Weight loss shakes are a welcome addition to any weight loss regime as they are low-calorie, high nutrition drinks which satiate your hunger without extra sugars or fats. These shakes can replace a meal, or be consumed as a healthy snack as you are in control of all the ingredients you put into it.
There is a myriad of weight loss shake recipes for you to choose from where the right combination of the right ingredients produce great tasting weight loss smoothies. Once you learn a few weight loss shake recipes, you will be able to create your own shakes containing a balance of complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, protein, vitamins and nutrients.
While raw egg whites were popular in shakes years ago, many hesitate to use it today. Instead, you can get your proteins by adding a scoop of low-calorie whey protein powder whenever you make a shake. If you opt not to use protein powder, make sure you include protein food sources like white meat, beans and low fat dairy in your other meals.
Best Ingredients for Weight Loss Shakes
Though there are many ingredients to use in weight loss shake recipes, there are some specific ingredients you can add to help you lose much more weight:
- Avocado is the perfect ingredient for a thick and creamy smoothie. It contains healthy fat which keep you full till the next meal and healthy vitamins and minerals.
- Any berry like strawberry, blue berry, raspberry and blackberry not only add flavor to the shake, but is also low in sugar and calories. Its fiber also satiates your hunger while its antioxidants are good for your overall health.
- Cayenne pepper adds spice to your smoothie and your weight loss endeavors as its capsaicin curbs your appetite so that you consume less carbohydrates and fat.
- Cinnamon improves glucose metabolism which is helpful at regulating blood sugar levels, and at reducing the amount of blood glucose which may end up stored as fat. Studies have however proven that the effects of cinnamon are more pronounced on abdominal fat than fat in any other part of the body.
- Chia seeds are packed with fiber and protein, making it a valuable addition to any weight loss shake. It not only keeps you feeling full, but also contains nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, calcium and antioxidants your body needs.
Instead of seeds, its gel is better as it’s easier to digest, makes the smoothie creamier and also unlocks its nutrition. All you need to do is mix equal amounts of water and chia seeds in a container, let it sit for 5-10 minutes and then store the gel in the fridge for a maximum of one month.
- Coconut oil is most helpful in weight loss shakes as it contains healthy fat which gets used by your body and does not get stored as fat.
- Greek yogurt is much higher in protein than other types of yogurt and thus keeps you feeling full longer. However better to avoid the flavored variety as it contains lots of added sugar.
- Nuts are also a healthy fat source for your diet which keeps you satiated for hours when added to the shake.
- Leafy vegetables like spinach, kale and romaine lettuce are full of phytonutrients, fiber rich and low in calories, making it the perfect addition to weight loss shakes, especially if rotated on a regular basis.
- Stevia is a natural, zero-calorie sweetener you can add to your smoothie if it’s not sweet enough for you. Stevia is a better choice than artificial sweeteners as it’s free from side effects and risks.
- Tea, ice, water and herbal or green tea are all better for your shake than milk or fruit juice as they help you get the right consistency with reduced calories.
- The fruit pulp which accumulates in your juicer contains fruit fiber which can be added to your smoothie for a natural fiber source.
Ingredients to Avoid
Besides great foods to add to weight loss shakes, there are also some ingredients best avoided if you want to lose weight. First and foremost is excess sugar, which includes the sugar from natural sources like fruit, maple syrup and honey, which is better minimized.
- While fresh fruits and vegetables are always best, if you can’t find what you want, use frozen foods and not canned food. Canned foods they usually contain preservatives and sweeteners which increase the calorie count. Moreover, when compared to fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, the canned ones lose a significant amount of its nutrition.
- Avoid most dairy products like milk, frozen yogurt and ice cream as they contain extra calories. Instead, use high protein and low sugar dairy sources like raw milk and plain, full-fat Greek yogurt.
- Fruit juices, especially store-bought ones contain extra calories and sugar and is devoid of fiber. While it’s okay to drink a bit of 100% juice, too much increases your calorie intake.
- Protein powders full of fillers and suspect ingredients don’t help with weight loss as they are high in calories. Moreover, protein powder may not be necessary in weight loss shakes if you include healthy whole foods to your diet like nut butters, gelatin, seeds, nuts and Greek yogurt.
- While whole, fresh fruits add flavor and sweetness to your shake, too much fruit in a smoothie can spike blood sugar levels and trigger digestive problems. It’s okay to use more of avocados and berries, and minimal amounts of sweet fruits like banana, mango, apple and pineapple as too much of them will lead to weight gain!
Some Weight Loss Shake Recipes
Now you know what to add, and what not to add to your weight loss shakes, here are some weight loss shake recipes to help you get started. While some shakes may seem to be high in calorie, its good calories which help you lose weight by satiating your hunger till the next meal. (source)
You need to blend all the ingredients in these recipes in your high-speed blender for about 30-45 seconds or till smooth. In case your blender is not so powerful, and your recipe includes coconut oil, blend all other ingredients first. Then drizzle the coconut oil onto the shake and blend for another 5-10 seconds to prevent any clumping.
- One basic shake recipe is made using ½ cup each of skim milk and plain, fat-free yogurt, ½ banana, 1 cup berries and a scoop of low-calorie protein powder.
- The blueberry Greek Yogurt smoothie is made using half cup each of water and fresh or frozen blueberries, 1 tablespoon chia seeds or its gel, ¾ cup full-fat plain, Greek yogurt, ½ tablespoon honey, stevia or maple syrup and ¼ tsp. cinnamon.
- The Berry banana weight loss shake is made using 1 cup each of water, spinach and fresh or frozen mixed berries, ½ fresh or frozen banana, 1 tablespoon each coconut oil and gelatin for protein and ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper.
- The Fat Blaster shake contains less than 90 calories, and is made using 1 small banana, 1 small handful spinach, ½ avocado, ¼ cup blueberries, 1 tbsp. each real cocoa powder and natural honey and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
- The immune booster is made using a small pear or apple, ¼ cup each of cranberries and blueberries, 6 fresh or frozen strawberries, 1 tbsp. natural honey and one squeezed lemon slice.
Of course, don’t expect any weight loss miracles with these weight loss shakes! You cannot expect to lose weight if you faithfully drink these shakes every day, but your other meals are calorie ridden meals like fast, fried or junk food or desserts! Instead, you need to follow a healthy diet and do regular exercise while drinking your shakes.