Almased is a powdered supplement that claims to speed up your metabolism and stimulate fat burning.
It’s designed to be taken as a meal replacement shake during a 4-phase diet plan called the Almased Weight Loss Diet Plan.
However, you may wonder whether the Almased diet is safe or effective for weight loss.
This article provides an evidence-based review of the Almased diet so you can determine whether it’s right for you.
What is Almased?
Almased is a low-glycemic, high-protein meal replacement and food supplement.
It was originally developed by a German holistic therapist to combat metabolic and weight issues.
Here is the nutrition for each 8-tablespoon (50-gram)-serving:
- Calories: 180
- Fat: 1 gram
- Carbs: 15 grams
- Fiber: 0.5 grams
- Sugars: 15 grams
- Protein: 27 grams
Eight tablespoons are the serving for someone up to 5’2″ — a larger serving size is recommended for taller individuals.
It’s also a good source of various vitamins and minerals, including potassium, vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, and B6, calcium, and iron.
Soy protein isolate is the primary protein source and honey is the primary source of carbohydrates (carbs) or sugar.
It also contains yogurt powder, which provides both protein and carbs.
Almased is gluten-free and contains no stimulants or artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
It’s recommended to combine one serving of Almased with 10–12 ounces of bottled or distilled water and 1–2 spoonfuls of olive or flaxseed oil and blend until smooth.
The original Almased provides a mildly sweet taste but is otherwise flavorless, but it now comes in an almond vanilla flavor.
You can also mix Almased with skim milk or unsweetened almond or soy milk and flavor your shakes with cinnamon, unsweetened cocoa powder, or flavored extracts like vanilla or almond.
Avoid mixing Almased in hot liquids or tap water as it’s claimed that the heat or chlorine from tap water may destroy valuable enzymes and water-soluble vitamins.
You should also avoid mixing Almased hours before you drink it as waiting more than one hour can lead to a thicker consistency that may not be palatable.
The Almased diet
The Almased shakes are designed to serve as meal replacements and are at the center of the Almased diet — also called the Figure Plan.
There are four phases to the Almased diet:
Phase 1 — or the starting phase — involves drinking three Almased shakes per day, plus homemade vegetable broth or 100% vegetable juice.
It’s a liquid-only phase — no solid foods are allowed.
You should also drink at least 64 ounces of fluids, which may include unsweetened coffee or tea.
If you’re a coffee drinker, Almased advises limiting yourself to two cups daily.
You can be in this phase for three days or up to 14 days.
Almased claims the purpose of this phase is to promote rapid weight loss and increase motivation to continue with the plan.
Phase 2 — or the reduction phase — involves drinking two Almased shakes per day and having one solid meal, preferably for lunch.
You are supposed to limit snacks between these shakes and meal and consume fruit in moderation.
Almased states that the goal of this phase is to maximize your body’s fat-burning abilities.
You can stay in the phase until you reach your desired weight loss goal.
Phase 3 — or the stability phase — calls for one Almased shake and two solid meals daily.
This phase is intended to help you maintain your weight loss long-term as you continue to lose weight at a slower pace.
Follow this phase for several weeks.
Phase 4 — called the life phase — calls for three solid meals and one Almased shake daily.
It’s called the life phase because you’re supposed to follow it lifelong to maintain your weight loss and prevent weight gain.
It’s claimed that you will feel more motivated to be physically active and approach your daily tasks with renewed vitality.
Meals and food list
The meals in phases 2 through 4 should be low in carbs and high in protein.
Here are the guidelines for each meal:
- Protein: 3–5 ounces per meal
- Grains: 1 cup or slice of bread
- Vegetables: 1 cup or more
- Dairy: 1 cup
- Oils: 1–3 tsp
Examples of these foods include:
- Protein: skinless poultry, lean cuts of beef or pork that say “loin” or “round,” egg whites, fish and shellfish, beans, peas, and lentils
- Grains: amaranth, barley, buckwheat, bulgur, millet, oatmeal, quinoa, and whole-grain bread, rice, and pasta
- Vegetables: asparagus, bell peppers, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, green beans, leafy greens, onions, mushrooms, tomato, zucchini
- Dairy: fat-free milk, yogurt, unsweetened dairy alternative, or 1.5 ounces of reduced or low-fat cheese
The guidelines also recommend consuming 1–2 servings of fruit daily during phases 2 through 4.
