At first sight you may not like the look or sound of a green smoothie, and I totally get it because they often conjure up images of dark green bitter veggies like kale and cabbage, or foul tasting green powders such as spirulina and chlorella. But you can make these smoothies taste totally delicious with a little imagination. Yes, they still contain all those nutritious greens, but you’ll never know they’re in there, I promise.
In this post I will give you some simple green smoothie diet recipes for weight loss that will help bring bring you the fat burning results you desire. Of course, you will need to eat them in place of your regular meals and snacks, and not on top of if you wish to see great results, but they are filling and satiating and should keep you going until your next meal.
A meal in one!
Personally, I love a green smoothie and have at least one a day as either a snack or a complete meal. Yes, if you add the right ingredients they can become a low calorie, highly nutrient dense meal in themselves that will fill you up for hours.
And this is why they are just SO great on a weight loss diet, because there is no time consuming cooking involved; you simply chop up and throw all the ingredients into a blender, and voila – lunch.
How Green Smoothies Boost Weight Loss
- THEY’RE FULL OF FIBER – which keeps you fuller for longer. Unlike juicing, you are blending the WHOLE fruits and vegetables and not extracting the filling fibers like you do when using a masticating juicer. This is what makes a smoothie much lower GI and more filling than a juice, because fiber keeps you full!
- THEY KEEP YOU FULL – Due to their high fiber content, a smoothie will help fill you up and stop cravings for junk foods.
- HIGH IN NUTRIENTS – The high nutrient content of a green smoothie helps to stop food cravings because your body will be receiving all the nutrients it needs to be satisfied.
- ANTIOXIDANTS – The antioxidants in green vegetables not only boost weight loss, but are highly anti aging and will literally make your skin glow and help to slow down the aging process in general.
- RAW ENZYMES – Blending fruits and vegetables in their raw state keeps all their enzymes, vitamins and minerals intact. Cooking foods can often destroy delicate nutrients, therefore eating as many raw foods as possible is a fantastic health boost.
- DETOXIFICATION – Raw greens, along with all their fibers and antioxidants are powerful detoxifyers. Keeping your body detoxifying itself adequately means your fat cells will start shrinking, ultimately leading to weight loss. This is because harmful toxins that your body can’t break down can often end up being stored for safe keeping in your fat cells, which will then keep swelling larger and larger the more the body keeps getting bombarded with junk foods, sugar, tobacco, alcohol, and other environmental toxins; and unfortunately, you get larger with it.
How to use Green Smoothies
The great thing about a smoothie is you can have it any time of day, although maybe not so much in the evening if you are adding superfood powders as they can be stimulating. Other than that, in terms of weight loss, you should have 2-3 a day in place of your normal meals or snacks.
There are different ways you can construct a smoothie and some will have more calories and are more filling than others. This makes some better as snacks and others better as meal replacements.
How To Construct Your Smoothie
Basically, you will want your smoothie to have the 3 main macro nutrient elements of HEALTHY FATS, CARBOHYDRATES, AND PROTEIN, plus FRUITS and VEGETABLES. Having these 5 elements will ensure that you are getting a filling and ‘complete’ meal or snack. But be sure to keep to your portions under control (especially the fats) if you wish to lose weight.
The 3 Main Food Groups
Pick one each from the protein, carbohydrates and fats, and unlimited from the vegetables and low sugar fruits. Blitz together in your blender and enjoy.
TIP:- Frozen sliced bananas and frozen fruits in general work best as they will not only make your smoothie nice and cold, but will also add a frothy, gooey milkshake texture too.
- Protein powders (up to 30 grams total protein).
- 1 Tablespoon of sugar free peanut or almond butter.
- Soya milk.
- 1 x banana
- 2 x rings of pineapple
- Half a mango
- Half a cup of oats
- Half a mango
- Half a medium avocado.
- 1 x tablespoon of flax, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower or hemp seeds.
- Teaspoon of coconut oil.
- 1 x tablespoon of nuts or seeds.
VEGETABLE AND LOW SUGAR FRUIT ELEMENTS
- All greens
- All berries
- 1 x apple or pear
- 200ml of freshly squeezed orange juice.
- Green superfood powders.
You may want to use these added extras for taste, but use only in moderation:-
- Cacao nibs
- Cacao powder
- Carob powder
- 1 Teaspoon of raw honey, agave nectar, date syrup, or brown rice syrup.
