Meal Replacement DANGERS

Lose Weight Fast – That’s The Promise of Meal Replacement Shakes, Powders and Bars

The Promise of Simple, Quick AND Healthy.

Catchy Slogans such as — ‘Fat free’ — ‘High in Protein’ — ‘Low GI’ — ‘Watch the weight melt away’… assuring you that all your nutritional needs will be met.

So, all good, right??


Check out the ingredients in the ‘average’ Meal replacement bar and/or shake….

Whey Protein Concentrate, Skim Milk Powder, Fructose, Calcium Caseinate, Vegetable Oil (canola), Glucose Syrup Solids, Soy Protein Isolate, Cocoa, Flavours (Wheat Derived), Dietary Fibre replacement, Maltodextrin, Dairy Calcium, Magnesium Oxide, Iron Pyrophosphate, Zinc Sulphate, Manganese Sulphate, Copper Sulphate, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Molybdate, Chromium Chloride, Inulin, Guar gum, Fatty Acid Diglycerides, Citric Acid, Potassium Pyrophosphate, Sodium Phosphate, (Synthetic) Vitamins (A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C, D, E, K, Folate, Niacin), Silicon Dioxide (Anti-Caking Agent), Soy Lecithin, Maize Starch.

Aggghhhh – seriously folks?? Is this what we’re calling food??

I think you can agree the answer is ‘NO’!

The average Meal Replacement Shake or Bar is…

  • Full of processed ingredients
  • Full of isolates, not whole ingredients
  • Pumped up with synthetic (and some natural) Vitamins and minerals
  • Heavily processed
  • Often high in sugar (22g per 55g = 4 tsp. sugar)
  • Using Artificial sweeteners for sugar free varieties (linked to obesity)
  • Full of emulsifiers, thickeners and preservatives
  • Enhanced with wheat based flavour enhancers

AND… Ironically the very product that promises ‘WEIGHT LOSS’ is linked to long-term ‘WEIGHT GAIN’.


Promotes Intestinal Inflammation

Your beneficial bacteria, the core of your Gut Microbiome, work to naturally regulate your metabolism and keep you at a healthy weight.  However, these ‘NON-FOOD’ Meal Replacement Bars and Shakes contain additives and emulsifiers that alter the gut microbiota and induce intestinal inflammation. A 2017 study published in the American Association for Cancer Research states…”Recent findings suggest that low-grade inflammation in the intestine is promoted by consumption of dietary emulsifiers, a ubiquitous component of processed foods, which alter the composition of gut microbiota.  Regular consumption of dietary emulsifiers can alter intestinal bacteria in a manner that promotes intestinal inflammation and colorectal cancer.”(1)

It kills off Your Beneficial Bacteria

Meal Replacement Powders and Bars are notoriously known for their LACK of FIBRE. Fibre is the No.1 food source for our Beneficial Bacteria. The ones that keep YOU and YOUR gut healthy.  You see, a healthy gut is the KEY to Weight Loss and maintaining (effortlessly) a healthy weight.

Lose 2kg, Put on 4

Look, in the short term taking these ‘replacements’, you’ll definitely help you drop a few kilos, but that’s because you are having a Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD). VLCD’s promote rapid weight loss. But studies reveal that once regular eating  is re-introduced weight piles back on – in fact double the amount lost. And this is a real pearler… these companies selling these Weight Management Shakes and Bars KNOW this, because they state …(in teeny tiny print) 

“For long term weight loss you may need to commit to permanent changes of healthier eating, regular physical activity, and an improved outlook about food”.

No SH#T Sherlock!  

YOU know this!! You’re just looking for a quick fix right?
Spoiler alert… Quick fixes don’t exist, in fact, they do more harm than good.

The Solution…

Make your own (super quick) shakes or snack bar that is packed full of whole foods, protein, healthy fats, natural vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants but most importantly FIBRE – the key to achieving, and maintaining, a healthy weight. Here’s a recipe for a super quick shake (smoothie) and bar…


  • 1 Banana
  • 1 Green Apple
  • Handful of Spinach leaves
  • 1 tbsp. nut butter any type
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 tbsp. of chia seeds
  • 1 cup ice optional


  • Put in a blender and blitz until well combined. Drink, Enjoy
  • Protein boost – Add 2 tbsp. Hemp seeds

SUPER QUICK BAR (Makes 8 squares)

  • 1 ½ cups wholegrain rolled oats
  • ½ cup nut butter any type
  • ½ cup cacao nibs
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • ¼ cup dried sultanas, cranberries or mixed fruit
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds


  • Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine.
  • Line a container with baking paper and press the mix into the pan, pushing down firmly.
  • Put in the fridge to harden (1-2hrs , or put in freezer for 30 mins if you cant wait)
  • Cut into bars and store in fridge for up to 2-mths.

Let me know if you try them, and how you like them.

And, if you want more of the same, For all your meals, then reach out — I can help, Nat xx


  1. (2017). Dietary Emulsifier–Induced Low-Grade Inflammation Promotes Colon Carcinogenesis. 


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