The Science Behind Meal Replacement Products

Author: Herbalife Nutrition
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1.       High Protein & Low Glycemic Index

Meal replacement shakes also have a low glycemic index. The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how quickly a food causes blood sugar levels to rise. Meal replacement shake, like other foods with a low glycemic index, release sugar into the blood more slowly and help control hunger.

Besides, getting the right amount of protein is key to the effectiveness of meal replacements. Protein helps to build and repair body tissue and may lower glycemic index and is the most satiating macronutrient –meaning it controls hunger for longer than carbohydrates or fats1.

2.       High Nutrient Density

Nutrient density is a measure of how much nutrition you get per serving or per calorie eaten. High nutrient density foods provide lots of nutrients per calorie and include fruits, vegetables, lean meats and fish, and meal replacements.

Meal replacements promote a high-quality diet by being nutrient-dense and having a low GI. When combined with resistance exercise, meal replacements can also help promote lean body mass to maintain or build lean muscle.

3.       Promotes Behavioural Change

Researchers identified six specific reasons why the meal replacement diets worked so effectively for weight management. These reasons include:

i.                     Convenience

Lack of time to prepare nutritious meals is one of the biggest barriers to manage body weight. Meal replacements make it easier to plan meals.

ii.                   Increased compliance

Meal replacements reduce barriers to dietary adherence, such as the temptation to indulge in unhealthy foods.

iii.                 Regular eating pattern

Repetition and routine are key in a weight management journey. Eating at regular times throughout the day and avoiding long periods of time between each meal positively affect your energy level and hunger feeling.

iv.                 Accuracy of calorie estimation

Dietitians typically advise consuming a certain number of calories throughout the day, depending on your health goals. Meal replacements – when prepared as suggested – are an easy, precise way to keep track of how many calories you are consuming. Find out your daily calorie needs here:

v.                   Quality of food consumed

Cutting back on calories can make it difficult to obtain the required nutrients. Meal replacements are often fortified vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber, which help avoid a nutrient gap.

vi.                 Positively affects self-monitoring

Recording dietary intake helps people become aware of their current food-related behaviors. Tracking meal replacements is easy, making self-awareness of target behaviors and outcomes easier.

Case in Point: A Review of Herbalife Nutrition Meal Replacements

In 2020, independent researchers investigated the efficacy and safety of Herbalife Nutrition products used as high protein meal replacements for weight management. Ultimately, they found that participants who consumed Herbalife Nutrition high protein products experienced significantly larger decreases in body weight, body mass index, and fat mass compared to the individuals consuming control diets.


1 Paddon-Jones D, Westman E, Mattes R, Wolfe R, Astrup A, Westerterp-Plantenga M. Protein, weight management, and satiety. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2008;87(5):1558S-1561S.

2 Heber M.D. Do Meal Replacement Shakes Really Work for Weight Loss? [Internet]. I Am Herbalife Nutrition – Achieve Inspiring Results. 2022 [cited 17 May 2022]. Available from:


All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. This information is not intended to replace the advice of your personal medical profession. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.