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GNC Total Lean Shake Review - Does This Shake Work? Are bad taste and no results deal breakers?

By Summer Banks on Sep 08, 2016

You want to use a meal replacement to help cut calories, but you don’t know if this is the right one. Diet products either work or they don’t. Period. Let’s see which one GNC Total Lean Shake is. We dove into the side effects, ingredients, customer service and scientific research. We also took to reading hundreds of reviews. Then, we condensed it all to give you the bottom line.


What is GNC Total Lean Shake?

To begin, GNC Total Lean Shake is a meal replacement with a carbohydrate blend, milk protein, dry milk, cocoa, creamer and a vitamin and mineral blend. It supplies nine grams of protein and is supposed to help support a healthy diet and metabolism. A meal and exercise plan comes with your order from GNC.

GNC, the company behind Total Lean Shake, has been around for decades. The official website sells all branded products, but you can also buy them through third-party retailers. We like the idea of using a meal replacement to help control calorie intake and it only contains 180 calories, but read on…

It mixes easily…I just wish it was not so highly processed.

Taste – “Good or Bad?”

We first looked at GNC Total Lean Shake ingredients to see what users thought about the taste. “As you’d expect with a protein supplement, some like the flavor and others hate it,” says our Research Editor.

  • “Rich Chocolate tastes pretty good,” shares one user.
  • Another claims, “I was really surprised about the taste. I really do like the chocolate flavor.”

Just as many users were not happy with the taste.

  • “First of all the taste makes me want to throw up,” described a dieter.
  • One buyer said, “Seriously put me off chocolate. Yuck.”

Results – “Not for Everyone”

With the word “lean” in the name, you look to this product to help promote weight-loss. Not everyone saw the results they expected.

  • One person who used GNC Total Lean Shakes said, “Does not help support healthy weight loss.”
  • Another shared, “I… didn’t lose any weight…back to looking for something that tastes a lot better.”

However, there are dieters who saw results and were happy with them.

  • “I followed the nutrition guidelines that came with it…and lost about 10lbs in 3 weeks (while doing a lot of cardio),” said one user who partnered exercise with GNC Total Lean Shakes.
  • One more said, “In the first week of using it and not really dieting otherwise (still had alcohol, etc.) and no exercise – I lost one pound.”

So, after years of research we’ve found a connection between the small things, like a few negative reviews in a row, and a lesser chance of lasting results. If GNC Total Lean Shakes isn’t what the dieter wants, they’ll turn to another brand quick.

The Science – “Validated?”

If you’re willing to take a chance and taste is not an issue, then what does the science say about GNC Total Lean Shake? Protein is known for helping stave off cravings between meals, but that’s true of all sources. Plus, the nine grams in this formula is a little on the low side when you can spend the same amount for 30 grams or more.

Also: read our Leptigen Weight-Loss Kit review »

The Bottom Line – Do GNC Total Lean Shakes Work?

Are we already mixing up a shake? Well, we like the idea of a meal replacement to help control calorie intake and some people think the flavor is amazing, but we do have some reservations. Science doesn’t say GNC Total Lean Shake is any better than an alternative that provides more protein. And, mixed reviews leave dieters questioning whether or not it’s worth a try.

If you want to get the most out of your meal replacement, we suggest pairing it with a clinically tested supplement shown to help promote weight-loss.

Among the best products we’ve seen in 2016 is one called Leptigen. It contains just four ingredients and all may help spark metabolism and fat loss, according to clinical testing. Testimonials from dieters who’ve used the formula to reach weight-loss goals are amazing.

Plus, Leptigen is available as a Special Trial Offer because the makers are so confident in the formula.

Get Your Sample Today »
About the Author:

Summer Banks is an ISSA-Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist and has reviewed over 2000 diet products. She has years of nursing training, experience as a manager responsible for 15 supplement brands, and completed coursework on Food and Nutrition from Stanford University. full bio.

How Does GNC Total Lean Shake Compare?

Previous GNC Total Lean Shake Review (Updated February 23, 2015):

What You Should Know

Many weight loss programs are focused on a protein shake or meal replacement shake. These provide a measured amount of calories and total nutrition and can help a dieter lose more weight by taking the calorie counting and menu decisions out of the picture for one to two meals a day. The GNC Total Lean Shake is just this type of supplement. The product claims to help a dieter lose weight while providing a full RDA of many vitamins, nutrients and minerals as well as a great source of protein.

