MealEnders Review - Does It Work As Promised?

By Anthony Dugarte, M.D., C.S.C.S
Updated on: Mar 20, 2020

What Are MealEnders?

MealEnders are 15-calorie lozenges that are designed to help you beat overeating by helping you curb your cravings.

According to their site, the lozenges will help you:

  • Master portion control
  • Satisfy cravings
  • Break the behavioral cycle of overeating and snacking
  • Cleanse your palate
  • Develop sustainable habits

In fact, according to MealEnders, these benefits are possible without the use of drugs, herbs, or artificial sweeteners.

MealEnders claims that the secret behind the ability of their lozenges to help you control cravings is their dual-layer design. But what’s in them and how do they work?

In this article, we’ll help you determine if MealEnders lozenges are the weight-loss tool you’ve been missing by reviewing the available scientific support for their actions, if any.

How Does MealEnders Work?

According to their site, these lozenges are intended to help you ward off hundreds of calories by helping you sense the difference between hunger and appetite.

How is this possible? MealEnders states that there is a 20-minute period after you've finished eating before your brain realizes that your body is full. Taking your lozenge at the end of your meal prevents eating during this lag period.

This is allegedly accomplished by the "duo-sensory" taste system - the 2 layers of each lozenge.

The outer portion, or the "Reward Layer", is made from natural dessert ingredients. As your brain associates dessert with the end of the meal, this layer is intended to signal that eating is complete.

The "Active-Taste" layer is the inner portion and contains MealEnders proprietary blend of food flavors known as the Actissert Blend. These ingredients allegedly help stimulate the nerve that provides sensation to your tongue to distract your mind from the urge to overindulge.

To summarize, each lozenge is primarily designed to help you with portion control.

The Lag Period

MealEnders claims that much of the success related to the use of their lozenges revolves around timing. Strategically consuming their lozenges after your meal allegedly takes advantage of the time you are most likely to overeat.

Though the gut and brain are directly connected, the steps necessary to stimulate hunger and fullness are complex.

The delay in your brain's ability to sense fullness is likely related to the interplay of your senses, hormones, sensory nerves, blood circulation, stomach and intestinal pH balance, various receptors and much more.

This phenomenon was demonstrated, at least in part, by a recent study in which subjects consumed soup rapidly or slowly.

Those who ate slowly reported a greater increase in fullness, though this did not seem to affect snacking later on. Interestingly, those who ate slowly also remembered eating a larger portion.

Dessert and Your Brain

MealEnders also bases their methods on the belief that we associate sweets with the end of a meal. This effect does have some scientific support.

In a study involving 40 women, those that consumed rice pudding with sugar had a lower caloric intake when compared to those that consumed a high-fat rice pudding. The researchers concluded that taste satisfaction may be a tool that can be used to reduce food intake.

The Trigeminal Nerve

This nerve has both sensory and motor roles; it innervates the muscles you use to chew and also supplies sensation to your face and tongue.

Due to its sensory role in the mouth, it is considered the "gatekeeper" to your digestive tract. This sensory system can generate the initial feeling of reward that helps regulate eating and preparation of nutrients for digestion and absorption.

More work is needed to determine its role in weight loss and portion control, however.

Portion Control

The mechanisms described above all serve to promote portion control - limiting your caloric intake by reducing the quantity of food you consume at each meal. This is a well-studied method of weight loss.

A 2014 study reviewed more than 30 different methods of portion control. Implementing an educational program to instruct the proper use of these methods was effective in reducing BMI over a 3-month span.

More recently, a randomized study also found portion control to reduce BMI in overweight and obese individuals during 1 year, though this effect was not sustained when portion control was discontinued.

The benefits of portion control aren't only evident in adults. As obesity has been linked to practices that begin in childhood, portion control may also be a valuable tool in this age group.

This review highlights the need for targeting portion control practices at younger individuals in hopes of reducing obesity rates.

MealEnders Ingredients

MealEnders lozenges come in 4 flavors. While the nutritional content of each remains constant, the ingredients change mainly for the purposes of flavoring.

Each lozenge flavor is non-fat, low-carb, and low-calorie. Also, the ingredients label offers nothing unusual for a typical sweet indulgence.

As MealEnders claims to help you cut calories by promoting portion control, there must be other factors beyond the ingredient list that contribute to the proposed benefits of their lozenges.

MealEnders Clinical Study

Lastly, MealEnders claims that their lozenges are clinically validated.

In an independent study completed at Stanford, researchers examined the caloric intake and eating behaviors in healthy overweight adults during a 4-week span.

Those that used MealEnders consumed an average of 231 calories less each day. They also reported being more mindful of their eating habits. These benefits seemed to persist during the last week of the trial in which subjects did not use the lozenges.

To put this calorie deficit in perspective, consuming 3500 fewer calories each week equates to a 1lb weight loss. So based on these study results, using MealEnders may result in roughly 1/2lb of weight loss weekly.

Is MealEnders Safe?

As each lozenge is non-fat, low-carb, low-calorie, and contains ingredients that are commonly consumed, they are likely safe for use.

The only risk that may be associated with using MealEnders would be engaging in drastic changes to your exercise of fitness regimen.

