If you’re in search for a quality meal replacement programme for weight loss, then you’ll be considering calories, nutrition, flavour, taste, and cost. How does Exante score? Ben Hardman’s researched all these factors and more for you in this thorough Exante review…
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The meal replacement space has grown rapidly in recent years as people look for more efficient ways to lose weight. One company who have been expanding in the diet nutrition area is Exante.
The premise behind a meal replacement shake is simple: drink this shake instead of having a meal. It gives people looking to lose weight an easy, effective and controlled option, whilst hitting basic nutritional requirements. For some this works really well, for others it can be a step too far. Especially over the long term.
As well as providing a highly convenient low-calorie meal alternative, these shakes tend to pack in extra essential vitamins and minerals, come in a variety of flavours, and are supposed to stop you from feeling hungry for a good few hours.
Sounds good doesn’t it? How do the Exante shakes stack up to this?
This Exante review will give you a thorough understanding of the Exante meal replacement shakes, if these shakes are any good, how they taste, and if they’ll do the job in helping you lose weight. Our Exante review will help you decide if they’re worth a shot.
Exante Meal Replacement Shakes Overview
Exante meal replacement shakes are a popular option for people looking for a convenient and straightforward approach to weight loss.
The primary aim of a meal replacement shake is to control the calories you’re consuming. The Exante shakes tend to deliver around 200 calories per serving. This is pretty low, even by meal replacement standards.
For this reason, I wouldn’t suggest replacing every meal with an Exante shake. I don’t think this would be healthy at all. But it could be a good idea to swap out one meal (potentially two at a stretch) per day if you’re looking to lower your overall calorie intake.
The Exante shakes come in a variety of flavours. They’re all sweet. You have your standard chocolate, vanilla and strawberry flavours, but you also have the options of toffee caramel, mocha frappe, coconut and lemon cheesecake. It’s worth saying that Exante do offer ready-to-go diet meals too, like spaghetti bolognese, risotto and pasta pots.
Because of the nature of meal replacement shakes and the powdered ingredients they’re made of, many are artificially sweetened to a high degree to make them palatable. Exante shakes are no different. They aren’t the most pleasant to drink and tend to have a metallic after-taste too, which isn’t great.
Each of the Exante shakes has a good serving of protein. Most of the flavours hit around 20g of protein per serving. This is good and roughly a similar amount to what you would find in a regular protein shake. Most of this comes from skimmed milk powder and whey protein concentrate, although Exante do offer vegan options too with the nutritionals mainly coming from soybeans and oats.
Another benefit to the Exante meal replacement shakes is that they are enriched with 27 vitamins and minerals, as well as a prebiotic. Most of these ingredients are dosed to around 30-40% of your daily recommended intake, which is a good bonus.
Aside from the nutritionals, Exante shakes are easy to consume and come in single-serve packets or boxes of 7. For a busy, on-the-go person, this is convenient. However, you’d have to order a lot of the product to keep you going for even just a couple of weeks.
The Exante shakes aren’t the cheapest meal replacement powders on offer, but you can get deals and offers to make them most cost-efficient. Overall, Exante shakes can be a short-term solution to help you lose weight. If you enjoy the flavours, they have potential to be used over the medium term too when in weight maintenance mode.
Pros and Cons of Exante Meal Replacement Shakes
The Exante meal replacement shakes offer a convenient and low-calorie option for those who want to lose weight. However, like any product, they have their advantages and disadvantages you should consider before buying. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of Exante shakes.
- Easy to use: Exante meal replacement shakes are quick and simple to prepare. They also mix well into a smooth drink.
- Variety of flavours: The shakes come in multiple flavours, such as vanilla, chocolate, banana, mint chocolate, mocha and more.
- Low calories: These shakes have a low-calorie count of around 200 calories per serving.
- Low-sugar option: Exante stock low-sugar meal replacement shake varieties. For example, the original chocolate shake contains 13g of sugar, whereas the low-sugar chocolate flavour contains just 1.5g of sugar.
