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.
1. 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