Smoothie making shouldn’t be rocket science, right?
Well, when it comes to constructing weight loss smoothies, a little more thought needs to go into the ingredients you choose to add to the blender.
For instance, many people think that adding fruit and fat in the same blender is a brilliant idea. After all, healthy fats help keep you fuller longer.
While this is true, there are other things you can add to smoothies that will have the same effect without the negative effects of poor food combining.
Adding fat and fruit in the same mix will often leave many feeling bloated and sluggish. The slower-digesting fats end up fermenting with the faster-digesting fruit, which creates a high potential for bloating, gassiness, and yeast build-up in the body.
The actual ingredients added to smoothies is also important when constructing a healthy weight loss smoothie recipe. Let’s go over a few of those first…
Ingredients for Weight Loss Smoothies
There are a few key ingredients you can add to your weight loss smoothie to ensure it does its job.
Those ingredients include things like greens, healthy protein, natural fruit sugars, and a few other key additions. Here is how they help:
What would a smoothie be without fruit? Fresh or frozen fruit is a great option for smoothies, as it is loaded with fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, all of which support a healthy body.
The fiber in fruit will help keep you full for longer, and the vitamins and minerals will nourish your cells so that you’re not hungry all the time.
The unfortunate reality is that many people get under the impression that fruit contributes to weight gain. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Fruit consumption has been associated with subsequent weight loss in multiple studies.
In one review, researchers analyzed and discussed the relationships between fruit and their anti-obesity effects based on a variety of underlying mechanisms .
According to the researchers, these mechanisms include things like:
- Reducing calorific consumption
- Providing prolonged satiety
- Micronutrients influence obesity-associated metabolic pathways
- Phytochemicals in fruit improve their anti-obesity effects
- Positive influence on gut microbial ecology
So don’t be afraid of fruit when it comes to weight loss.
2. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens have several properties that make them perfect for weight loss. They’re not only loaded with fiber, but they have plenty of vitamins and minerals that encourage faster metabolism.
Adding in leafy greens to your diet, especially calcium-rich ones, can have this effect. Studies have shown that high-calcium diets favor burning fat rather than storing it, mostly by speeding up metabolism (3).
Leafy greens also contain thylakoids, a regular part of plant anatomy. Several studies have examined the effect of thylakoids on appetite and weight loss. One review suggests that thylakoids induce the release of several gut hormones at a time, promoting satiety and suppressing hunger, leading to loss of body weight and body fat.
Versatile, nutrient-dense and satiety enhancing—what more could you want?
Protein is one of the most important nutrients for looking and feeling your best. It boosts your metabolism, reduces appetite, and modifies several weight-regulating hormones.
Studies have shown that protein increases the thermic effect of food (TEF) due to the extra calories required to digest it. This causes a rise in your metabolic rate.
In addition, including healthy proteins into your smoothie like hemp protein can actually increase the levels of satiety (appetite-reducing) hormones GLP-1, peptide YY, and cholecystokinin. At the same time, it also reduces your levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, , .
I personally love plant protein sources, because they build muscle and aid recovery better than animal-based protein sources like whey. In addition, they improve our health, deliver a broader range of beneficial nutrients and are better for the planet.
Ginger is a common ingredient in many “fat-burning” supplements for good reason. Not only does it speed up our metabolism, but research has found that eating ginger with other foods increases the thermic effect of those foods . As a result, you end up burning more calories than you would without it.
By making you feel full for longer, ginger also helps reduce your overall caloric intake for the day. Not only that, but ginger can help keep blood glucose levels in check. This is important if you’re trying to lose weight because having well-balanced blood sugar levels regulates your hormones and triggers your body to burn stored fat.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has various benefits for fat loss. Acetic acid, which comprises 5-6% of ACV, is a short-chain fatty acid that dissolves into acetate and hydrogen in the body.
Some animal studies suggest that acetic acid can help promote weight loss by lowering blood sugar levels, decreasing insulin levels , improving metabolism , reducing fat storage , and suppressing appetite .
In one smaller study performed on human participants, those who took vinegar with a high-carb meal had a 55% lower blood sugar response one hour after eating. They also consumed 200-275 fewer calories for the rest of the day.
Including a small amount of apple cider vinegar in your smoothies is a great way to reap these benefits. And don’t worry, you won’t taste it!
Do Smoothies Help You Lose Weight?
So how can a smoothie be an essential part of a weight loss plan?
Many nutritionists agree that incorporating a nutrient-dense smoothie into your daily routine can help prevent unwanted weight by keeping hunger levels in check and providing muscle-building protein.
But you can’t just expect a smoothie to help you magically lose weight. Yes, they can become integrated as part of an overall weight loss plan, but if you’re drinking this smoothie and then eating an entire tub of ice cream a few hours later, your plan isn’t going to work out.
If you want to lose weight, you need to assess your sleep, your stress levels, your hormones — everything. Exercise is also an important factor to consider.
So while this smoothie can help deliver some metabolism-boosting nutrients as well as enough fiber and protein to keep you full for longer, it is wise to keep these other factors in mind if you’re serious about losing weight.
Healthy Weight Loss Smoothie Recipe
Whether you’re looking for a delicious green smoothie to add to your weight loss routine, or you’re simply looking for some added smoothie inspiration, here is a recipe to keep you satisfied:
Healthy Weight Loss Smoothie
- 2 frozen bananas
- 1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple
- 1 tsp. ginger powder (can also use a small amount of fresh ginger here)
- 1 cup spinach
- 1/2 cup cucumber
- 2 cups filtered water or coconut water
- 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 serving protein powder (I like Hemp Pro 70 by Manitoba Harvest)
- Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.