Smoothies can be a great addition to a weight loss plan, as they can be a quick and easy way to get a variety of nutrients without a lot of added calories. Here are some smoothie ingredients that may support healthy weight loss.

a green smoothie in a jar, surrounded by a measuring tape.

Smoothies Can Help Weight Loss 

When made with the proper balance of fruit, vegetables, proteins, and fats, a smoothie is a delicious and nutritious snack or a great way to start the day.

In addition, smoothies can help you lose weight!

While there are several reasons for this, one of the biggest advantages of smoothies is convenience – they are just so quick to prepare. Instead of reaching for carb-heavy processed snacks when hunger strikes, it’s easy to produce a nutrient-rich smoothie in seconds.

Smoothies also tend to be very satisfying, particularly when made with fiber-rich fresh produce that keeps you feeling full for longer. Making healthy smoothies with whole foods and wholesome ingredients is the best way to ensure they are good smoothies that are part of a balanced diet.

The same can’t be said for unhealthy, processed snacks that tend to cause your blood sugar to spike, only leaving you hungry again when it drops.

See my related article on the best clean eating snacks.

What’s more, enjoying a smoothie is a great way to consume a wide variety of healthy ingredients all in one sitting. And, the combinations you can try are endless, meaning that you can look forward to an ever-changing menu of tastes and textures.

Learn more about the benefits of green smoothies in particular.

The combination of convenience, nutrition, and the right ingredients can make smoothies the perfect healthy drink for healthy weight loss and maintenance. Smoothies can also be a great healthy breakfast for kids as they can be adapted to meet different calorie, nutrient, and taste-preference needs.

Of course, the key to creating smoothies for weight loss is ensuring that you include all the right types of foods. As you’ll learn in this article, we’ll review many wholesome smoothie ingredients that have specific nutritional properties that help us to lose weight.

Smoothie Ingredients For Weight Loss

Smoothies are popular for their wonderfully creamy texture. But this is sometimes achieved by adding ingredients like ice cream, flavored yogurt, and whipped cream – none of which will help you meet your goals on your weight loss journey.

Fortunately, there are plenty of nutritious alternatives, and many of the ingredients below will make your smoothies wonderfully creamy while adding lots of vitamins and minerals too.

So, if you are looking for healthy smoothie recipes that can help reduce belly fat, benefit your gut health, and boost your immune system, try some of these nutritious smoothie ingredients and weight loss smoothie recipes.

And, don’t miss my full round-up of the best smoothies for a flat stomach!

1. Leafy Greens

bowl of baby kale on table.

Low in calories, leafy greens like spinach, chard, collard greens, cabbage, and kale are loaded with nutrients and dietary fiber. Fiber is a non-digestible carbohydrate supports your digestive system and helps you feel full. 

Indeed, experts have found that a diet rich in fiber can help prevent obesity by providing a long-lasting feeling of satisfaction after consuming it. That means you’ll be less tempted to snack before your next meal!

If you’re worried about leafy greens making your smoothies taste bitter, try mixing them with a sweet-tasting fruit. I find that fresh pineapple is perfect for taming the bitterness of greens.

If you still can’t get along with the flavor, stick to mild-tasting greens like spinach instead. Learn more about the different kinds of green vegetables and the best green veggies for smoothies.

Try these recipes for Collard Green Smoothie or Kale Berry Smoothie.

2. Berries

a bowl of blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries.

Berries are among the healthiest foods in the world – low in calories, high in fiber, and rich in antioxidants. They taste fantastic, too.

So isn’t it great to know that they have been scientifically proven to help you lose weight?

Research has shown that eating berries can significantly increase fat oxidation (the process where the body breaks down fats to use as fuel). 

Other studies have consistently shown that an increased intake of fruits and vegetables is one of the biggest factors influencing weight loss in women, with blueberries and strawberries named as two of the top five fruits!

And, a study published in the journal Nutrients discovered that consuming 25 grams of freeze-dried blueberries (which equates to around one cup of fresh blueberries) on a daily basis helps improve performance during exercise and increases fat burn.

