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Are smoothies good for weight loss?

Are smoothies good for weight loss?


Are smoothies good for weight loss?

Smoothies have become a popular choice for those looking to slim down and shed unwanted pounds. But are smoothies good for weight loss? The answer: They can be, but only if they’ve been made with healthy ingredients in certain proportions. In this article, we'll explore the science behind smoothies, their role in weight loss, how to choose the right ingredients, and some delicious and nutritious smoothie recipes to help you achieve your weight loss goals.


Understanding the role of smoothies in weight loss

Before we dive into the details of smoothies, it's important to understand the basics of weight loss. At its core, weight loss can only be achieved by consuming fewer calories than your body burns, resulting in a calorie deficit. This deficit forces your body to use stored energy (in the form of fat) to fuel your daily activities and functions. 

The “burn” part of the process is sped up by exercise: in a major study, it was demonstrated that with 150 minutes of physical activity, no more intense than brisk walking, participants lost 7% of their body weight, or 14 lbs. for a 200-lb. individual. 

Besides diet and exercise, another factor that may contribute to the weight management profile of certain individuals is how well they sleep: When sleep is deficient and circadian rhythm is disrupted, metabolic dysregulation occurs and has been linked to weight gain.  

Of course, outside the lifestyle choices you make, there are other weight-loss avenues you can travel that are far more radical, such as (1) bariatric surgery, which has been used as an effective way to quickly yet safely reduce body weight and body fat, but is typically only for patients with severe obesity; and (2) prescription weight loss drugs, such as Wegovy, which are FDA-approved for obese individuals. However, as we’re not in the business of dispensing medical advice, have a conversation with your medical provider if you’ve got questions about these therapeutic interventions.

How smoothies can aid in weight loss

So, where do smoothies come into play? In a nutshell, when they’re made well, smoothies can be a helpful tool for weight loss because they provide a convenient and nutrient-dense way to consume a variety of healthy ingredients in one delicious package. By blending fruits, vegetables, protein, and healthy fat sources together, you can create a filling and satisfying meal that helps keep you full and energized while promoting weight loss.

Specifically, a well-made smoothie has:

High fiber content: The fiber found in many fruits and vegetables used in smoothies can help keep you full and satisfied, reducing the chances of overeating and snacking on unhealthy foods throughout the day. Furthermore, prebiotic fibers feed beneficial bacteria in your gut that then produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), believed to promote healthy weight management through improvements in glycemic control and lipid metabolism. Fibers also help delay gastric emptying, which in turn promotes satiety, as researchers concluded in this 2018 meta-review. Get more details on how prebiotics can impact weight management in our recent article.

Protein: Incorporating foods with enough of this essential macronutrient helps you feel fuller for longer, thereby reducing the amount of food you eat and in turn the total calories you consume — without feeling like you’re starving. Protein not only slows digestion, it also slows glucose absorption, which benefits your blood sugar levels. Protein also helps you build muscle mass.

Healthy fats: These foods can also help keep you more satiated, while providing important nutrients for your body. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats (PUFAs and MUFAs) are also good for your heart, your brain, your metabolic health (with downstream benefits for weight management), your joints, your eyes, and so much more.

Low sugar content: For those on a weight loss journey, you probably know that added sugar is not your friend. It contains empty calories and has been linked to weight gain, obesity and diabetes. Watch out also for smoothies that contain higher-sugar fruits and fruit juices. While fruits in moderation are very healthy, an excessive amount of fruits represents a ton of sugars — in the form of natural molecules (sucrose, fructose, and glucose), yes — but the amount of those sugars in a smoothie can rival the amount of sucrose (the fructose/glucose disaccharide molecule) in a cup of table sugar. Whether sugars are natural or added, they all break down to glucose, eventually, as you digest them. So, to really maximize the weight-loss potential of a smoothie, it’s best made with a high proportion of vegetables and a much smaller amount of fruit.

An overall modest level of calories: Restricting your overall caloric intake is still the mainstay of a successful weight loss regimen, so make sure your smoothies don’t rack up excessive calorie counts. Healthy fats may be healthy, and so may be protein sources such as nuts, but that doesn’t mean they’re low in calories if consumed in big portions.

Unlock the Power of Smoothies for Weight Loss and Health

Smoothies can be a powerful tool in your journey toward a healthier weight. When made with the right ingredients, such as fresh fruits, leafy greens like spinach and kale, and a liquid base such as water or almond milk, smoothies can support weight loss efforts effectively. Green smoothies, in particular, are known for their ability to help you lose weight as they are packed with nutrients and fiber while being low in calories. Adding ingredients like protein and healthy fats to your smoothie can make it even more satisfying and supportive of weight management.

