I’m sure you’ve heard of a million different smoothie recipes for weight loss, right? Let’s be honest…they are quick, easy, flavorful, filling, and so delicious! On top of that, you can easily adjust smoothies to meet your macros. Plus, they can make incredible low-calorie subs for some of those sweets you might be craving.
Maybe you’re wondering, are smoothies good for weight loss?
Yes and no. Smoothies can be great meal replacements and a way to sneak in extra protein! However, they also can lead to lots of unwanted calories if used incorrectly.
You’ve probably heard it said before: Don’t drink your calories. In a lot of cases, that can be true. It’s not necessarily that smoothies or liquid calories are bad, but it can be hard to justify a smoothie as being a meal, even if it has the calories of one. For that simple reason, some people trying to lose weight might use smoothies more as a snack than a meal, and with that could come unwanted weight gain.
That being said, smoothies are generally healthy and can be amazing at curbing cravings! On top of that, the macro profile (portion of carbs, fats, and proteins) can be spot on as well. Sometimes it actually makes more sense to reach for a copy-cat smoothie version of your favorite dessert (made out of whole ingredients that will keep you satisfied) instead of reaching for a dessert that will spike your blood sugar.
Because of these differences, we need to make a distinction between smoothies that are used as a meal vs ones that can be snuck in as a snack:
These should have a mix of fiber, protein, carbs, and fat. These types of smoothies should generally be used as a meal substitute. An 8 ounce smoothie of just fruit isn’t enough to satisfy most people for long. However, this blend of macro-nutrients will ensure your body feels satiated until your next meal.
Why is that? Fiber, protein, and fat tend to be slower to digest, so your body gets a steady trickle of nutrients that will last a longer time. In contrast, pure fruit is easily digested and will quickly boost your blood sugar only to drop it soon after.
These are lower calorie and nutrient dense. In contrast to meal smoothies, these light and fresh smoothies can give you a quick boost of energy. These smoothies are an amazing way to sneak in extra greens and super-foods. However, they aren’t likely to keep you feeling full for long.
Use snack smoothies between meals or when you need a pick-me-up. But be mindful! Too much snacking of any kind throughout the day could still lead to too many calories.
Now that you know the difference between snack and meal smoothies, dig in to my top 20 smoothie recipes! With options ranging from decadent desserts to light and fresh pick me ups, you’ll find everything you need below! It’s time to satisfy your cravings the healthy way!
1. Snickerdoodle Smoothie
Is there anything better than that sweet and unique tang of a snickerdoodle cookie? I grew up with this cookie as an infamous family dessert (we even named our rabbits after this favorite treat). However, if you’re looking to bring back that taste without the calories, all hope is not lost! This snickerdoodle smoothie registers at under 400 calories and rings in 14 grams of protein. If your looking to lower calories and sugar, there are also modifications to use stevia or monk fruit as a sweetener instead!
2. The Best Green Smoothie
Okay, let’s be real. We all want to add a little more green into our lives. However, sometimes it can be hard to gag down. Change all of that with this 5-star smoothie recipe. Not only is this smoothie incredibly delicious, but it’s also packed with nutrients. Chug those greens the easy way!
3. Detox Smoothie
This smoothie is fresh, light, and green, giving your body the nutrient boost it needs. In addition to that, it packs a bonus boost of cilantro, which is said to aid in reducing heavy metal toxicity.
4. Detox Smoothie #2
This incredible smoothie recipe not only gives you the ingredients, but also a step-by-step guide to designing your own fantastic smoothie recipes! Once you get a taste of this, you will never want to go back!
5. Easy Weight Loss Smoothie
If you aren’t a fan of bananas, then this one is for you! Instead, this smoothie uses zucchini as a thickening agent and buckwheat to keep you full and satisfied all day long! And for you celiacs out there…yes, buckwheat is gluten free!
6. Creamy Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie
Part of the struggle with trying to lose weight and create healthier habits is the struggle of having to give up some of your favorite foods, like chocolate. Say no more. This chocolate mint smoothie is the perfect blend of protein and chocolate to satisfy your cravings for good! Why avoid what you love when you can indulge the healthy way?
7. Creamy Cacao Avocado Smoothie
Speaking of chocolate, give this smoothie a go! The blend of avocado and chocolate will keep you feeling satisfied and healthy all day long. Not to mention, the creaminess of this one will blow your mind.
8. Copy-Cat Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino
Have you ever gone to a coffee shop and felt the agonizing sting of realizing you can’t order anything but a black coffee? I feel your pain. Personally, I am a huge frappuccino girl, and life without my blends sounds agonizing. Is it a smoothie? Technically no. But this recipe could easily double as one! It’s lower in calories, healthier, and still delicious. Feel free to add some collagen for an added protein boost!
9. Frozen Fruit Smoothie
Sometimes, you don’t need to venture far past the basics to find your ideal smoothie. With a base of apple juice and yogurt, this smoothie provides the best blend of sweetness and creaminess!
10. Strawberry Keto Smoothie
Yes! You can still have smoothies while on a keto diet. As it just so happens, berries are very low-carb! In addition to that, this smoothie uses avocado to add an extra boost of creaminess and healthy fats. This one is sure to keep you burning fat all day long!
