of people surveyed successfully lost weight on diet shakes, but twenty one per cent say they PUT ON the kilos with them. The key is they are designed as a meal replacement, but dieticians warn NOT at the exclusion of balanced healthy foods.

Matt O'Neill says "This is not real nutrient rich natural food, you can think of these products as essentially highly processed packaged food. Now we get all our nutrients from natural foods antioxidants, fighter chemicals all those goodies now you can't replicate that in the right balance, despite all the claims, in a powder. Shakes can kickstart a diet, but to keep weight off permanently we need to learn to eat proper food in the right portions."

Matt O'Neill says "If you eat real food you are getting fibre you are getting roughage and that helps your digestive system, if you are just taking a dissolvable powder or a shake it doesn't really help your digestive system so we don't know what the long-term consequences are for staying on these shakes over an extended period of time."

Weight loss shakes