Additionally, making your smoothie at home allows you to control the ingredients and avoid store-bought smoothies that can be high in added sugars and calories. By incorporating smoothies into your daily diet, you can increase your fruit and vegetable intake, contribute to weight loss, and promote long-term weight control. Start your day off right with a nutrient-dense smoothie that will keep you feeling full and energized, while also supporting your weight loss goals.

Smoothies: These types can contribute to weight gain

Not all smoothies are created equal. Many store-bought smoothies contain added sugars and other unhealthy ingredients that can sabotage your weight loss efforts. It's best to make your own smoothies at home using whole, unprocessed ingredients.

Additionally, consuming too many calories from smoothies (or any other source) can lead to weight gain, so it's important to consume them in moderation as part of a balanced and varied diet. It's also important to pay attention to portion sizes and avoid using smoothies as a replacement for whole meals on a regular basis.

Are smoothies good for weight loss?

Choosing the best ingredients for your weight loss smoothie

Nutrient-dense vegetables and fruits:

  • Focus first on adding a variety of colorful vegetables to your smoothie. These are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which can help keep you full and satisfied. Spinach, for example, is an excellent source of iron and vitamin K, while kale is high in vitamin C and antioxidants. 
  • Try to use fruits (and fruit juices) in your smoothie more sparingly than vegetables, and choose fruits that are lower in sugar; you can check out how various fruits rate on the Glycemic Index (GI), a useful tool for understanding which fruits have, after consumption, a lower (i.e., better) or greater impact upon your blood sugar levels. For example, grapefruit has a lower GI than an apple, while both are lower than bananas and watermelon and much lower than most fruit juices.
  • Berries are a good addition, as they are low in calories and high in fiber. Blueberries, in particular, are known for their anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Bananas, even though they are relatively high-GI fruits (so blend them in in moderation), are another popular weight loss smoothie ingredient, as they add natural sweetness and creaminess. They are also a good source of potassium, which can help regulate blood pressure and support heart health. 
  • Citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruits, are also great options for adding flavor and vitamin C to your smoothie.

Protein sources for satiety and muscle building:

  • Greek yogurt is a popular choice for adding protein to smoothies, as it is low in calories and high in protein. 
  • Nut butter, such as almond or peanut butter, is also a great option for adding flavor and healthy fats to your smoothie. 
  • Tofu is another protein-rich ingredient that can be added to smoothies for a creamy texture.
  • Dietary pulses (defined as the edible seeds from legume plants — think beans, lentils and peas) are good sources of protein as well as fiber, so they keep you full on less food. A 2016 meta-analysis of studies exploring the role of dietary pulses in weight loss suggests that incorporating beans into your diet “leads to a modest weight-loss effect even when diets are not intended to be calorically restricted.” But do be wary of using canned beans, which contain a lot of sodium.
  • If you prefer to use a protein powder, make sure to choose one that is low in sugar and calories. Whey protein, pea protein, and soy protein are all popular options.

Healthy fats to keep you full and energized:

  • Avocado is a great option for adding healthy fats and creaminess to your weight loss smoothie. It is also high in fiber and potassium. However, do note that avocados are high in calories, so it's important to use them in moderation.
  • Nuts, such as almonds or walnuts, are another great source of healthy fat and protein, and can add a satisfying crunch to your smoothie. However, do note that nuts are high in calories, so it's important to use them in moderation.
  • Seeds, such as chia or flaxseeds, are also high in healthy fats and fiber, and can help keep you full.

Low-calorie sweeteners and flavor enhancers:

  • While it's best to avoid adding sugar to your weight loss smoothie, you can still add some sweetness with low-calorie sweeteners such as stevia or monk fruit. These sweeteners are natural and won't cause a spike in blood sugar. 
  • Spices such as cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg can also add flavor without adding calories. Cinnamon, for example, has been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels and may even boost metabolism.
  • Adding a small amount of vanilla extract or cocoa powder can also add flavor without adding calories. Just be sure to choose unsweetened cocoa powder to keep the calorie count low.

