Trying to find healthy smoothies for weight loss?
Look no further; we’ve got you covered.
Healthy smoothies are a perfect addition to your diet if you are seeking weight loss and creating a healthier eating pattern.
They’re easy, filling, and full of great nutrients like fiber and antioxidants. Did I mention they’re delicious?
But not all smoothies are created equal.
Many store-bought smoothies are loaded with added sugars and saturated fats, which semi-defeats the purpose of drinking one for the proposed health benefits.
Take Smoothie King for example. For years I assumed all their recipes were healthy until I saw the nutrition facts.
Their Hulk Strawberry contains 73 grams of added sugar, 16 grams of saturated fat, and a total of 850 calories. That’s just for the smallest size (20 oz.)!
While this smoothie does contain fiber and vitamins, it also contains butter pecan ice cream, which is packed with added sugar.
Although it is advertised as a “Fitness Blend”, if you drink this regularly, in addition to a normal diet, and aren’t a hardcore athlete, it will most likely cause weight gain.
Anyways, 73 grams of added sugar is above the amount recommended by the Dietary Guidelines (1).
Needless to say, these are generally not the best smoothies for weight loss.
The best way to make sure yours are healthy is to make them yourself.
A deliciously healthful smoothie contains healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids, protein, carbohydrates (including fiber), vitamins, and minerals.
These nutrients are known to quell hunger, increase satiety, and boost your health.
Let’s take a quick look at what makes these smoothies part of a healthy diet and beneficial for weight loss.
Are Smoothies a Good Way to Lose Weight?
Smoothies can help you lose weight when they are made with wholesome ingredients. The word ‘smoothie’ sounds healthy, right?
Images of leafy greens, fresh fruits, and yogurt come to mind.
But, more often than not, people mistake a blender for an excuse to appease their sweet tooth (cue the chocolate syrup).
In this case, your snack is more milkshake than a superfood.
This type of strategy will only leave you hungry an hour later, causing you to consume more calories, thus promoting weight gain.
However, when made properly, they can be relatively low calorie and quite healthy.
Are Smoothies Healthy?
If you are seeking weight loss, smoothies are a great addition to your diet, if made with the right ingredients.
A smoothie loaded with good-for-you nutrients like antioxidants, fiber, and minerals can boost your health while satisfying your hunger.
Some ingredients, like cayenne pepper and caffeine, can even serve as a slight metabolism booster.
The first step is to load your drink with wholesome ingredients like fresh and frozen fruits, dark green veggies, and a natural liquid base like milk or coconut water.
Aim to sweeten your drink with whole-some ingredients like frozen or fresh fruits.
Bananas, peaches, and green apples bring enough sweetness that you can forgo any added sweeteners – one way to maintain the nutritional value.
If you still desire a boost of sweetness, add 1 teaspoon of honey to your fruity drink.
It’s also essential to know what not to use, to avoid turning your smoothie into the equivalent of a sugary milkshake.
Common ingredients like syrup and sugary protein powders are just some to omit.
The high sugar content may lead to high blood sugar (glucose) spikes not to mention added calories.
The trick with making smoothies nutrient-dense, and not a “junk food”, comes down to selecting healthy ingredients.
Below you will find a guide to some wonderful ingredients and 5 yummy recipes to create delicious smoothies.
The Best Smoothie Ingredients to Help You Lose Weight
These healthy and homemade smoothie recipes will suppress hunger, helping with weight loss, while still providing the energy and nutrients (think carbohydrates, phytonutrients, protein, fat, etc.), needed for a healthy you.
Here are some of the best ingredients to make delicious weight loss smoothie recipes:
Kale – a star of the veggie world, a true nutrition powerhouse!
This leafy green is full of nutrition and contains antioxidants that may reduce inflammation and the fiber will help with satiety.
Spinach – with its mild taste (you won’t taste it!), there’s no reason not to add spinach to every green smoothie recipe.
It has tons of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, like calcium which supports bone health.
Blueberries – These tiny berries are a burst of antioxidants, like vitamin C, and contain anthocyanins, which may support your memory.