SNACK GREEN SMOOTHIES
- Large handful of greens such as spinach, kale, or watercress, sugar free nut milk, half teaspoon of spirulina, small ripe banana, half a small avocado. 250 calories approx
Large handful of dark leafy greens, tablespoon of flax seeds, sugar free nut milk, small ripe banana. 200 calories approx
- Large handful of dark leafy greens, blueberries, sugar free nut milk, half a small avocado. 200 calories approx
- Large handful of dark leafy greens, half teaspoon of spirulina, sugar free nut milk, half a small avocado, dessert spoon of raw cacao nibs. 200 calories approx
- 1 whole avocado, oat milk (simple, but outrageously creamy and delicious). 250 calories approx
MEAL REPLACEMENT GREEN SMOOTHIES
- Large handful of any raw greens, half a medium avocado, 1 ripe banana, 1 tablespoon of hemp seeds, organic unsweetened soya milk, teaspoon of any super green powder. 350 calories approx
- Large handful of dark leafy greens, ripe banana, teaspoon of green superfood powder, half an avocado, tablespoon of walnuts, unsweetened soya milk. 350 calories approx
- Large handful of dark leafy greens, 30 grams (total weight) of plant based protein powder, sugar free nut milk, half an avocado, 1 tablespoon of carob or cacao powder. 450 calories approx
- 30 grams (total weight) of plant based protein powder, dessertspoon of barley grass powder, 1 ripe banana, half an avocado, unsweetened nut milk. 450 calories approx
- Mint, choc chip – Half an avocado, 1 frozen banana, a few sprigs of fresh mint leaves, plant milk, a few drops of mint flavouring (optional), 1 x teaspoon of spirulina, a couple of chunks of dark chocolate.
Avocados and Weight Loss
It isn’t for no reason that I add avocado to almost every smoothie, as they are on this list of known metabolism boosting foods. Whether you like them or not, you should try to add them to your smoothies as you really can’t taste them when they are mixed in with all the other flavours, plus they give your smoothie a lovely palatable silky texture. There are another 5 main reasons that you really need the impressive magical avocado in your smoothie:-
- FAT BURNING – Avocados help burn belly fat SPECIFICALLY! Yes they really do, and one reason for this is they help keep your blood sugar stable all day. It is fluctuations in blood sugar that causes your insulin to spike, promoting belly fat storage, therefore stable blood sugar means extra belly fat burning. The second reason is they contain high levels of oleic fatty acids, which were shown in this Penn State study to lower belly fat by 1.6% when eaten at the equivalent of 3 tablespoons a day, instead of other fats. Awesome huh?
- HIGH IN MONOUNSATURATED FATS – Avocados are high in the fats that may keep your heart healthy and strong.
- LOW GI – Low GI foods help to keep your blood sugar on an even keel, which in turn helps to bust those dreaded sugar cravings. Ending the continual cycle of sugar cravings is your will also help keep your weight under control.
- HEALTHY FATS – Not only are the avocado’s fats good for your heart, but eating some kind of fat with your greens be it avocado, nuts or seeds is essential for the uptake of the fat soluble nutrients A, E, and K in your green vegetables and your green superfood powders. There’s no point in going to all this green eating effort in the first place if you’re not absorbing all the nutrients to maximum capacity, and whole, healthy fats may help this.
- FILLING – Lastly, avocados, due to their high fiber and stabalising effect on blood sugar really do fill you up! In fact, studies show that those who ate the equivalent of one avocado a day (as high calorie as they may be) still ate FEWER calories overall throughout the day.
Green Superfood Powders and Weight Loss
You should be having at least one shot of green superfood powder a day just for the simple fact that they are bursting with life giving nutrition. And those nutrients can get into your cells fast, giving you a noticeable boost of energy within 20-30 minutes. They are also a metabolism boosting food that can help you burn more belly fat over time.
You can choose from spirulina, barley grass, chlorella, or moringa, or simply buy a blend of all of them. This is much more preferable as you will get a good array of the key nutrients from all of them.
Other facts about Green Superfood
- DETOXIFICATION – Keeping your body detoxifying well is one of the key elements in long term weight loss. The more toxins you can eliminate, the more your fat cells will shrink. This only works alongside a general antioxidant rich healthy diet. You just can’t eat junk and expect the same results!
- ANTI AGING – Green superfood is so high in antioxidants that it will literally make your skin glow! They can also slow down, or in some cases even REVERSE the aging process on both the inside and out.
- ANTI INFLAMMATORY – As green superfood is highly alkaline, it helps to lower chronic inflammation in the body. Long term inflammation is now thought to be among one of the root causes underpinning many modern day diseases. This inflammation can be caused by such things as under par detoxification, junk foods, SUGAR, smoking, alcohol, and also the barrage of environmental toxins that we are all exposed to on a daily basis.
- SLEEP – I don’t know why, but green superfood, when taken daily definitely helps you get a good night’s kip. This is more than likely due to a combination of its super high antioxidant content, along with its effects on lowering blood sugar. You always sleep better when your blood sugar is under control because any spikes and troughs can wake you through the night.
- LOWER BLOOD SUGAR – Which means fewer cravings and sugar spikes, therefore weight loss.
- STRONGER IMMUNE SYSTEM – Green superfood powder may help to neutralise the free radicals that harm your immune cells, allowing them to flourish and become stronger.
