Plexus Lean Review: Will It Help You Stick to Your Diet?

By Alicia Doyle
HighYa Staff Published on: Dec 4, 2018

Described as much more than just a protein shake, Plexus Lean is considered a convenient solution to sticking to your diet by providing an on-the-go snack option when hunger temptations take over.

The Plexus Lean meal replacement shakes include Plexus Lean Vegetarian, as well as Plexus Lean Whey that comes in both chocolate and vanilla. These products are claimed to deliver a nutritious meal that controls hunger while sustaining energy.

These products are claimed to have many benefits, including the following:

  • Control hunger
  • Sustain energy
  • Support lean muscle growth
  • Deliver essential vitamins and minerals
  • Provide a portable way to fit into an active lifestyle

According to Tyler Horton, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Plexus Worldwide, both versions of Plexus Lean are high in protein and fiber.

“One of the benefits of protein and fiber when you are trying to lose weight is that they are both very satisfying,” Horton said.

By replacing one to two meals per day with Lean, “you’re getting a high protein, high fiber meal that fills you up and is packed with nutrition at a fraction of the calories of a typical meal,” Horton noted. “So, you’re cutting your overall daily caloric intake which helps you to lose weight, but you’re not sacrificing your health in any way.”

It’s important to keep in mind that this review is not intended as medical advice. Before you add any new product to your diet, talk to your medical provider, first.

What Is Plexus Lean Vegetarian?

This product is a 100% vegetarian meal replacements shake that fuels the body to keep the appetite in check and reach weight loss goals without making any compromises.

Each serving of Plexus Lean Vegetarian contains 20 grams of protein from pea, rice and ancient grains.

“It also contains 7 grams of fiber including FOS, a-GOS and XOS – prebiotic fibers that work to selectively feed beneficial microbes in the gut microbiome for good gut health,” Horton explained. “Plus, this smooth, chocolate mocha flavored shake is free from GMOs, and common allergens like soy, gluten, and dairy.”

Additionally, Plexus Lean Vegetarian is a healthy source of Alpha Linolenic Acid, which is a plant-based Omega-3 fatty acid; and 2 grams of leucine (an essential amino acid) for muscle support.

“Each serving also provides 24 highly bioactive forms of B-Vitamins, 5-MTHF folate, Calcium, Potassium, Vitamins A, D, E, and Zinc,” said Horton, adding that there are no artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners or added preservatives.

“We use organic, sustainably grown coconut sugar, stevia (Stevia rebaubiana) leaf extract, and natural flavors to create a delicious Chocolate Mocha blend,” Horton said.

Benefits of Plexus Lean Vegetarian

According to Horton, Plexus Lean™ Vegetarian delivers a nutritious, filling meal in the form of a delicious shake which supports weight loss, satisfies and controls hunger with protein and fiber and provides energy for an active lifestyle.

“It also supports digestive system health with seven grams of dietary fiber, supports muscle growth and maintenance with two grams of leucine per serving and provides 20 grams of plant protein to support muscle growth in combination with exercise,” Horton said.

Ideal Candidates for Plexus Lean Vegetarian

For those following a vegetarian diet, even part of the time, consuming enough protein to retain muscle mass can be a challenge, Horton said.

He explained that many vegetarian proteins do not provide the full complement of essential amino acids, but Plexus Lean provides a unique blend of proteins from various sources that provide all of the essential amino acids your body needs.

“Plexus Lean is the meal replacement solution that delivers optimal nutrition and weight loss benefits all in a 100% vegetarian formula with an incredible taste,” Horton said.

At just 230 calories per serving, “Lean Vegetarian is a great addition for anyone starting a weight-loss plan when combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise,” he noted.

Even if you are not looking to lose weight, “Plexus Lean delivers protein that helps build and maintain muscle, vitamins, and minerals necessary for a healthy lifestyle, and a prebiotic fiber blend,” Horton added.

Tips for Best Use of Plexus Lean Vegetarian

If you are trying to lose weight, it is recommended to replace two meals per day with Plexus Lean.

Use a shaker bottle to blend or stir 2 level scoops with 10-12 oz. of cold water for a meal replacement; or for a lighter option, blend or stir 1 scoop with 4-6 oz. of cold water for a healthy snack.

Plant-based milk can also be used instead of water, but it will affect the caloric intake.

“It also works great with dairy milk for lacto-ovo vegetarians,” Horton said. “Plexus Lean Vegetarian is the easy way to control hunger because it is packed with protein and fiber to sustain energy and help you power through the day.”

What Is Plexus Lean Whey?

These meal replacement shakes are “power packed” with healthy, bioavailable, high-quality ingredients to satisfy hunger while promoting weight loss in two flavors: milk chocolate and creamy vanilla.

“Lean Whey is specially formulated to be good for the gut, with 5 grams of dietary fiber per serving including prebiotic fibers that promote the growth of good gut microbes,” Horton said.

