Why Are You Still Hungry After Meal Replacement Shake?

Why Are You Still Hungry After Meal Replacement Shake?

Last Updated on June, 2024

Like a car low on fuel, our body tells us when we need food through hunger. Some discomfort, growling, stomach pain, etc. are a part of this depending on your hunger. For some, this goes away after a bit of snacking or a light meal.

However, some people feel hungry even after having a complete meal. Similarly, certain people might feel hungry even after drinking a meal replacement shake. As their whole point is to get rid of hunger and prevent overeating, still feeling hungry after drinking one kind of takes the purpose away.

So what’s the reason? Why are you still hungry even after a meal replacement shake? Is something wrong with the drink, or are you doing something wrong? We’re sure you’re wondering about things like this, so let’s start by discussing some reasons for this hunger.

6 Solid Reasons Behind Your Hunger After Drinking Meal Replacement Shakes

a human holding  a cup

These drinks, or the recipes to make them, are usually created by experts who specialize in the human body’s needs. That’s how they perfectly prepare nutritional values for each serving and ensure that the supplement does its job. So why isn’t it working for you?

The chances are that you’re doing something wrong, or there are certain issues with the drink itself. In either case, it’s nothing alarming. You can easily identify the problem by narrowing it down to one of the reasons below, as they’re often the most common causes:

1. Lack of Fiber

Fiber is one of the most important parts of our diet. It’s a type of carbohydrate which is very healthy if eaten in moderation. Funny enough, it’s great for our body despite humans being unable to digest it properly. (1)

This is because dietary fiber regulates the usage of sugar inside the body. It keeps our blood sugar in check and helps us manage glucose levels and other things while taking good care of our gut health. It also lowers the risk of you contracting many kinds of diseases. But what does it have to do with hunger? 


This carbohydrate slows down the movement of food in the body. Because of this, other nutrients such as glucose are spread throughout the body much slower. This translates to a lower rate of insulin release, which ultimately means feeling hungry later than usual.

This is exactly why meal replacement shakes tend to have a good amount of dietary fiber. The nutrient keeps you full and helps the body in several ways, so consume lots of it. If you want to add more of it to your drink, mix some bananas, apples, oranges, or strawberries.

2. Not Enough Fats

Many people avoid eating fats because they think these macronutrients are responsible for weight gain.

To an extent, that’s true. But, fats only cause gain weight if you eat unhealthy ones in unmoderated amounts.

Like there are some healthy proteins and some unhealthy ones, there are also some fats that are a lot healthier than others.

You need to ensure that you have a balanced daily intake of these. Without them, you’ll feel hungry, making it another plausible reason behind all this. (2)

fats foods

Most meal replacement shakes already have a proper amount of fat in them. However, if you need something more to satiate your hunger, avocados and coconuts can be great additions to your drink. These will make it much more filling by increasing the number of healthy fats inside.

Related: Best high calorie meal replacement shakes for weight gain

3. Are You Drinking Enough of it?

The recommended serving sizes of meal replacement shakes are just estimates for the average adult. It doesn’t consider different body types, different levels of metabolism, and routines such as workouts. Are you drinking enough of your meal replacement with all of this considered?

You’ll need a bigger serving if you’re more active than the average adult. That’s because your body needs calories according to the energy it exerts in a day. So the human body will have more demands if you’re actively working out or participating in activities.

The same goes for bulkier people trying to lose weight. Their body requires more calories, which means bigger serving sizes. This doesn’t mean you have to go overboard and drink too much, though. That’d make it difficult to lose weight which might be your goal in the first place. 

But, you still need to drink a bit more if you always feel hungry shortly after. It’s your stomach’s way of telling you that it needs more calories and nutrition. So, consider having half a glass more to see if that fills you up.

4. Water Intake in Your Diet

Water is a very important part of our daily diet; without it, the human body can’t function. So it’s very important for improving certain bodily functions and helps a lot with weight loss.

It’s also a great way to increase satiety and avoid feeling hungry after drinking a meal replacement shake. (3)

Every time you plan to have a meal shake, consider drinking half a liter of water before or afterward. This will take up space inside the stomach and let your brain think that the stomach is full.

