Green Smoothies for Weight Loss
Ok, so a smoothie diet or green smoothies for weight loss can be somewhat of a controversial topic. However, it's an excellent way to ensure you get the required fruits and vegetables into your nutrition plan, you just have to be aware of the nutritional implications.
The FIRST rule of drinking smoothies to support any smoothie weight loss plan, whether you make them at home or order them at your local juice bar, is to know what is going into them! For real, what goes into weight loss smoothie recipes can make all the difference.
For example, a 20oz “smoothie” that includes peanut butter, whey protein + frozen yogurt, and you might as well get a McDonald's milkshake for the amount of sugar and carbohydrates you're taking in. Smoothies, like virtually any "combined" food source, can be used for weight gain or weight loss...it all depends on the ingredients!
The second rule of weight loss smoothie recipes: Make sure your smoothies contain energizing, metabolism-boosting foods that have been proven to aid weight loss and fat burning.
The third rule of smoothies for weight loss? Remember that losing weight is a symptom of greater LIFESTYLE changes. No weight loss plan is complete without holistic changes, including addressing mental health issues, increasing exercise, getting enough sleep (*raises my own hand*), and overall intentional eating, not just drinking green smoothie recipes.
Green smoothies CAN be a great way to help lose weight...but the keyword there is 'help.' Simply relying on smoothies to lose weight without making overall lifestyle adjustments is probably going to leave you pretty frustrated.
Potential benefits of green smoothies for weight loss
So we’ve already touched on why you might want to add green smoothies to your weight loss journey, but beyond weight loss, there are SO many other health benefits that come from drinking a green smoothie every day.
Green smoothies are a fantastic way to pack more leafy greens into your diet! Especially when eaten raw, leafy greens are a great way to give more vitamins and minerals to your body.
While not everyone loves spinach on a plate (but seriously if you don’t like spinach there are so many other ways you can prepare it) In a tasty green smoothie though, the flavor of the greens is not only palatable but downright delicious! It’s easy to customize your green smoothie to whatever your taste happens to be. Just remember that adding certain ingredients can improve the smoothie’s flavor, certain ingredients can also sometimes add calories. Basically, vanilla ice cream might make your smoothie taste amazing, but it won’t help you lose weight!
Including these powerhouse greens in your green smoothie recipe can also provide tons of other health benefits! Here are just a few:
Green smoothies can help support your immune system
Green smoothies, because they usually contain tons of leafy greens high in vitamin C, can help
support your immune system, help your body right off infection, as well as helping your body maintain healthy cellular functioning.
Green smoothies can help lower your risk of chronic diseases
Leafy greens are also packed with antioxidants like beta-carotene and vitamin C, which help prevent (and may even reverse) oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are naturally occurring and may be increasing due to our environmental stressors. While that’s a bummer, free radicals can also damage your cells, and have been linked with chronic issues like inflammation, heart disease, and cancer. All bad news!
Green smoothies may improve your digestive health!
Leafy greens (and green smoothies) are packed with insoluble fiber that helps food pass smoothly through your digestive system, and helps to reduce less-than-pleasant things like diarrhea, constipation, and bloating. Fibrous foods also help you to feel fuller for longer, which as we already know, helps you meet your weight-loss goals.
Green smoothies increase your fruit and veggie intake
This might go without saying, but green smoothies can obviously help you get more fruits and veggies into your diet! Only 9% of Americans get the recommended daily amount of vegetables (2 to 3 cups), despite research suggesting that plant-based diets reduce the risk of chronic disease and cancer. By drinking your veggies instead of eating them, you not only make it a nutrient-dense meal replacement, but you also make it easier to get your fruits and veggies on the go.
Green smoothies help keep your bones healthy
Leafy greens (like kale and spinach) can also help keep your bones healthy and strong! These greens in particular are a great source of vitamin K1. What does that mean for you? Well, K1 has been documented as helping people to have decreased risk for bone fractures, osteoporosis, and decreased bone mineral density when eaten regularly.