- Vitamins and minerals: 27 vitamins and minerals are packed into each meal replacement shake to contribute to overall bodily health.
- Gluten-free: All of the Exante meal replacement shake ingredients contain no gluten.
- Vegetarian and vegan: Many of the Exante shakes do contain lactose, but they also offer lactose free and vegan friendly varieties too.
- Artificial taste: A lot of the flavours are reported to have an artificially sweet and metallic taste. There are a lot of ingredients in each shake, which makes creating a really good tasting product difficult.
- Cost: Exante meal replacement shakes can be relatively expensive, but they tend to have offers and discounts available.
- Nutritional balance: Meal replacement shakes cannot replace all the nutrients found in whole foods such as fruits, vegetables and protein sources.
- Bloating and flatulence: You may experience bloating and flatulence with the Exante shakes. These are common side effects that accompany a change in diet. As Exante shakes are quite high in fibre and protein, it might take a while for your digestive system to adjust.
If you’re taking a meal replacement shake, it’s important to consider how the nutritionals stack up. It’s no good taking a calorie-restricted shake, if it’s going to leave you depleted in key macro and micronutrients.
So, let’s review the Exante shakes. As one of the most popular flavours, I’ll predominantly be looking at the chocolate flavoured shake.
The Exante meal replacement shakes contain a blend of the three macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates and fats. Macronutrients are what gives our bodies energy. These shakes provide a decent mix of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats without causing spikes in blood sugar levels.
- Protein: Exante’s meal replacement shakes contain whey protein concentrate. The very same type of protein you find in most standard protein shakes. The reason this ingredient is so popular is that it helps users maintain muscle mass without overloading on the calories. Whey protein is also a ‘complete’ source of protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids. The protein content can vary between flavours, but a serving typically contains around 18-21 grams of protein. This is a good amount and just short of the protein you’ll get in a tin of tuna. A chicken breast, for example, will contain around 30g of protein.
- Carbohydrates: A normal Exante meal replacement shake can contain anywhere from 13-17 grams of carbohydrates. Most of these carbs do come from sugars; however, the low-sugar flavour variations dramatically cut the sugar content right down.
- Fats: These shakes contain moderate amounts of fats. This is usually between 4-6 grams per serving, which is around 7-10% of a typical daily allowance. Saturated fats per serving sit around 1.8-3.3g. Despite the name, fats are an essential nutrient that we need to consume. However, it’s wise to limit some types of fats such as saturated fat, which is associated with high levels of bad cholesterol.
The main ingredients supplying these macros does change from shake to shake depending on the flavour. However, the majority of Exante shakes are using a combination of milk-based powder, soya-based ingredients, potato starch and oat flour (vegan options). In terms of protein, soy is a good choice as it also contains all 9 essential amino acids and is therefore considered a ‘complete’ protein source. This is great as many plant-based proteins are not complete sources.
The Exante shakes come fortified with a mix of important vitamins and minerals. It’s really beneficial to keep your micronutrient levels up to support general health during periods of weight loss.
Each serving of their meal replacement shake contains 27 vitamins and minerals, including the likes of:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
These micronutrients contribute positively to your overall well-being. They also help to support a healthy immune system, good bone health and normal metabolic functions.
One Exante diet shake serving will provide you with roughly a third of your total daily count of such micronutrients.
By their nature, the Exante meal replacement shakes are designed to be low in calories. In the most simplistic terms, being in a calorie deficit is essential for people looking to lose weight. There are other factors at play, but calories are perhaps the most important.
A single serving of an Exante shake typically contains around 200 calories. This is at the very lower end of what the UK and EU define as ‘weight loss meal replacements’, which are defined as providing 200-400 calories per serving.
Zooming out, the NHS recommends a total daily calorie intake of 2,000 calories for women. This is only a rough guide. Each individual person will have their own maintenance levels of calories – this is the number of calories you need to eat per day to maintain the same weight. To lose weight, you need to consume calories under this maintenance level over a period of time.
