The Truth About Meal Replacement Diets

meal replacement shakes

The Truth About Meal Replacement Diets

Meal replacement diets have gained popularity as a convenient and effective way to lose weight. However, as with all weight loss methods, there are important considerations to be aware of. As a team of qualified nutritionists who specialise in weight loss, we’re here to provide the facts on meal replacement diets. If you’re looking to find out more about how they work and whether they might help you to reach your desired weight, read on. 

Are you considering a meal replacement diet to help you lose weight? Schedule your free 25-minute call with a member of our team today to find out if a meal replacement diet is right for you.  


Meal replacement diets can be very effective for weight loss. Studies have proven the efficacy of ‘soup and shake’ meal-replacement diets and they are now offered on the NHS to aid patients that need to lose weight to improve their health. This sort of diet provides a confusion-free way to control portion sizes as well as calorie and macronutrient intake. These are key factors in weight management. However, they are not a long-term dietary option. It’s important to work with a qualified, experienced expert to establish a plan for maintenance following your weight loss phase.


Meal replacement diets work by providing a very specific amount of calories and macronutrients. They should ideally be tailored to your individual needs to maximise weight loss. The soups, shakes and other replacement foods included on these diets are designed to be nutritionally complete. Good quality meal replacement products are based on optimal amount of protein, helping to keep you full and satisfied. The meal replacement we offer allows for a range of low carbohydrate vegetables and a specific amount of olive oil to provide fibre and healthy fats. Micronutrient supplements providing vitamins, minerals and essential fats are also provided.

While meal replacements are commonly associated with soups and shakes, many more meal replacement food products are available. These products look and taste different to provide variety, but they are designed to be the same nutritionally. Our clients typically eat between 4-6 products per day at regular intervals. At lunch and dinner, vegetable and olive oil are added to create more substantial meals.

Meal replacements should not be relied upon as a long-term alternative to a healthy, balanced diet. They are most effective when used as part of a comprehensive weight loss plan that includes lifestyle changes and mindset coaching to facilitate behaviour change.


The amount of weight you can lose on a meal replacement diet varies depending on various factors. Your starting weight, gender, physical activity level and state of health can all impact how quickly you lose weight. You can expect to lose around 1kg / 2lbs per week, though many people do lose weight more quickly. 

It’s important to make sure that the weight you are losing is body fat and not lean muscle mass. Choosing a high quality, protein based meal replacement diet is key. Consuming optimal dietary protein will ensure you don’t lose muscle mass.

A qualified nutritionist can help you set realistic and achievable goals for your weight loss journey and will tailor your diet to your unique nutritional needs.


It is technically possible to live on meal replacement meals alone as they are designed to be nutritionally complete. That said, we do not recommended relying on meal replacement foods alone longterm. Meal replacement meals are designed to provide a complete range of essential micro and macronutrients, but whole foods are important for longterm health and wellbeing.

It’s best to use meal replacement shakes, soups and other ‘meals’ as a way to kick-start your weight loss journey. Many of our clients do continue to use certain products as part of a wider maintenance plan, once their goal weight has been reached. However, this is not essential and goal weight can be maintained without the use of meal replacements long term.


As a team of qualified nutritionists who specialise in weight loss, we have worked hard to seek out the “best” meal replacement diet. Essential Diet is a safe, effective meal replacement diet that we often recommend to our clients. Their wide range of products are enjoyed by our clients and not only do we see rapid fat loss, many of our clients experience improvements in their health and wellbeing.

While many meal replacement brands are available on the market, you might be surprised to learn that we would advise against some of the more well known meal replacements. While they may facilitate weight loss though a low calorie diet, suboptimal amounts of protein can lead to muscle loss, compromising health and reducing metabolic rate. Many clients we have worked with have reported health issues such as sagging skin and hair loss as a result of nutritionally inferior meal replacement diets they’ve followed prior to coming to us.

We want to ensure that your weight loss is fat loss and not muscle loss. We will also ensure that any dietary plan we provide you with does not compromise your health. Rather, we want to see your health markers improve as your body fat decreases.


Our team of qualified, experienced nutritionists support the use of high quality meal replacement shakes and foods as part of a holistic weight loss programme. We always work closely with our clients to ascertain which methods are most likely to achieve long-term results, and meal replacement diets can be an effective part of this strategy. 

We believe that long term weight loss requires more than just finding the right diet. Our Intelligent Weight Loss Method combines tailored health, nutrition and lifestyle guidance with mindset coaching and supportive accountability. Our aim is to support you in overcoming your weight challenges, achieving your ideal weight and maintaining it long term.


