The Yes You Can diet is a popular weight loss plan that uses daily meal replacement shakes and dietary supplements.

It’s marketed to help you achieve your ideal weight and live a healthier lifestyle while still enjoying some of your favorite foods.

Still, you may wonder whether this diet really works.

This article takes an objective look at the Yes You Can diet and its effects on weight loss and health.

Rating Score Breakdown
  • Overall score: 2.5
  • Fast weight loss: 4
  • Long-term weight loss: 2
  • Easy to follow: 2
  • Nutrition quality: 2

THE BOTTOM LINE: The Yes You Can diet, which relies on supplements and meal-replacement shakes, may be convenient for short-term weight loss. However, it's very restrictive, low-calorie, and expensive. It has also not been extensively studied.

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The Yes You Can diet is a partial meal replacement plan that includes shakes and dietary supplements sold through the company’s website.

The system was created by Alejandro Chaban who founded the company in 2012 after losing 160 pounds (73 kg) using similar weight loss methods.

The products are marketed as “clinically proven” to help you lose weight. They can be purchased individually or in bundled packages.

Their most popular bundle is a 30-day supply of shakes and supplements called “Transform Kit: On The Go 60,” which includes:

  • Complete Meal Replacement. Two canisters (30 servings) of fortified powder for making shakes. Each serving provides 200 calories and 20 grams of milk-based protein along with 21 essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Slim Down. 30 capsules containing a blend of green tea extract, caffeine, L-carnitine, and other ingredients. It’s advertised to help you “burn more calories” and “increase energy levels.”
  • Appetite Support. 30 capsules containing a blend of herbs, chromium, and amino acids claimed to decrease hunger and reduce food intake.
  • Collagen. 30 capsules of bovine collagen plus a mix of vitamins and minerals marketed to “maintain skin elasticity” and promote healthy hair and nails.
  • Colon Optimizer. 30 probiotic and herbal supplement capsules advertised to help promote a healthy gut and prevent gas and bloating.
  • Nutrition Guide. A nutrition and lifestyle guidebook that tells you what, when, and how much to eat.
  • Heart Band. A heart-shaped bracelet with instructions to give yourself a snap on the wrist when negative thoughts about “junk food, doubt, and fear” overshadow your goals.
Summary The Yes You Can diet is built around low-calorie meal replacement shakes and dietary supplements. It’s advertised to help you lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle.

The Yes You Can diet works by substituting one to two main meals each day with a fortified shake. It also recommends that you take daily dietary supplements and follow the Traffic Light Diet for your remaining meals and snacks.

Meal Replacement Shakes

Yes You Can meal replacement shakes are low in calories and high in protein.

A single serving of the meal replacement powder provides 200 calories, 15 grams of carbs, 7 grams of fat, and 20 grams of protein.

For most, this is a significantly lighter meal than usual. Thus, the shakes may lead to weight loss by restricting calories.

Indeed, many studies have demonstrated that meal replacement shakes can be an effective approach to losing weight (, , ).

However, no published studies exist on the Yes You Can shakes specifically.

Dietary Supplements

The Yes You Can plan includes four dietary supplements, advertised to “help you through your transformation.”

When taken daily, these weight loss supplements are intended to boost your metabolism, curb hunger, promote a healthy gut, and revitalize hair, skin, and nails.

While studies on these particular supplements are unavailable, research supports a few of their main ingredients.

For example, some studies suggest that green tea extract — found in the Slim Down supplement — may lead to significant weight loss and help with weight maintenance, though findings are mixed (, ).

Traffic Light Diet

The Yes You Can weight loss plan includes a nutrition guide to complement the meal replacement shakes and supplements.

The guide explains portion sizes and how to follow a Traffic Light Diet.

The Traffic Light Diet originated in the 1970s, to help address the rising rates of childhood obesity. Since then, it’s been adopted by many weight loss programs, including Yes You Can (, 7).

The concept is straightforward. Foods are divided into three categories:

  • Red foods. These are foods to avoid. Examples include fried foods, fast foods, high-fat meats, grain-based desserts, and soda.
  • Yellow foods. These are foods you can eat from time to time. For example, refined grains, eggs, and low-fat dairy products.
  • Green foods. These are foods you can eat often. For example, whole grains, lean meat, poultry, fish, and most fresh fruits and vegetables.

Studies have shown that the original traffic light diet may be useful for weight management in children, but research is lacking on how effective it is for adults ().

Also, no studies have evaluated the Yes You Can version of the diet.

Summary The Yes You Can diet replaces one to two meals a day with low-calorie shakes and weight loss supplements. It also follows a portion-controlled Traffic Light Diet for remaining meals and snacks.

Reducing calorie intake is key to losing weight, but it can be difficult in an environment filled with enticing, high-energy foods.

No studies exist on Yes You Can shakes. However, research suggests that meal replacement shakes may help you lose and maintain weight by controlling portion sizes, creating a calorie deficit, and keeping you full with fewer calories (, ).

In one 12-week study, 45 dieters lost an average of 11 pounds (5 kg) by replacing 2 meals per day with healthy meal replacement shakes ().

In another study, individuals lost an average of 25 pounds (11 kg) while following a calorie-restricted diet involving 2 meal replacement shakes each day for 16 weeks ().

