It seems you can't step into a supermarket these days without seeing "weight loss shake" powders staring at you from the shelves. You don't have to spend your hard-earned cash on these expensive potions. Instead, head for the cereal and produce aisles. There you'll find the ingredients for a healthy banana-oatmeal milkshake. Provided you make it with water or low-fat dairy and not ice cream, this shake can beat any commercial mix, as long as you keep some provisos in mind.
Fiber, which in a banana oatmeal shake comes from both the banana and the oatmeal, is essential to weight loss. Fiber takes time for your body to break down, which helps you maintain fullness. Dr. Susan Perryman, also a registered dietitian, writes the best-quality fiber comes from foods in their natural state, so make your milkshake with "old-fashioned" rolled oats and fresh bananas rather than instant oats or banana puree.
Hydration and Weight Loss
Another way oatmeal and banana smoothies can help you lose weight is by helping you stay hydrated. Andrea Wenger Hess, a nutritionist with the University of Maryland Medical Center, reports that when you get dehydrated, your kidneys compensate by holding onto water weight, and it shows on the scale. Water also helps your stomach expand, contributing to your sense of fullness. An easy way to add extra water to an oatmeal banana milkshake is to throw in a few extra ice cubes, which also help chill the drink to a pleasant temperature.
Other Helpful Ingredients
Though banana and oatmeal are both good weight-loss foods, other ingredients can also help. If you make your smoothie with low-fat or fat-free dairy products, you'll be adding protein. Like fiber, protein helps you feel full since your body takes time to process it. Milk also provides calcium, and while scientists do not yet understand why, they do know that low calcium consumption is linked to increased risk of weight gain.
Though banana oatmeal beverages can help you lose weight, they are not a magic weight-loss formula. Weight loss requires you consume fewer calories than your body burns. You'll still need to exercise, follow sensible, healthy-eating guidelines such as consuming plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins, and stick with it even when you've had setbacks. If you need help, see your physician or a trained nutritionist.
- MayoClinic.com; Energy Density and Weight Loss: Feel Full on Fewer Calories; January 2011
- University of Maryland Medical Center; Common-Sense Strategies to Long-Term Weight Loss; Michelle Murray
- “The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite”; David A. Kessler; M.D.; 2009