How To Lose Weight With Smoothies – Your Ultimate Guide
Does it seem like your busy life makes losing weight difficult and fueling unhealthy choices?
I used to feel like that too… I mean, who has time to cook and eat the “healthy way” we know we should? and how can I be at my best when I'm constantly feeling hungry?
Living life on the go, it turned out that to succeed with my weight loss journey, I needed to:
- Enjoy my food - otherwise I'll have a hard time adopting the habit
- Avoid spending lots of precious time on prepping, cooking and even on eating!
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How could that be possible?
When I discovered that I could save time using homemade smoothies, and how I can lose weight with smoothies, it opened the door for me to shed extra pounds easily.
Without those sugar cravings, without feeling constantly hungry, and… I never saw my old weight again.
Today I’m going to share my smoothie fat burning diet plan and recipes, that could fit easily into your busy lifestyle.
… and they’re delicious, too!
I've also discovered recently that there's a complete, easy-to-follow plan and personal coaching called "The Smoothie Diet" by health coach Drew.
Wish I've known about this one during my years of struggle with excess weight!
What is a weight loss smoothie
A beverage you can make at home, combining ingredients that are perfectly to your taste while being low calorie and rich in healthy nutrients.
If you’re on a quest to slim down or maintain a healthy weight, then the typical contents of your smoothies should be 2-3 cups of vegetables or packed leafy greens and 2 pieces of fruit.
The quantity of vegetables should always be larger than the fruits. Making a smoothie that's dominantly fruit means it would contain too much fruit sugar (fructose) which isn't diet-friendly!
In this guide we’ll show you exactly what fat busting ingredients are best to use and what to avoid. You’ll also get our own personal smoothie recipes to help you get started.
How do weight loss smoothies work?
First, I’m going to be real with you…
Drinking smoothies isn’t a magic bullet guaranteed to drop pounds of fat. I’ve seen it again and again, how great results rely on combining good nutrition, enough exercise, and proper rest and relaxation.
Having said that, there are several features that are common to fat-busting smoothies, and they're the secret behind their effectiveness:
- Low calorie ingredients
- Serve as a meal replacement shake or as a way to avoid unhealthy snacks between meals
- Contain protein or other ingredients that help you feel fuller for longer, so you're less tempted to eat more or binge
- You choose the ingredients so they perfectly cater to your taste. The result is you’ll enjoy them and want to continue with this healthy habit.
Why smoothies help you lose weight
There are several main reasons why smoothies are an amazing tool to help you shed excess pounds:
1. Smoothies can be nutrient-dense
A “nutrient-dense” food is packed with micronutrients while being relatively low in calories. Since your cells crave nutrients, drinking nutrient-dense smoothies can help reduce appetite.
Keep in mind that not all smoothies are created equal… if you prepare a smoothie that has high sugar ingredients, it will mess with your energy and your fat-loss goals.
In fact, when it comes to smoothies the first thing that comes to people’s minds is usually fruits. I’m going to bust that myth here and say right upfront that an exclusively-fruit smoothie is not a good idea due to its high sugar content.
No worries though, as vegetable-based smoothies can be just as delicious. It might come as a surprise to many people, but it is actually one of the strongest point of smoothies -
2. The Fun Factor - enjoying your smoothie diet
Smoothies provide a rare opportunity to enjoy extremely delicious food while eating healthy and supporting your weight loss efforts.
For example: if we are challenged by the taste of a healthy ingredient such as kale, a great way to mask its taste is combine it in a smoothie.
I believe we should thoroughly enjoy our healthy nutrition and feel that we're only eating food that's delicious to our taste!
If you want my actual recipes for delicious weight loss smoothies, just click here to get them (yes, it’s free, like all the other content on this website!)
Also, many confuse smoothies with juices, and it is important to understand the difference, and to stick with smoothies if you want to lose weight more effectively.
Including vegetables in the smoothie is part of the secret of fat loss, as you’ll see in a minute.
Keep reading for my top 14 fat-burning smoothie ingredients, and 7 high sugar ingredients to avoid.
3. Smoothies are easy and realistic to incorporate into your lifestyle
Have you tried “diets” which require lots of food prep, time to eat, and carrying containers of food with you all day?
Most people can’t sustain the work it takes to eat healthy every day, but blending a couple smoothies to drink throughout the day is very practical.
No stove-top required, and you won’t need a 30 minute break to chew through a giant salad. In fact, if you don’t like salads, you’ll never need to eat a salad again.
I can tell you that when I learned how to make tasty green smoothies it finally open the doors for me, to eat vegetables in the quantity I needed, and actually enjoy it!
What is a green detox smoothie
We are surrounded by toxins and contaminants - in our food, water and hygiene products, to name a few.
Unless our daily nutrition is rich in raw vegetables and fruits and low on processed food, then our body finds it extremely difficult to get rid of these toxins.
