How This Helps

Smoothies are a popular snacking option that is considered to be healthy and nutritious. Many people often undergo a smoothie diet, or a smoothie cleanses to detoxify their bodies. It is only recently that smoothies have started to be associated with weight loss. There are many different types of weight loss smoothies available today that you can easily make in the comfort of your home. But can smoothies (or shakes) help you lose weight? Only one specific type of smoothie can.

Are smoothies good for you?

Are smoothies healthy?

Many people find themselves wondering about this. If you can balance the amount of added sugar and natural fruit sugars to your smoothie, then it can be highly beneficial for you. When you add fruits to smoothies, you benefit from their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. However, at the same time, the smoothie also becomes overly concentrated with fruit sugars. It would help if you balanced this out by adding some vegetables like kale, or spinach to the smoothie.1 Adding leafy green vegetables also enrich your drink with vitamins A2, C3, K4, fiber, calcium, and many potent phytochemicals. 5


It is always better to opt for making your smoothies at home rather than using store-bought smoothies. Store-bought smoothies are more likely to use artificial sweeteners, large amounts of sweetened dairy products added sugar, and other unhealthy items.6 This also ensures that the smoothie calories are kept at a minimum.

See: Celery Juice Benefits & Side Effects

How to ensure your smoothies are healthy?

You will find that most smoothies consist of a liquid base (which can be made of non-dairy milk, kefir, or just water), vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds (or even nut butter), and supplements such as maca or matcha, and protein powder. [7,8] Many people prefer to include toppings such as coconut, cacao nibs, and granola as well.  [9]

If you want to make healthy smoothies for weight loss, then the best idea is to strike a balance and pick the right fruits, vegetables, protein, and fat in your weight loss smoothies. You can even include protein from sources such as flax or chia seeds.[10,11] Even milk or plain yogurt can serve as the protein source. 

See: Functional Medicine for Weight Loss and Enhanced Energy

Can smoothies help weight loss?

Do smoothies help lose weight?

Researchers have repeatedly discovered that calories in liquid form have less satiety than calories in solid shape. What's satiety, anyway? Satiety is getting outside of feeling hungry. Satiety can be considered a measure of how long you remain full after eating. It is the reverse of feeling hungry that drives one to eat. Foods that provide the maximum satiety for the fewest calories can help you lose weight and keep it off since they don't make you live with chronic hunger.

The satiety level of fluids is very slim to none. That means that you do not compensate for the calories that you consume by eating less food. If you drink a smoothie of 200 calories before or with a meal, then you are not likely to compensate for eating 200 fewer calories of food in the meal or in your next meal.

See: Sweet Potato & Diabetes

Can liquids help with weight loss?

How To Eliminate Weight

If losing weight is your goal, steer clear of any drink with carbs, from soft drinks to sour teas to smoothies to fruit juices. Liquid calories, regardless of their origin, won't curb your appetite in addition to solid foods do.

So, as opposed to liquefying your veggies and fruits using a blender, enjoy them whole. Peel a banana. Break open a bag of baby carrots. Swirl strawberries to a dish of nonfat Greek yogurt keep a huge bowl of fresh fruit on the kitchen counter. Get in the habit of taking veggies and fruit wherever you go.


See: Papaya Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits

Best Smoothies for Weight Control

Meal replacement smoothies for weight loss

A smoothie substituted for a typical fast food or junk food breakfast can help with weight loss in the short term. However, for long-term weight control, exercise, healthy eating, and lifestyle modification strategy is your best option.

There's one key exception to the above. Studies have discovered that in outpatient medically-monitored programs, meal replacements in liquid form, for example, protein-fruit-vegetable shakes, are beneficial for weight loss. They are fast and simple and might replace a legitimate junk food breakfast. They are useful for individuals to get rid of weight on these shakes or smoothies in the short term, but their advantage for long-term weight reduction is uncertain.

For permanent weight loss success, healthy eating, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle strategy is the only choice. That's because healthy foods also give the maximum satiety for the lowest calorie count intake.

High-satiety foods that are also low-calorie foods include whole vegetables, potatoes, whole fruits, beans, yams, cooked whole grains such as brown rice or whole-wheat pasta, lean meat, and moderate amounts of nonfat milk.


See: High Protein Low Carb Diet for Diabetes

Other healthy Smoothy & Shake ideas

Smoothies are the preferred beverage for people trying to lose weight due to the changeable nature of this drink. Not only can you add nutritious superfoods to your diet, but by adding fat-burning foods to the smoothie, you can also achieve weight loss. Here are some of the best smoothies for weight loss:

1. Green Tea Powder

Green tea is famous for having powerful weight loss properties.12 By adding green tea powder to your smoothie, you trigger the release of fat from your cells. Green tea has catechins that help you lose weight. 