Also, a thorough review of six studies demonstrated that meal replacement beverages may be more effective than traditional, low-calorie food-based diets.

The review found that dieters using daily meal replacement beverages lost 7–8% of their body weight compared to 3–7% on a traditional, low-calorie diet ().

Summary The Yes You Can diet may lead to weight loss by controlling portion sizes and reducing overall calorie intake.

The Yes You Can diet may have some benefits besides helping you lose weight.

Convenient and Portable

Yes You Can products can be ordered from the website and shipped straight to your door.

Since you only need to add water, the shakes are easy to make and particularly convenient if you live a busy lifestyle.

Plus, they’re portable. Having a Yes You Can shake on hand may keep you from grabbing something unhealthy or calorie-dense while on the go.

On the downside, relying on shakes may hinder you from developing lifelong, healthy habits, such as cooking and planning nutritious options for busy days.

Therefore, you may go back to old, unsuccessful habits as soon as you’re off the diet.

May Help Boost Vitamin and Mineral Intake While Dieting

When you’re on a low-calorie diet, it can be challenging to get all the nutrients you need to stay healthy ().

Yes You Can meal replacement shakes are fortified with 21 vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D and iron — two nutrients people are commonly deficient in (, ).

However, the shakes lack certain essential nutrients, such as calcium and potassium.

In fact, a single serving of the meal replacement powder provides only 8% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for calcium and only 2% of the RDI for potassium.

This means your remaining meals and snacks must be very rich in calcium and potassium, or you have to purchase and take yet another supplement to avoid nutrient deficiencies.

Summary Yes You Can is a promising diet solution for busy individuals. The shakes are convenient, portable, and provide 21 essential vitamins and minerals, which may be lacking in your diet. Still, it may be low in other nutrients, like calcium and potassium.

Although the Yes You Can diet may help you lose weight, the plan does have several disadvantages.

May Be Difficult to Stick To

The Yes You Can diet plan may help with quick weight loss but may be difficult to stick to in the long term, as it’s highly restrictive.

Not only are you limited to meal replacement shakes for one to two meals each day, but the plan pushes a restrictive version of the Traffic Light Diet for your remaining meals.

This diet eliminates many foods, including some healthy options like banana and mango.

Also, studies suggest that meal replacement diets may be hard to adhere to (, ).

For example, 49% of participants dropped out of a 12-week study that replaced breakfast and lunch with a beverage ().

Products Are Highly Processed

Yes You Can shakes are highly processed and may not be the best option for overall health.

Though the shakes are fortified with 21 essential nutrients, they can’t compare to the benefits of a wholesome, food-based diet.

Whole foods offer much more than what is listed on any nutrition label.

Fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes contain plant compounds that have been linked to many health benefits, including a reduced risk of many chronic diseases ().

Uses Multilevel Marketing to Sell Products

Using a multilevel marketing strategy, Yes You Can coaches purchase products at a discount and sell them back to you directly for profit.

According to the website, coaches also provide one-on-one guidance and support.

This can be dangerous since there’s no guarantee that these coaches have any formal training in nutrition, health, or counseling.

Summary The Yes You Can diet may be difficult to stick to and is based on highly processed products that can’t compare to the benefits of real, wholesome food. Also, coaches within the company may not be qualified to provide health advice.

According to the Yes You Can diet plan, your day should include five meals, spaced evenly throughout the day.

One to two of your main meals should be a Yes You Can meal replacement shake, while your remaining meals and snacks should follow the plan’s nutrition guidelines.

Here’s a sample 3-day meal plan:

Day One

  • Breakfast. One serving of a Complete Meal Replacement shake and one capsule each of Slim Down, Appetite Support, Collagen, and Colon Optimizer.
  • Snack. A small handful of sunflower seeds.
  • Lunch. Chicken fajitas with bell peppers and two flour tortillas.
  • Snack. Tuna salad with celery sticks.
  • Dinner. One serving of a Complete Meal Replacement shake.

Day Two

  • Breakfast. One serving of a Complete Meal Replacement shake and one capsule each of Slim Down, Appetite Support, Collagen, and Colon Optimizer.
  • Snack. A small handful of almonds, tossed in chili powder.
  • Lunch. One serving of a Complete Meal Replacement shake.
  • Snack. Chicken salad with cucumber slices.
  • Dinner. Shrimp stir fry.

Day Three

  • Breakfast. Vegetable egg-white omelet with a whole-wheat English muffin and one capsule each of Slim Down, Appetite Support, Collagen, and Colon Optimizer.
  • Snack. A small handful of mixed nuts and seeds.
  • Lunch. One serving of a Complete Meal Replacement shake.
  • Snack. Turkey and tomato slices rolled in lettuce leaves.
  • Dinner. One serving of a Complete Meal Replacement shake.
Summary The Yes You Can diet recommends five meals spaced evenly throughout the day. A day plan may include one to two meal replacement shakes and two to three approved meals and snacks.

The Yes You Can diet is a convenient and portable weight loss system that works by reducing your calorie intake with meal replacement beverages and a portion-controlled diet.

This approach to dieting may be effective for quick weight loss, though no studies exist for the Yes You Can diet itself.

For a long-term solution that’s beneficial for both weight loss and overall health, consider a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, lean proteins, and healthy fats.