You can avoid hunger for longer after drinking meal shakes by doing this. 

a human taking water in tap

It also has plenty of other health benefits, so you should do this regardless of whether or not you feel hungry. A decent amount of water before/after every meal has lots of positive effects, and the same goes for half a liter of water sometime before or after you drink a meal replacement.

5. Skipping Too Many Meals

We don’t have to go into too much detail regarding why this is such a big reason for people feeling hungry even after drinking meal replacements. Skipping too many meals a day will always make you feel weak and hungry.

Experts recommend that you should only replace one full meal at most in a day with your meal shake. If you go over this, you’ll feel hungry all the time. The reason behind this is pretty simple.

When you skip too many meals, your body misses out on too much vital energy and nutrition, which a single serving of meal shakes won’t provide. So, skipping meals is never a good option. It’s an unhealthy “shortcut” to weight loss and will get you in lots of trouble in the long run. That’s why we recommend you follow a proper diet plan and eat properly.

If this information is not enough, check this complete guide.

6. Messed Up Sleep Schedule

Here’s something some of you might not know; sleep can impact our hunger. This is because not getting enough sleep causes an imbalance in our hormones, including leptin.

For those that don’t know, leptin is the hormone that regulates appetites and makes us feel full. (4)

Without enough of this, you’re likely to feel hungrier than someone who gets a good amount of sleep.

Your appetite is increased, and you’ll want more food even after you’ve had a full meal replacement shake. 

lazy sleeping

That isn’t all, though. Not getting enough sleep can also make you struggle with weight loss. It’ll make you much more tired and inactive while also increasing fat accumulation inside the body. If you usually get six or fewer hours of sleep a night, this is almost definitely the reason.

A Few Tips on How You Can Reduce Hunger While Using Meal Replacements

Meal Replacement Shake and bananas on a table with a knife

If you want tips on avoiding hunger, look at the reasons we’ve given up and figure a solution for your problem accordingly. For example, if your hunger is likely caused by a lack of fiber or healthy fats, you can deal with this by adding the fruits we mentioned to the meal shake.

In other cases, there are other potential ways to deal with this. For example, simply developing a balanced diet and not skipping meals should be enough to avoid hunger and other problems.

If you don’t have a good sleep schedule, you can avoid all these problems by just making a better schedule and getting enough rest. Similarly, those with bad water drinking habits should focus on hydration. Drink lots of water daily, especially before or after each meal.

Other tips to reduce hunger include adding more to the meal replacement shake. This includes fruits, vegetables, and other potential ingredients, such as peanut butter. You could also try to distract yourself so that the “craving” for more food eventually disappears.

We share our top meal replacement shake picks in this guide.


Meal replacement shakes are a good way of staying full and energized while maintaining a good nutritional diet for weight loss. But, some people feel hungry after drinking them anyway. We’ve now covered the most plausible reasons why that’s the case.

Remember each cause we’ve shared and sort your meal replacement intake accordingly. Remember to add the right ingredients or adjust your schedule as needed. Once you apply our tips, you’re sure to start feeling satiated after a healthy meal replacement.

If you have a specific question in mind that we already haven’t covered, make sure to let us know what it is through the comments. We’ll give you our answer when we see what you have to say!


A good meal replacement shake should provide enough nutrients to keep you full for up to 3 hours.

Yes, it is okay to drink meal replacement shakes more than once a day. However, it is not the best weight-management solution as it may help with weight loss, but it is not a sustainable weight-management approach.

Yes, meal replacement shakes can keep you full due to their high protein content, which fills you up without adding extra calories. This can help with weight loss while preserving muscle mass.


  1. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/fiber/
  2. https://www.eatthis.com/healthy-fats/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6209729/
  4. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-deprivation/lack-sleep-may-increase-calorie-consumption

Was this article helpful?

Photo of author
Jennifer Pantall
Jennifer Pantall is a Nutrition Therapy Practitioner. She loves tennis and has one daughter with a lovely husband whom she adores. Jennifer also loves to spend time outdoors playing with her dog or walking in nature. You can find more about me here.

Leave a Comment