Is strawberry milkshake good for weight loss?

Strawberry milkshakes are a delicious and refreshing treat that many people enjoy. However, when it comes to weight loss, milkshakes are often viewed as an indulgence to avoid due to their high calorie and sugar content. This article examines whether strawberry milkshakes can be part of a healthy weight loss diet or if they should be limited.

Calorie and Macronutrient Content of Strawberry Milkshakes

To determine if strawberry milkshakes are good for weight loss, we first need to look at their typical calorie and macronutrient composition:

  • Calories: A 16 oz strawberry milkshake from a fast food restaurant contains around 500 calories on average.
  • Carbohydrates: Around 85g per 16 oz serving, mainly from added sugars.
  • Protein: Around 10g per 16 oz serving from the milk and ice cream.
  • Fat: Around 10-15g per 16 oz serving from the cream, ice cream, and milk fat.

So in a typical strawberry milkshake you are getting a high amount of calories, sugar, and not much protein or fiber. This combination can spike blood sugar and provides a lot of calories without making you feel very full.

Effect on Weight Loss

For successful weight loss, you need to burn more calories than you consume. Strawberry milkshakes are very high in calories, so they can easily tip the calorie balance in the wrong direction if consumed frequently or in large amounts.

Some key considerations on strawberry milkshakes and weight loss:

  • A 16 oz strawberry milkshake can provide nearly 1/4 of most people’s recommended daily calorie intake.
  • The high sugar content causes blood sugar spikes and crashes which can stimulate hunger.
  • The calories are not very satiating compared to solid foods with protein, fiber etc.
  • Easy to unconsciously “drink your calories” and exceed your calorie budget for the day.

So while the occasional strawberry milkshake treat will not sabotage your weight loss goals, making them a regular habit can easily lead to excessive calorie intake which will hinder weight loss over time.

Healthier Milkshake Alternatives for Weight Loss

If you really love strawberry milkshakes, there are some ways to lighten them up so they are more diet-friendly:

  • Use low-fat or fat-free milk instead of whole milk.
  • Replace ice cream with frozen yogurt or protein powder.
  • Use fresh or frozen strawberries instead of syrup.
  • Add fiber with oats or chia seeds.
  • Use a calorie-free sweetener like stevia instead of sugar.
  • Blend with ice instead of full-fat ice cream.

Making these simple switches can save you hundreds of calories per serving while still delivering the delicious strawberry flavor.

You can also consider alternative shakes using high protein ingredients like greek yogurt, cottage cheese, or a scoop of protein powder blended with berries and almond milk. These provide more satiety from protein and fewer calories from sugar.

The Role of Portion Control

When incorporating the occasional strawberry milkshake into your diet, portion control is key. A “medium” takeaway milkshake can easily provide 800+ calories, which is half of most people’s daily needs.

Here are some tips for keeping shake portions in check:

  • Choose a small shake instead of medium or large.
  • Order a kid size if dining out.
  • Split a regular shake with a friend.
  • Measure your ingredients at home and stick to 1 cup serving sizes.
  • Use a small glass instead of large milkshake glass.
  • Don’t “drink your calories” – eat slowly with a spoon to savor.

Being mindful of portions allows you to satisfy your cravings while keeping calories under control.

Incorporating Into a Weight Loss Diet

While strawberry milkshakes are high in calories and sugar, you can still enjoy them in moderation on a weight loss diet. Here are some tips:

  • Treat shakes as an occasional indulgence, not an everyday food.
  • Balance out calories by eating low calorie foods for other meals/snacks.
  • Make sure to account for the calories by reducing your intake elsewhere in your day.
  • Don’t let shakes take the place of more nourishing foods with protein, vitamins etc.
  • Track your calorie intake to stay within your daily calorie goal.

As long as you account for the occasional milkshake indulge within your calorie budget, it can be part of a healthy weight loss diet. Just don’t overdo the frequency or portions.

The Importance of Overall Diet Quality

While calories are important for weight management, the quality of your overall diet matters too.