Green smoothies help with hydration
Did you know, about 70 percent of your body is water? But, only about 10% of Americans meet that recommendation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So even though a smoothie is usually thought of as more than a treat, of course, smoothies can help you hydrate, right? It’s a drink, after all!
But more than simply providing you with liquid hydration, because you’re using green and healthy ingredients, you’re also promoting liquid absorption and providing your body with vitamins and minerals as well!
When To Drink Green Smoothies For Weight Loss?
So basically, green smoothies are some of the best, most nutritious options for smoothies. Incorporating veggies (and fruits like avocado) into a smoothie boosts its nutritional value but can also help cleanse, detox, and revitalize our bodies.
Green smoothies are also packed with fiber, which helps lower cholesterol and glucose levels, keep you feeling fuller for longer. Plus, they can help regulate your body's cleansing processes. Green smoothies are also a tasty way to get a strong dose of fruits and veggies, which provide vital nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, folate and potassium. But that’s not all! Green smoothies can be perfect to sip on ANY time of day.
A green smoothie is great for sleep and relaxation!
Now, this might not be the first time you think of when you think of having a smoothie, but hear me out! A smoothie can be a great, hydrating, and filling way to keep yourself sleeping soundly and satisfied while you rest. Boost your before-bed smoothie with a little bit of melatonin powder to really help support healthy sleep.
You can read more about natural ways to support healthy sleep here. Natural herbs, good habits, and healthy eating can for sure help you sleep soundly.
Green smoothies are a great lunch option
NOTHING works better to keep you feeling full & fueled than a delicious green smoothie for lunch! Because it’s not just a traditional carb-loaded fruit-heavy smoothie (not that’s there’s anything wrong with that) you don’t get that crazy carb or sugar crash in the afternoon either. Add a scoop of protein powder for an extra-filling smoothie.
Try a green smoothie before (or after) a workout
Another no-brainer, green smoothies are the PERFECT thing to reach for right after a workout. With tons of vitamins, nutrients, and even some protein, this smoothie is basically made for your pre-or-post workout snack. Plus, as we said before, it’s hydrating as well as fulling! For more info, read our article: How Pre-Workout Smoothies can Supercharge Your Workout.
Green smoothies are PERFECT in the morning
Literally, NOTHING starts off your day like a green smoothie! Apart from fueling your body right first thing in the morning with whole foods, greens, and protein, but you’ll stay fuller, feel great and it’s easy to take on the go with you! Try making your morning smoothie extra filling with some protein powder, Greek yogurt, or silken tofu to really hold you over until lunch.
How To Make Green Smoothies to Promote Weight Loss?
We've gone over How to Make a Healthy Smoothie in a different blog post, covering all the healthy smoothy recipes, and today we're going to talk about how to tailor your green smoothies to help support your weight loss goals.
You’ve already decided you want to add more green smoothies to your routine? Great! But how do you make sure the smoothie you're making is healthy? Watch your ingredients! Not all smoothie ingredients are created equal, and choosing the correct ingredients for a healthy smoothie (of choosing a smoothie kit with whole, natural quality ingredients) is key. Here are some of the best healthy smoothie ingredients:
Green, leafy vegetables
First, let’s talk about the holy trinity of green smoothies: Spinach, Kale and Avocado
This leafy green might not sound like it would be very tasty in a smoothie - but think again! If your goal is fat burning, raw spinach is one of the best things you can add to any green smoothie for weight loss.
In one Swedish study published in Appetite, overweight women drank a mixture with five grams of spinach extracts each morning. After three months, they lost 11 pounds, far more than the control group. The women also reported fewer food cravings, thanks to elevated levels of GLP-1, a physiological regulator of appetite and food intake. Basically, spinach has the power to keep you feeling fuller, longer, and is rich in tons of vitamins and minerals. Added to other fruit and superfoods, spinach actually adds a nice, green note in your weight loss program (like our Glow smoothie kit!).
