The Verdict on Drinking Smoothies for Weight Loss

Positive: Protein delays digestion.

Protein slows digestion, making you full sooner and longer, explains medical board expert Amy Goodson, RD, CSSD, author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook. To feel full, make a smoothie with 20–30 grams of protein, milk, Greek yogurt, and/or protein powder. People often feel full from liquid volume."

Thumbs Down: Eat calories.

Smoothies for weight reduction are not my thing. Medical expert Julie Upton, MS, RD, co-founder of Appetite for Health Consulting, advises consuming calories rather than drinking them to lose weight. Smoothies may help some people lose weight, but not others. A calorie shortfall causes weight loss. If a smoothie for dinner reduces your calorie intake, you'll lose weight. 

Smoothies should include the healthy trifecta.

Greek yogurt, milk, tofu, and protein powder provide protein. Fresh or frozen fruit adds fiber, while spinach, kale, zucchini, or cauliflower provide volume and gut-friendly nutrients. She says fat like avocado, chia seeds, or almond butter boosts energy and enjoyment.

Warning: Avoid store-bought smoothies.

"Store-bought smoothies often contain 'turbinado' sugar," explains Goodson. "This additional sugar adds calories rapidly. If weight loss is your objective, check ingredient calories and smoothie serving sizes."

Thumbs Up: Go easy on nut butters.

I advocate smoothies as a snack or meal with something chewable like bread, says Laura Burak, MS, RD, owner of Laura Burak Nutrition. Chewy toppings make smoothies more satisfying. Burak recommends monitoring ingredient portions for weight reduction.

Good for "Breakfast Skippers."

Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, author of The First Time Mom's Pregnancy Cookbook and Fueling Male Fertility, believes smoothies can help you lose weight, depending on the ingredients, portion size, and daily diet. Smoothies benefit "breakfast skippers," she explains.

thumbs down: Avoid blender mistakes.

"We tell our clients that when you eat four apples, you know you've eaten them, but when you drink four blended apples, it may blend down into a cup or less of liquid and you may not realize how much you're eating," they add.

Yes, add fat-burning phytochemicals.

Providing customers are careful of blender errors, The Nutrition Twins feel smoothies may be a wonderful weight reduction tool.

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