Try these berry-filled smoothie recipes for Strawberry Oat Milk Banana Smoothie and Strawberry Protein Smoothie.

3. Avocado

two glasses of avocado chocolate smoothie with straws.
Avocado Chocolate Smoothie.

Remember that creamy texture I mentioned earlier?

One of the best ways to achieve that in your smoothie is with the addition of avocado.

A naturally dairy-free and sugar-free alternative to high-calorie ingredients like ice cream, avocados are a rich source of monounsaturated fat. This is considered a “good” fat because it helps lower bad cholesterol.

They also contain the fiber you need to help you stay full and avoid snacking.

Just like berries, avocados appear on the list of the top 5 fruits for weight loss when consumed in moderation (remember – even “good” fats add calories!).

Interestingly, experts have also found that eating avocados changes the way in which your body stores fat, redistributing it from the belly toward a healthier profile. 

Since it has a pretty mild flavor, it’s easy to add avocado to almost any smoothie recipe without significantly altering the taste. Try this Chocolate Avocado Smoothie that tastes like a milkshake! You might also like my Weight Loss Green Smoothie recipe.

See this related article on how to freeze avocado that makes it convenient to throw into your blender.

4. Greek Yogurt

Another great way to bring creaminess to your smoothies is with the addition of Greek yogurt.

It’s often known as strained yogurt, because – in order to produce it – whey and other liquids are strained away from fermented yogurt. 

What’s left behind is a thick and creamy product with fewer carbs and a very high protein content compared to other types of yogurts.

This is another plus when it comes to smoothies for weight loss, as that high protein content will ensure you stay full and won’t be tempted to snack.

You can find many varieties of Greek yogurt, ranging from fat-free to full-fat. The exact calorie count will depend on the type you choose. 

Try to avoid flavored Greek yogurt because this often contains added sugars. You won’t need flavored yogurt anyway – all the taste in your smoothie will come from the other fresh fruits you include.

Yogurt has been studied quite closely as a good food for people wanting to lose weight and the results are impressive. Eating yogurt is associated with lower body weight, less weight gain, a lower body mass index, lower body fat, and a smaller waist circumference.

It has also been shown to be very helpful for people with obesity. Experts say that’s because it contains “helpful” bacteria that keep the gut healthy, reducing the inflammation often associated with obesity and preventing issues like leaky gut syndrome.

Try adding up to 1/2 cup of unflavored plain Green yogurt to these recipes: Banana Orange Smoothie, Green Detox Smoothie, or my Blended Orange Juice Smoothie.

5. Chia Seeds

Once the staple of Aztec and Mayan diets, chia seeds have more recently developed the reputation of a “superfood”. That’s because they are rich in minerals like calcium, manganese, zinc, and copper.

There hasn’t been much research done into whether or not the seeds themselves are useful for weight loss. Indeed, one study showed that consuming 25 grams of seeds twice a day made no difference to body mass or body composition.

But the reason they are good for use in smoothies is that they are high in protein and fiber, so you feel satisfied after consuming them.

They are great for adding texture, too. Some of the fiber they contain is mucilage, a substance that makes the seeds expand and become gelatinous when they come into contact with liquid. I love to add them as a smoothie bowl topping.

Some people like to presoak chia seeds before adding them to a smoothie to achieve this texture. But you can also try adding unsoaked seeds right at the start of the blending process, which should give them time to soak up enough liquid and thicken your smoothie.

Chia seeds are also a key ingredient in many of my best cancer-fighting smoothies.

6. Cinnamon

ground cinnamon spilling out of a wooden bowl.

A spice from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree, aromatic cinnamon adds a wonderful flavor to smoothies and has been shown to be a useful tool in the fight against weight gain.

In fact, researchers have found that it positively affects obesity and could be recommended as a weight loss supplement for obesity management. There are several reasons for this.

First, it helps prevent fluctuations in blood sugar levels, which means fewer cravings and more stable energy levels. 

Cinnamon can also increase insulin sensitivity – which helps reduce fat storage – and promote fat burning. Researchers have found that cinnamaldehyde – the essential oil in cinnamon that gives it its flavor – triggers body cells to burn calories faster through a process called thermogenesis. 