Taking steps to develop healthy eating habits and losing weight confers numerous health benefits. However, drastic alterations in your diet can impact your daily medications or lead to unsafe electrolyte and hormone imbalances.

If considering exercise in conjunction with MealEnders lozenges, be sure to begin at a level that is appropriate for your fitness experience. When too rigorous, exercise can unsafely stress your heart.

Therefore, you should include your physician in any plans for weight loss so they can monitor safety and track progress.

MealEnders: The Cost

MealEnders lozenges are available in 4 flavors: citrus, cinnamon, mocha, chocolate mint. All are available for purchase directly from the product page.

There are 3 different purchase options, each available for single order or auto-delivery.

Bundle Single order (+4.99 s/h) Auto-Delivery (free s/h)
2-Pack $30.99 $23.85/mo
3-Pack $39.94 $31.36/mo
9-Pack $95.44 $80.96/3mo

Each pack contains 25 lozenges. If you're consuming one with each meal, 1 pack will last about a week. Thus, your most cost-effective option would be auto-shipping the 9-Pack Bundle. This is still pretty expensive for a pack of lozenges.

To ease some of the worries, MealEnders backs your purchase with a 30-day guarantee. You can contact support at support@mealenders.com or 415-805-1518 with additional questions.

What Are the Alternatives?

There are many supplements that allege weight loss effects, though those that use the methods employed by MealEnders seem rarer.

Dr. Joey's SkinnyChews are dark chocolate candies designed to alleviate cravings. Each 2-chew serving offers 35 calories, 1g of fat, and 6 net carbs. A 30-pack runs around $40.

Thus, 1 pack will last you 2-3 days less than MealEnders, while also offering more fat, carbs, and calories. Also, a single pack of SkinnyChews is more expensive than the MaalEnders 2-Pack Bundle.

Another alternative can be trying your luck with naturally sweet foods you normally consume.

As MealEnders lozenges do not offer any special ingredients, you may experience a similar benefit by ending each meal with some fruit, for example.

Our Conversation With MealEnders' Founder

We had an opportunity to ask CEO Mark Bernstein a handful of questions via email, and here's what we learned:

What were your thoughts immediately after Your Shark Tank appearance?

"Thank goodness this many month process is over. Back to work!"
Mark explained that this was because, although the producers reached out to the company and asked them to apply for the show, they still had to "jump through many hoops, with applications and videos submitted over many months."

Despite this, Mark emphasized that he enjoyed his time there, and noted that the Sharks were very complimentary, and the encounter was respectful. However, he "was a little hurt that they didn't fight each other to invest. But in reality, we were most interested in the exposure, rather than the investment, so it worked out just fine."

Speaking of which, before appearing on Shark Tank, Mark added that the company had about $2 million in sales during their first 24 months in business. Now, just six months after the show, they've received $1.9 million in new orders and added 50,000 customers.

Has MealEnders been subjected to clinical research?

Mark recently sent us a copy of a four-week A-B-A-designed study completed in August 2017 by Stanford School of Medicine's Prevention Research Center, which involved 42 participants, 86 percent of whom were women, with a median age of 50. In the end, it found that:

"Study participants reported consuming significantly fewer calories while using the MealEnders product—a ~12% reduction relative to pre-study levels—suggesting that this can be a beneficial addition to weight management efforts.

Trends in the data suggest, that despite reporting lower calorie intake participants did not feel hungry or deprived. Based on the reported sustained decrease in caloric intake, MealEnders may have an enduring effect on modifying eating behavior."

Specifically, Mark told us that "the study's results found that the participants cut their daily caloric intake by an average of 230 calories." In addition, a high proportion of the participants reported enhanced mindfulness around their eating from the use of MealEnders."

Could someone become psychologically dependent and have to wean themselves off of MealEnders lozenges? Have there been any instances of this reported during testing, or by customers?

Mark emphasized that MealEnders are only a tool and do not contain drugs, stimulants or supplements of any kind. The company encourages customers to use them consistently; that is, make their use a new, healthy habit, sort of like brushing their teeth. This can help them learn more mindful eating, innate portion control, and overall healthier eating behaviors.

But, Mark noted that "MealEnders are not conventional candy. Having just one, or perhaps two lozenges, will help you cap off a meal or address a snack craving and feel "done."

As such, they have not received any reports of people becoming psychologically dependent or "addicted" to MealEnders.

Can you tell me which ingredients are in the Actissert blend?

According to Mark, the Actissert blend is a proprietary food flavor combination formulated to clear the palate and engage the trigeminal nerve (which causes the brain to experience flavors as physical sensations). While he couldn't reveal the actual mix since it's a trade secret, he added that all the flavors are food ingredients that have been approved as safe.

The Bottom Line

MealEnders lozenges offer a relatively simple tool to help you cut out extra calories. Some science backs the rationale behind their mechanism of action. Having their lozenges independently tested also adds merit.

As they contain ingredients found in most sweets, you may be able to save money by trying your luck with single-ingredient whole food after each meal.

Nonetheless, MealEnders seem to offer a safe and seemingly effective means of curbing appetite. They may be especially helpful when added to a comprehensive plan that includes a healthy diet and regular exercise.

To ensure safety, speaking to your doctor should be the first step in your weight loss journey.

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