Despite your best efforts, having a nutritious, low-calorie meal at hand isn’t always possible. Life happens and you end up snacking on unhealthy junk food or skipping meals altogether. If you’re trying to lose weight, these scenarios can quickly sabotage your diet. Enter meal replacement shakes— the busy woman’s solution to on-the-go nutrition. These drinks are designed to replace a meal and provide all the necessary nutrients while being low in calories. Unfortunately, lots of store-bought shakes are loaded with sugar, artificial ingredients, and other not-so-great stuff. They also often lack enough nutrients and calories to keep you satisfied until your next meal. The good news is, there are plenty of healthy, homemade weight loss shakes recipes out there that are delicious and nutritious— and can help you lose weight! Read on to see the list of the best fat-burning ingredients to add to your homemade weight loss shake.
Ingredient #1: Protein Powder
At the top of the list of fat-burning ingredients is protein powder. Protein is essential to help repair and build muscle tissue, which in turn helps burn more calories. A high-protein diet has been linked with reduced appetite and increased weight loss (1).
The best protein powder for women can be made from many different sources, including whey, casein, soy, egg, or plant proteins. Each of these sources has its pros and cons, and what suits one person may not suit another.
Below is a breakdown of the different types of protein powders, to help you choose the best one for your weight loss shakes.
Whey is a by-product of cheese making. It’s a fast-digesting protein, which makes it ideal for post-workout shakes. It’s also high in branched-chain amino acids, which are essential for muscle growth and repair (3).
Casein is another dairy-based protein powder. It’s slower digesting than whey, making it ideal for taking before bedtime. This means your muscles have a steady supply of amino acids to help with recovery and growth overnight (11).
Soy protein is a good plant-based alternative to whey or casein. It’s high in protein and low in fat and carbs, making it ideal for weight loss. Soy is also a complete protein, which means it contains all the essential amino acids your body needs (15).
Egg protein is another complete protein, and is a good choice for those who are looking for an alternative to dairy-based powders. It’s also lower in calories than some other options (7).
There are many different plant-based proteins available, such as rice, hemp, and pea protein. These are all low in calories and fat and are a good option for those with dairy allergies or who are looking for a vegan protein powder (14).
Ingredient #2: Other Protein Sources
While protein powder packs a punch when it comes to fat burning, you don’t have to rely on powder alone to get your protein fix. You can also add other sources of protein to your weight loss shake, such as:
Plant-based milk, such as almond or soy milk, is a great way to add some extra protein to your shake. Compared to dairy milk, plant-based milk is lower in calories and fat, making it a great choice for those looking to lose weight (13).
Greek yogurt is another excellent source of protein. Not only is it packed with protein, but it also contains probiotics, which are beneficial for gut health. Its creamy texture also makes it a great addition to smoothies and shakes (5).
Nuts And Nut Butters
Nuts and nut butter are a great way to add some healthy fats, as well as protein, to your shake. Almonds, cashews, and peanuts are all good choices. Just be sure to watch your portion size, as nuts are high in calories (9).
Chia seeds are a great source of fiber as well as protein. They can help keep you feeling full and may also help regulate blood sugar levels. People swear by them for weight loss, and while there is no concrete evidence to support this claim, it won’t hurt to fill up on these antioxidant-rich seeds (4).
Ingredient #3: Greens
Greens are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They can help support the immune system, improve digestion, and reduce inflammation (10). Adding greens to your weight loss shake is an easy way to increase your nutrient intake and reach your goals.
Due to their low calorie density, greens are also a great way to add volume to your shake without adding a lot of calories. This can help to keep you feeling full and satisfied after drinking your shake.
Some great greens to add to your shake include:
- Swiss chard
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Ingredient #4: Fruit
Some people think they need to avoid fruit because of its natural sugar content, but most experts agree that this isn’t necessary. Whole fruits are great sources of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The benefits of these outweigh any concerns about the sugar content, especially if eaten in place of foods that contain added sugar (6).
Adding whole fruit to your shake can give it a boost of flavor and sweetness without adding a lot of calories. If you are concerned about sugar intake, you can opt for low-sugar fruits like:
- Citrus fruits
The high-fiber content of fruits can also help to keep you feeling full after drinking your shake.
