So delicious, so easy.
If you ever tried one of your mom’s weight-loss shakes when you were a kid, you probably remember them being chalky and disgusting. Well, these ain’t your mama’s shakes.
A good shake is all about nailing the right mix of simple, high-quality ingredients, says Andrew Abraham, M.D., an integrated medicine doc and founder of Orgain protein shakes.
“When you’re trying to lose weight, protein is the most important nutrient,” he explains. “It increases satiety, prevents spikes in blood sugar, and helps build lean muscle which will increase your metabolism.” You can use a plant-based protein powder (pea, chia, or brown rice) or an animal protein (whey, casein, or collagen), depending on your tastes, but make sure it’s free from hormones, additives, fillers, and ingredients you can’t pronounce, he says, adding that organic is best.
The next most important ingredient for weight loss is fiber, he says. It also helps keep you full, nixes cravings, and keeps your gut healthy. Fruits and veggies are the best source of fiber and nutrients.
What you don’t want: added sugars and other empty carbs. “Contrary to what you might think, you don’t have to add a lot of sweeteners to make a shake taste good,” he says. “If you use high-quality ingredients, it will taste good on its own.”
It’s okay to add a sprinkle of stevia, monkfruit, or erythritol as these natural calorie-free sweeteners won’t mess with your blood sugar, but take a hard pass on artificial sweeteners, he says.
Sound complicated? Nope! These 20 weight-loss shakes meet all of these nutritional requirements, says Abraham. Bonus: They also taste amazing.
GREEN AND LEAN SHAMROCK SHAKE
Most minty shamrock shakes are drool-worthy, but not at all diet-friendly. Quench your cravings and stay on track with your health goals with this creamy, fresh shake from Felicia Romero, nutrition and fitness expert on Lifetime’s From Fit to Fat to Fit. “The peppermint is refreshing and has been shown to reduce sugar cravings and the healthy fats give it a creamy texture while keeping you full,” she says.
Recipe: Blend 1/2 banana, 1 cup spinach, 2 drops peppermint oil, 1/2 avocado, 1 cup coconut milk, 1 scoop protein powder, and ice.
Nutrition facts: 257 calories, 16g carbohydrates, 27g protein, 8g fat
BERRY BUTTER SHAKE
Peanut butter, berries, and spinach may seem like a strange combination at first, but when blended together the flavors combine in the best way, says Jennifer M. Brown, R.D., associate professor at Arizona State University’s School of Nutrition and Health Promotion. “Who doesn’t love salty and sweet together?” she says. “Plus, you get four out of your five servings of daily fruits and veggies.”
Recipe: Blend 1/2 frozen banana, 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries, 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 2 cups fresh spinach. Add milk of your choice until it reaches the desired consistency.
Nutrition facts: 286 calories, 34g carbohydrates, 10g protein, 14g fat
CREAMY CHOCOLATE AVOCADO SHAKE
Got a serious chocolate craving? This shake will scratch that itch and prevent cravings later in the day when your willpower is weaker, says Amy Shapiro, R.D., C.D.N., and Truvia dietitian. “The avocado adds creaminess and heart-healthy fats and fiber that will keep you full and your skin glowing, too,” she says. “The cacao is a powerful antioxidant and the chia seeds provide a dose of omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, protein, and hydration so this smoothie will keep you going all day long.”
Recipe: Blend 1/2 avocado, 1/2 cup fresh coconut water, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, 1 scoop protein powder, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 1 tablespoon honey, ice, and 2 packets Truvia or other stevia-based sweetener.
Nutrition facts: 290 calories, 21g carbohydrates, 27g protein, 11g fat
STRAWBERRY PEA SHAKE
Peas? Before you channel your inner 5-year-old and rule this one out, know that peas have powerful weight-loss benefits, say Tammy Lakatos Shames, R.D.N., and Lyssie Lakatos, R.D.N., the Nutrition Twins and authors of The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure. Like all pulses, peas can aid in weight loss even when calories aren’t restricted, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Pea protein was found to be more effective than whey protein at preventing hunger, according to a second study in Nutrition Journal. And you won’t even taste it, thanks to the antioxidant-rich strawberries and blackberries.
Recipe: Blend 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1/2 frozen banana, 1/2 cup frozen strawberries, 1/2 cup frozen blackberries, and 1 scoop pea protein.
Nutrition facts: 256 calories, 35g carbohydrate, 23g protein, 5g fat
GUT LOVE SHAKE
The gut is often called the gateway to health because its delicate mix of bacteria can affect everything from your mood to your weight. Think of this shake as a “multi-vitamin” for your gut bacteria, providing protein, fiber, and nutrients to help the good bacteria flourish while banishing the bad, says Lauryn Lax, a naturopath and nutrition expert. The coconut milk gives you a healthy dose of fat for staying power.
Recipe: Blend 1 cup bone broth, 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1 frozen banana, 1 scoop collagen protein powder, 2 tablespoons carob powder, pinch of salt. Optional: Add stevia, maple syrup, or other sweetener of your choice.