Adding superfoods to your smoothies is a must if you really want to cut fat and take your health to another level. There are many to choose from, and they all have different nutritional profiles. I advise to either rotate, or mix at least 2 or 3 together (or ideally buy a blend). Always go for organic to ensure purity of the product. Please read my ultimate superfood powder guide before you buy; and to be sure you get something that will work for you and your own needs.
The Role of Protein Powder in Weight Loss
Protein powders are just so easy to take, and ideal to use in a smoothie. They help you obtain your protein needs (especially on a plant based or vegan diet) and they also keep your muscle mass high, which can be another challenging thing to do when you’re cutting calories.
Other Benefits of Protein Powder
- MUSCLE MASS – The more muscle you can keep a hold of whilst dieting the more calories you will burn, this is because muscle in itself is a calorie burner. Protein powders are excellent at helping you maintain your requirements without too many extra calories, just pure protein.
- WEIGHT LOSS – A high protein diet will automatically help boost weight loss mainly due to the fact that you will be filling up on protein rather than carbohydrates. And also because protein is thermogenic, meaning it boosts metabolism – plus it’s filling too!
- LOW GLYCEMIC INDEX – Protein has a low Glycemic Index (GI) which is yet another weight loss advantage as it will help to keep your blood sugar stable. And as explained previously, this too helps with weight loss.
- COMPLETE MEAL – Many of the advanced protein powders available on the market today come with added enzymes, nutrients, fiber, greens and even probiotics – all of which can make them a complete meal in themselves. They are also great just for adding to your smoothie to bulk it out and make it more filling.
TOP WEIGHT LOSS TIP!
Most mornings I have a low carb chocolate protein pudding (it’s basically a really thick smoothie) and it’s absolutely delicious, in fact, I can’t wait to get up and make it, it’s that good.
How to make your smoothie pudding
Use 30 grams of protein powder (that is 30 grams total protein). This will usually work out more in actual weight as most protein powders are around 50% protein, so therefore you would need 60 grams of the powder to get 30 grams of protein. Blend this with half an avocado, xylitol for sweetness (if the protein doesn’t have added sweeteners), a tablespoon of carob or cacao, and some nut milk.
The secret is to use a good quality blender for smoothness, and use as little milk as possible so it’s really thick like a pudding. You can then just eat it straight out of the blender cup like I do to save washing up and waste. I think smoothies are more filling the thicker they are, and this one will fill you up for at least 4 hours.
The reason I have this delicious breakfast most days is because having a very low carb/high protein breakfast really keeps your body in fat burning mode after you have been fasting all night. I then just have a normal lunch and dinner, and sometimes another high protein smoothie if I do a hard workout.
Green smoothie detox
Detoxifiying smoothies will help keep your body in a high state of detoxification, which ultimately will help boost weight loss, get your skin glowing, give you high levels of energy, and most importantly give you a strong immune system, therefore less chance of catching bugs and viruses.
Plant based protein is best
Whether you’re a plant based eater or not, vegan protein powders are the best way to go as they are a ‘cleaner’ protein, and cause less chronic inflammation in your body than their whey or dairy counterparts. This means less muscle aches after exercise, and also quicker recovery (yes, I’ve tried and tested this too).
There are many vegan protein powders on the market such as pea, rice, potato, hemp, sunflower, quinoa, pumpkin, almond, and many more. It seems they are making protein powders out of everything these days just to keep up with the demand of the plant based diet explosion.
Which Protein Powder Should I Choose?
Here’s the tricky bit: some plant proteins don’t have all the amino acids of animal proteins, or they may be higher in some and lower in others. This is by no means a problem because their benefits are higher in other ways, you just need to be sure you either buy one that is either already a complete protein, OR buy a couple and mix them up or rotate them.
You may also find it much more convenient to buy a blend, as manufacturers of the blends have already mixed them up into their perfect amino acid ratios, plus they have often added other nutrients into the bargain.
The Plant Based Diet
As well as your green smoothies, you should stick to a whole food plant based eating plan with lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds as this will help to boost weight loss and antioxidant intake even more. If you still wish to eat animal products, then eat them in smaller portions and load up on all the other plant foods as much as possible.
Since converting to this way of eating, my life and health has changed in so many ways. Here are some of the main things I have noticed:-
- My energy is much higher
- My skin is clearer and brighter
- I don’t have brain fog anymore
- My memory and learning capabilities are much better
- Less PMT and other hormonal problems
- Less aches and pains after exercise
- Ability to push harder during exercise, and to train for longer periods
- Higher fitness levels
- Thicker hair
- Stronger teeth and gums (even the dentist commented on the fact that my gum disease had completely disappeared, much to her bemusement)
Thank you for visiting ZestForever today! If you would like to ask any questions about the plant based diet or green smoothies, then please drop me a line as I am always happy to hear from you.
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