Almased recommends avoiding sugary beverages, alcohol, white rice, pasta, and bread, candy cakes, and overly processed, fried, or prepared foods.
Is it effective for fat loss?
The Almased diet claims to promote quick and easy weight loss that lasts.
Indeed, there is strong evidence to suggest that the inclusion of at least one meal replacement product like Almased can promote and sustain long-term weight loss (1).
In one study, participants with overweight and obesity received guidance on healthy eating and cooking and were encouraged to increase physical activity to promote weight loss for 26 weeks (2).
Some of the participants received this guidance alone while others received this guidance in combination with Almased and the 4-phase Almased diet plan.
The participants in both groups lost a significant amount of weight but those who received Almased lost significantly more than those who received healthy lifestyle interventions alone after four, 12, 26, and 52 weeks.
Specifically, those in the Almased group lost 6.6 pounds (2.9 kg) and 3.9 pounds (1.8 kg) more after 26 and 52 weeks, respectively, compared with those who didn’t receive Almased.
These results translated to greater reductions in fat mass and greater retention of lean body mass like muscle.
Those in the Almased group likely lost more weight due to differences in calories and protein.
A lower calorie intake — which during the first phase of the Almased diet can be as low as 900 calories — will result in more rapid weight loss and weight loss overall.
The Almased diet is also high in protein, with each 8-tablespoon serving providing 27 grams of protein.
- Suppresses appetite: Protein decreases the hunger hormone, ghrelin, and increases levels of hormones that decrease appetite.
- Boosts metabolism: Protein requires more calories to digest and absorb than carbs or fats.
- Retains muscle mass: Protein encourages weight loss from body fat rather than muscle, allowing you to burn more calories at rest.
Unfortunately, the authors didn’t track the participants’ calories, but those in the Almased group indeed consumed significantly more protein, which was largely why they experienced more weight loss than the other group (5).
The study was funded by Almased and several authors report receiving payment from the company for research and speaking engagements.
While these conflicts of interest were reported to have no influence over the study’s outcomes, it’s important to acknowledge them.
Downsides and side effects
Research suggests that the Almased diet can be effective for weight loss — both in the short- and long-term — when combined with nutrition counseling and other healthy lifestyle changes.
However, there are several downsides to the diet to consider.
The Almased diet is very black-and-white — particularly during the first two phases.
You know exactly what you can and can’t eat or drink.
It’s this rigidity that humans crave and make diets like the Almased diet so popular because they can reduce decision fatigue and provide a sense of control over your environment and food choices.
But it’s also this rigidity that can prevent you from developing healthy lifestyle habits that allow you to maintain your weight loss.
Rigid diets are also associated with disordered eating habits and may lead to chronic or yo-yo dieting, which can decrease your metabolism and your ability to lose weight over time (6).
Indeed, a diet is only as good as your ability to follow it — not for days, weeks, or months, but for years and years.
May cause side effects
The Almased diet is low in calories, especially in the beginning phases.
While generally mild and tolerable, low-calorie diets like the Almased diet can cause many negative side effects, such as:
- cold intolerance
- poor sleep quality
- hair thinning
- low sex drive
- low energy
It’s these side effects that can make following the Almased more difficult long-term.
However, research demonstrated that participants who followed the Almased diet for 26 weeks experienced no serious adverse side effects (2).
Cost and where to buy
Most big-box retailers like Walmart and Walgreens carry Almased.
You can also purchase Almased from online sites like Amazon.
Almased costs $30–$35 per container, depending on where you purchase it.
There are 10, 8-tablespoon (50-gram)-servings per container, breaking down to $3–$3.50 per serving.
Based on this serving size, one canister will last you about three days during the first phase, five days during the second phase, and 10 days during the third and fourth phases.
But keep in mind that you will need to purchase Almased more frequently if you are taller than 5’2″ since the serving size recommendations increase beyond this height.
The Almased diet plan is located under the lid of each canister.
Their website also has resources and shake recipes.
The bottom line
The Almased diet is a 4-phase diet centered around high-protein meal replacement shakes.
The diet has been shown effective for both short- and long-term weight loss but its rigidity and potential for side effects are downsides to consider before deciding whether the diet is right for you.