Some studies suggest that components in blueberries may decrease insulin resistance.
Strawberries – contain antioxidants that may protect against certain cancers and promote heart health. Plus, they have more Vitamin C than oranges!
Lemon and Lime – your first hack comes in the form of this citrus! The citrus reduces the bitter taste of greens plus it adds a refreshing, tropical taste.
Banana – perfect for smoothies as it creates a creamy drink. Plus, bananas help with digestion as they are high in fiber, some of which (inulin) act as prebiotics.
For all that sweetness, you’ll feel full longer. A banana also gives you a nice boost of potassium to boot.
Herbs And Spices
Turmeric – aside from its cool, burnt-orange, golden, hue, it contains antioxidants, which may cause a decrease in inflammation.
With a distinctly warm taste, you’ve got a great add-in.
Ginger – fresh ginger also brings freshness and masks the bitterness of ingredients like baby spinach and collard greens.
This refreshing root is thought to relieve nausea and aid digestion.
Herbs – fresh herbs like mint, parsley, and cilantro provide more than a refreshing taste, they add a little touch of vitamins like A and C to your morning drink.
Chia seeds, Hemp and Flaxseeds – when you need some omega-3s and fiber, reach for these.
Omega 3s are healthy fats that may decrease inflammation and are part of a heart-healthy diet.
Cocoa – or more accurately cacao powder, is full of health-boosting nutrients. Cocoa contains magnesium, potassium, and iron.
It’s a healthy way to make a decadent chocolate dessert smoothie without adding sugar, a perfect swap for your chocolate syrup.
Greek Yogurt –is high in protein and is a perfect smoothie base. Use plain, low-fat, Greek yogurt to decrease the saturated fat and sugar content.
Protein sources – add tofu, a tablespoon of peanut butter (or other nut butter) for a boost of healthy fats, or use soy milk, cow’s milk, and/or Greek yogurt for the base. Veggies and fruits also contain a few grams of protein!
These are natural sources of protein and cheaper than most brands of protein powder.
Protein powder – not all protein powders are equal, but some are safer than others. Common protein powders you may have seen include whey and pea protein.
Protein powder is not always necessary, especially for those of us who are not hardcore athletes.
Generally, you can get your daily protein intake from food sources like the ones listed above. Ask your healthcare provider or dietitian for their recommendations.
Liquids – cow and soy milk are great options as they provide protein in addition to vitamins and minerals.
Nut-based milks, like almond milk, can be used, but although lower in calories, they provide fewer nutrients.
Coconut water is a common ingredient in smoothie recipes as it provides some electrolytes, perfect after a long workout.
Green tea can also be added for a caffeine boost.
Below I’ll share 5 healthy smoothie recipes.
Try these nutritious and filling smoothie recipes that can keep those hunger pangs in check and giving your body the nutrition it needs.
5 Healthy Smoothie Recipes for Weight Loss
1. Strawberry Banana Smoothie
This strawberry and banana creamy drink is my go-to smoothie recipe and it’s a wonderful way to start your morning!
These red berries are bursts of deliciousness and are rich in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants.
One serving of strawberries (about 8 berries per cup) contains more vitamin C than an orange!
Not only does the banana add creaminess to this smoothie, but it also provides sweetness; one reason why you can skip the honey in this recipe.
Because of the fiber, bananas help you feel full, quelling the post-breakfast hunger pangs.
The combination of fiber, protein, and fat lowers cravings so you won’t be reaching for snacks two hours later, one reason why this smoothie can help you on your weight loss journey.
Thanks to the sweet fruits, this is one delicious breakfast smoothie your kids would love.
If you have family members with a nut allergy, feel free to omit the nuts in the recipe and use dairy milk as a substitute to ensure protein is present.
Add a tablespoon of peanut butter to this fruit smoothie for a touch of nuttiness.
Frozen fruit will make a slightly thicker smoothie than fresh fruit.
- 1 cup of frozen strawberries
- 1/2 banana
- 2 tbsp sliced raw nuts (almonds, cashews, pecans, and walnuts are all excellent sources of protein, fiber, and healthy fatty acids)
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
- 1/4 cup granola (choose an unsweetened one)
- 1 cup unsweetened Greek yogurt
- 1 cup of soy or almond milk or other non-dairy milk
- 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
- Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour into glasses and serve. Enjoy!