Like other leafy greens, kale is low in calories for its volume (25 calories per 2-cup serving). More importantly, Kale is a nutritional power-house, two cups of kale deliver almost all your vitamin A for the day (99%) along with 67% of your vitamin C, PLUS 2g of fiber and protein.
First of all, DON'T get caught up in the avocado flavor! As someone who hasn't always been in love with the flavor of avocado (that's since changed), I get why someone might not want to add avocado to a smoothie. But avocado can be one of the hands-down best smoothie ingredients, and most nutritious.
Avocado is packed with natural plant-based protein and healthy fats, making it a great way to add some filling protein to your smoothie blends. And its creamy texture makes for a rich, soft smoothie texture.
Berries, bananas, apples, peach, mango, and pineapple are all great different fruits to add to a green smoothie. They boast tons of flavor, while also having tons of nutritional value. You can of course also add low-carb berries like raspberries, blackberries and blueberries for an antioxident boost as well. Avoid high-sugar fruits, you lose the potential health benefits and just consume empty calories.
Though you automatically think of kale (all the rage), spinach, arugula, wheatgrass, microgreens, avocado when you think of a green smoothie. But cucumber, beetroot, cauliflower, and carrots can all also be great additions to pack even more veggies into your smoothie.
Nuts and seeds:
Almond butter, peanut butter, walnut butter, sunflower seed butter, chia seeds, hemp seeds, or flax meal can all be added to your green smoothie for creaminess, flavor, and of course, protein! Read: The 3 Best Super Seeds for Smoothies.
Herbs and spices:
Ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, cocoa powder, cacao nibs, parsley, and basil all add their own unique flavors to a green smoothie. Try cacao nibs + cinnamon for a spicy, sweet smoothie. Or add ginger and basil for a green, fresh taste.
Nutritional and herbal supplements:
Spirulina, bee pollen, matcha powder, protein powder, and powdered vitamin or mineral supplements are all great nutritional boosts to your smoothie.
Proteins and Protein Powder
Proteins and protein powder are incredibly important for a weight-loss green smoothie! Protein keeps your body feeling fuller, and your body strong. Veggies and greens are AMAZING, but proteins and protein powder make green smoothie recipes into meal replacements! Don't be afraid to add more protein!
Almond Butter (or other nut butter): Although all nut butters are great sources of protein, almonds specifically are a weight-loss superstar. Almonds are packed with good, healthy fats to help keep you full. They also have fat-burning compounds that help limit the amount of fat absorbed by your body, letting those fats pass through undigested (yay!)
Plant-based protein powder: Plant-based protein powder are an EXCELLENT addition to your smoothie. Protein powder helps you burn more fat, and come in so, so many different flavors to customize your smoothie's flavor. Additionally, many plant-based protein powders, like pea protein powder, are lactose-free, gluten-free and and dairy-free.
Tofu: A hidden gem, tofu is excellent at making smoothies taste extra creamy and luxe, while adding creaminess and protein—plus serious fat-burning benefits. Tofu is packed with isoflavones, a type of antioxidant, and is also particularly high in fat-blasting genistein, a compound that acts directly on obesity genes, helping to turn them off and reduce the storage of body fat.
Water: It’s a no-brainer that water is the only calorie-free, sugar-free, money-free liquid option for your smoothie. If you’re drinking green smoothies for weight loss, water should always be your number one because drinking water helps you burn calories and stay hydrated.
Regardless of your primary liquid choice, adding ice cubes is a great way to increase the volume of your smoothie without any calorie addition.
One study showed that participants who drank one extra liter of water per day burned 46 more calories. Which may not seem like much. But over the span of a year, that is equivalent to 5 pounds of fat.