In fact, these pollutants and toxins are attracted to our body's fat cells and stored there. As we're exposed to more toxins, our body tries to protect our organs from the toxins by producing more fat to store them!
When you cleanse your body to get rid of toxins, you stop this process of producing more fat, so the question now is - how to it in an effective, healthy and easy way?
A smoothie made of fresh veggies and fruit is great way to do it, and relieves you from the need to use dubious methods such as starvation cleanses or detox supplements.
An easy to make homemade smoothie is what your body needs to be able to use its ability to detox itself effectively.
What is a meal replacement shake
A shake is a low calorie beverage, usually thinner than a smoothie and comes in flavors such as vanilla, chocolate or peanut butter.
It’s almost always high in protein, to help you feel fuller for longer to minimize binge eating.
The idea sounds great - replace a high calorie meal with a low calorie shake.
Going for a store-bought meal replacement shake powder is usually not the healthiest choice. It contains highly processed ingredients and loaded with added sugar or artificial sweeteners.
You can easily make a shake at home using fresh vegetables and fruit, while adding protein powder with your preferred flavors such as vanilla or chocolate. My favorite is Sunwarrior, which is vegan and naturally sweetened with Stevia.
The 4-Week Smoothie Weight Loss Meal Plan
So you’re ready to kick-start this journey, but you aren’t sure where you start?
Don’t worry, the best way to make lasting changes is to start slowly so I have broken it down into a 4 Week Plan.
We too had enough of those "diet plans", so this meal plan is more of an exercise to help you ease into healthier nutrition habits.
For the actual recipes used in this meal plan, click HERE to download our free recipes ebook.
Important! Always consult your physician or Registered Dietitian before starting any diet or changes to your nutrition.
Week One: replace at least one meal with a smoothie
Let’s start by visualizing where we would be in the near future: enjoying 1-3 delicious smoothies every day, some of our fat already gone and the rest is on its way out. Most importantly, we have a new habit that helps us keep body weight as we like it.
But to do that, we need to start in baby steps. We’re not starting a “diet” here. Been there, done that, no thank you… Therefore, we can’t just make a drastic shift in one day, or else it would end up like all those other “diets”.
We will start with breakfast, as most people find it easiest to start this new eating habit with.
Incorporate a breakfast smoothie into your morning routine to start feeling amazing. Download my recipe book for the exact recipes you can use to make delicious breakfast smoothies.
While you’re replacing your breakfast with a smoothie, start also replacing sugary drinks with stevia-sweetened iced teas or lemonade.
In the next few weeks, gradually swap unhealthy snacks like chips, crackers and candies with a snack smoothie (recipes inside the ebook), nuts or freshly-cut fruits.
In conclusion, this first week you’ll get used to drinking a morning smoothie. If you’re wondering what’s best to eat for lunch and dinner - try focusing more on veggies and protein, for example a salad with fish or a chicken stir-fry with cauliflower rice.
Week Two: drink two smoothies a day
Now that you’re used to having a smoothie for breakfast, you’re going to start having one for dinner as well.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to drink the same smoothie twice – see the recipes ebook for dinner smoothie recommendations.
By now you will be getting into the groove of good nutrition, and making healthier choices naturally. Another important change that starts to take place now is that your taste buds start to get used to the taste of greens.
During this week as well, be sure to rotate between different recipes for breakfast and dinner smoothies. Feel free to try different variations on the recipes or swap ingredients. Just make sure you keep the right proportion of fruits and veggies (as explained in a minute) and avoid too much sugary fruits.
Remember to keep your snacks healthy, and make lunch a high protein plate with lots of veggies if possible.
For the weekend, continue drinking smoothies in the morning, but lunch and dinner is up to you - if you have a family dinner or lunch at a restaurant, just enjoy it. You deserve it, after having saved so many calories and consumed so much healthy nutrients this week!
In my case, during the weekend I didn’t stop myself from eating my favorite dishes, but made an effort to reduce quantities (using a smaller plate was the most effective trick).
Week Three: 3 smoothies a day for 3 days
By week 3, you are a blender-pro. For this week only, you’ll drink an extra number of smoothies to speed the weight loss effect, then next week return to 2 smoothies a day for the entire week (except weekends).
Pick 3 days of the week that would be the most convenient for you to replace lunch with a smoothie. So, for example your week might look like this:
Monday - Morning smoothie, noon smoothie, evening smoothie
Tuesday - Morning smoothie, lunch, evening smoothie
Wednesday - Morning smoothie, noon smoothie, evening smoothie
Thursday - Morning smoothie, noon smoothie, evening smoothie
Friday - Morning smoothie, lunch, evening smoothie
Saturday - Morning smoothie, lunch, dinner
Sunday - Morning smoothie, lunch, dinner
In the example above, you drink smoothie for breakfast and dinner every day, while only on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday you replace all three meals with healthy smoothies.
