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
2 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
3 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
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
5 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.
Nutrition facts: 210 calories, 25g carbohydrates, 33g protein, 4g fat.
6 GREEN BANANA CHOCOLATE SHAKE
Miss your favorite fast food shake? This blend tastes just like it, but minus all of the junk, Lax says. This recipe is perfect for a sweet fix without the sweets, and the absorbable protein will help build lean muscles which can rev your metabolism, helping you lose more weight over time, she adds. Why the green banana? It’s a great source of resistant starch, another nutrient shown to help with weight loss.
Recipe: Blend 1/2 cup milk of choice, 1/2 green banana, 1 scoop chocolate protein powder, 1 tablespoon almond butter, and 2 teaspoons cinnamon.
Nutrition facts: 330 calories, 31g carbohydrates, 26g protein, 13g fat.
7 GREEN WARRIOR SHAKE
Creamy Greek yogurt provides satiating protein, ginger, and pomegranate juice to fight inflammation (a common cause of weight gain). And pistachios are the perfect secret ingredient since they contain a satisfying trio of fiber, plant protein, and healthy fats, explain Shames and Lakatos. “You’ll feel full so you won’t end up overeating at the vending machine soon after,” they add.
Recipe: Blend 3/4 cup non-fat Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup pomegranate juice, 1/2 cup green grapes, 1 cup pineapple pieces, 1 cup packed spinach, 1 inch fresh peeled ginger, 1/8 cup shelled pistachios, and ice.
Nutrition facts: 170 calories, 22g carbohydrates, 13g protein, 5g fat