Build Your Best Shake!

By: Thomas Baker

If you thought your TLS® Shake couldn’t be used for both diet and gaining weight, you’re wrong! Easy to adjust to your needs and liking, there are countless different ingredients to add. But, while making one can be quick and easy—knowing which ingredients to use and how much—can make or break your progress. Whether it’s to lose weight or gain it, here’s how to build your best shake for weight loss versus muscle gain!

Build Your Best Shake

Weight Loss vs Muscle Gain Shakes

When you’re aiming to lose weight, your shake should not consist of a lot of calories. You want to avoid the sneaky calorie overloading ingredients while still keeping your appetite under control, and providing your body with the vitamins it needs! As a general rule-of-thumb, weight loss meal replacement shakes should fit within these guidelines:

  • 400 calories or less per serving
  • Between 15-25 grams of protein
  • 10-13 grams of healthy fats
  • Nutrient-dense, meaning it packs in a lot of vitamins and minerals.

It’s important to check the nutritional label if you’re buying one that’s pre-made or, better yet, on the ingredients when you make yours at home!


If gaining weight is what you’re looking for, then calories and extra protein are a good thing! Even though weight gain shakes don’t always mean meal replacement shakes, they should still pack in:

  • A healthy amount of calories
  • 20+ grams of protein
  • 13-15 grams of healthy fats
  • As many vitamins and minerals as possible.

Your shake is what you make it, so most of the calories and protein in your muscle gain shakes will come from the added ingredients.


Choosing the Base

The base ingredient in a shake is the liquid that make up the shake. For weight loss shakes, the most common (and the most simple) base is water. Unsurprisingly, you have plenty of options here as well. Many waters are now fortified with vitamins and minerals, and water with electrolytes is also a good option if it’s zero calories.

When you’re trying to gain weight, your base ingredient should be some type of milk. You can use any type of milk:

  • Whole milk
  • Almond
  • 2% to Skim
  • Cashew
  • Coconut
  • Oat

The milk base will give you the added calories and protein that your muscles need to build after intense workouts.


The Additions

The combinations of added ingredients in your shake are endless. Base them in your nutrient needs to hit your daily amount of vitamins and minerals, pack in the protein, or add in some extra calories with healthy fats!

Build Your Best Shake for Adding Muscle & Weight

For muscle building & weight gain, two of the most common additions to boost calories and protein are cream and peanut butter. Just don’t get carried away! One cup of heavy cream can makeup almost 800 calories and peanut butter packs over 1000 calories per cup, so pay attention to your caloric needs & the serving sizes on the nutrition label. Despite being very nutrient-dense, neither will leave your stomach feeling great afterward.

Avocado and bananas are another set of commonly used ingredients for boosting nutrition and calories.  At 200-300 calories per cup, avocado provides plenty of heart-healthy fats and bananas are great for fueling & recovering from intense aerobic workouts!

If you’re watching your fat intake for any reason, adding tofu is another great way to boost protein.


Build Your Best Shake for Adding Muscle & Weight

For weight loss, you’re going to want to steer clear of the calorie-dense additions — or at least use them sparingly. Focus on adding fiber and volume with lower calorie ingredients that don’t skimp on nutrients. Try adding strawberries, pineapples, spinach, and cucumbers! Cocoa powder and powdered peanut butter are also great additions with a lower calorie count and plenty of delicious flavors.


Shake Recipes to Try at Home!

They’re many different weight loss shakes and protein shakes available, just make sure you’re keeping an eye on the label to ensure your shake is aligned with your goals. Know the nutritional facts for all the added ingredients that you add & note the serving sizes. If you do this, you’ll be well on your way to whichever goal you’re working towards!


Banana and Strawberry Shake
This shake is high in calories, so it’s a great option if you’re replacing a meal and using it as a post-workout shake as well! Definitely not one you’d indulge in every day but, if you wanted to, you could easily swap the milk & cream for water or almond milk.


Calories Protein Fat Carbs

4 ounces

61 4.15 g 2.44 g

5.745 g

Heavy Cream
1 ounces

103 0.61 g 11.03 g

0.83 g

1 large
120 1.5 g 0.4 g

31.1 g

1 cup

49 1.02 g 0.46 g

11.67 g

TLS® Whey Shake
1 serving
130 21 g 2.5 g

4 g

Total Nutrition:
463 cal
28.28g protein
16.83g fat
53.05 carbs.


Key Lime Pie

This shake is very high in protein, making it a great fit for both muscle gain and weight loss! If you need to up the calories, simply swap the water for milk and toss in some avocado for a little boost!

Ingredient Calories Protein Fat Carbs
FF Cottage Cheese
1/2 cup


SF Instant Pudding Mix – Cheesecake
1 tsp.





13 g



0 g

0 g



0 g

6 g



6 g

Ice Cubes


1 cup





0 g



0.86 g

0 g



1.2 g

0 g



1.09 g

1/2-1 cup


2 packets





0 g




0 g




0 g




TLS® Whey Shake
1 serving
130 21 g 2.5 g 4 g

Total Nutrition:
242 cal
34.86g protein
3.7g fat
18.09 carbs.