Since your taste buds are probably a bit more used to greens now, in between the smoothies you can snack on fresh-cut veggies like cucumber, carrots and celery with nuts or nut butter. Some low-sugar fruits like berries or peaches would also be good.
On the weekend, enjoy some healthy cooked meals and maybe a dinner out with some nice wine - same as week two.
You’re going to be looking and feeling better than ever so make sure to get out and enjoy life while making healthy choices.
Week Four and beyond: find your maintenance mode
After 21 days of smoothies, this lifestyle has become a habit or on the verge of becoming a permanent, healthy habit. Now it’s time to find what works best for you so that you can continue long-term.
If you have a lot of weight to lose, I recommend sticking with the Week Three plan for a few weeks.
If you only want to drink 2 smoothies per day and eat a healthy lunch, that is fine too. It’s all about finding the plan that you will keep up long-term.
Smoothie recipes for weight loss
Smoothies are known as one of the most effective and fun ways to help fight those extra pounds and maintain a healthy weight.
You just need to know what are the right ingredients to include and what to avoid. The simple smoothie recipes here have been crafted with this in mind.
The three recipes here cover you for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They're taken from my free eBook which you can download using the green button below.
What makes a smoothie recipe fat loss friendly or fat burning?
- The ingredients you include in it - be sure to include a good amount of protein as well as these ingredients
- The ingredients you avoid including in it - stay away from these ingeredients
- Low fat: a green vegetable smoothie is by nature lowfat, though as far as taste goes you can use the tips and techniques in the guide to make it taste exactly as you love it.
Having said that, including healthy fats in your smoothie would actually help with fat loss! My favorites are flaxseed, chia and cold pressed coconut oil.
- Timing: breakfast, snack or meal replacement - consuming a smoothie as your breakfast is a proven way to feel fuller for longer, avoiding hunger pangs, avoiding snacking and larger lunch portions. Replacing one other meal with a healthy smoothie would also mean your'e getting a nutrient-rich meal but without the extra calories.
Do you want to get ALL my original smoothie recipes for weight loss? click the button below to download them (it's free).
How to make weight loss smoothies
We’ve put together this comprehensive guide to help you quickly get started and be on the right track.
Read on to learn what ingredients are good to use, what to avoid, as well as our tips, tricks and ideas for perfect, delicious smoothies.
The basic appliance you’ll need in order to make these smoothies is a blender.
There are different types of blenders, but the ones that are easiest and quickest to use, while giving you the smoothest beverage texture, are either bullet blenders or high performance blenders - see our full guide to blenders here.
Recommended smoothie ingredients for weight loss
The following ingredients have been scientifically proven to help lose weight, and so should take an important part in your smoothies.
Some of these ingredients are also known to make smoothies delicious, for example coconut milk and avocado.
Other ingredients can be more challenging to your taste buds, such as kale and cucumber.
However don’t be afraid of that - surround these challenging ingredients with banana, mango or other sweet fruits, and their “challenging” taste either disappears or becomes totally acceptable.
You'll notice quite a few vegetables here, which qualify these beverages to be called "green smoothies".
Green smoothies are the most suitable type of smoothies for our purpose, though they don't necessarily have to bee colored green or taste like vegetables - the color changes according to the other ingredients, such as blueberries, and the veggie taste can be muted by the fruits or other condiments you add.
1. Coconut milk: high in healthy fats, coconut milk will keep you full for hours thanks to the satiating effects of dietary fat. Coconut milk will also add richness to your smoothie so you can enjoy making healthy choices.
2. Avocado: packed with fiber, monounsaturated fat, potassium magnesium and more, avocados are one of the healthiest food around. They are also extremely low in sugar, and give a creamy texture to your smoothie.
3. Cucumber: increase the hydrating effects of your smoothie by adding cucumber! High in water and vitamins, but low in calories it is the perfect ingredient to keep you full and lean.
4. Kale: incredibly high in antioxidants, fiber, calcium, minerals, and even protein… kale is an absolute super food that you should be adding to your smoothies. It’s also very easy to disguise the flavor of kale, so your smoothie will still taste amazing.
5. Spinach: spinach is the mildest green to incorporate into smoothies, so most people can add 2-3 cups without noticing the taste. This is great because spinach is rich in iron, vitamin C and fiber.
6. Ground Flax: high in omega-3s, fiber and lignans, flax seeds are known to be effective at treating obesity and digestive disorders like constipation. Grinding the flax helps you to absorb more nutrition, so don’t skip this step.
7. Chia seeds: similar to flax seeds, chia seeds are a great source of omega-3 fats and dietary fiber. Chia seeds are also a good source of plant-based calcium, which may be helpful for those suffering from lactose-intolerance.
