Healthy smoothies, especially green smoothies, are one of the best things you can do to kick start weight loss and to improve your health. A typical green smoothie adds 3-5 servings of fruits and vegetables to your diet, so that right there is going to dramatically improve your diet.
Green smoothies were also instrumental in my 40-pound weight loss. I have maintained that weight loss since 2008 and I relish my delicious shakes every day.
Should You Only Drink Smoothies, Avoiding All Solid Food?
While it might be tempting to do a strict, green smoothie-only diet regimen, I don’t recommend it because it is not a sustainable diet over the long term. Sure, you could probably lose some weight that way, but when you eventually go off the diet, that weight will just come piling back on.
Short term crash diets do not teach you how to eat healthy. They do not contribute to long-term weight loss, or a healthy lifestyle.
The other big problem with a smoothie-only diet for weight loss is that it is impossible for most people to get adequate calories by drinking just smoothies. Now I know that reducing your calorie intake is essential to weight loss, but starving yourself is not a healthy way to shed pounds. Eventually, the hunger will get to be too much and you will cave in to cravings and binge on junk food (I’ve been there!).
Instead of doing a smoothie diet, I recommend incorporating green smoothies into a healthy, whole foods lifestyle.
Why Green Smoothies Are Good for Weight Loss
A healthy green smoothie is the perfect weight loss shake because it is loaded with fiber, vitamins and minerals. They are very low in fat and may help to boost your metabolism. When used in place of breakfast or lunch, a green smoothie can lower overall calorie intake, helping to facilitate weight loss while helping you feel full and energetic.
Green smoothies ARE food so you wont feel like you are on a liquid starvation diet. Most people who try smoothies like them so much that they continue to drink them on a daily basis for life which is perfect for long term weight management and keeping lost pounds from coming back.
Green smoothies also lead you toward healthier food choices. Many people report dramatically fewer cravings for sweet, salty and fatty foods after a few weeks of drinking a daily green smoothie. The fruits and berries in each smoothie satisfy your sweet tooth.
My experience with drinking green smoothies since early 2008 has certainly had a transformative affect on my diet and I eat much healthier now than I ever have. I simply do not crave unhealthy foods anymore.
Green Smoothies As Meal Replacements
Most of the green smoothie recipes that I post on my website contain enough calories to be a meal replacement on their own. In order to make your smoothie a complete meal replacement, make sure you add enough greens to get at least 10 to 12 grams of protein.
Everyone’s diet and calorie requirements are different, so find out how many calories you should consume per meal and fortify a green smoothie recipe to meet your required calorie intake. For me, I make green smoothies that are between 300-400 calories, which is not too many calories per meal when losing weight.
Drawbacks of Commercial Smoothie Diets
Commercial smoothie diets have a variety of drawbacks that can make them unsuitable for many people. Certain brands are made with highly processed ingredients that contain added sugar, caffeine, trans fats, sodium, preservatives and artificial color and flavorings. Little, if any, fruit or vegetable (real foods) are used in the making of these diet smoothies. Dairy and soy-based ingredients might also be used.
Perhaps the biggest drawback to commercial smoothie diets is that they are temporary weight loss plans and typically only work in the short term. The lost weight returns when the dieter resumes normal eating habits.
Green smoothies, on the other hand, contain only the natural, healthy whole foods you put in them. In addition, including green smoothies in your diet helps to foster a taste for healthier foods, which is the key to meeting long-term weight loss goals.
Before reaching for a “meal in a can”, try blending some tasty fruits and greens together, add a scoop of protein powder and drop in some ground flax seeds for the ultimate weight-loss shake that will have you feeling full and energized all morning.
How I Lost 40 Pounds With Green Smoothies
Green smoothies were the only thing that finally helped me lose weight and get the slim physique (and that elusive flat tummy) that I always wanted. I tried diets and crazy exercise regimens, but adopting a daily green smoothie habit as part of a whole foods diet set my healthy lifestyle and weight loss goals in motion.
One of the key factors to successfully losing weight is to have a plan that you can follow. That’s why I created a 28-day meal plan that includes green smoothies and non-smoothie whole food meals. I’ve also thrown in some healthy dessert recipes! The meal plan also comes with weekly grocery shopping lists, so you don’t even have to worry about what you are going to eat, or making sure you have the ingredients on hand.
Tracy Russell is the creator of RESET 28: A 28-Day Program For Energy, Weight Loss & A Healthy Glow, and founder of Incredible Smoothies. She has been helping people take control of their health and well being with green smoothies, a whole foods diet, and fitness since 2009.