How To: Use Your Protein Powder as a Meal Replacement

Shakes are every in the diet and fitness industry. You might have heard of protein shakes and meal replacement shakes, but did you know that they are completely different? These two types of shakes are used differently and shouldn’t be used interchangeably. But if all you have is protein powder, then don’t worry! You can make your protein shake into a meal replacement shake by following our guide.

But first, let’s understand what the difference is between meal replacement shakes and protein shakes.


Difference Between Meal Replacement Shakes and Protein Shakes

Protein shakes and meal replacement shakes are not the same.

Meal replacement shakes do exactly what they say: replace a meal.

  • Designed for weight loss
  • Low in calories
  • Packed with essential nutrients that your body needs for a complete meal (vitamins and minerals, fiber, some carbs, fat, and protein, so that your body is able to get a good balance of all three macros)

Protein powders work to provide you with a high-quality protein to help your body recover after working out.

  • Designed to help increase daily protein consumption
  • Low in calories
  • Not packed with carbs and fat (so they don’t contain all of the nutrients your body needs to constitute a complete meal)

You see the difference? One contains a good combo of all three macros, while the other contains juse one macro, protein.


amber b protein


How To Make Your Protein Shake Into A Meal Replacement Shake?

A meal should have a good balance of all three macros: protein, carbs, and fat. So a meal replacement shake should have more than just protein. There should also be enough calories to keep you full for several hours.

For a pre- or post- workout meal you’ll just want to add some fast acting carbs to your protein and that is a great meal! You also want to avoid fat and fiber here as they will actually slow down your metabolism. For any other time of the day you will want to add both carbs and fats to your protein powder. Healthy fats are essential for health and bodily functions, and carbs help to provide you sustained energy.

So what do you need to do to make your protein shake into a meal replacement shake?

1. Add liquid

Choose from: water, low fat or non-dairy milk (1 cup). (add as much as you would like)

2. Next add your protein.

IdealLean Protein Powder For Women (add 1 scoop)

3. Now add your healthy fat.*

Either monounsaturated fats, like avocado and nut butter, or polyunsaturated fats, like chia seeds and flax seeds.

4. Now add your carbs.*

Choose from fruits (blueberries, raspberries, mango, banana, pineapple, etc.), vegetables (spinach, kale, other leafy greens, broccoli, cucumber, etc.),
, and Oats

5. Then mix together for the perfect quick meal!


Protein Boosting Meal Recipes

I also love to use protein powder as a protein source in a meal that doesn’t naturally have much protein in it. For example, I may eat a quesadilla or peanut butter sandwich for lunch so I’ll mix up my IdealLean Protein with water to have as my protein source on the side.

IdealLean Protein comes in six delicious flavors: Piña Colada, Cake Batter, Chocolate Brownie, Strawberries ‘N Cream, French Vanilla and our Brand New Chocolate Coconut! Meaning the options are almost endless for you to come up with and create your perfect meal replacement shake, or protein-packed meal.

Want more proof? Try out our 101 Protein Recipes eBook to help transform your body and your nutrition.

Here are some of my fav meals to eat using IdealLean Protein. Nutrition info is listed per-serving. So feel free to add more or less to increase or decrease calorie content.


Overnight Baked French Toastbaked-french-toast

2 egg whites
1/4 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 scoop French Vanilla IdealLean Protein
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 slice ezekiel bread

1. Spray a small ramekin with coconut oil spray. Tear bread into small pieces and place in ramekin.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together egg whites, protein, cinnamon, and vanilla. Pour over bread and cover with saran wrap. Place in refrigerator overnight.
3. In the morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake French toast for 25 min. Serve with sugar free syrup!

Calories per slice: 211, Carb: 17g, Protein: 32g, Fat: 1g, Sugar: 1g


preview-full-Pina-Colada-Pancakes-600x600Piña Colada Protein Pancakes

1/4 c oat flour (ground from rolled oats)
1 scoop Piña Colada IdealLean Protein
1/2 banana
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 egg whites
1/4 c unsweetened vanilla coconut milk

1. Heat a nonstick skillet or griddle to medium-low heat and coat with cooking spray.
2. Blend all ingredients together except toppings.
3. Pour pancake batter on skillet forming 6 pancakes.
4. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until edges are crisp and golden.
5. Flip and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
6. Transfer to a plate, add toppings of choice, and enjoy!
7. Optional toppings: Coconut-flavored Greek yogurt thinned with almond milk, fresh pineapple, unsweetened coconut. Makes 2 servings.

Calories: 142 per pancake, Protein: 17g, Carbs: 17g, Sugar: 4g, Fat: 7g


Cake-Batter-Overnight-OatsCake Batter Overnight Oats

1 c old fashioned oats
1 scoop Cake Batter IdealLean Protein
2 tsp. baking stevia
1/2 c plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
3/4 c unsweetened almond milk
1/8 tsp. salt

1. Mix all ingredients together. Divide between 2 mugs, mason jars, or bowls. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, or overnight. Enjoy! Makes 2 servings.

Calories: 234, Protein: 21g, Carbs: 34g, Fat: 4g





preview-card-waffle2-1Strawberry & Banana Shortcake Waffles

1 c of oat flour
1 scoop of Strawberries ‘N Cream IdealLean Protein
1/2 tsp. of baking powder
2 egg whites
2 tbsp. of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/3 of a medium banana, mashed
1/3 c fresh strawberries, diced
Optional: sugar free cool whip and fresh strawberries and bananas.

1. Start by mixing together the dry ingredients: oat flour, baking powder, and protein powder.
2. Next add in the wet ingredients: egg whites, almond milk and banana.
3. Once mixed, fold in strawberries.
4. Heat Belgian waffle maker and spray with nonstick spray.
5. Using 1/2 cup of the batter, cook waffle according to waffle maker instructions. Enjoy!

Servings: 2, Calories: 323, Protein: 24g, Carbs: 45g, Fat: 5g


chocolate-chia-smoothieChocolate Chia Protein Energy Smoothie

3/4 c unsweetened almond milk
1/3 frozen banana
1 scoop Chocolate Brownie IdealLean Protein
1/2 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. chia seeds
1 tbsp. ground flax
1 -2 drops liquid stevia
ice, desired amount

1. Blend all ingredients and enjoy!

Calories: 241, Protein: 26g, Carbs: 21g, Fat: 8g



Remember that just because protein powder on its own isn’t a complete meal, adding some carbs and fat can turn it into a meal real quick. Real, real quick.

To see the best results possible you not only have to push yourself in the gym, AND your nutrition needs to be on point. Protein provides the nutrients you need to get stronger and recover more effectively. IdealLean Protein for Women is the perfect option because it was formulated for women with their goals in mind. So try one of our delicious flavors, and use it as a pre- or post- workout snack or add more ingredients to make it into a complete meal!

Maximize your hard work by including IdealLean Protein into your daily regimen. Adding IdealLean Protein will help you to build a lean, strong physique. 

Karina Elle

Karina Elle

Fitness Model

Karina Elle is a professional fitness model and creator of the 6 Week Fit Model Fitness Challenge.

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