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4 Unexpected Smoothie Mix-Ins That Boost Weight Loss

4 Unexpected Smoothie Mix-Ins That Boost Weight Loss

Fruits, veggies and other secretly slimming ingredients.

Some smoothies aren't as healthy as you might think. If you're overloading your blender, even with healthy ingredients, you could be consuming too many calories. Sure, a fruit and veggie-filled drink may seem like a healthy alternative to a carb-heavy bagel or a sugary muffin, but what you’re blending may not be any better, especially if you're tossing in more produce than you could actually eat in one sitting.

Not all smoothies are diet saboteurs. In fact, some simple additions can actually help you shed a few pounds.

Staple smoothie ingredients
Green veggies, like spinach and kale, add substance and nutrients to your smoothie without a ton of extra sugar and calories. In fact, a heaping cup of chopped kale contains about 30 calories and zero grams of sugar.

Be choosey with your fruits, as some contain more sugar and calories than others. Strawberries and blueberries are go-to smoothie fruits, and they're good options, but measure out one cup, and stop there. Keep in mind, you shouldn't be blending more fruit than you’d be able to eat whole. Per cup, blueberries contain 84 calories, and strawberries have just 50 calories.

This next tip could save you some money and ensure a thick and frosty smoothie every time. Bypass the produce department and head straight for the frozen fruit aisle. Frozen berries offer the same nutrients as their freshly-picked counterparts; just be sure to reach for 100 percent fruit with no added sugars. Buying in-season fruits and veggies is another way to save some cash at the grocery store.           

Beyond the produce
Fruits and veggies are great, but why stop there? These secret blend-ins help promote weight loss and add an extra layer of taste and texture.

Chia Seeds: This poppy seed look-a-like sure has made a name for itself. Simply sprinkle a tablespoon of these seeds into your smoothie for a boost of fiber and heart-healthy omega-3s. This serving contains 20 percent of the recommended daily intake of fiber, so it’s no wonder chia seeds help you feel fuller, which prevent overeating later. Fiber also helps promote regularity and research even suggests upping your fiber intake can help you drop pounds.     

Protein Powder: Smoothies help deliver a quick dose of healthy carbs, but they don’t always keep you satiated for long. Adding a scoop of protein powder to your breakfast smoothie can help change this. One study of obese and overweight teen girls suggests that a protein-rich morning meal can satisfy hunger and improve eating choices throughout the day.

A single scoop of soy protein carries 95 calories and 23 grams of protein, so it will help keep you full without weighing you down. Another study found that protein supplements can help obese individuals shed some unwanted weight.

For non-vegans, whey protein shows promise for reducing weight, too. This simple addition may stave off hunger, which (fingers crossed) will help you eat fewer calories throughout the day—a coveted secret among weight-loss experts everywhere.  

Avocado: Don’t let the fat content fool you— the healthy fats found in avocados may actually promote weight loss. Moderate consumption of healthy fats are a necessary part of a healthy diet and some studies suggest, can even be part of a weight loss regimen. 

One-fifth of an avocado contains about 10 percent of the recommended intake of fiber and good-for-you monounsaturated fats so, it really fills you up. And who doesn’t love a creamy smoothie?

Spices: Don’t trust anyone who doesn’t believe spices, like cayenne, are killer additions to your smoothie. One small study suggests adding cayenne pepper to your diet can boost the number of calories burned and decrease your seemingly insatiable appetite. That’s a win-win if you ask us! A teaspoon of cayenne will run you only 6 calories, so if you like a strong kick, load it up. If you like the nutty taste of cinnamon, add a nearly calorie-free pinch of that, too.

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