smoothies or snacks which are the best for weight loss?

3 Weight-Loss Smoothies Nutritionists Swear By

These tasty smoothies can beat bloat, help you lose weight, and keep hunger pangs in check.Banana. Peanut butter. Cocoa powder. Milk. Ice cubes. Yogurt. Done. While this swirl of chocolate-peanut butter goodness sure does sound enticing, who are we kidding: Sometimes our DIY smoothies might as well be a double fro-yo order with milk chocolate malt balls for all the calories and added sugar they pack in.

Smoothies can absolutely be a part of your strategy for healthy, lasting weight loss—if that’s what you’re after—but only when done right. (Otherwise, consider them slurpable desserts with a health halo around them.) Nutritionists agree that incorporating a nutrient-dense smoothie into your daily diet can help avoid pound creepage by keeping hunger levels in check and even promote weight loss thanks to their filling fiber and muscle-building protein. To find out their go-to slimming sippers, we tapped top R.D.s for their favorite recipes.

Before we get into those, let’s chat about weight loss for a minute. A perfect smoothie will not magically make you lose weight. In fact, no one thing is going to do that—at least not in a healthy or sustainable way. If you want to lose weight (and not everyone does), you have to also address a range of other factors that play important roles: sleep, stress, hormones and and other medical issues, to name a few biggies. Only by looking at weight loss from a holistic point of view can you really home in on a healthy goal, effect meaningful change, and see sustainable results. For some people, weight loss in and of itself might not be a healthy goal. If you have a history of disordered eating, you should consult a doctor before making any changes to your diet.

Pumpkin Powerhouse

“In the fall, I love incorporating pumpkin into as many of my meals as possible,” says Rebecca Lewis, R.D., in-house nutritionist for meal-kit delivery service HelloFresh. “What gives pumpkins their gorgeous orange color is the antioxidant beta-carotene. This nutrient is helpful in slowing down aging in the body.” Did we mention pumpkin is a rich source of vitamin C? With only 49 calories, a cup of cooked pumpkin boasts 3 grams of fiber—great for filling you up without weighing you down.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 frozen banana (adds creaminess and sweetness without added sugar)
  • handful of ice cubes
  • dash of pumpkin pie spice (swap for cinnamon if you don’t have this)

Blend all ingredients together and enjoy.

Green Sunrise Smoothie

“The Green Sunrise Smoothie has everything you need to start your day right,” says Alexandra Miller, R.D.N., L.D.N., corporate dietitian at Medifast. “You’ll get a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids and essential vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy and strong while losing weight.”

Ingredients:

  • 1 scoop protein powder (Miller uses Medifast’s Pineapple Mango Smoothie packet)
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1½ oz sliced avocado
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond or cashew milk
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed

Chia-Berry Belly Blaster

Greek yogurt aficionados, rejoice. This creamy, decadent smoothie is also a nutrient powerhouse with the addition of chia seeds and berries. “This super simple smoothie is packed full of protein and fiber to crush cravings and keep you feeling satisfied for hours,” says Erin Palinski-Wade, author of Belly Fat Diet for Dummies. The omega-3 fatty acids in the chia seeds help reduce stress hormones and decrease inflammation, and the berries are packed full of antioxidants, she adds.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, unsweetened
  • 1 cup frozen berries (blueberries, strawberries, or açai berries make great options)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp ground chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup ice

Blend all ingredients together and enjoy.

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