Almond Milk: Almond milk is definitely a crowd-pleaser. It has the same consistency of milk but only HALF the calories. Almond milk is also naturally lactose-free, and free of cholesterol and saturated fat - so it keeps your heart happy and healthy. We recommend going with unsweetened almond milk.
Although unsweetened almond milk is slim pickings when it comes to calcium and protein compared to regular milk, almond milk is a significant source of Vitamins A and D, filling roughly 20% of your daily recommended amount respectively.
Overall - killer texture, killer taste, killer nutrients. Almond milk is a win-win-win for most smoothie combos. Go for the unsweetened almond milk when picking it up to avoid extra sugar and calories.
Coconut Water: Coconut water, or 'nature's energy drink,' is rich in electrolytes, potassium, fiber + sodium. In fact, coconut water has 15 times the potassium than popular sports drinks, making it amazing for muscle recovery after a workout. Plus, the electrolytes keep you hydrated. It also adds some natural flavor and sweetness to your healthy smoothies,
Natural fruit juice: One of the best choices for a great green smoothie, juice can really help take your green smoothie's taste from 'ehhhh' to 'yum!' But while juice tastes great, it does add a lot of extra sugar, and some extra calories. For example, one serving of orange juice has a whopping 21 GRAMS of sugar (or 5 teaspoons of sugar). Contrast that with a serving of milk, with 13 grams, and you can see why juice should be used sparingly, and mostly to sweeten or for flavor.
Soy Milk: In terms of plant milk, it's fair to say that soy milk is the most nutritionally similar to a low-fat cow’s milk. Containing nine essential amino acids, soy milk is rich in protein and is balanced in fats and carbs. “Soy milk offers culinary diversity, creamy texture, and a healthful nutritional profile, including essential omega-3 fatty acids [if fortified] and flavonoids that exert antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cardioprotective properties,” says Julieanna Hever, RD, a plant-based-foods dietitian in the Los Angeles area and the author of The Vegiterranean Diet.
Maple syrup, raw sugar, honey, pitted dates, simple syrup, fruit juice concentrates, banana.
Just remember that additions like fruit juice, milk, or sweeteners can also add calories and sugar, so tread carefully, and your smoothie routine will keep you fueled and full without deterring your weight loss goals!
Just do your best to avoid processed sweeteners - like refined white sugar - they might make your smoothie taste good, but they overall don’t add anything nutritional and only help to pile on the calories and carbs.
For more info, check out our article, How to Make a Smoother Sweeter.
Easy Green Smoothies for Weight Loss – you can make your own using the instructions above or make it easy with: Blendtopia!
Not sure how to make great green smoothies for weight loss? Blendtopia offers not just one, but FOUR pre-made green smoothie kits options to get you started, all of which are perfectly portioned to offer you a balance, healthy (and delicious) green smoothie with minimal effort:
Blendtopia Detox smoothie kit
Blendtopia’s Detox smoothie kit was designed to help to purify your body, while also raising alkalinity and supporting your healthy digestion. It’s also the perfect blend to kickstart clean eating, and it tastes bright, fresh, and clean with a little cayenne kick!
Blendtopia Glow smoothie kit
This smoothie is ALL about healthy skin, nails, and hair! Blendtopia’s glow smoothie provides a bounty of nutrient rich ‘beauty’ ingredients for healthier looking skin, hair and nails. It’s loaded with vitamin C, healthy fats, and powerful antioxidants to help protect your body from the inside out. Plus, it tastes like a sweet blend of pineapple + mango with a hint of green spinach.
Blendtopia Keto Green smoothie kit
Blendtopia’s keto-certified green smoothie is power-packed green machine that delivers a perfect balance of protein, healthy fats, fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients to power up and burn clean. It tastes like cool cucumber-coconut lemon water spiked with ginger, and is the perfect low-carb green smoothie to add to your routine.
