Should you have meal replacements or protein shakes?

One of the things people always want to know when they hear I’m a personal trainer is what are my thoughts meal replacements?

I recommend to all my clients that they should never skip meals. I am not a fan of skipping meals and ‘replacing’ the meal with a protein bar or shake. The only scenario I can see a protein shake being of benefit, is if you are struggling to meet your daily protein intake. Maybe you are training for something very specific and are eating as many meals as you can and need to get more protein in a convenient way. Fine. Even then, I could try to argue with you that most athletes can get enough protein just through proper nutrition. But the standard client that I see on a day to day basis, generally needs to clean up their diet rather than adding supplements into the mix.

Instead of spending your money on supplements, spend it on better quality food. Learn to love food rather than be afraid of it. Think of each meal as a chance to nourish your body and choose from the many healthy options that taste delicious.

One time I was on the tube and a guy approached me about a popular supplement company (Hint: it rhymes with Sherpa’s Wife lol). When I asked why on earth it would be a good idea to give my clients meal replacement shakes, he replied “because most people won’t do meal prep, so this is a good way for them to get their macronutrients and enough protein.” I was shocked! Instead of educating his clients about how they should eat well, he was selling them meal replacement shakes. If you follow my instagram, you will know how busy I am, and I am not exactly a gourmet chef! But none of the food I cook for myself takes long to make. I can tell you that having eggs, salmon, tomatoes and spinach for breakfast is going to taste better and be more nutritious for you than having a meal replacement shake.  There are also so many healthy food establishments to get food on the go.


I try and educate my clients about how they can improve their habits to eat healthy (and how easy it is to fit into a busy lifestyle). If you want to be lazy and spend money on “meal replacement shakes” there are companies that will PREP YOUR FOOD FOR YOU – which would be money better spent as you would be getting real nutrients which your body can actually use. Don’t let anyone try to talk you into a “healthy” alternative without scrutinising it yourself. Look at the ingredients. Does it contain fructose, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavours or a bunch of ingredients you can’t pronounce? If so, then I’m betting it’s a company that doesn’t care about your health, they only care about the money.

4 thoughts on “Should you have meal replacements or protein shakes?

  1. I must admit I do like to keep meal replacement bars handy, but I usually won’t touch them unless a sudden hunger strikes and I’m completely unprepared for it (better option than MacDonald’s, other than that there’s nothing else nearby) or if there’s a massive traffic jam, and I’m stuck in a car on my way home for several hours starving (which happens at least once a fortnight unfortunately)


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