11. Real Fruit Smoothie
Stick to the basics to get a maximum boost of nutrients! This smoothie gets straight to the point by using the best fruit medleys to blend you the ultimate weight loss drink.
12. Citrus Energy-Boosting Smoothie
Feeling tired and run down? Instead of running to the coffee pot when you first wake up, try running to the blender instead! This amazing smoothie mix is an incredible way to give your body a nutrient boost while giving you the energy you need to get through the day.
13. Skinny Strawberry Shortcake Smoothie
This vegan recipe will have you drooling for more! It’s vegan, low calorie, and delicious! What makes it different than any regular strawberry smoothie? The secret is in a butter extract that gives it a rich pastry flavor while keeping it low in calories. If you feel like leaving your chair to blend this one up right away, you are in good company.
14. Banana Split Smoothie
This rich and decadent smoothie will have you feeling like you’re indulging at an old fashioned ice cream parlor. This recipe is absolutely delicious and will have our cravings flying out the window. It stays deliciously smooth and creamy with the banana base and dates for an extra touch of creaminess.
Fair warning: this smoothie does have a slightly higher natural sugar content. However, it is much lower than going crazy and diving into a tub of Ben and Jerry’s. Of course, if you feel like having a lighter version of this same drink, you can always sub a little banana and dates for zucchini and stevia.
15. Skinny Oatmeal Cookie Smoothie
And here we have it! Yet another healthy smoothie version of your favorite dessert! If you’re getting sick of eating oatmeal in the mornings, try using it in a shake instead! Because of the high fiber in oatmeal, it helps keep you feeling full and satiated longer while giving the smoothie a fun new texture.
16. Pineapple Kale Smoothie
If you’re looking to sneak some extra greens into your day (and let’s be honest, aren’t we all!) this pineapple kale smoothie is for you! Not only are the ingredients incredibly nutrient dense, but they’re also light and fresh. Pineapple is known for helping digestion because of an enzyme it contains called bromelain. Just for that reason, this smoothie can keep you feeling light and energized after you sip!
17. Healthy Shamrock Shake
You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy a good shamrock shake! Also, it turns out you don’t have to be unhealthy for it either! This shamrock shake is made of entirely healthy ingredients and even sports Greek yogurt for an extra protein boost. Have a bowl of yogurt or a shamrock shake? It’s your choice, but I know which one I would go for! And the ingredients turn out to be almost exactly identical at the end of the day.
18. Cinnamon Roll Smoothie
Once again sporting Greek yogurt for a good protein boost, this smoothie could make an amazing low-calorie meal replacement. It contains yogurt, oats, chia seeds, and fruit, offering a great blend of fiber, protein, carbs, and healthy fats. Not only does it taste fantastic, but it could very well curb cravings while remaining relatively low-calorie and satiating.
19. Golden Glow Turmeric Smoothie
The sound of having turmeric in your smoothie might make some of you cringe, but it is definitely worth trying. For one, pineapple has such a strong flavor in and of itself that the turmeric’s taste is almost completely masked. Secondly, turmeric is a strong anti-inflammatory that everyone should try adding it to their diet. You might be surprised to find out that it is actually pretty tasty as well!
20. Copy-Cat Disneyland Dole Whip Smoothie
If you really want to take a taste of magic home, try out this fantastic recipe! Made with only two ingredients, you will get that creamy indulgent taste you love without the sugar or extra calories. Curb those cravings the right way!
Bonus Smoothie Additions
For an extra weight loss boost, try these fun additions!
Sneak in greens wherever you can! Smoothies tend to be very flavorful, so you usually won’t even notice a few added greens in there. However, the nutrients will keep you feeling extra energetic throughout the day!
Add in a small scoop of protein powder to almost any smoothie. Especially if you are looking for a meal replacement, the simple addition of protein powder will ensure you’re staying full throughout the day!
Did you hear me right? Yes you did! Zucchini is actually a great thickening agent in smoothies. Translation: Less sugar and more fiber! Since zucchini is so low in calories and almost flavorless, you can use it in smoothies for a rich and creamy texture while keeping things low-calorie. Plus, the extra fiber will have you feeling like you had a full meal for way less calories.
Most smoothies use extra honey, syrups, or fruit for their sweeteners. However, that can add up very quickly to unwanted calories. Instead, try subbing low calorie sweeteners like monk fruit or stevia once in a while to cut down on the high sugar count. That being said, avoid artificial sweeteners like Splenda. They won’t do you any good.
Try making healthy smoothie renditions of your favorite desserts. We’re only human, and it can be hard to stick to a healthy diet sometimes. Instead of giving something up, find a sub for your favorite meals! In this case, getting that amazing flavor you are craving in the form of a low-calorie smoothie could be just the thing for you!
More Healthy Recipes
At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.
Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.
One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.
When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.
So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.
Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day
This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.
Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.
When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.
Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity
One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.
Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.
An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.
When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.
Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day
Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.
We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.
By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.
Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment
While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.
I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.
You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.
Con #1: We Move a Lot Less
When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.
Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.
Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.
Con #2: Less Human Interaction
One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.
Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.
Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.
This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.
While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.
Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment
Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.
This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.
For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.
Con #4: Unique Distractions
Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.
For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.
To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.
Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.
We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.