Weight Loss Recipes

Registered Dietician

How to Make a Weight-Loss Friendly Smoothie

How to Make a Weight-Loss Friendly Smoothie

Smoothies are a quick and easy meal-in-a glass that can be enjoyed for breakfast or as a snack. However, many smoothies are high in calories and may get in the way of your weight loss goals. Here's how to build a healthy, weight-loss friendly version that will fill you up without exceeding your daily calorie budget.

Smoothies continue to grow in popularity with every health-promoting social media influencer having their favourite go-to recipe. They also feature on the menus of health food restaurants and take away outlets alike.

As appealing as your green smoothie may be, don’t fall into the trap of assuming that since your cup is filled with a blend of fruit, vegetables, yoghurt, protein powder, and peanut butter, for example, it is good for you and will help you lose weight.
Below, you will find an easy-to-follow dietician-approved formula for how to make a weight loss friendly smoothie. Use it to make your own delicious fruity creations or to assess the ingredients in your regular smoothie order.

What are the Best Ingredients to put in a Smoothie?

Smoothies are a convenient way of boosting your intake of fruit and vegetables. Now that almost everyone has some form of blender in their kitchen, they have become a breakfast staple for many people who want to improve their health and lose weight.
When you are mindful about the ingredients in your smoothie, it can be a nutritious calorie-controlled breakfast or snack. However, although the ingredients used to make your smoothie may be individually nutritious, when they are combined to make 350-500ml (or more) of smoothie, the calorie count can be very high.
As such, you may be getting a nutrient boost when you pile healthy ingredients into your blender, but you may also be consuming way more energy than your body needs, resulting in weight gain over time. Even too much of a good thing can be bad for you.
The best smoothie ingredients are low in calories and high in nutrients. Some of the best ingredients to include in your weight loss friendly smoothie include the following:
5 Steps for Making a Weight Loss Friendly Smoothie

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Cucumber
  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Apple
  • Pear
  • Berries
  • Pineapple
  • Flaxseeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Nuts
  • Oats
  • Sweet potato
  • Milk – diary, soya, or nut milks
  • Ginger
  • Cinnamon
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Turmeric
  • Protein powder
  • Ice cubes

5 Steps for Making a Weight Loss Smoothie

If you have never made your own smoothie because you thought it required cooking skills and fancy equipment, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Creating a delicious meal in a glass is as simple as throwing your ingredients into a blender and blitzing them until you have a smooth mixture.
The hardest part is choosing which tantalizing ingredients to include. Here is a quick guide to help you build a smoothie that is both nutrient dense and low in calories.

Step 1:  Choose your fruit

  • Use half a cup (125ml) of fruit per person. Remember that fruit contains sugar and contributes to your calorie intake.
  • Choose fruit such as firm bananas (1 small), berries (1/2 a cup or 125ml), apples (size of a tennis ball), pears (1 small), peaches (1 large), mango (1/2 a cup or 125ml chopped) and kiwi (2 small).
  • Do not peel the fruit unless necessary to boost your fibre intake.
  • Budget savvy tip: Chop and freeze any excess fruit you buy to be used in smoothies all year round.

Step 2: Choose your vegetable

  • Use a cup (250ml) of your chosen vegetable per person. Veggies are low in calories and you can add more if you would like to.
  • Choose veggies that you can eat raw and blend well like baby spinach, kale, and cucumber.

Step 3:  Add fibre

  • Unpeeled fruit  and vegetables provide plenty of fibre, but you can give your fibre intake a boost by adding ingredients such as oats, oat bran, or flaxseeds to your smoothie.

Step 4:  Protein

  • Protein is essential for ensuring your smoothie is a balanced meal. It helps to slow down the digestion of your meal and keep your blood sugar levels more stable.
  • The following ingredients add protein to your smoothie: Milk, yoghurt, and protein powder

Step 5:  Healthy fat

Boost your intake of omega-3 fatty acids by adding:
    Nut butter
    Avocado pear
    Macadamia or avocado oil
Place all the ingredients in a blender.
Add ice blocks if you prefer.
Blend until smooth.
Serve immediately and enjoy!

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#1 Do you make smoothies with milk or water?
You can use milk or water to make your smoothies. Milk gives your meal-in-a-glass a creamier texture and adds protein to your breakfast or snack.
#2 What is the key to a delicious smoothie?
A little sweetness from fruit or a drizzle of honey and a smooth texture both contribute to the deliciousness of a smoothie. Make sure to blend your ingredients well to avoid lumps.

#3 What makes smoothies thick?
Ingredients like ice, frozen fruit, oats, chia seeds, and avocados give a smoothie a thicker consistency.
#4 Why do you put ice in a smoothie?
Ice gives your smoothie a thicker texture and makes it refreshingly cool. Instead of frozen water, you could freeze fruit juice, tea, or your preferred milk to add extra flavour to your meal.

Build a Healthy Weight Loss Smoothie

One of the best things about making smoothies is that you are not restricted to a strict recipe. You can experiment with this step-by-step guide and create a smoothie to tickle your taste buds.
Below are some suggestions for tasty weight loss friendly smoothies:

Banana and Spinach Smoothie

1 small banana
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1 Tbsp chia seeds
½ cup (125ml) non-fat Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp unsweetened peanut butter
Nutritional Information: Serves 1
Calories: 310 kCal     Protein: 19g      Fat: 13g    Carbohydrates: 33g             Fibre: 8.7g

Apple and Cucumber Smoothie

1 small apple, cut into chunks
1 cup of chopped cucumber
¼ cup (20g) raw oats
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
¼ of an avocado
Nutritional information: Serves 1
Calories: 323 kCal     Protein: 27g      Fat: 6g      Carbohydrates: 45g             Fibre: 8.7g

Blueberry and Kale Smoothie

½ cup (125ml) frozen blueberries
1 cup (250ml) chopped kale
½ cup (125ml) soya milk
¼ cup oats
1 Tbsp avocado oil
Nutritional Information: Serves 1
Calories: 301 kCal     Protein: 7.9g     Fat: 18.5g          Carbohydrate: 27.5g  Fibre: 5g

Add Smoothies to Your Weight Loss Meal Plan

Buying a smoothie to drink on your way home after your workout is probably not a good idea when you’re trying to lose weight. However, when you make your own delicious meal-in-a-glass using ingredients from your fridge you can control what goes into your glass and how much you consume.
When you build a smoothie from carefully selected ingredients in the right amounts, you can enjoy a balanced meal or snack, knowing that you will be boosting your intake of nutrients without blowing your calorie budget.