The #1 Smoothie Trick To Help You Lose Weight
Smoothies are supposed to help you lose weight, right? Well, not always. While these blended drinks tend to be packed with all kinds of great smoothie ingredients, if you're not careful, a smoothie can turn into a calorie bomb very quickly. So what's the best smoothie trick to help you lose weight? It's actually to make sure your smoothie includes some kind of protein element in it! Here's why, and for more healthy eating tips, check out our list of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.
Protein is a macronutrient that helps you to feel full for a longer period of time. By incorporating it into your smoothie, you're only increasing the amount of time you'll feel full after consuming a smoothie for a snack or a meal.
"[Adding] protein is #1, either in the form of Greek yogurt (added benefit of calcium) or protein powder," says Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, and author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook. "The science is well established that, in general, protein is more satiating than the same amount of carbohydrate or fat. I like to say protein helps you feel full faster and helps you stay full longer."
Goodson says that you should ideally have 20 to 30 grams of protein in the smoothie if you plan on having it as a meal. You may be able to get around that amount with a scoop of protein powder, or just over 3/4 of a cup of Greek yogurt—like one of these 20 Best and Worst Greek Yogurts, According to Nutritionists. If you include both elements in your smoothie, you'll get a sufficient amount of protein that can help you to feel full.
"Many people get in the habit of putting lots of fruit and fruit juice in smoothies, and hear me out, I think fruit is good for you and you should eat it, but some go overboard in smoothies," says Goodson. "That increases the carbohydrate content, and without protein, your blood sugar is likely to spike and drop soon after."
Along with adding protein and a healthy portion of fruit to your smoothie, throwing in vegetables for an added boost of fiber is also great for rounding out your smoothie as a meal. Fiber not only helps you to lose weight, but it can also help with your digestion and keeps you satiated for hours afterward.
"My #2 [trick] would be spinach or kale for fiber and to get veggies in," says Goodson. "Most people agree that as long as you have some fruit in the smoothie, you can't taste the spinach or kale. We know that only one in ten Americans get the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables, so smoothies can help! Just gotta get the right balance of ingredients in it!"
Now that you're aware of the best smoothie trick to help you lose weight, here are some of our favorite smoothie recipes to try at home!