Will smoothies help me lose weight?

Are smoothies good for weight loss? Well smoothies can be good for you. But as with all things, it’s a little bit more complicated than that. We know that consuming more fruit and veg = good. That’s a formula that we are comfortable with – it’s straightforward.

But for all of the positives that you get from drinking smoothies, there have been some questions raised about whether you should be using smoothies for weight loss, and whether all smoothies are equally healthy. So in this blog, we are going to get to the bottom of it. 

Full disclosure – we obviously love smoothies. But more than anything, we want to know the facts about them. What does the science tell us? Are smoothies good for weight loss? Are smoothies as healthy as we think? Or can smoothies make you put on weight? Let’s take a look.

Can smoothies make you gain weight?

Not all smoothies are created equal, and not all smoothies will help you lose weight. There are a few things you need to consider to make sure you are getting the right kind of smoothies:

The main reason for gaining weight from drinking smoothies comes down to sugar. When we blend, or juice, fruits, we break down the plant cell walls, which exposes the natural sugars contained inside. This converts them into free sugars, like ‘added sugar’ – the kind that can contribute to weight gain. If we consume too much of this kind of sugar, we put on weight.

We need to be careful with calories as well – if we add in sweeteners to a smoothie, like sugar, maple syrup or honey, this will increase the number of calories we are consuming. Bottled smoothies will generally contain more calories as well, as they tend to be made from cheaper and processed ingredients – they will have a lot of fruit juice in them, and include fruit purées. These foods have a higher concentration of sugar, and so a higher calorie count.

Will smoothies fill me up?

Liquids have been proven to produce less satiety than the equivalent in solid carbohydrates. To put that in plain English – we don’t feel as full when we drink, compared to eating. Which could mean that we end up consuming extra calories to get that full feeling.

But what are you more likely to do – drink a smoothie or eat all the equivalent fruit as a solid? Most people tend to have a smoothie as an extra drink, it’s rarely a direct choice between the two – so a smoothie is a bonus.

A smoothie may fill you up less than eating all of the same fruit, but it will fill you up a lot more than not having anything!

Why is smoothie better than juice?

When we make fruit juices, we’re extracting all the nutrients from the fruit, but we leave behind the fibre. That fibre is so crucial for many reasons, but one of them is that it can slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, which helps us to manage our blood sugar levels and gives us a feeling of fullness.

If we drink a lot of juice we will feel a sugar spike quickly followed by a sugar crash, and then we will crave more sugar to recreate the spike. This impact is even worse when we use juice from concentrate, rather than fresh.

Smoothies made from whole fruit, by comparison, retain a lot of the fibre so we don’t get the same sugar crash after drinking them. There will still be a sugar spike when we drink fruit smoothies, but it won’t be as big as when we drink juice.

Can a smoothie replace a meal?

If you are hoping to use smoothies for weight loss, then using them as meal replacements can be tempting – but if you are to do that, you need to make sure you are getting the correct nutritious ingredients.

Like any meal, it needs to be balanced. You need some good carbohydrates (bananas, berries, mango), some protein (Greek yoghurt, protein powder, a handful of oats), and some healthy fats (chia seeds, nut butter, avocados). You need to be mindful of the calories, but you also want to make sure you feel full until your next meal so that you don’t take on extra calories between meals.

So yes, you can use a smoothie to replace a meal, but make sure you are getting all the good stuff that you need from it, or it could set you back on your weight loss journey.

Why are smoothies healthy?

If you drink smoothies with over-processed ingredients, that have a large fruit juice content or are pasteurised, you might find that some of the health benefits are discounted. You need to be wary of the sugar content, and also be aware that no matter how much fruit you put in them, a smoothie will only count as one portion of fruit.

However, it would be wrong to completely dismiss the benefits. Smoothies are a great way to support weight loss, and a great way to pack nutrient-dense ingredients into your diet. They can boost your immune system, increase your fibre, improve your gut health and even help to bring down your blood pressure.

If you are looking at losing weight, the most important thing is to focus on a balanced diet (not fad diets). This is the best way to achieve long-term success, and smoothies can play a vital role in healthy eating. Smoothies are not a shortcut to eating well, but they can play a vital role in a healthy, balanced diet.

The other point, that we shouldn’t ignore, is that a good smoothie is delicious. While fruit in liquid form may not be quite as healthy as eating it whole, how many of us would end up eating the same amount of fruit if it wasn’t in a smoothie? Sometimes, when we are so focused on healthy eating, we can forget that food is meant to be enjoyed.

Weight loss smoothie recipes

If you are after a healthy smoothie recipe, we can help you out! Check out our healthy Green Smoothie recipe, or our Easy Strawberry Smoothie. If you are looking to throw one together at home, here are some great ingredients to use in a healthy breakfast smoothie:

Frozen fruit & veg: Frozen banana, frozen mango, frozen pineapple, frozen spinach – even frozen cauliflower!

Blend with: Almond milk (unsweetened vanilla almond milk is great), coconut milk, low fat milk, almond butter, protein powder, rolled oats.

Or better yet, how about some award-winning smoothies delivered to your door? Take a look through our range to find your next favourite smoothie.

So – are smoothies healthy?

In short, smoothies are a great way of getting more fruit & veg into your diet than you might if you were eating them individually. While blending fruit may limit some of the health benefits, you still get plenty of others.

Our top tips – make sure that you choose unpasteurized whole fruit smoothies to maximise fibre, add a good source of protein and healthy fats to balance out a sugar spike, and remember that they’re a calorie dense meal, not a light snack!


Your Basket