If you had the power to make your life better with the push of a button, would you use it? Of course! So bust out the blender and learn how to make a fat-blasting smoothie with these essential rules. Yes, we know rules is a harsh way to phrase it, but we want to convey how important it is to be intentional when building your smoothie—because there are 7 Ways Smoothies Will Make You Gain Weight.
These “rules” (or guidelines) will make sure that your smoothies aren’t full of sugar that will simply make your blood sugar levels spike and plummet, causing you to feel hungry soon after sipping. To build a smoothie that will actually support weight loss, you need to hit these marks: made with healthy fats, fiber, and protein; low in calories; and low (or completely void) of added sugars. To make sure you’re checking off each of these boxes, we’ve come up with the following tips. They’ll help you build a better smoothie that supports your weight loss goals rather than hinder them. And for more, don’t miss What Happens to Your Body When You Drink a Smoothie Every Day.
Start With an Unsweetened Nut Milk
Build a better smoothie base with nut-based milk that’s free of added sugars, preservatives, and GMOs. (Our guide, Milk Alternatives 101: Your Guide To Every Dairy-Free Milk Substitute can help you get started.) Pouring nut-based milk instead of your regular jug of 2-percent will help you avoid lactose, the sugar found in dairy milk that can potentially cause uncomfortable bloating and gas. Plus, picks like almond milk and cashew milk are vegan-friendly as well as boast countless body-loving nutrients such as vitamin E, selenium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, and phosphorous. And when it comes to choosing a smoothie liquid for weight loss, you can’t go wrong with these milk substitutes — because they don’t have as much sugar as milk or juice, they’re also lower in calories, and it’s necessary to cut back on calories when it comes to losing weight.
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Add Protein Powder
Once you’ve picked your milk of choice, don’t forget to add in a scoop or two of unsweetened protein powder to round out your shake with more satiating power. Adding protein to your shakes can help increase your hunger-fighting hormones and promote satiety, according to a study published in the journal Obesity. Plant-based powders with blends of pea, hemp, rice, organic soy, and/or sprouts trump single-plant-based blends because they’ll ensure you’re getting more amino acids—the building blocks of protein that help your body build and maintain lean, fat-burning muscle that keeps your metabolism revving so you can burn more calories to lose weight. Aim to get 20 grams of protein in your shake. A study published in the journal Appetite found that shakes containing 20 grams of protein decreased hunger by 50-65% compared to protein-free shakes.
Sneak in Some Veggies
When you think smoothies, you probably think of fruit, right? Well, that’s not the only produce you should be blending up. Weight loss smoothies are also a great opportunity to get in your daily recommended vegetables. Right now, the average American doesn’t meet the USDA’s recommended intake of vegetables: 1.5-2.5 cups per day. A Nutrients review showed that increased vegetable intake is associated with weight loss and a lower risk of weight gain. Our favorite smoothie veggies are leafy greens such as kale and spinach. They’re rich in essential micronutrients such as vitamin K, and they’ll also add some health-promoting fiber to your diet.
Find Your Favorite Fat
You can also add healthy fats to your smoothies to lose weight. Healthy fats promote feelings of satiety and they also help your body absorb many of the fruits and veggies’ fat-soluble vitamins. We like adding a fourth of an avocado, a teaspoon of coconut oil, or a tablespoon of peanut butter.
Boost Your Fiber Intake
Did you know that 95% of the American population isn’t eating enough fiber? One of the easiest ways to increase your fiber intake up to the recommended 28 grams a day (right now, we’re only consuming 16 grams), is to add fiber-rich foods to your smoothie. You can jazz up your drink with any of these 43 Best Foods for Fiber, but we’d like to call out the power of seeds. Flaxseeds, chia seeds, and hemp hearts all make great additions to your smoothie—and you’ll barely taste them. Why bother with fiber besides the fact that we aren’t eating enough? It will help you lose weight! A Journal of Nutrition study found that increasing fiber by just 4 grams per day over can result in a 3 ¼-pound of weight loss over 6 months.