If you're looking to add smoothies to your weight loss menu, it's important to pack them with ingredients that will boost energy and keep you full. But you have to be careful not to overdo it, as it's easy to sip your way to high sugar counts and calorie overload, says Kelly Kennedy, R.D. With a combination of exercise and portion control, these recipes are worth the blend and sip.
Why it works: "This smoothie has everything you need to feel satisfied for hours," say Stacie Hassing, R.D.N., and Jessica Beacon, R.D.N., bloggers at The Real Food Dietitians. "It contains a good dose of healthy fats, quality protein, and fiber to keep your cravings at bay and energy high — both of which are key components of achieving desired weight loss."
Get the recipe at The Real Food Dietitians.
Ingredients: 3/4 cup unsweetened nut milk + 1/2 cup frozen blueberries + 2 Tbsp oats + 1 1/2 Tbsp unsweetened cashew butter + 1 tsp vanilla extract + 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
Why it works: "The protein powder helps you feel satisfied and keeps your energy going, while the cashew butter provides good-for-you fats, keeping you fuller longer," says Annessa Chumbley, R.D., nutrition expert for Premier Protein. Blueberries are also a smart choice, as they're an excellent source of antioxidants to fight inflammation, which helps keep your weight loss goals in action, she adds.
Why it works: "This beautiful smoothie packs an impressive 22 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber, which means it will leave you feeling satisfied and energized all morning long," says Leanne Ray, R.D., blogger at Leanne Ray Nutrition. Plus, who doesn't want more pumpkin their life?
Get the recipe at Leanne Ray Nutrition.
Ingredients: 1 Premier Protein Chocolate Ready-Made-Shake + 1/4 frozen ripe banana, cut into chunks + 1/2 cup frozen unsweetened dark sweet cherries + small handful fresh spinach + 2 teaspoons cocoa powder + 1/4 teaspoon almond extract + 2 teaspoons chia seeds
Why it works: Spinach is packed with nutrients needed to support weight loss, like protein and fiber, while the protein shake helps curb your appetite and preserves lean muscle mass, Chumbley says. Banana is also a solid source of vitamin B6, which your body needs to better absorb nutrients. The dark cherries and unsweetened cocoa have antioxidants that fight inflammation, and the chia seeds are full of satiating omega-3 fats.
Ingredients: ¾ cup of unsweetened almond milk + 1 cup raspberries + ½ banana + 1 Tbsp chia seeds + 1/2 avocado + large handful of spinach + ice for thickness
Why it works: "The iron-rich spinach in this smoothie, paired with the vitamin C-rich raspberries, will ensure optimal iron absorption," says MaryKate O'Riordan, R.D. Iron helps your body create energy by carrying oxygen to your muscles, which in turn helps them burn fat, she explains.
This smoothie also has avocado, a great source of healthy fat, fiber, and vitamins, particularly B6, which counteracts cortisol, a stress hormone that contributes to weight gain via belly fat stores, O'Riordan says.
Ingredients: 1 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt + 1 cup frozen blueberries + 1 Tbsp ground chia seeds + ½ cup ice
Why it works: "This smoothie is simple, wholesome, and satisfying for anyone trying to lose weight," says Cathy D’Orazio, M.S., R.D. "The protein in the Greek yogurt helps curb your appetite and keeps you from overeating, the berries provide antioxidants, [and] the chia seeds contribute omega-3 fatty acids and fiber to help you fight inflammation and feel full."
Ingredients: 1 cup unsweetened almond milk + ½ cup oats + 1 banana + 1 Tbsp peanut butter + ½ Tsp cinnamon + a drizzle of honey (optional)
Why it works: "Oats are full of fiber and are slow-burning to keep you full longer," O'Riordan says. "Bananas are an excellent source of potassium, B6, vitamin C, and fiber, and cinnamon contains polyphenols (powerful antioxidants) that boost metabolism and help regulate blood sugar."
Ingredients: 1 cup plain Greek yogurt + 1 cup frozen organic berries + 1 Tbsp vanilla extract + 1 Tbsp ground chia seeds + 1/2 cup ice
Why it works: "My summer berry smoothie (which can be made year-round with frozen berries) helps to target stubborn belly fat and promote weight loss thanks to its high level of antioxidants and protein," says Erin Palinski-Wade, R.D., author of 2-Day Diabetes Diet. The Greek yogurt also provides a dairy boost, which can help provide CLA, a fatty acid found in dairy, meats, and vegetable oils that has been shown to accelerate body fat loss, Palinski-Wade says.
Ingredients: 1 cup kale + 1/2 medium banana + 1/2 cup pineapple + 1/2 cup nonfat milk or unsweetened soy milk + 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt + 1 Tbsp chia seeds
Why it works: "The ingredients in this smoothie are filled with vitamins and minerals," Kennedy says. "There's plenty of fiber and protein for fullness, without overdoing it on fruit or calories. Also, it's a good way to get in a vegetable like kale if you don't enjoy eating it."
