If you’re trying to lose weight, protein should be your new best friend.
Incorporating protein shakes into your daily meal plans brings a ton of benefits including staving off hunger, boosting your metabolism, and helping you lose body fat while retaining muscle.
While protein shakes can be as simple as a powder mixed with water, few people actually enjoy consuming them this way. If you’re used to eating tasty foods, taking this minimal approach is likely to leave you feeling unsatisfied.
Learning a few great protein shake recipes and rotating them helps keep you from getting bored and increases the chances that you’ll stick with the plan. Let’s start with the basics, then explore some fruity and chocolaty recipes you’re sure to love.
Protein Shake Basics
The most important ingredient in protein shakes is, obviously, the protein. There are 8 common types of protein powder. These include:
- Whey (dairy)
- Casein (dairy)
- Brown Rice
- Mixed Plant
- Hydrolyzed Collagen & Beef*
The right protein powder for you will depend on a number of factors:
- Your goals
- When you’re taking it
- Allergies and Food Sensitivities
- Whether or not you are a Vegetarian or Vegan
When it comes to weight loss, I like to put my patients on an anti-inflammatory elimination-rotation diet like what is recommended in my ChiroThin Program. I do this to help these patients identify any food sensitivities or allergies that can cause water retention and weight gain. Hidden food sensitivities can sabotage weight loss efforts and leave you feeling very frustrated. Continually eating foods that you have sensitivities or allergies to can create a level of chronic inflammation and a whole list of symptoms and conditions such as IBS, IBD, Crohn’s disease, and can contribute to arthritis and chronic joint and back pain and can increase allergy responses to environmental allergens. The 8 most common food allergens include dairy (cow’s milk), eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, wheat (gluten), soy, and fish, and must be taken into consideration when choosing a protein type.
Vegetarians and vegans will want to learn more about their plant-based protein options and choose the best one for their needs.
When making protein shakes, you can also skip the powder and use real foods like Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, or silken tofu. Other ingredients including nuts, seeds, peanut butter, and cow’s milk can also give your smoothies a protein boost.
My Favorite Protein Powder
My personal and professional favorite protein is hydrolyzed collagen & beef protein. It is dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free and when mixed in a blender with ingredients and ice, turns into a smooth and frothy treat that you might mistake for a milkshake.
Right now we are giving away free samples of this protein. You can try before you buy while sample supplies last.
Chocolaty Protein Shake Recipes
Chocolate is by far one of the most popular protein shake flavors. If you want to curb your craving for chocolate in a healthy way, you’ll love these chocolaty protein shake recipes.
- Café Mocha
There’s nothing like the combination of chocolate and coffee to kickstart your morning. To make this shake, start with half a cup of cold brew coffee. Blend this with two scoops of chocolate protein powder, one teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder, half a cup of almond milk, a handful of ice, and a few drops of stevia (to taste).
- Thin Mint
If you love Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies, you’ll love this shake! Mix two scoops of chocolate protein powder and a teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder with half of a frozen banana, ¼ teaspoon of peppermint extract, and one cup of almond milk. Garnish with fresh mint and enjoy!
- Chocolate Chip Cookie
You might not have all the ingredients for this Chocolate Chip Cookie shake in your cupboard, but it’s well worth making a run to the grocery store!
Start with one and a half cups of almond milk and two scoops of vanilla protein powder. Blend in ¼ cup of dry oats, ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon imitation butter flavor, a few drops of Stevia, a dash of salt, one tablespoon of mini chocolate chips, and a handful of ice. Enjoy indulging in this delicious shake guilt-free!
- Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Banana
One taste of this decadent shake, and you’ll feel sure that you’re cheating on your diet! Don’t worry, this protein smoothie fits perfectly into your plan.
To make this shake, blend a frozen banana and two scoops of chocolate protein powder with a cup of raw spinach, two tablespoons of natural peanut butter, one tablespoon of cacao nibs, and 12 ounces of almond milk or water. The result is delicious, and you can’t even taste the spinach (we promise!)
Fruity Protein Shake Recipes
Fruit-based protein shakes give you a ton of options for variety and allow you to add some extra nutrients and superfoods. Start with these fun recipes, then see where your imagination takes you!
- Orange Creamsicle
This Orange Creamsicle shake will bring back memories of childhood trips to the ice-cream stand. To make it, blend a cup of fresh-squeezed orange juice with two scoops of vanilla protein powder, half a cup of Greek yogurt, half of a frozen banana, and a handful of ice.
- Cherry Chia
If you want something a little bit less sweet, the Cherry Chia smoothie is a great option. It has a great cherry flavor, is extremely smooth thanks to the avocado, and includes heart-healthy chia seeds. There’s no protein powder in this recipe, making it perfect for those who enjoy a more natural shake.
To make this shake, simply blend together 1 cup of frozen cherries, ¼ of a ripe avocado, 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, and ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract with a cup of almond milk and half a cup of Greek yogurt.
- Blueberry Muffin
Are you craving a blueberry muffin but don’t want to stray from your health goals? This shake is exactly what you need!
Start with 2/3 cup of frozen blueberries. Add 2/3 cup of Greek yogurt, 1 ½ cups of natural peanut butter, 3 tablespoons of rolled oats, and 1 teaspoon of honey. Flavor this with ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt and cinnamon, then blend with ¾ cup of almond milk.
- Very Berry
The Very Berry shake blends fruit and spinach to give you a healthy one-two punch.
To make this shake, blend two cups of frozen mixed berries and a cup of raw spinach with half a cup of plain yogurt, 2 scoops of vanilla protein powder, one tablespoon of ground flaxseed, one tablespoon of walnuts, and 12 ounces of filtered water.
Need More Help with Your Weight Loss Journey?
Incorporating these protein shake recipes into your meal plans is a great way to improve your eating habits. However, it might not be enough to help you reach your weight loss goal. Do you feel like you’ve been trying forever and just can’t lose the weight? Our Weight Loss Program might be exactly the kickstart you need. Learn more about the program and how it works. Don’t wait. There’s no time like the present to take back control and get the body you’ve always dreamed of!
Dr. Hoch uses a variety of professional, high-quality herbs, homeopathic remedies, and nutritional supplements to help her patients reset their hormones, decrease inflammation, improve joint motion, reduce pain, correct digestive issues, and encourage weight loss. We currently have a number of great products available through Fullscript, our online store. Fullscript is where you can get high-quality, physician-recommended brands of natural products.