Why Weight-Loss Shakes and Supplements Work

If you’re lucky, the weight-loss shake or supplement that you just shelled out big bucks for well in fact help you shut a few pounds. But why will it work? And why do they usually not work?

The magic of the weight-loss shake or supplement really is not in the shake or supplement itself.


There are still no magic ingredients that will bring about quick and guaranteed weight loss.

I mean, maybe if you’re lucky, there will be some caffeine in your shake, which can give you a very mild metabolic bump… But coffee is probably free at an office or a gas station near you, and it will do the same thing.  If there’s not caffeine in your shake, there’s likely another stimulant, even if you don’t recognize it or it’s not listed.

Ingredients not listed?

Go freak yourself out and check out Consumer Lab or Labdoor where they test these unregulated supplements to see if they contain what they say they do. Including your whey protein powder.  Including your vitamins.

So, why do some people lose so much weight with these shakes?

What it comes down to is that the successful losers get the results because of their commitment. There’s a reason that these shakes cost 20, 30, even $60 per tub: if you are paying more for a serving of your shake than you would for an entire healthy meal at Snap Kitchen, you are probably going to drink it!  Even if the ingredients aren’t worth nearly as much as you’re paying.

Successful losers also lose weight with shakes because of extreme calorie deficits. This is the main principle behind a lot of fad diets, but if that worked long-term then we would all just stop eating and lose infinite body fat.  Unfortunately, this is NOT how it works. When you take in too few calories, your body sacrifices your muscles (including your heart) and your metabolism drops even lower, because you are now burning fewer calories all day long.  As soon as you go back off of the shake or supplement, you will rebound and gain more weight back than you lost with the shake.

Finally, successful losers lose weight with shakes with lifestyle changes, often losing these pounds in spite of the shake.  If you’re drinking this $60 goo, you are probably going to guilt yourself into taking an extra walk or finally trying that Zumba class.  You are maybe even doing this shake challenge along with a buddy or a paid “coach” (aka product distributor) who is holding you accountable.  Guess what – exercise and accountability/support are keys to a healthy lifestyle, and they had nothing to do with the shake.

In conclusion, eat real food.

Track your macronutrients.  Give your body the tender care and delicious fuel it craves and deserves.  Don’t try to trick it or punish it into changing – it won’t work, you’re not broken, and you can make the changes you want.

The “hard road” of lifestyle changes – moving a little more, making food choices that support your goals – isn’t really that hard at all.  And if you need help, a good personal trainer often costs less than those sketchy shakes.

And the next time someone tries to sell you something magic, tell them you’re already full of magic and send them a link to this post.

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