Doctors may recommend meal replacements for weight loss in certain cases. Particularly for individuals who need to lose weight quickly for health reasons. This can include those with type 2 diabetes or people needing to lose weight prior to having an operation. Our clinic receives referrals from doctors who recognise the value of meal replacement diets and wish to refer their patients for expert guidance and monitoring.

It’s important for individuals to consult with a healthcare professional before starting a meal replacement diet as they may not be suitable for everyone. 


If you’re looking to lose weight and would like to explore whether a meal replacement diet is best for you, we’d be happy to talk through your options with you. We are a team of nutritionists who specialise in weight loss. A one size fits all approach to weight loss doesn’t work, so while we do offer a high quality meal replacement diet, it’s not the only dietary approach we offer. We will find the best solution for you.

Book yourself in for a complimentary 25 mintue call or contact us and a member of our team will be in touch soon. We can talk through your challenges and explore whether one of our Intelligent Weight Loss programmes is right for you.

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Sarah has worked with hundreds of clients over the past decade to help them live in a healthy body that they feel confident in.

Sarah spent a large part of her teens and 20’s as a professional dancer battling with orthorexia and an unhealthy relationship with food and her body. This created a desire to understand the human body more so she could finally cut through the confusion and end the cycle of yoyo dieting. This fuelled her passion to help other women do the same.


Sarah specialises in supporting women who are struggling to lose weight due to underlying health issues. She’s helped many women manage their weight during and after the menopause, as well as clients with thyroid disease and immune system dysfunction. Sarah loves food and sharing healthy recipes with her clients. Her aim is to ensure that clients don’t feel deprived and instead, achieve their weight loss and health goals in a positive and sustainable way.


To enquire about working with Sarah, please contact us.



Ailsa is one of our most experienced practitioners. She specialises in helping clients to lose weight, develop a healthy relationship with food and finally feel comfortable in their skin. Ailsa’s mission is for everyone she works with to enjoy the journey and that working with a nutritionist should not be a punishment, but your access to a new possibility.


Ailsa is not only an experienced weight loss nutritionist, she is also a skilled coach. She helps our clients overcome emotional eating, destructive habits and self-sabotaging behaviours that have prevented successful weight loss in the past. Ailsa has spent years in clinic working with clients who have experienced yo-yo dieting and have discovered that long term weight loss is not just about eating less until you can stand it no longer.


Working with Ailsa you will be comprehensively supported, not only in improving your nutrition and lifestyle, but also your eating habits and your relationship with food. When you work on all these elements together, the results can be truly astonishing.


To enquire about working with Ailsa, please contact us.

Test Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of the business. Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning. A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.



Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of th clinic.


Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning.


A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.


Stéphanie is a skilled nutritional therapist and functional medicine practitioner with additional training in eating disorders, disordered eating and obesity. She believes that working towards both physiological and mental health is key in achieving optimum wellbeing.


Stéphanie’s personal experience of emotional eating and the ongoing struggle to find the right support led her to combine the science of nutrition with behavioural coaching to motivate and empower her clients. She specialises in helping people who struggle with their weight and their relationship with food. She helps them develop a healthier and more peaceful relationship with food and their bodies.


To enquire about working with Stéphanie, please contact us.


Inna is passionate about supporting women on their journey to improved health and wellbeing. She believes that the solution to effective weight loss does not lie in ever more restrictive diets, but a more sophisticated approach that optimises health and vitality, as well as promoting effective weight loss.


Working with Inna you will benefit from her in-depth knowledge of female health and hormones. She will support you in developing a healthy diet, lifestyle and mindset that ensures you reach your ideal weight and maintain it in the years to come.


Inna is passionate about food with a wide repertoire of delicious healthy recipes and meal ideas to ensure your weight loss journey is as enjoyable as possible!


To enquire about working with Inna, please contact us.



Ania is a firm believer that improving your health and losing weight should be a positive, empowering journey, not one centred around deprivation.


After being diagnosed with two autoimmune conditions in her twenties, Ania spent several years educating herself on the power of food and nutrition. She put it all into practise and changed her diet and lifestyle, reversing her endometriosis and thyroid disease. After experiencing such a significant improvement in her health, Ania had a big desire to help others. She embarked on a four year journey to study nutrition, graduating from the Institute for Optimum Nutrition with distinction.


Ania specialises in autoimmunity and works with clients who have underlying health issues preventing successful weight loss. Her expertise enables her to successfully support our clients with conditions such as hypothyroidsm (underactive thyroid), PCOS and diabetes. 


To enquire about working with Ania, please contact us.

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