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Make a Shake, Make it Great: Use Sugar-Free Pudding or Jell-o

In my first “Make a Shake, Make it Great” blog, we discussed using diet soda and sugar-free flavored water, then 2nd in the series, we talked about adding sugar-free syrups to your shakes. The next stop in our series is sugar-free pudding and Jell-o®.

One of the real advantages of using sugar-free pudding and Jell-o is the availability factor. Almost any small grocery story will carry at least some flavors, and large grocery stores will carry lots of flavors.

Sugar-free Jell-o flavors usually run in the fruit category: apricot, cherry, cranberry, lemon, orange and so on. Some flavors get more exotic: margarita, mint, piña colada, strawberry-banana, and strawberry-kiwi to name a few.

Sugar-free pudding flavors are a little more varied: banana cream, butterscotch, cheesecake, chocolate fudge, pistachio, vanilla, white chocolate and more. There are even rumors of a sugar-free cinnamon roll pudding out there, but I haven’t seen it in stores yet.

A quick word on using sugar-free pudding and Jell-o – while using measured quantities in your shakes is fine, making sugar-free pudding and Jell-o according to the package directions then eating it is not ‘in the box’ in Phase 1.

The general rule of thumb on using sugar-free Jell-o is 1 level teaspoon dry powder (right out of the box) per shake. The flavor is pretty concentrated so while adding more is fine, add more in small quantities. If using sugar-free pudding, limit the amount to 1 level tablespoon dry powder per shake. The calories in sugar-free pudding can add up fast, so we recommend limiting the amount to 1 tablespoon.

Here are two recipes to get you started: A Strawberry Banana Shake using strawberry-banana sugar-free Jell-o (appropriate for the Decision-Free Diet in Phase 1), and a Cherry Cheesecake Shake using frozen cherries and sugar-free cheesecake pudding (appropriate for the Healthy Solutions Diet in Phase 1).


Strawberry Banana Shake
6 oz. cold water
1 scoop any HMR Vanilla Shake mix
1 teaspoon Strawberry-Banana Sugar-Free Jell-o
6 ice cubes
  • Pour cold water into a blender. Cover blender and start blending.
  • Add one scoop or packet of HMR Shake mix.
  • Add ice cubes, one at a time, replacing the blender cover after adding each ice cube.
  • Add the Strawberry Banana Sugar-Free Jell-o.
  • Continue mixing until shake is thoroughly smooth.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.


Cherry Cheesecake Shake
6 oz. cold water
1 scoop HMR 120 Vanilla (or one packet any vanilla HMR Shake mix)
1 cup frozen cherries (no sugar added)
1 tablespoon Sugar-Free Cheesecake Pudding
  • Pour water into a blender. Cover blender.
  • Begin mixing on lowest speed.
  • While blender is on, add shake mix and pudding. Blend for 10 seconds.
  • Add frozen cherries, a few at a time.
  • Continue blending until smooth.

    Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

If you have a sugar-free pudding or Jell-o recipe that you would like to share, please post them here.

by KeithVanGasken on 07/16/2014 | Share Story With a Friend

tags: Weight-Loss, HMR, Recipes, in the box, strategies

About the Author

Keith Van Gasken

Keith Van Gasken began obesity treatment in a clinic setting in 1982, and has been with HMR since 1992. Roles have included health educator & mentor, as well as program and product development, with a special affinity for product & recipe development. He has maintained a 100-lb. weight loss since 1982.

Comments (13) Post a comment
Keith, I just tried the Cherry Cheesecake shake and it was great. Thanks for the info.
by ivandrago on 08/17/2012
Great post, thanks
by phillAtSilverscape on 01/09/2012
That's a great idea Rebeck8.
by KeithVanGasken on 09/10/2011
what about using sugar free cherry jello and the sugar free fat free cheescake pudding for a cherry cheescake for phase 1 decision free?
by Rebeck8 on 09/10/2011
Thick or Creamy ... I go for volume in shakes by using 12ozs of fluid in all shakes, using HMR 800, with either a sugar-free soda, a combination of water and sugar free flavors, or just water with sugar-free jell-o and/or pudding. I broke our 40-year old Oster blender, that was a wedding present, making my first HMR shake. 15 minutes later a received an email regarding 15% off small appliances at a home improvement chain and drove over only to buy a Ninja, 6-blade, motor on top blender. I love it! I can simple put all ingredients in the blender, place the motor on top, pulse the motor a few times, until the ice is coursely chopped, and then blend for about a minute for a thick shake, or 2-3 minutes until the volume expands to a creamy, smooth dream! Our ice maker makes large crescent shaped ice cubes. I use 15 cubes for a creamy shake and 18-20 cubes for a thick, cold shake (travels for a while in insulated glasses).
by RtBrShake on 09/09/2011
HealthierAnn: Try using a little less water, perhaps a little more ice, and blend on the lowest speed for a longer period of time. Let me know if this helps.
by KeithVanGasken on 09/08/2011
My favorite way to make my shakes is to use Jell-O S/F pudding but I have four shake a day and that's 100 extra calories. Is there something else I can use to make the shakes thick and creamy?
by HealthierAnn on 09/08/2011
Love the cherry cheesecake shake! Saves over 1000 calories vs. the "real thing" :)
by LiteheartLisa on 09/07/2011
Couldn't have said it better, lamandaleris.
by KeithVanGasken on 09/07/2011
variety is important in any long term diet. The use of these products to enhance flavor and texture is a sure way to keep things from becoming boring which in the long run should support compliance.
by lamandaleris on 09/07/2011
Those in phase 2 who are trying to manage their sodium intake should consider the sugar free jello instead of the pudding. The sugar free pudding recipes( per serving of pudding) have 300-310 mg of sodium per recipe as packaged. This means 1 tablespoon of the pudding will add between 150-200 mg of sodium per serving depending on the flavor. Just something to consider as you add variety.
by ChristineWeithman on 09/06/2011
It sure does.
by KeithVanGasken on 09/06/2011
An additional benefit of adding in sugar-free jello pudding is that the shake texture becomes more thick/creamy! Yummmmmy!
by lordrupert on 09/05/2011