List of Ingredients

Carb Blend (Carrageenan, Fructooligosaccharides, Maltodextrin, Xanthan Gum, Cellulose Gum, Oat Bran, Resistant Starch), Milk Protein Concentrate, Nonfat dry milk, Cocoa, Creamer (Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Maltodextrin, Sodium Caseinate, Dipentene (Limonene), Monoglycerides, Polysorbate 60), Natural and Artificial Flavors, Vitamin and Mineral Blend (Biotin, Folic Acid, Niacinamide, Vitamin A Palmitate, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin D3, Potassium Iodide, Potassium Citrate, Riboflavin, Cyanocobalamin, Sodium Ascorbate, Phytonadione, Chromium Chloride, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, dl-alpha Tocopheryl Acetate, Thiamin Hydrochloride, Sodium Molybdate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Gluconate, Beta-Carotene, Magnesium Phosphate, Zinc Gluconate), Salt, Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose.

Product Features

Dieters should not be scared off by the long ingredient list for the GNC Total Lean Shake. Protein shakes are formulated from many ingredients, but break down to protein and a sugar substitute to reduce calories. Typically, a great protein shake will account for little more than four calories per gram of protein. Every gram of protein requires four calories to be digested by the human body. Any calories above that will be attributed to fat or carbohydrates, both of which are not needed in a dietary shake. There are nine grams of protein per serving and 180 calories. That leaves 144 calories unaccounted for. With eight grams of fiber per serving, we can whittle the questionable calories down to 102. So, there are 102 calories from carbohydrates and fats. All-in-all, the GNC Total Lean Shake is no more effective than other shakes sold for weight loss and it contains milk and soybeans, both of which could cause food allergy reactions in some dieters. The shake powder retails for $29.99 in stores and online.

See Our Featured


  • Protein shakes provide total nutrition that is easy to measure.
  • The shake is high fiber.
  • All ingredients are listed online.


  • There are sugars listed in the ingredient list but not on the label.
  • Too many calories for a protein shake.
  • As a meal replacement, there are too few calories.


Protein shakes can be confusing. The dieter needs more than 180 calories to replace a meal and the body builder needs fewer carbohydrates when streamlining lean muscle. This supplement falls somewhere in between and could be used as a supplement once in a while, but not on a daily basis for weight loss.

GNC Total Lean Shake Questions & Answers:

We examined hundreds of user comments and responses about GNC Total Lean Shake, and then created this helpful FAQ.

What are the side effects of GNC Total Lean Shake?

Possible GNC Total Lean Shake side effects may include upset stomach, gas, bloating, and diarrhea. This is according to some customer reviews found online.

What are the ingredients in GNC Total Lean Shake?

GNC Total Lean Shake ingredients are maltodextrin, oat bran, cellulose gum, resistant starch, fructose-oligosaccharide, xanthan gum, carrageenan, milk protein concentrate, nonfat dry milk, cocoa, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, sodium caseinate, vitamins and minerals.

Does GNC Total Lean Shake work?

First off, GNC Total Lean Shake provides nine grams of protein per serving. This will help stave off hunger and promote lean muscle mass, but there’s no published clinical research showing the supplement helps you lose weight.

Then again, you might want to consider substituting GNC Total Lean Shake for a diet product backed by published clinical research such as Leptigen.

How much does GNC Total Lean Shake cost?

The retail price for GNC Total Lean Shake is $34.99. However, the GNC member cost is $24.99.

How should I use GNC Total Lean Shake?

You simply add two scoops of GNC Total Lean Shake powder to eight ounces of cold water and mix well. Drink two shakes per day in place of two meals. Each container provides 16 servings.

How do I contact GNC customer service?

You can contact GNC customer service by calling 1-877-462-4700. There is a store locator tool provided on the website as well. You can type in your zip code and find the nearest location.

Can I use GNC Total Lean Shake if I have a health condition?

People with health conditions and those taking prescription drugs should speak with a doctor before using GNC Total Lean Shake. Also, women who are pregnant or nursing should not use this supplement, unless a physician says it’s okay.

What do users like about GNC Total Lean Shake?

Some users appreciate that GNC Total Lean Shake is low in calories and fat. Others like that this supplement is available in several flavors.

What do users not like about GNC Total Lean Shake?

Some users do not like the taste of GNC Total Lean Shakes. Furthermore, some customers have complained that this product does not aid with weight-loss.