A typical calorie deficit which is sufficient to lose weight when applied over a number of weeks can be as little as 200-500 calories. This is a good rule of thumb. If you want more rapid weight loss, this deficit can be increased.
The benefit of taking meal replacement shakes is that you know exactly how many calories you are consuming. If you swap out one meal a day for a shake, this could be enough to hit a good calorie deficit. Exante recommends swapping out two meals a day for their shakes to achieve weight loss. There’s no doubt this would help reduce calorie intake dramatically (providing you’re not eating high-calorie snacks), but I don’t think it’s particularly sustainable over the long term. You can also argue whether this is healthy or even enjoyable.
Taste, Texture and Flavours
There are a wide variety of Exante shake flavours to choose from. The most popular flavours on site are:
- Lemon cheesecake
- Salted caramel
- Chocolate mint
- Mocha frappe
So, how do they taste?
Sweet. Although I haven’t tried them all, user reviews tell us that all the flavours have an overriding sweet taste. This is because artificial sweeteners, such as sucralose, are used to enhance the flavour. On one side, artificial sweeteners are good because they contribute very little in calorific value, but on the other side they do bring that distinct sweet taste that overpowers most of the other ingredients.
The other flavour that comes through is a metal-like taste. I’m assuming this is down to the sheer number of vitamins and minerals. Again, good on the one hand as you’re taking in essential micronutrients, but not as good for taste quality. Despite the metallic undertones and high sweetness, many consumers have reported mediocre to good comments for the taste.
Exante suggest that all flavours are served with 200ml of cold water. You can add ice to make it more of a ‘frappe’ experience.
It is possible to mix the powder with milk, which would enhance the flavour in my experience. But milk comes with additional calories, so people on a tight calorie restriction may want to avoid it. Of course, it’s also possible to factor in the extra calories from milk if you want a better taste experience.
The texture of the Exante shakes is pretty thin compared to other meal replacement products on the market. This is good for mixing and ensures all the powder gets incorporated into the drink.
I’ve got to admit, I don’t like a thin shake. It really doesn’t make for a good taste experience at all. Mixing the shake with water won’t do anything for the texture. You might want to experiment with the amount of water you put in. Mixing with milk is likely to improve this thinness, but again, you’ll have to account for the calories.
Ease of Use
Exante meal replacement shakes are designed for individuals seeking a convenient and easy-to-use option to support their weight loss goals.
These shakes are very simple to prepare. All you need is the powder itself, plus water or milk. Mix it all together and your meal is ready in less than 30 seconds. For convenience, you can’t get much better. These are ideal to take to work or for on-the-go consumption.
On the whole, the shakes do mix really well into a smooth, lump-free consistency.
Digestibility and Side Effects
Digestibility and side effects are always precarious subjects to navigate as this can differ a lot from person to person.
The Exante shakes do contain ingredients that are common causes of digestive problems. Namely, whey protein and soya-based products.
As a meal replacement shake primarily aimed at women, individuals may be trying a whey protein-based drink for the very first time. For first-timers, protein powder can take a bit of getting used to, particularly from your stomach’s perspective. We’re talking mild bloating, gas and upset stomachs.
The Exante shakes also contain fibre. Most shakes are around the 5g of fibre per serving mark. This is a fair bit less than the recommended 30g of fibre a day, but if you’re not used to having much fibre at all, you may have to give your stomach a little time to get used to it.
So, if you do suffer from a sensitive stomach, you might want to test the Exante shake out in the comfort of your own home first before you take it out and about or into an office.
All that said, the chances are you’ll be absolutely fine with the Exante meal replacement shakes and experience no issues whatsoever. There are always exceptions though for those with dairy allergies or sensitivities.
Effectiveness as A Meal Replacement Shake
The main question you want to know: are Exante shakes going to help me lose weight?
If you follow the Exante guidance, there’s no doubt you will lose body weight. This isn’t exclusive to Exante though. It’s fundamentally about the principle of ‘calories in vs calories out’. Many people don’t want to delve too much into this and just want to be told what to do. Exante helps with this by offering two- and four-week diet plans that have everything you need for controlled weight loss. If you’re starting from scratch, this could be a good option.
