Having protein made in this way has a lot of benefits and can be used by those who need to watch their caloric intake for meal replacements or those who are looking for more protein intake as a goal of muscular development.
Some find the high fat, sugar, and calorie content of a protein shake worrying, but there are ways you can make it to suit your diet and is flexible to fit different flavors and tastes.
This is why we have provided a simple recipe you can find below, and from here, you can find other ways to make your shake that much healthier.
How To Make A Low-Calorie Protein Shake At Home
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Two bananas or an equivalent of whatever you want the flavor base to be
- Two tablespoons of Almond butter
- One teaspoon of vanilla extract
- One and a half cups of full-fat or low-fat milk, but be mindful that almond milk will reduce the amount of protein per serving.
All you need to do is cut and prepare your bananas to go inside a blender or food processor, and here you can add the almond butter, vanilla extract, and milk to the desired amount.
Once it’s all been mixed to your liking, you can pour it out and even sprinkle some cinnamon over the top if you want more flavor. If you find it’s not thick enough, you can cut the bananas into pieces and freeze them before blending.
Making a shake this way is good if you want to eat clean and avoid powers that may contain more protein than you need, as you may already get your daily amount from your diet, so you don’t have to go out of your way to find protein.
The complete nutritional information is as follows:
- Calories– 230-250 depending on what milk you use and if you use any toppings
- Protein– Between 10 and 31g
- Carbohydrates– 47g
- Fat– 8g
- Sugar– 24g
- Potassium– 794mg
- Cholesterol– 16mg
- Fiber– 5g
- Iron– 0.9mg
- Vitamin C– 10.2mg
- Vitamin A– 280 IU
The Importance Of Calories
One thing we tend to think about with low-calorie foods is the role in which this plays with our health, as it’s common knowledge that cutting down on the calories you consume could help you live longer, especially for those who don’t burn a lot of calories.
On the flip side, you need fuel to keep you going, and if you cut back too much, you can find a reduction in muscle mass and bone density, so even if you tried to cut back around 20% of your daily intake, this wouldn’t be healthy or a sustainable way to lose weight.
This is why whenever you start a new diet that mentions anything about controlling calories, you should decide if this will work for you as it won’t suit everyone, and if you have a decent idea of how many calories you can function with, can help you to fit this around any diet.
How Much Protein Is Enough?
You can use a visual example, so a protein portion should be able to fit into the palm of your hand, but as a guide, this works out as 45g for women and 55g for men, or 0.75g of protein per 2.2lbs or kilo of body weight per day.
The problem with protein is that it can be found in many foods, and it can stack up pretty quickly, even if you only have one serving of an item, as you can get your daily protein needs from 1 serving of low-fat greek yogurt or two portions of tofu per day.
Some Tips For A Better Protein Shake
Now we know the role that calories and protein have in your diet. You might be thinking about other foods that may make you think twice before doubling up on portions.
So, if you want to make your protein shake healthier or taste better for you, so you stick with them in the long term, you can bear some of these tips in mind.
Be Mindful Of Ingredients
If you’re keeping an eye on the calories of your shake, one thing to consider is the ingredients you use.
So you could try skimmed, low-fat, almond, or soy milk as alternatives, but the only trade-off is that you lose some of the protein value instead.
If this is the case, look at other foods in your diet that have protein and see if there is a balance you can get from this, as you still need a good mix of vitamins and minerals, which you can get from a protein shake.
Try Different Combinations
You want your shake to be of some use to you, it is a good idea to have it in a flavor that you like, and here you could add in some protein powder but be aware that even though you use this, your fats, sugars, and cholesterol can rise as a result.
For higher amounts of protein, you can use flavors like peanut butter, banana, chocolate, Sattu, oatmeal-apple, blueberry with chia seeds, ragi, mango, coconut, and even soy ingredients you could mix to get the perfect blend for after a workout, for example.
For a topping, you could go for almonds, cashews, coconut shavings, mint, chocolate chips, berries, and even chia seeds, so you can get a bit more texture with your shake, especially if you use plant-based milk that doesn’t have a lot of flavors.
When You Consume Your Shake
With regular protein shakes, it is said that 1-3 per day is usually enough to maintain your physique and nutritional needs. For a homemade protein shake, drink one for breakfast or after an intense workout.
Make sure if you swap your protein shake for a meal that you are replacing it with the same amount of calories.
Any excess calories that your body does not burn can be stored as fat, so if you consume more calories than your body needs, it can lead to weight gain.
This can cause some people issues, as they won’t find the shakes very filling and overeat. They can be left wondering how they are putting weight on by drinking a protein shake!
Make sure that your protein shake and the meal or snack you have with it are the same calories as a standard meal you would consume. This means there are no excess calories being stored as fat, causing weight gain.
If You Need To Store Some
Most shakes you make are usually best when consumed straight away, so they retain that thick and smooth texture.
If you use ice, this can melt quickly, so you don’t want a watery base to your shake, which is enough to spoil it for some people.
If you want to make the process easier for you by making a batch, you can do so by not using any ice, and you can pour the shake into molds or trays where you can freeze these and use them for a later time so if you use any sweet flavors this way you can save some of that goodness.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are There Other Ways To Consume Protein That Are Low In Calories?
Yes, there are, and this works by consuming foods that are low in energy density, so you can eat a bit more of these and feel fuller as well, so you don’t find yourself craving other foods that may seem small in amounts, but can be packed with calories.
Examples of low-energy-density foods are fruits, vegetables, whole-grain cereal, whole-wheat bread, brown rice, lentils, beans, fat-free dairy products, lean meat and poultry, and some fats like nuts and seeds can be limited to give you polyunsaturated fats.
Is A Smoothie Better Than A Shake?
This will depend on your nutritional needs and the amount of exercise you do, as both of these can be just as good, but if you’re looking for more nutrients and vitamins, you may want to look at smoothies as an option as these rely more on fruits and veggies to make the mixture.
If you compare this to a shake which can have a lot of empty calories that, if not used up, can be stored as fat, and this is before you add in any sugars or sweeteners that you can add to enhance the flavor.
Some have said, though, that eating a piece of fruit instead of using it in either of these ways is best as they can retain their goodness and nutrients through the parts of the fruit like the skin, so it all depends on what you use in your smoothie or shake blend.
What Are The Benefits Of Meal Replacement Shakes?
One of the main benefits of these is that you have a good idea of what is inside your shake, as these can contain your essential vitamins and minerals, and you can find entirely plant-based ones, so they work for a range of diets and preferences.
These can be far less in calories compared to other shakes and help you if you find you are craving high-calorie foods, so you can get blends that raise your metabolism, which can help burn more calories.
As good as these sound, however, it is recommended that you only use these in the short term as you can quickly get bored of these replacements and go for solids that go against the goals you have set for yourself, so be mindful of this and plan your meals accordingly.
You can see that low-calorie shakes are an excellent way to get some extra protein into your diet, and the fun flavors you can use are perfect for the entire family, so these are great if you have picky eaters who only like certain flavors and ingredients.
It can be a better alternative to protein powder which won’t work for everyone and does require some thought and research as to whether these can be effective for you, so if you are still confused, it might be worth consulting with a nutritionist to set you on the right path.
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