Does GNC Total Lean Shake contain sugar?

Yes, GNC Total Lean Shake does contain sugar and sucralose.

Is there a diet and exercise plan with GNC Total Lean Shake?

Yes, a diet and exercise plan is included with GNC Total Lean Shake.

Does GNC Total Lean Shake contain caffeine?

No, there is no caffeine in GNC Total Lean Shake.

Do you know of any special deals or discounts on GNC Total Lean Shake?

The only special deal on GNC Total Lean Shake that we are aware of is the GNC member price that’s available through the official website. On the other hand, you might want to check into Leptigen’s Special Trial Offer, which is only the cost of your shipping and handling. Many of our readers have been very excited about it. Click here to give it a go.

16 User Reviews About GNC Total Lean Shake

Leave comments below
  • 1
    Paula wiser

    I hate having to go threw those pyrimids orders like herbalife and level i also would like to order and get myself


  • 2
    carolyn parrish

    cant find it now of course but one webb site stated lean 25 has a known carcinogen as one of the ingredients im very upset is this true


  • 3

    I used Herbalife for about 2mos. I’m just tired of ordering process. I’m more of an i Want it now person… so i’m trying this GNC-day 2 seems to be okay but not as satisfying as Herbalife. I will fill you all back by week 2 – July 5th.


    Your Name

    Hi I use Herbalife but hv been thinking bout switching to Total Lean …. (Same reason, the order process)….how would u compare the 2 now


  • 4

    I started this on Friday, 5/31/13. I was 216…today, the following sunding, 213. I make a shake with 2 scoops and a banana in the morning, have a lunch with lean meat and veggies, and make a shake with 1 scoop and berries at night. Lots of water too. Seeing results already and I’m excited.


  • 5
    Shonda Nelson

    I’m starting the GNC total lean shakes on Friday, April 5, 2013. I’m going to try it for 12 weeks & see how much weight I’m going to lose.


  • 6
    Willnetta Bostic

    The lean shake is awesome I have been taking the shake for 2weeks and I have lost 11lbs I only drink it once a day for lunch and workout and follow the 1500 calorie plan


  • 7
    duane lewis

    I started using total lean little over 6 months about 7. i weighed about 301 the heaviest i ever been i cried but thanks to total lean im back im 59 yrs young im a diabetic and feel great.the only thing i did was take two scoops, with 2% milk and crushed ice twice a day in a magic bullet. now im 249lbs thank god but i also started drinking a gallon of water a day and no bread. 03/01/2013 try it you won’t be dissapointed drink twice a day morning and evening and watch the miracle.


  • 8

    I have just started using the Total Lean Shake. I have Rich Chocolate and Cookies and Cream. I am using it for breakfast and lunch. and I will be eating a regular dinner. My snacks are fruit and raw vegetables. I sit down a work all day so on my kunch, I walk up and down the stairs (3 flights) for 30 min. This way I am getting some excercise. I drink alot of water. No soda at all and the juice I drink is natural, blended juice….carrots, beets, apple, celery, etc. I will be doing this for 30 days. I will follow up with everyone to give you the 2 week results and the 4 week results of weight loss. As of today…I weigh 196.2 lbs…..lets see if this will work.



    your routine is pretty much what i would like to start doing, i am on Day #2. How’d it go? I’m starting out at 207lbs.


  • 9

    could it be taken for dinner?


  • 10

    i just started this and i go to workout everyday .. i havent seen my weight and seen if i gain weight hopefully not .. and if i do what should i do to stop .. i got the new gnc total body transformation and i have to 2 day using it and if its back what should i do to stop ?? :/


  • 11

    This explains why am gaining weight, although my appetite is greatly decreased.


  • 12

    Bought the GNC Lean Shake (vanilla) for me and my wife. For me: I sometimes like to work through lunch and was looking for a meal replacement. For my wife: She wants to reduce some weight.

    The taste is really good. My main concern is that it contains Partially Hydrogenated Oil. That’s Trans fat! Which is really bad for you!

    I don’t understand how GNC, which is a health supplement company, can include trans fat in their products.

    I am seriously considering chucking away the lean shake product into the trash can.



    It says creamer( partially hydrogenated soybean oil) there is not enough for it to even be put in the nutrients label. The same thing is in the coffee creamer and many other products.


    Your Name

    That does not make it less harmful


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