If you’re just looking for a straight swap of meal to shake to reduce your overall calorie intake, the Exante shakes will do the trick. Each shake contains only around 200 calories, which is a lot less than most meals. The meal replacement shakes contain a blend of whey protein, which is known as a good way to reduce hunger levels.
In turn, this can lead to fewer calories being consumed throughout the day, which will ultimately lead to weight loss over time. Many users have said that these shakes do keep their hunger levels down for 2-3 hours after taking one.
Exante recommend swapping two meals a day with a shake for weight loss. I personally think this is quite extreme, but it may be suitable advice for people looking to lose a lot of weight. Each case is different. If you are looking at more extreme measures, please consult medical advice first.
Pricing and Value for Money
Exante’s meal replacement shakes are middle of the road when it comes to cost-effectiveness. When bought at full price they are quite expensive, so I’d buy these shakes when there’s an offer or discount available.
The Exante shakes come in a little cheaper than the likes of The Protein Works Diet Meal Replacement and roughly the same as Myprotein’s protein meal replacement. However, The Protein Works (TPW) do seem to offer a superior product with better overall reviews.
The nutritionals between the two aren’t that much different. TPW shake does contain higher calories at 250 kcals and around the same amount of protein at 20g. TPW also pack in 23 vitamins, which isn’t as many as the 27 from Exante.
The primary ingredient in TPW diet shake is oats, which lends to a better and thicker shake consistency in my opinion. That said, you pay for a higher quality product here.
Overall, I think Exante offers reasonable value for money when bought at a discounted rate.
Who are Exante?
Exante Diet are a UK-based company offering a range of meal replacement shakes, meals, bars and plans to support individuals in achieving a desired healthy lifestyle.
Exante were originally known as IdealShape. However, after being acquired by The Hut Group (THG) in 2016, they were rebranded to Exante. Exantediet.com is the trading name of The Hut.com Limited, who are headquartered in Manchester.
Interestingly, THG also own other well-known nutrition brands, including MyProtein, which it acquired in 2011. Myprotein is also a trading name for The Hut.com Limited. Since being acquired, Myprotein has been sub-divided into a family of brands, including Myvegan, Myvitamins and BeNu.
In truth, the Exante website is short of company information, which is a little disappointing.
Other Products from Exante Diet
Exante Diet offers a wide range of products to support weight management and a healthy lifestyle. These products are designed to provide the essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals, whilst being suitable for a variety of calorie-restricted diets.
As well as the diet meal replacement shakes, Exante also sells:
- Meal replacement bars
- Ready-made meals – noodles, pasta pots, risotto
- Breakfast foods – porridge pots, pancake mixes
- Superfood shakes
- Diet plans
- Keto shakes
- Shakers and accessories
Overall, Exante Diet offers a diverse selection of products for individuals looking to manage their weight effectively.
Final Exante Verdict
It’s clear that Exante offers a decent meal replacement solution for people looking to lose weight. Each shake is low in calories, and contains a blend of macronutrients, fibre and micronutrients. From this perspective, their formulation is good.
However, they have opted for cheaper, refined food sources. These don’t offer the same quality as real food, nor some other shakes made from whole foods either. The taste and consistency of the Exante shakes is up for debate too. There are a lot of flavours to choose from, which is a bonus. However, true to many of the flavours are a taste of high artificial sweetness and metal. This isn’t the best combination.
Exante says that for effective weight loss, a user should replace two meals a day with their shakes. For many, this regimen will feel quite extreme. Yes, it will definitely work for a short period of time in helping you lose weight, but it’s not a long-term solution.
Personally, I’d prefer to have one meal replacement shake a day and have a smaller calorie deficit over a longer period of time. However, different approaches can reach the same goal here. It comes down to personal preference.
All in all, Exante shakes are a viable option for those seeking a straightforward, short-term approach to weight loss.