People drink meal replacement shakes for two reasons: weight loss and nutrition. Calorie-laden, vitamin-and-mineral-enhanced shakes are used extensively in the medical field to feed those who are too sick or feeble to eat.

Most meal replacement shakes, however, are sold on the commercial market as weight-loss aids. Shakes are available that promote weight gain, but they are intended to be used as meal supplements, not replacements.

They should be moderately high in calories since they are intended to replace one meal. They must provide the calories and the nutrients that would have been consumed at that meal as well as leave the dieter feeling satisfied.

At the end a well-kept dieting day, in order to get thin you must consume all of the nutrients you need from far fewer calories. For this reason, you must take care that the shake you choose will help you achieve that goal.

Let's face it, weight-loss shakes are in fierce competition with each other for your dieting dollar. The best way to get you to buy them is to taste good, and how better to be delicious than to be full of sugar.

Some of the most popular (gee, I wonder why) shakes are full of sugar. Although they have enough calories to be considered a skimpy meal, the enormous amount of sugar will shift your hunger sensors into high gear and you will soon be desperate to eat again.

The best thing to do when choosing a commercially-manufactured shake is to ignore the brand name (and the price as much as possible) and read the label. If the shake is below 250 calories, you will have to double up or supplement the shake with a piece of fruit.

If you consume too few calories at a meal, your body will go into starvation mode and start conserving calories. In the meantime, it will send you a very strong signal to go out and get it a chocolate éclair.

Next, look for a shake that contains fewer than ten carbs total. Even non-sugar carbs are a bane to good dieters. They convert to simple sugars too easily leaving the dieter just as hungry and frustrated as he would have been with a high calorie shake.

Do not be afraid of fat. Fat, up to three or four grams in a shake is a good thing. Fat doesn't make you fat. It leaves you feeling fuller and more satisfied and less likely to be on the prowl for more food too soon.

Finally, look for a high-protein shake. Your body can do strange things when you diet; like tear apart its muscles looking for sustenance. That is why it is important to exercise and keep feeding yourself protein. This tells your body that it is supposed to build muscle and burn fat.

You can be in control of what your body does on a diet by carefully choosing what you feed it. Look for meal replacements shakes that are moderate in calories, low in carbs and sugar and high in protein and fat. They can become a part of a well-balanced diet plan that will soon melt away your extra pounds.