Ready to lose weight deliciously?
Though it might be difficult to believe, it's entirely possible to lose weight drinking smoothies. However, you can't just blend yourself a chocolate milkshake-esque drink and expect the pounds to start melting off. To make a nutritious smoothie that can also help you shrink your waistline, it's all about keeping the sugar content low and enriching the elixir with protein (and or protein powder) and fiber.
Need proof smoothies are an underrated weight loss trick? In a 2012 study in Current Nutrition and Food Science, researchers put a group of obese adults on a regimen in which all they did was replace breakfast and dinner with a high-protein smoothie. After about three months, and with no exercise and no limit on what else they could eat, the participants lost up to 18.5 pounds and reported significant improvements in "physical functioning, general health, vitality, and mental health."
And if you're thinking, "Sure but I bet their smoothies just consisted of some lettuce blended together," think again. While leafy, protein-packed greens such as kale and spinach are healthy additions to any smoothie, the beverages are more than just green juice. In Dave Zinczenko's best-selling book, Zero Belly Smoothies, he shares dozens of recipes for green smoothies as well as fruit smoothies, nut and chocolate smoothies, savory smoothies, and more.
Keep reading for info on how you can replace some of your unhealthy fast food favorites with nutritious smoothies that will shrink your belly in a matter of days! And if you're inspired to whittle your middle even more, check out 42 Ways to Lose 5 Inches of Belly Fat.
Blueberry Dazzler Smoothie
Dunkin' Donuts Blueberry Muffin
Instead of starting your day off with a blueberry muffin from Dunkin' Donuts (which is nothing more than a mountain of fat, carbs, and sugar that amounts to 460 calories) do yourself a favor and sip on a Blueberry Dazzler Smoothie from Zero Belly Smoothies instead. Not only does the blue beverage pack nearly half the caloric punch with more than triple the protein (thanks to almond butter, almond milk, and protein powder) but the blueberries in the tasty smoothie are an excellent source of fiber, potassium, and antioxidants that can slow the aging process. For more belly-busting beverages, check out these 56 Smoothies for Weight Loss!
Peanut Butter Sandwich Smoothie
Subway's Italian B.M.T.
If you're craving a sandwich come lunchtime, opt for a Peanut Butter Sandwich smoothie from Zero Belly Smoothies instead of Subway's classic Italian B.M.T. Not only does the tasty smoothie save you upwards of 100 calories while providing you with less fat, but it's also healthier than the carb-heavy 6" sub when it comes to carbs, fiber, and protein. While the source of protein on the Subway sandwich is a whole bunch of unhealthy deli meat, the smoothie gets its 25 g of protein from almond milk, peanut butter, and protein powder.
Kale to the Chief Smoothie
Chick-fil-A Cobb Salad
Though you may think you're doing yourself a favor by heading to Chick-fil-A and ordering yourself a salad instead of one of the chain's celebrated chicken sandwiches, the cobb salad isn't exactly heavy on the greens. For that, we suggest you sip on a Kale to the Chief smoothie from Zero Belly Smoothies instead.
The smoothie has more than 200 fewer calories than the salad (which is really just fried chicken on top of lettuce with some bacon and cheese mixed in) and is a touch sweet thanks to some vitamin C-heavy mango. In the meantime, the titular kale is high in fiber, protein, and a rich source of the nutrient sulforaphane, which controls the genes that determine whether a stem cell turns into a fat cell.
Turmerican Dream Smoothie
McDonald's Big Mac
Hamburgers may be one of America's favorite foods (and a Big Mac is surely one of the country's most beloved burgers) but the nutritional nightmare isn't exactly something to be proud of. With 540 calories, 28 g of fat, and 46 g of carbs, a McDonald's Big Mac is about as unhealthy as it gets. Worthy of praise, however, is the Turmerican Dream smoothie from Zero Belly Smoothies, which has less than 300 calories and a fraction of the fat you'd find in a Big Mac.
What's more? The smoothie's titular turmeric may be the single most powerful anti-inflammatory food in nature's arsenal, thanks to its unique active compound, curcumin, and it blends perfectly with tropical fruits like pineapple, which also has a starring role in this nutritious beverage. For more ways to fight inflammation, check out the 30 Best Anti-Inflammatory Foods!