Optionally, add in green tea or coffee:

Water, milk, and apple juice are popular bases for smoothies. But, if you want to take your weight loss smoothie to the next level, try adding matcha green tea or coffee. The caffeine component might provide you with an added boost of energy that could help you work out just a bit harder than you would otherwise, aiding your weight loss efforts. (However, we caution that caffeine, a stimulant, can increase your blood pressure and may interact with many medications.)

Besides caffeine, green tea also contains green tea catechins — specifically ECGC or epigallocatechin-3-gallate — that may have weight-loss benefits. Consumption of green tea has been shown to speed up fat breakdown, both at rest and during exercise

You can incorporate a metabolic supplement into your smoothie

If you’re just not confident that the smoothies you’re making pack enough nutritional punch into a concoction that’s also high-fiber, low-sugar, and low-fat, or you’re concerned that they may not be as nutritionally or metabolically balanced as they could be, by all means consider blending in a supplement. Eden’s 3-in-1 Synbiotic Supplement contains a carefully selected and tested menu of prebiotics, probiotics, and polyphenols (including the aforementioned green tea) designed to optimize the health of your metabolism, control your glucose and lipid levels, enhance your immunity, and improve your level of satiety — factors that have strong associations with weight management. Overall, Eden’s research has shown that individuals who have used the supplement experienced an average 3.3-fold increase in GLP-1, the hunger-suppressing hormone that promotes a feeling of fullness (which can reduce food cravings and result in eating less).  


Delicious and nutritious smoothie recipes for weight loss

Here’s our favorite smoothie recipe that contains Eden’s:

Sweet potato smoothie


  • 1 cup frozen sweet potato
  • ¼-½ cup frozen riced cauliflower 
  • 1 tablespoon flax seed
  • 1½ cups unsweetened milk of your choice
  • 1 scoop Eden’s
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (optional)
  • ½ banana (optional)
  • Ice to taste

For a protein boost, try one or more of these additions:

  • 1 scoop protein powder (optional)
  • ½ cup of plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt

For smoothie bowls, make a thicker smoothie and pour into a bowel. 

Top with a few teaspoons of any (or all) of the following:

  • Hemp seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Nuts (slivered almonds, walnuts, cashews, etc.)
  • Pumpkin or sunflower seeds
  • Unsweetened coconut flakes
  • Cacao nibs
  • Whole oats
  • Chopped fruit


  • Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender. Tip: to avoid powder sticking to the blender, put any powders and flaxseeds in last. Blend on high until it reaches your desired consistency. 

Note: You can freeze your own sweet potato by first cooking it until tender, then cut it into slices (keep the skin on for an extra boost of fiber), place them on a baking sheet, and put into the freezer until solid. Then, place the slices in a freezer-safe container and use as-needed. 

Other weight loss smoothie recipes to try

Green Goddess Smoothie

This weight loss smoothie is packed with nutrients and is perfect for a quick breakfast or post-workout snack. The combination of mango, banana, and spinach gives it a sweet and refreshing taste.

  1. 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  2. 1/2 cup frozen mango
  3. 1/2 frozen banana
  4. 1 cup baby spinach
  5. 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  6. 1 tsp honey (optional)

To make this smoothie, add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. You can also add a teaspoon of honey for some extra sweetness.

Berry Blast Protein Smoothie

This smoothie is packed with antioxidants and protein, making it a great option for a post-workout snack or meal replacement.

  1. 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  2. 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
  3. 1/4 avocado
  4. 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  5. 1 tsp honey (optional)

To make this smoothie, add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. You can also add a teaspoon of honey for some extra sweetness.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Power Smoothie

If you're craving something sweet and indulgent, this smoothie is perfect for you. The combination of chocolate and peanut butter is a classic one, and the chia seeds add a dose of healthy fats and fiber.

  1. 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  2. 1 frozen banana
  3. 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  4. 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  5. 1 tsp chia seeds

To make this smoothie, add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. You can also add a teaspoon of honey for some extra sweetness.

Tropical Mango and Coconut Smoothie

This weight loss smoothie is perfect for those who love the taste of coconut and mango. The combination of coconut milk and shredded coconut gives it a creamy and tropical taste.

  1. 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  2. 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  3. 1/4 cup canned coconut milk
  4. 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  5. 1 tsp shredded coconut

To make this smoothie, add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. You can also add a teaspoon of honey for some extra sweetness.

There you have it — a guide to using smoothies for weight loss. With the right ingredients, tips, and recipes, smoothies can be a delicious and effective tool for shedding unwanted pounds and achieving your weight loss goals. So why not give them a try and see the results for yourself?