2. Coconut Oil

Coconut is today's superfood, and studies have found that ingesting just two teaspoons of coconut oil every day can cause a significant reduction in belly fat.13 

3. Cinnamon

Cinnamon helps relieve bloating and prevents water retention. When the body stops retaining water, it leads to rapid weight loss.14

4. Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are rich in soluble mucilaginous fiber that helps lower bad cholesterol in the blood. Flaxseed also curbs your appetite by suppressing hunger.15 

5. Oats Powder

Adding powdered oats to your smoothie will not only make the drink more filling but also nutritious. Oats happen to be one of the best sources of fiber, which helps in keeping you full for longer and also prevent binge-eating or cravings.16

See: Is green tea good for you

Summary

Besides these ingredients, there are many other healthy and nutritious vegetables, fruits, herbs, and spices that you can add to your smoothies to achieve weight loss. The best part is that you can have smoothies whenever you want. For many people, breakfast smoothies help them kick start their day on a good note. A yummy and satisfying serving of fruits and vegetables can provide you with a ton of nutrition, protein, fat, and lots of fiber to keep you healthy.

See: Brown Rice vs. White Rice for diabetes

References

1. Ayaz, F. A., Glew, R. H., Millson, M., Huang, H. S., Chuang, L. T., Sanz, C., & Hayırlıoglu-Ayaz, S. (2006). Nutrient contents of kale (Brassica oleraceae L. var. acephala DC.). Food Chemistry, 96(4), 572-579.

2. Olson, J. A. (1996). Benefits and liabilities of vitamin A and carotenoids. The Journal of nutrition, 126(suppl_4), 1208S-1212S.

3. Douglas, R. M., Chalker, E. B., & Treacy, B. (2000). Vitamin C for preventing & treating the common cold. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, (2), CD000980-CD000980.

4. DiNicolantonio, J. J., Bhutani, J., & O'Keefe, J. H. (2015). The health benefits of vitamin K. Open Heart, 2(1), e000300.

5. Leitzmann, C. (2016). Characteristics and health benefits of phytochemicals. Complementary Medicine Research, 23(2), 69-74.

6. Sharma, A., Amarnath, S., Thulasimani, M., & Ramaswamy, S. (2016). Artificial sweeteners as a sugar substitute: Are they really safe?. Indian Journal of pharmacology, 48(3), 237.

7. Otles, S., & Cagindi, O. (2003). Kefir: a probiotic dairy-composition, nutritional, and therapeutic aspects. Pakistan journal of nutrition, 2(2), 54-59.

8. Line, M. B. What the Heck is Matcha?.

9. Enig, M. G. (1996, April). Health and nutritional benefits from coconut oil: an important functional food for the 21st century. In the AVOC Lauric Oils Symposium, Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam (Vol. 25).

10. Magee, E., & Column, R. W. E. (2009). The benefits of flaxseed. WebMD [online].

11. Bettermann, E. Health Benefits of Chia Seeds.

12. Kovacs, E. M., Lejeune, M. P., Nijs, I., & Westerterp-Plantenga, M. S. (2004). Effects of green tea on weight maintenance after body weight loss. British Journal of Nutrition, 91(3), 431-437.

13. Assunçao, M. L., Ferreira, H. S., dos Santos, A. F., Cabral Jr, C. R., & Florêncio, T. M. (2009). Effects of dietary coconut oil on the biochemical & anthropometric profiles of women presenting abdominal obesity. Lipids, 44(7), 593-601.

14. Whitfield, P., Parry-Strong, A., Walsh, E., Weatherall, M., & Krebs, J. D. (2016). The effect of a cinnamon-, chromium-and magnesium-formulated honey on glycaemic control, weight loss & lipid parameters in type 2 diabetes: an open-label cross-over randomized controlled trial. European Journal of Nutrition, 55(3), 1123-1131.

15. Cassani, P. G., Silvah, R. S. L., Fassini, J. H., Lima, C. M. M., & Marchini, J. S. (2015). Impact of weight loss diet associated with flaxseed on inflammatory markers in men with cardiovascular risk factors: a clinical study. Nutrition Journal, 14(1), 5.

16. Schuster, J., Benincá, G., Vitorazzi, R., & Dal Bosco, S. M. (2015). Effects of oats on lipid profile, insulin resistance, and weight loss. Nutricion hospitalaria, 32(5), 2111-


See: Keto diet benefits for weight loss, diabetes & PCOS

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