8. Hemp seeds: known for being higher in protein than most seeds, hemp hearts can increase the satiety-factor of your smoothies by keeping you full for hours. 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds contains 10 grams of plant-based protein, so they are worth having on hand.
9. Coconut Oil: contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which encourage fat burning and can help with weight loss. Coconut oil also helps to keep you full thanks to it’s high-fat nutrition profile.
10. Berries: of all fruits, berries are considered to be the most nutrient-dense. This is thanks to their high antioxidant and low sugar content. Berries are my top choice for fruits to use in smoothies because they will not raise insulin, therefore they will not contribute to body fat as much as other fruits.
11. Banana: unlike berries, bananas actually contain quite a bit of sugar. However, this doesn’t make them necessarily bad. Bananas are rich in potassium, an important electrolyte for muscle and cardiac health. To keep the sugar low, limit your bananas to just one per smoothie, and time it after a workout for best results.
12. Pineapple: rich in the digestive enzyme bromelain, pineapple can help improve your digestion by breaking down food more effectively. If you’re prone to gas, bloating and belching after drinking smoothies, try adding pineapple to relieve your symptoms.
13. Nut Butter: not only are they a great way to add creaminess and healthy fats to your smoothies, nut butters also reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes. Since they are a source of protein but very low in sugar, nut butters add the right type of nutrition to your smoothies.
14. Protein Powder: protein powder is a supplement that can take your smoothies to the next level. Adding around 20 grams (or more) of protein per serving, protein powders keep you full and help your build more muscle. As a bonus, most veggie protein powders are sweetened with stevia and can improve the flavor of your smoothie. The one I use is the Sun Warrior vegetable protein powder.
These condiments are known for their weight loss effects, and can also add a unique flavor to your smoothies:
1. Dates: while they are not necessarily an unhealthy food, dates are extremely high in sugar. Adding dates to a smoothie along with other fruits like bananas or berries can take the sugar content far from what is recommended.
2. Green tea: use it as a great low calorie base to your smoothie. For an extra boost of antioxidants, fat burning metabolism and a possible decrease in the “bad” LDL cholesterol, Matcha green tea is especially effective.
3. Unsweetened cocoa powder: researchers have found cocoa to help reduce the stress hormone cortisol. This is great for our purpose, since cortisol promotes the storage of fat, especially around the belly.
4. Cinnamon: it gives a great flavor and even some sweetness, without adding calories. Cinnamon also has a host of other health advantage, so it is definitely one of the top recommended smoothie condiments.
5. Ginger: found to increase metabolism for better fat burning, and it also improves digestion. 1-3 teaspoons of grated ginger should be enough.
6. Apple cider vinegar: researchers found that it can lower blood sugar levels, and can help if you have type 2 diabetes or you’re at risk.
Smoothie ingredients to avoid
As part of your weight loss efforts, you should either take care to use only a small quantity, or ideally avoid altogether, these following ingredients:
2. Skim Milk: dairy products have been associated with reduced insulin sensitivity. Insulin is your storage hormone, so if you don’t want to gain fat you should aim to improve your insulin sensitivity - so your body will make less of it, and thus be less inclined to store fat.
In short, either avoid dairy products as the liquid basis of your smoothies, or use only a small quantity.
3. Agave Nectar: although it might appear as “healthy” thanks to its lower GI (Glycemic Index) score, agave nectar is not highly recommended.
Similar to high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), agave nectar is loaded with fructose. Fructose has been associated with higher levels of VLDL cholesterol (the worst kind) and increased belly fat.
4. Coconut Sugar: while it is a lower glycemic sugar option, coconut sugar has little place in your smoothie.
Like dates, it adds unnecessary sugar to your smoothie, which can take away from the overall healthiness of the recipe.
5. Flavored Almond Milk: when buying non-dairy milk, always ensure it is unsweetened. Usually the chocolate and vanilla flavors contain a lot of added sugar which will only make you fatter and hungrier.
6. Maple Syrup: maple syrup can be a good source of minerals, but when it comes to your smoothies – leave this ingredient out. If you need a sweet taste in your smoothie, try adding stevia.
7. Sweetened Peanut Butter: even though peanut butter can be high in healthy fats and protein, some brands of peanut butter contain icing sugar and hydrogenated oils. These ingredients can sabotage your health, even if you think you are choosing a healthy ingredient.
Always choose peanut butter labeled as “natural”, and have a quick glance at the list of ingredients, to make sure it contains only a single ingredient: peanuts.
Pro tips and ideas
Are you ready to lose weight and improve your health with smoothies?
I drink a smoothie every day to stay lean and healthy. I usually make the recipes you’ll find in the ebook, although I now do variations and play more with superfoods such as Maca.
What do you think about this plan? Have any questions you’d like to ask me?
Share your journey in the comments below, and if you know anyone who you think could use a push in the right direction - be sure to share this article with them.