2. Pineapple Kale Green Smoothie
Kale, a member of the cruciferous family, is an amazing superfood.
This leafy green, like many fruits and veggies, contains phytochemicals, which are compounds that protect cells from a range of damages that may lead to health issues like cancer.
Additionally, kale contains an array of other nutrients like vitamins K, E, and calcium.
Plus it has a high protein content (compared to other veggies); 1 cup contains 3 grams of protein.
Because of all these wonderful components, kale may help prevent heart disease, lower cholesterol, promote bone health, and boost the immune system.
However, if you are taking blood thinners, talk to your doctor before adding a bunch of this leafy green to your smoothie.
Most adults need 2 – 2 1/2 cups of vegetables a day (sounds like a lot!), so adding greens to a breakfast smoothie is an easy way to increase your vegetable intake, helping you achieve a healthy diet and helping you reach your weight loss goals.
Pineapple is a great food to incorporate into your diet.
This yellow, tropical fruit hosts an enzyme group (bromelain) that may aid your digestion and reduce bloating.
Since pineapples may not be as easy to find fresh, frozen pineapple works just as well.
Also, you can substitute milk with 1 cup of coconut water for a tropical flavor and a post-workout electrolyte boost.
- 2 cups raw kale leaves, stems removed
- 3/4 cup almonds
- 1 cup frozen or fresh banana
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup pineapple pieces
- 2 tbsp nut butter (unsweetened)
- 1 cup of almond milk (or milk of choosing)
- 1 to 2 tsp honey, to taste
- Add all ingredients to your blender.
- Blend all the ingredients until smooth. Adjust liquid to create your preferred consistency.
3. Turmeric and Ginger Tropical Smoothie
This drink is a rejuvenating snack, perfect for a healthy weight loss meal plan.
Plus, both ginger and turmeric contain antioxidants and may assist in decreasing markers of inflammation in the body.
Ginger provides a little dose of magnesium and vitamin C.
Ginger is well-known in traditional medicine and alternative treatments as it may help relieve nausea and period pain and aid digestion.
However, caution should be taken if wanting to supplement with ginger, as it may cause negative side effects with some medications, including blood thinners.
Not only does the golden hue of turmeric appeal to the eye, but it also contains a phytochemical compound known as curcumin.
Curcumin is thought to be an anti-inflammatory agent, possibly protecting the body against cancerous cells and neurodegenerative diseases.
Its tropical fruit buzz comes primarily from the mango in this breakfast smoothie.
Mango adds a variety of health and nutritional benefits for few calories.
Replace almond milk for soy or cow milk to add protein, satisfying your hunger, and promoting weight loss.
- 1 cup almond, cow’s, or soy milk
- ½ fresh or frozen banana
- ½ cup frozen or fresh mango chunks
- ½ Tsp. each ground turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom
- 1 tsp flaxseed
- 1 tsp honey (optional)
- 1/2 cup ice cubes (optional)
- Add all ingredients to your blender.
- Blend all the ingredients until smooth. Adjust liquid to create your preferred consistency.
4. Dark Chocolate Banana Smoothie
Who said that your healthy breakfast smoothies couldn’t taste sweet?
This is probably one of my favorite smoothie recipes because of its rich and decadent taste. It basically tastes like a dessert shake.
While, on your weight loss journey, it is important to incorporate alternatives to the foods we love or eat them in moderation.
Completely cutting out our favorite foods can create a greater longing for them, increasing the chances of a binge or giving up on weight loss completely.
If you are still hungry after dinner and craving a little sweetness, this makes for a great dessert, a substitute for a sugary milkshake.
With all the healthy nutrients, this smoothie will keep you from midnight snacking, thus helping with weight loss.
The banana in this recipe creates a smooth, creamy texture, almost replicating ice cream with the benefit of numerous nutrients.
Spinach contains calcium (important for bone health), iron (needed to transport oxygen throughout the body), and vitamin K (a helpful component of the blood clotting process).