Each serving of Plexus Lean Whey includes 15 grams of ultra-pure, rBGH-free whey protein, 24 grams of protein when prepared with non-fat milk, 5 grams of dietary fiber, and 24 essential vitamins and minerals, including highly bioavailable 5-MTHF Folate, Calcium, Potassium, Vitamins A, C, and E and Zinc.

“Lean Whey offers a complete amino acid profile, including muscle-building leucine and contains lecithin to support brain health,” Horton added.

Benefits of Plexus Lean Whey

Drinking this product is considered an easy, tasty way to control hunger because it is packed with protein and fiber to sustain energy and help power through your day.

Even if you are not looking to lose weight, Horton said it delivers protein that supports lean muscle growth and maintenance, vitamins and minerals necessary for a healthy lifestyle, and dietary fiber to support digestive health.

“Plus, it tastes great, mixes quickly, and is portable so it fits into an active lifestyle,” Horton said.

Ideal Candidates for Plexus Lean Whey

This product is considered a convenient meal replacement solution that delivers optimal nutrition and weight loss benefits, “all with an incredible taste,” Horton said.

He noted that it’s perfect for anyone looking for a healthy and convenient meal replacement or satisfying snack.

“The vitamins and minerals found in Plexus Lean Whey are in highly bioavailable forms, so they are more easily absorbed and better utilized by the body,” Horton explained.

For example, he said that up to 39% of the population cannot utilize absorbed Folic Acid, which is a form of vitamin B9 and is vital for making red blood cells, the synthesis and repair of DNA and RNA, and aiding cell division and growth.

“Instead, Plexus Lean is formulated with 5-MTHF, the most bioactive form that everyone can utilize because it is more easily absorbed,” Horton said.

Tips for Best Use of Plexus Lean Whey

It is recommended to use Plexus Lean as a meal replacement twice a day for weight loss, once a day for weight maintenance, or anytime you crave a snack.

For a complete meal with 24 grams of protein, blend or stir 2 level scoops of Plexus Lean Whey with 8 ounces of cold, nonfat milk.

For an in-between meal snack, use one scoop instead of two with 4-6 ounces of nonfat milk.

“If you do not have milk, Lean tastes great in water and still has 15 grams of protein,” Horton noted. “It blends smoothly with a shaker bottle making it an easy way to stay energized all day. Many people also customize their shakes by mixing them in a blender with fruit and ice.”

Are Plexus Meal Replacement Shakes Effective?

Meal replacements can offer convenience, simplicity, and ease of not having to count calories or measure portions, said Ruth Pupo Garcia, a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator who works at Adventist Health White Memorial in Los Angeles.

“However, this also may hinder weight loss maintenance over long-term due to these individuals not learning about overall nutrition, therefore they may feel lost about overall food choices, or how much to eat if the meal replacement is not used, or not available,” Garcia said.

She added that according to the American Dietetic Association, “Individuals adhering to structured meal replacement plans lose more weight at both 12 weeks and one year than individuals following a conventional diet plan, with one year dropout rates for the structured meal replacement plan significantly less than the conventional diet plan.”

As far as the Plexus products are concerned, Garcia said Plexus Slim has three main ingredients that are claimed to help a person lose weight:

  • Green Coffee Bean Extract: Used as a fat inhibitor and prevented weight gain in some studies in rats.

  • Garcinia Cambogia Extract: A review published in the Journal of Obesity found that people who took garcinia cambogia in studies lost about 2 pounds more than people who didn’t take it.

  • Alpha-Lipoic Acid: Alpha-lipoic acid treatment showed small, yet significant short-term weight loss compared with placebo. Further research is needed to examine the effect of different doses and the long-term benefits of ALA on weight management.

Is Plexus Lean Safe?

The ingredients in Lean Whey and Vegetarian have been widely studied and accepted as safe and effective to support weight loss or healthy weight management in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise, said Horton, who noted that there are no specific clinical studies conducted on the Plexus Lean formulas.

As far as potential side effects are concerned with consuming Plexus Lean Vegetarian, experiencing side effects “is unusual,” Horton said.

“However, certain people who are not used to products rich in protein or fiber may experience temporary gas and bloating,” Horton explained. “One way to avoid this is to start with a smaller amount – like one scoop per day – and then gradually increase your intake over 1 to 3 weeks. Your body should adjust to the additional fiber and protein over time.”

With Plexus Lean Whey, it is not common to experience side effects, but for those who are not used to products rich in protein or fiber, users may experience temporary gas and bloating.

“To help reduce this effect, start with just one scoop per day and gradually increase your intake over the next few weeks,” Horton advised. “Your body should adjust to the additional fiber and protein.”

Using meal replacements can be safe, Garcia said, “but we need to be cautious with ingredients.”

“Overall, a reduction in calories and trading fast foods or high-fat foods for a controlled calorie drink (protein shake) will cause weight loss,” Garcia noted. “Following a structured way of eating, eating more fiber via vegetables and fruits, and exercise all help with long-term success.”