Ingredient #5: Healthy Fats
Healthy fats are an important part of any diet, and this is especially true when you’re trying to lose weight. While it’s important to limit your intake of unhealthy fats, such as saturated and trans fats, healthy fats are essential for proper bodily function and can help to promote weight loss (8).
Healthy fats can also help keep you feeling full after drinking your shake. This is due to their slow digestibility, which helps regulate blood sugar levels and prevents energy spikes and crashes.
Some good sources of healthy fats include:
- Nuts and nut butters
- Olive oil
Ingredient #6: Water
Milk— both dairy and plant-based is a good base for a shake. However, if you’re going for the lowest-calorie meal replacement shake, you might want to consider using water instead. Water is calorie-free and will help thin out your shake, making it easier to drink.
Water is also a good source of hydration, which is important for weight loss. Being well-hydrated can help boost your metabolism and promote the burning of fat (16).
If you find that water makes your shake too thin, you can always add ice cubes to thicken it up. This is a great way to make a low-calorie shake that still has all of the nutrient-rich ingredients you need for weight loss.
How To Lose Weight Safely With Meal Replacement Shakes?
Meal replacement shakes can be a helpful part of any weight loss plan. They are convenient, easy to make, and can provide your body with the nutrients it needs to lose weight safely.
When choosing a meal replacement shake, be sure to:
- Consider Your Overall Calorie Intake: A meal replacement shake is not a free pass to eat whatever you want. In order to lose weight, you need to be in a calorie deficit. This means that you need to consume fewer calories than your body burns (12).
If you’re using a meal replacement shake as part of a weight loss plan, be sure to take into account the calories you’re consuming from the shake itself. This will help ensure that you’re still in a calorie deficit and losing weight.
- Choose Quality Ingredients: Not all meal replacement shakes are created equal. When choosing a shake, be sure to look for one that is made with quality, whole food ingredients. These types of shakes will be more nutrient-rich and can help you lose weight safely.
- Avoid Added Sugar: Many commercially-prepared shakes are loaded with sugar. This can sabotage your weight loss efforts and lead to cravings and overeating later on (2).
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When choosing a shake, be sure to check the label for added sugar and make sure that it’s not one of the first few ingredients listed.
- Drink in Moderation: It’s important to remember that meal replacement shakes are just a replacement for a meal— they’re not meant to be consumed all day, every day.
When using shakes as part of a weight loss plan, be sure to drink them in moderation and combine them with healthy meals and snacks throughout the day.
- Listen To Your Body: Meal replacement shakes don’t have to replace a meal. They can be a snack or a supplement. If you find that you’re still feeling hungry after drinking a shake, listen to your body and eat something else. A healthy snack or small meal can help tide you over until your next meal.
There you have it, the complete list of fat-burning ingredients for weight loss shakes for women. By including these ingredients in your shake, you’ll be getting a nutrient-rich drink that can help you reach your goals.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- A high-protein diet for reducing body fat: mechanisms and possible caveats (2014, nih.gov)
- Added sugars: Don’t get sabotaged by sweeteners (2021, mayoclinic.org)
- Bovine whey proteins – Overview on their main biological properties (2007, nih.gov)
- Chia Seeds (Salvia Hispanica L.): An Overview—Phytochemical Profile, Isolation Methods, and Application (2020, nih.gov)
- Effects of Dietary Yogurt on the Healthy Human Gastrointestinal (GI) Microbiome (2017, nih.gov)
- Effects of fruit consumption on body mass index and weight loss in a sample of overweight and obese dieters enrolled in a weight-loss intervention trial (2010, nih.gov)
- Egg Proteins, Dietary (1989, nih.gov)
- Fat: What You Need to Know (2014, clevelandclinic.org)
- Health Benefits of Nut Consumption (2010, nih.gov)
- Nutrients and bioactives in green leafy vegetables and cognitive decline (2018, nih.gov)
- Pre-sleep casein protein ingestion: new paradigm in post-exercise recovery nutrition (2020, nih.gov)
- Optimal Diet Strategies for Weight Loss and Weight Loss Maintenance (2021, nih.gov)
- Plant-based milk alternatives an emerging segment of functional beverages: a review (2016, nih.gov)
- Plant Proteins: Assessing Their Nutritional Quality and Effects on Health and Physical Function (2020, nih.gov)
- Soy Protein (2003, nih.gov)
- Yes, drinking more water may help you lose weight (2020, hub.jhu.edu)