Some tips for healthy eating alongside occasional treats:

  • Emphasize vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, fiber.
  • Choose whole foods over highly processed items.
  • Don’t cut out foods you love – practice moderation.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Reduce added sugar intake outside of treats.
  • Focus on protein, fiber, and nutrition at meals.

By building healthy habits during your regular daily meals and snacks, you have more flexibility for occasional indulgences without sabotaging your weight loss goals.

Other Tips for Losing Weight with Milkshakes

Here are some other tips for enjoying strawberry milkshakes sensibly as part of a weight loss diet:

  • Go for a walk after your milkshake to burn some extra calories.
  • Choose shakes over higher calorie desserts like cake or ice cream.
  • Use shakes to replace a meal no more than 1-2 times per week.
  • Avoid adding whipping cream, which can double the calorie count.
  • Skip the whipped cream topping to save yourself calories.
  • Enjoy shakes after a workout when your body can better utilize the carbs.
  • Don’t drink your shakes mindlessly – savor and enjoy each sip!

The Bottom Line

Strawberry milkshakes can absolutely be part of a healthy weight loss diet – in moderation. While high in sugar and calories, an occasional small shake is unlikely to negatively impact your weight loss if your overall diet is comprised of nourishing whole foods and you stay within your daily calorie needs.

Be mindful of portions, choose lighter shake recipes when possible, and balance out your calories over the day. Emphasize nutrient-dense foods, get regular physical activity, and keep your calorie deficit modest.

If you really love strawberry shakes, find ways to healthify the recipe and make room for them in your eating plan instead of feeling deprived. Just keep your expectations realistic – milkshakes alone won’t make you lose weight if the rest of your diet is out of control. By pairing shakes with good dietary habits, you can lose weight while still enjoying this delicious treat!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are strawberry milkshakes fattening?

Strawberry milkshakes can be high in calories and fat when made with full-fat ice cream and whole milk. A 16-ounce restaurant milkshake can contain around 500 calories and 15g of fat. So while not inherently fattening, frequent or large strawberry milkshakes can contribute to excess calorie intake which leads to weight gain and fat storage over time.

Can you lose weight drinking milkshakes?

You’re unlikely to lose weight if strawberry milkshakes are a regular part of your diet. However, you may be able to have an occasional milkshake as a treat if you account for the calories by reducing intake elsewhere in your daily diet. The key is ensuring an overall daily calorie deficit through portion control and balancing milkshake intake with lower calorie, highly nutritious foods.

Are strawberry milkshakes good for you?

Strawberry milkshakes can provide nutrients like calcium, vitamin D and potassium. However, they are high in added sugars and low in fiber, so they lack nutritional value compared to whole foods like fresh strawberries with yogurt or milk. As an occasional treat, strawberry milkshakes in moderation can be part of a healthy, balanced diet. But they shouldn’t be a dietary staple.

Can milkshakes help gain weight?

Yes, strawberry milkshakes can help contribute to weight gain if consumed in excess. Their high calorie density coupled with low nutrient density makes it easy to take in a lot of calories from milkshakes without getting very full. If your goal is weight gain, incorporating higher calorie milkshakes along with other calorie-dense foods can help drive up your daily calorie intake to promote weight gain over time.

Are strawberry milkshakes good for muscle gain?

Not particularly. While the protein content provides some benefit, a typical strawberry milkshake won’t have nearly enough protein to optimize muscle growth compared to a post-workout shake. And excess calories from strawberry milkshakes are more likely to add body fat. For muscle gain, focus on sufficient protein intake, calories from nutritious sources, strength training and adequate rest.


Strawberry milkshakes can be enjoyed even when trying to lose weight if you are mindful with portions and incorporate them into an overall healthy, calorie-controlled diet. Opt for smaller, lighter shakes and view them as occasional treats rather than daily habits. Balance milkshake calories out with lower calorie whole foods and don’t let shakes sabotage your progress. With some moderation and smart diet strategies, you can still satisfy your cravings while working toward your weight loss goals.

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