She added that in general, “we need to start focusing on how to keep weight off instead of losing weight because the weight loss method is a choice, but long-term success requires long-term healthy eating and exercise.”

» See Also: A Beginner’s Guide to Losing Weight and Getting in Shape

Who Should Avoid Plexus Lean?

Plexus Lean Vegetarian is 100% vegetarian, and non-GMO, “but it is not designed for vegans,” said Horton, noting that it contains cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) which is not vegan.

“Vitamin D3 is vital to the body to help absorb calcium and promote bone growth,” Horton explained. “It is not recommended for use by children under 18 because the product was formulated to meet the nutritional needs of adults.”

Plexus Lean Whey is free from soy and gluten allergens, “however it is not suitable for those with a dairy allergy,” Horton warned.

“Although the whey Plexus uses contains very little lactose, whey protein is still a byproduct of milk,” he said. “Plexus Lean Whey is also not recommended for use by children under 18 because the product was formulated to meet the nutritional needs of adults.”

Plexus Lean Cost

Plexus Lean Vegetarian costs $52.95 per bag that provides 28 scoops (14 meals or 28 snacks). A monthly subscription brings the price down to $45.15.

Plexus Lean Whey Meal Replacement Shakes cost $39.95 per bag and provides 28 scoops (14 meals or 28 snacks). A monthly subscription brings the price down to $33.95.

The shakes can be purchased online or through a Plexus Ambassador (Independent Sales Representative).

How Does Plexus Lean Compare to the Competition?

According to Horton, the protein meal replacement category is “vast and well-established.”

“There are a million other protein powders, shakes, smoothies and more on the market, but Lean sets itself apart in many ways,” he said.

For example, vegetarian proteins are known to be gritty and “earthy” tasting.

“Lean Vegetarian is incredibly smooth, grit-free, and has a delicious chocolate-mocha flavor with no earthy undertones – with 20 grams of vegetable protein per serving, this is quite an achievement,” Horton said. “And, Plexus offers it all at a price per serving which is comparable to and even less expensive than many brands.”

Lean Whey is unique because it’s designed to be adjustable to your dietary needs: 15 grams of protein when mixed with water or 24 grams of protein when mixed with nonfat milk.

“We also offer Lean Whey with rBGH-free (hormone free) dairy protein because we know that having a clean option is important for our customers,” Horton said. “And, the rich, creamy flavors of Lean Whey are much better than other products on the market that taste artificial, thin, or overly sweet.”

As far as the price is concerned, Plexus Lean costs a little bit more depending on the brand you buy. For instance, Plexus Lean Vegetarian costs $52.95 per bag that provides the equivalent of 14 meals. Comparatively, the GNC Total Lean Shake 25 costs $39.99 for 16 servings. Another meal replacement shake called The Slender Blend costs $26.99 for 15 servings.

Final Thoughts

Both the Plexus Lean Vegetarian and Plexus Lean Whey shakes seem like viable products that can help a person control hunger to lose weight. And even if a person doesn’t want to drop a few pounds, these products contain a wealth of vitamins and minerals that can be a beneficial addition to any healthy diet.

It’s also good to know that these products come with a 60-day money back guarantee, with the company stating that it will offer a full refund within 60 days of the purchase date if you are not completely satisfied. It’s important to note that this guarantee can only be used once per product and excludes certain promotional items. If you have purchased a Plexus product directly from your Ambassador, your Ambassador will issue a refund to you.

These products are also nicely complemented with additional information provided on the company’s website, including articles about what women need to know before building muscle; five ways to improve brain cognition; 5 ways to rev up your metabolism; and tips and ideas for making health a part of your family.

The Plexus website also offers several healthy recipes, including quinoa pasta, lime cilantro cauliflower rice, and three different flavors of vegan oats. There are also recipes that incorporate the Plexus Lean shakes, such as Plexus Lean chocolate coconut ice cream, and Plexus Lean chocolate mocha chia protein pudding.

Meal replacements can be used for a successful weight loss program, Garcia said, “however, long-term changes in dietary habits are needed for sustained weight loss, included with increased activity. Some weight loss supplements can aid in weight loss, but the effect is usually a few pounds difference.”

A lesser known but terrific fact about Plexus is the company’s involvement with philanthropic endeavors.

All Plexus Lean products are part of the Plexus Nourish One Initiative, an on-going commitment to benefit Feeding America, the nation’s largest organization dedicated to fighting domestic hunger through a network of food banks.

“For every bag of Plexus Lean Vegetarian and Plexus Lean Whey sold, Plexus and Plexus Charities contributes a donation equivalent to 14 meals to Feeding America, providing at least 1.5 million meals annually,” Horton said. “One dollar helps provide at least 10 meals secured by Feeding America on behalf of local member food banks.”

» Related: Walking for Exercise: Why 30 Minutes a Day Can Transform Your Health

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