The verdict on drinking smoothies to lose weight, experts say – Eat this, not this

You may have tried to drink smoothies to lose weight. How did this come about? Success depends on many variables, such as the composition of your normal diet, how much exercise you do, and what types of smoothies you make or buy.

For some people, smoothie meal replacements can help them achieve a calorie deficit while providing important nutrients that may be missing from their normal diet. For others, drinking smoothies to lose weight can become an unwanted surprise, counterproductive in gaining weight and, worse, bringing them closer to type 2 diabetes.

For these reasons, some dietitians are fond of smoothies, while others advise their clients against it or suggest caution about how they are made. Below are the opinions of some registered dietitians on our medical advisory board. Be the judge.


Smoothies can be a great way to get extra protein and nutrients without much effort and can help you lose weight.

“Proteins help slow down digestion, so they will make you faster and keep you full longer,” says the medical board expert. Amy Goodson, RD, CSSDauthor of The sports nutrition manual. “Make a smoothie with 20 to 30 grams of milk protein, Greek yogurt and / or protein powder to increase satiety. The liquid volume often gives people a feeling of fullness.”


“Personally, I’m not a fan of smoothies for weight loss. I recommend eating real foods and eating calories not drinking them to lose weight,” says the medical expert. Julie Upton, MS, RD, co-founder of Appetite for Health Consulting. “For some people, smoothies can help them lose weight, while for others they can’t. Losing weight means you’ve created a calorie deficit. If drinking a smoothie for a meal makes you consume fewer calories overall, It will help you lose weight. If you drink a high-calorie smoothie that adds calories or keeps calories, your weight may increase. ”

avocado blueberry smoothie

“Smoothies can be absolutely a staple for weight management,” he says Lisa Moskovitz, RDCEO of NY Nutrition Group, author of The The Core 3 Healthy Eating Plan. “If you’re trying to lose weight intentionally, focus on protein, fiber, and fat – the trifecta of healthy eating.”

Protein can be made from Greek yogurt, milk, tofu, or protein powder. Fresh or frozen fruit provides fiber and adding a vegetable, such as spinach, kale, zucchini or cauliflower, provides additional volume and nutrients that are good for the gut. Fats like avocado, chia seeds or almond butter help maintain power and satisfaction, he says.

“I often recommend smoothies as a great way to get into a variety of food groups,” says Moskovitz. “The trick is to add volume to vegetables. Not only are vegetables high in nutrients and low in calories, but they are full of nutrients that support metabolism and energize.”


When you mix a smoothie at home, you have control over the ingredients. Not so in smoothie shops and convenience stores.

“Smoothies bought in stores often contain added sugars in the form of turbinate,” says Goodson. “This added sugar can quickly add a lot of calories. Be sure to evaluate the calories of all the ingredients and the sizes of the milkshake portions if your goal is to lose weight. ”

peanut butter banana smoothie

“I usually recommend smoothies as a snack or part of a meal with something chewable like a slice of toast,” he says. Laura Burak, MS, RDowner of Laura Burak Nutrition.

Combining a smoothie with something chewy makes it more satisfying. If your goal is to lose weight, Burak advises monitoring the ingredient portions.

“All you have to do is adjust the ingredients and use fruit without added sugars or syrups, low-sugar yogurts and milk, and distribute calorie-dense ingredients like nuts and nut butter to create a balanced meal or snack that fits. on a diet, for your specific goals, “he says.

Burak’s book Lose weight with smoothies includes 100 recipes to help you do just that.

blueberry chia seed smoothie

Like most dietitians on our medical board, Lauren Manaker, MS, RDNauthor of The cookbook of the mother’s pregnancy for the first time i Feeding male fertility, believes that smoothies may be suitable for weight loss, depending on the ingredients chosen, the size of the portion to be enjoyed and what is included in the diet plan for the rest of the day. Smoothies can be especially helpful for “breakfast patterns,” he says.

“We know that 90% of Americans don’t eat the recommended portions of products and people who eat breakfast regularly tend to have fewer nutritional gaps, which can help maintain weight loss goals,” says Manaker.

Smoothies should always contain healthy carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats and fiber to promote satiety. And the portions must be adequate.

“Chia seeds and hemp seeds are easy additions to the weight loss smoothies that check the boxes of healthy fats, fiber and protein, making them typical ingredients when I’m guiding customers on how to create an easy smoothie. lose weight “, Manaker. he says.

man making smoothie

With a smoothie or any mixed drink or juice, it’s easy to swallow without knowing many more calories than you expect, so keep in mind that Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CDN, CFTi Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFTalso known as The Nutrition Twins.

“We tell our customers this way: when you eat four apples, you’re aware that you’ve eaten them, but when you drink four mixed apples, it can be mixed in a cup or less of liquid, and you may not realize how much you’re consuming, ”they say. “Normally, when you drink your calories, instead of eating them, it’s not as satisfying as when you eat real food, and you end up eating more calories later in the day. And, if you’re loading your smoothies with sugar, syrup, exaggerating fruit or other supplements, you may be unknowingly creating a calorie bomb. ”

beaten green

While their customers take into account the blender’s mistakes when making smoothies, The Nutrition Twins believes that smoothies can be a big part of a weight loss diet.

“They’re especially useful for commuters who often choose unhealthy, calorie-dense foods when they’re on a pinch,” they say.

Tip: Add vegetables to your smoothies to increase satiety fiber and nutrients while keeping overall calories low. They recommend their recipe for Chai cranberry protein shake.

“It’s a great snack to lose weight because you get about 18 grams of satisfying protein in less than 200 calories and it contains useful ingredients for losing weight,” they say. “Pea protein powder helps with weight loss even when calories are not restricted and is actually more effective than whey protein in fighting hunger. Berries contain the phytochemical C3G, which increases “Fat metabolism suppresses appetite. And naturally sweet cinnamon stabilizes blood sugar. It reduces body weight and belly fat, helping to prevent obesity.”

blueberry banana smoothie

Drinking smoothies is an easy way to get lots of nutrients such as fruit, healthy nuts butter fat, protein and fiber in a glass.

“The protein and fiber content of fruits and vegetables can help people experience feelings of fullness during the hours of drinking a smoothie,” says Goodson.

She recommends the following ingredients for a good smoothie to lose weight:

  • High quality protein such as cow’s milk, Greek yogurt, or protein powder
  • 1-2 servings of fruit. One serving can be 1/2 banana, 1/2 cup chopped fruit, 1 cup berries, and so on.
  • A handful of vegetables such as spinach or kale to add fiber and nutrients
  • 1 tablespoon healthy fat such as nut butter, chia seeds or ground flax seeds

For the most delicious smoothie recipes, grab a copy The 7-Day Smoothie Diet – Lose Up to a Pound a Day and Drink Up a Flat Belly!

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