Why it works: Even though it's only 224 calories, this smoothie will keep you satisfied and will help maintain your energy levels thanks to the whopping 20 grams of protein found inside, says Lyssie Lakatos, R.D.N., and Tammy Lakatos, R.D.N, bloggers at The Nutrition Twins. "This means you won’t find yourself diving into the vending machine mid-morning in search of an energy boost."
Get the recipe at The Nutrition Twins.
Ingredients: 1 cup carrots, chopped, skin on + 1 cup frozen mango + 1 cup frozen pineapple + 1 cup frozen strawberries + 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt + 1/2 cup nonfat milk or unsweetened soy milk + 1 Tbsp chia seeds
Why it works: The milk and Greek yogurt gives you a dose of protein and calcium, Kennedy says, while the chia seeds are a great way to up the fiber and easily mix in omega-3 fatty acids.
Ingredients: 1 cup strawberries + ½ cup 100% orange juice + ½ cup Greek yogurt + ¼ cup ice (optional) + 2 teaspoons Swisse Chlorophyll Mixed Berry
Why it works: "Adding an extra boost of greens into your smoothie is a great way to pack in antioxidants," Palinski-Wade says. "Chronic inflammation in the body can increase stress hormones, [which are] the same hormones that store fat versus burn it. By increasing your intake of antioxidants, you can help to cool off inflammation and help your body burn fat more effectively."
Why it works: "This superfood smoothie has 17g of fiber thanks to the berries, chia, and flax seeds," says Kristina LaRue, R.D., blogger at Love and Zest. "It also [has] heart-healthy fats and plant-based protein [to] keep you fuller for longer.”
Get the recipe at Love and Zest.
Ingredients: 8 ounces vanilla fat-free Greek yogurt + 1 banana + 1 Tbsp almond butter + ½ cup ice
Why it works: "This creamy smoothie provides a balanced combination of all the major nutrients [your body needs to lose weight]," D’Orazio says. "The Greek yogurt provides protein, banana contributes healthy carbs and fiber, and you'll receive a dose of healthy fat from the almond butter. You'll surely feel satisfied and full!"
Ingredients: 1 cup frozen strawberries + 2 kiwifruit, peeled and chopped + ¾ cup skim milk + 1 Tbsp chia seeds + 1 tsp ground ginger + 4 ice cubes
Why it works: With a score of 41, strawberries are low on the glycemic index (GI), meaning they will raise your blood sugar slowly for energy, says O'Riordan. Foods that are high on the GI cause your blood sugar to spike, which can up your cravings for sugary foods, she adds.
Ingredients: 1 cup baby spinach + ½ cup chopped cucumber, with peel + 1 celery stalk, sliced + ½ medium banana, sliced + ½ cup pineapple + 6 oz nonfat plain Greek yogurt + ¼ cup scoop of flax + ½ cup water + 4 ice cubes
Why it works: This drink will keep you full while speeding up your metabolism because it includes a base of protein-rich yogurt, O'Riordan says. "The body takes longer to digest protein than if you ate the same amount in fats or carbs," she explains. "As a result, you'll burn more calories." This tasty smoothie also has nearly 3 cups of produce, helping you hit the 1-2.5 cups of daily USGA recommended servings.
Ingredients 1 cup black tea, brewed and cooled to room temp + 5.3-oz nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt + 1 cup blueberries + ½ cup peaches + ice
Why it works: Black tea provides a modest dose of caffeine (25-48 mg for an 8 oz. glass, according to Mayo Clinic), which makes it a great option for those looking for a little pick-me-up outside of that morning cup of joe. While there's no hard evidence that increased caffeine consumption can result in permanent weight loss, the Mayo Clinic says caffeine may slightly boost your weight loss efforts because it could increase the amount of calories you burn and suppress appetite.
Ingredients: 1 banana + ½ cup nonfat vanilla yogurt + ½ cup fat-free milk + ½ cup 100% pure pumpkin purée + 1½ tsp pure maple syrup + ¼ tsp ground cinnamon + ice
Why it works: Canned pumpkin has been found to help keep blood pressure in check, reports Medical News Today, and experts believe it may reduce the risk of diabetes and obesity. In other words, it's the perfect base ingredient for a delicious weight loss smoothie.
Why it works: The kiwi in this smoothie is jam-packed with vitamins and antioxidants, including calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Its fiber can also help promote heart health and weight loss by lowering triglycerides, a measure of fat in the blood, according to a study published in Platelets. Researchers found that those who ate two to three kiwis per day had a 15% lower triglyceride level compared to those who didn't eat any at all.
Get the recipe at The Pretty Bee.
Why it works: It only takes five minutes to whip up this hydrating juice featuring apples, celery, and kale. According to Medical News Today, celery is a crunchy, low-calorie snack that's packed with vitamins C and K, and it may lower inflammation and reduce blood pressure, both of which are linked to weight gain.
Get the recipe at Happy Foods Tube.