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.
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