Blendtopia Strength smoothie kit
Blendtopia’s Strength smoothie is a green smoothie recipe that helps deliver sustainable energy throughout the day. It’s a complete source of protein boasting essential amino acids, fiber and omegas and is rich in vitamin C, perfect for a pre or post workout snack! Plus it tastes like creamy banana-avocado + nutty hemp hearts - YUM!
7-day smoothie cleanse
A smoothie cleanse can be a great way to help jump-start your weight loss journey. Smoothies can help significantly increase your intake of nutrients and antioxidants, while providing you with a satisfying whole-food based meal replacement. Just make sure you're taking in enough fiber and protein to keep yourself feeling full, a smoothie cleanse shouldn't feel like fasting!
Our Blendtopia 7-Day Cleanse is very different from traditional juice cleanses. We focus on slowing the digestion process rather than stopping it completely. So no, it’s definitely not a fasting cleanse!
What’s the big difference? Fiber. Since the fiber stays intact, it not only keeps you satisfied but it also aids in proper digestion by carrying the waste and toxins out of the body. Drinking our ready-to-blend superfood smoothies still allows your organs and digestive system to rest because our raw, organic plant-based ingredients are easily digestible.
Green smoothies - FAQ
Do green smoothies help you lose weight?
Green smoothies recipes are an awesome way to help support your weight loss goals! Smoothies are easy to make, a quick + healthy on-the-go option for breakfast if you're super busy (like me!) and they can help you recharge after a workout. Plus, smoothies are easy to customize!
Smoothies can either start with a great base (like Blendtopia's line of ready-to-blend smoothie kits) or you can build them from scratch yourself. Just make sure to start with some of these filling and fat-burning ingredients:
Is it OK to drink a green smoothie every day?
The answer to this is simple - YES! Yes, it is absolutely ok to drink a green smoothie every day! Green smoothies are not only a great way to get your fruits and veggies (which we’ve touched on here), but can also be a wonderful meal replacement for when you’re in a hurry, or just want a healthy low-calorie meal replacement!
You have two options when it comes to green smoothies as meal replacements and you can use green smoothie recipes and blend your own smoothies or shakes, or you can purchase pre-made smoothie kits (like we’ve mentioned above).
In either case, a green smoothie as a meal replacement every day needs to have a nutrient ratio that keeps your full. And of course, keep your green smoothies heavy on greens. Flaxseed, coconut oil, nuts, avocado, chia seeds, coconut milk and yogurt are other ingredients that help make your daily green smoothie a healthy meal replacement. Keep in mind that you won't replace every meal with a green smoothie. You'll still need to eat meals made with whole foods throughout the day as well.
What is the best breakfast smoothie for weight loss?
This is an easy one - whichever green smoothie you like best! In general, like we keep saying over and over, it’s important to make sure your breakfast smoothie has enough fiber and protein to keep you full until lunchtime! We also love some extra filling ‘sweeter’ green smoothies in the morning, with some fruits like bananas, mango or avocado.
Can green smoothies for weight loss be bad for you?
Here’s the deal - while green smoothie’s can’t be BAD for you exactly, you do need to make them right! Like we’ve discussed here, you need to make sure you’re making a healthy green smoothie. If you’re going to use a smoothie for weight loss, you need to make sure you’re using the right ingredients!
As we mentioned in the intro, you need to choose your ingredients wisely. Things like sweetened yogurt, chocolate almond milk, frozen yogurt, and fruit juices can really quickly turn your ‘green’ smoothie into dessert rather than a healthy meal replacement.
Plus, you do need to use more than just greens + water for a healthy green smoothie! Your smoothie needs to also have fiber + protien in order to actually keep you feeling full and providing your body with the nutrients it needs to function while shedding pounds.
The bottom line? Eating more fruits and veggies - no matter what - is only going to be GREAT for your body. The more healthy, whole ingredients you add to any green smoothie, the better it will be for your body, and your immune system! And if you don't want to go through the hassle of making your own...Blendtopia has an Immunity smoothie kit to make your life even easier!
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