However, with all the vitamin K, spinach may cause side-effects if taking blood thinners, so talk to your doctor before adding a bunch of spinach to your diet.
With all the other ingredients, you won’t be able to taste the spinach. The kids won’t notice either!
In addition to magnesium, potassium, and iron, cocoa powder contains polyphenols, which act as antioxidants.
Cocoa is a wonderful way to get your chocolate fix without the excess sugar.
Add 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt or use soy/cow’s milk for a boost of protein and minerals.
The protein and fiber from the fruits, veggies, chia seeds, and milk in this smoothie will satisfy your hunger so you won’t reach for snacks an hour after breakfast, making this a good weight loss smoothie.
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 cup raw spinach
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choosing)
- 3 Tbsp. chia seeds
- 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp. honey (optional)
- Add all ingredients into your blender.
- Blend all the ingredients until smooth.
- Top it off with 1 tbsp. of unsweetened granola for a bit of crunchiness (optional).
5. Blueberry Avocado Mango Smoothie
Just because you want to eat healthy and lose weight doesn’t mean you need to stuff your weight loss smoothie with green veggies every day.
You can have a perfectly healthy berry smoothie full of non-veggie superfoods.
This recipe shows you just how to combine ingredients like antioxidant-rich blueberries, healthy-fat-laden avocado, and fiber-rich chia seeds for a delicious smoothie.
This is one summer drink you will want to sip by the pool, making a wonderful replacement for the calorie and sugar-heavy smoothies from Smoothie King.
Despite their tiny size, chia seeds have an amazing nutrition content.
The little seeds contain nutrients that help facilitate weight loss and promote a healthy body: omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber.
Due to their omega-3 and fiber content, these seeds may be beneficial for heart and brain health.
The soluble fiber slows the digestion process, helping with satiety (promoting weight loss), and decreases blood glucose spikes after drinking your smoothie.
They also house micronutrients like calcium, iron, and zinc!
I also love that this recipe uses avocado for a change.
It’s a great way to create a rich and creamy texture at the end without using bananas.
With this substitution, you decrease your carbohydrate intake by not having to add a banana for thickness.
My favorite add-ins to this recipe are 1 teaspoon flaxseeds, a handful of blackberries, 1 scoop whey protein or pea protein powder (if recommended by your healthcare provider), and a teaspoon of vanilla extract to bring out the aroma and flavor.
There are so many ways you can enjoy this weight loss smoothie without losing the healthfulness.
Here is the base to start with and try your own combination of ingredients to enjoy the variety and make this smoothie recipe your own.
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 1/2 cups frozen mango
- ½ avocado
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp matcha powder (optional)
- 2 tbsp unsweetened almond butter, cashew butter, or sunflower butter
- 1½ – 2 cups of coconut water
- 1 tbsp raw honey (optional)
- Add all ingredients to your blender.
- Blend all the ingredients until smooth. Add more liquid to create your preferred consistency.
- Add 1 Tbsp of granola of coconut flakes for a smoothie topping
There you have it! Five fiercely delicious yet wonderfully healthy smoothie recipes for weight loss promotion.
There are so many other foods I wanted to include but couldn’t fit into this small list of healthy smoothies for weight loss.
For the summer, go for fresh, summer produce like peaches, celery, kiwi, cucumber, and cherries.
Use other summer fruits straight from the freezer, like frozen pineapple chunks or blueberries.
Another great option is to add green tea for a refreshing drink.
If you want fall-themed smoothies for weight loss (and overall healthy eating), try adding apple pieces, pumpkin puree, oats, or cinnamon.
Make these healthy smoothie recipes your own!
Sipping on these delicious smoothies can definitely help you feel full by reducing your appetite and can be low-calorie.
However, keep in mind that in order to lose weight, it is important to include nutritious meals and snacks throughout the day, in addition to exercise, for a healthy weight loss.
This is just one delicious (and awesome!) change to help you start your weight loss journey.
Trying to lose weight can be frustrating and sometimes difficult, but I hope this list of smoothies for weight loss can add some sweetness and motivation to your days.