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 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 had 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 perfect 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 number 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:
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 your 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 fruit. I’m going to bust that myth here and say right up front 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 points of smoothies.
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 to combine it in a kale 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.
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 salad again.
I can tell you that when I learned how to make tasty green smoothies, it finally opens 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 a great way to do it and relieve 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 (vs. smoothie) 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.
However, 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 recipe 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.
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.
>>Know someone who prefers smoothies for breakfast? Here are some healthy breakfast smoothies to check out!<<
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 many 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 are 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 many 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.
>> See here for tropical smoothie recipe! <<
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 the right ingredients are 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 ingredients
- Low fat: a green vegetable smoothie is by nature low-fat, 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 you're 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.
>> Check out the best blender food processor combo here!<<
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 be 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.
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.
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.
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.
Kale: incredibly high in antioxidants, fiber, calcium, minerals, and even protein, kale is an absolute superfood 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 contain 10 grams of plant-based protein, so they are worth having on hand.
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 its high-fat nutrition profile.
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.
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.
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.
Nut Butter: not only are they a great way to add creaminess and healthy fats to your smoothies, but 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.
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 you 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:
Dates: while they are not necessarily 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.
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.
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.
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.
Ginger: found to increase metabolism for better fat burning, and it also improves digestion. 1-3 teaspoons of grated ginger should be enough.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Healthy Smoothie FAQ
Are smoothies good for weight loss?
Nutritionists believe that incorporating nutrient-dense smoothies into your diet can help you lose weight. It helps keep your hunger in check and promotes weight loss due to the filling fiber and muscle-building protein that can be added into the smoothies.
Can you lose weight by drinking smoothies for breakfast?
Instead of eating junk for breakfast or skipping it altogether, you can substitute those bad foods for a smoothie. It can aid in weight loss. However, for long term weight control, you want to add in more exercise and develop a healthier approach to eating.
How many smoothies a day should you drink to lose weight?
Some suggest that you should prepare and drink two smoothies a day as meal replacements when you are trying to lose weight. Your last meal is left entirely up to you; however, it should still be lower in calories.
What makes a smoothie recipe fat loss friendly or fat burning?
When making smoothies for weight loss, you want to make sure they are packed full of ingredients that are going to fill you up and offer you a boost of energy. Smoothies should also be combined with exercise and portion control for maximum effectiveness.
To make a smoothie recipe fat loss friendly and fat burning, make sure to incorporate a good amount of healthy fats, quality protein, and fiber. All of these will keep your energy up and your cravings away, which makes it easier to stay on track and lose weight.
When adding coconut oil into a smoothie, should it be in liquid or solid form?
When coconut oil is in an environment that is below 76 degrees, it tends to harden. So, it is best to add your coconut oil to your smoothie when it is in a liquid form to help prevent it from hardening in the cooler temperatures.
Should I add milk or juice to my smoothies?
Milk is a good way to create a creamy texture for your smoothie. It is also packed with protein, calcium, and other essential vitamins and minerals. However, it can also add fat and calories, so you need to be mindful of this when you are making smoothies for weight loss. If you still want to use milk, you should consider trying skim milk or other low-fat milk.
What should I avoid adding to my smoothies?
While there are many foods you can add to your smoothie, there are a few things you may want to avoid. Leafy greens like baby spinach can offer you some balance with fruit in a smoothie and can help keep you from overindulging on calories.
Plain Greek yogurt is also good for a creamy and thicker consistency. However, fibrous and stringy veggies should be avoided. Celery, fennel, snap peas, and string beans, for example, will not blend well and should definitely be avoided.
Are homemade smoothies better for you?
When you make your own smoothies at home, you have full control over what you are putting into them. This means you can add the high-quality proteins you want along with plant milks, and healthy fats. You can also avoid the excess sugar and high calories that often come with store-bought smoothies.
What liquids work best in smoothies?
If you want a thicker smoothie, you should use less liquid. Filtered water or spring water, almond milk, coconut milk, coconut water, organic fruit juices, freshly squeezed juice, and kefir are all good liquids to use in your smoothies if you are looking for a healthier smoothie to help with your weight loss goals.
Should I use fresh or frozen fruit in smoothies?
Fresh fruit can always be used when making smoothies. However, for a thicker texture, you may want to consider adding frozen berries like frozen blueberries and frozen strawberries along with some superfoods.