A delicious type of cinnamon to try in your smoothies is Ceylon cinnamon, which comes from Sri Lanka. It has a lovely, sweet flavor that compliments them perfectly!

Try adding 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to these recipes: Sweet Potato Smoothie or Gingerbread Smoothie.

7. Ginger

Warming and delicious, ginger has lots of health benefits, proven to aid digestion, fight infections, and lower cholesterol levels.

It’s also great for helping with weight loss, with one study showing that it enhances the thermic effect of food (the number of calories you burn digesting, absorbing, and metabolizing different ingredients).

Reviews have confirmed the benefits of ginger for overweight people, finding that – among other things – it reduces body weight and the waist-to-hip ratio. Studies on rats, meanwhile, show that ginger not only reduces body weight gain but also helps improve energy expenditure. 

Try adding peeled, fresh ginger to your smoothies, grating, or chopping it before combining it with the other ingredients in your blender. 

Start with just half a teaspoon at first – ginger can be potent! Then gradually increase the amount you use to a level you enjoy. 

8. Protein Powder

In general, protein powder is great for weight loss because it keeps you feeling full and helps build muscle.

Experts looked at a whey protein powder and found that people taking it as a supplement with a 500-calorie-reduced diet lost more body fat and preserved more lean muscle than people given a different beverage. 

There’s little doubt that consuming protein increases feelings of fullness and reduces appetite, thereby stopping you from craving unhealthy snacks.

Protein powder also makes a very convenient way to turn your smoothies into balanced meals. See my list of the best clean protein powders and learn about the benefits of beef protein powder.

You can buy a plain, unflavored variety or a flavored one that compliments your other ingredients. Just be sure you pick a high-quality brand and that it does not contain added sugars. 

9. Coconut Oil

There have been a few studies looking at the benefits of coconut oil for weight loss, many with interesting results!

The authors of this study, for example, concluded that it could be helpful for people with obesity, and separate research found that coconut oil can help promote feelings of fullness, helping you better regulate your appetite.

There is also evidence that consuming coconut oil can help boost your metabolism, potentially increasing the number of calories you burn in a day by an average of 120!

Choose unrefined coconut oil for your smoothies, which has undergone minimal processing and retains a lovely coconut scent and flavor. It is a solid at room temperature, however, and may turn into “clumps” when you add it to cold ingredients. 

If this is a problem, try a liquid coconut oil like this one from Healthy Origins, which stays liquid even at room temperature.

Recipes that would be great with a scoop of coconut oil include: Dragonfruit Smoothie or Anti-Anemia Smoothie.

10. Unsweetened Almond Milk

Almond milk makes a great base or liquid for weight loss smoothies. It’s low in calories and ideal if you are lactose intolerant.

Its nutty flavor is quite subtle, so it works well in smoothies as it blends with the flavor of the other ingredients without overpowering them. 

It’s often described as being “creamy”, but it’s not as creamy as cow’s milk. This means you might want to add avocado or another “creamy” ingredient if that’s the texture you prefer.

It also contains less protein than cow’s milk, so you may also want to add some protein powder, or even almond butter, to bump up the protein content.

I use almond milk in my Broccoli Sprout Green Smoothie as well as my Moringa Leaf Smoothie.

11. Frozen Cauliflower

a bowl of riced cauliflower.
Cauliflower rice.

It doesn’t sound very enticing, does it? But, frozen cauliflower is one of the best smoothie ingredients you can use in terms of weight loss, and you won’t even know it’s there (I promise)!

Low in calories but a great source of nutrients and filling fiber, cauliflower has been listed as one of the top 5 non-legume vegetables for weight loss. 

It blends to a surprisingly creamy texture – so it’s a great alternative to high-calorie cream or ice cream – and frozen riced cauliflower is ideal. But if you have a powerful enough blender, you could use frozen florets instead.

Try this Cauliflower Smoothie recipe or try it in this Cucumber Smoothie.

12. Green Tea Extract

You’ve heard that green tea is great for weight loss, but you just don’t like the taste. So what’s the solution? Add it to your smoothies!

You can either use brewed green tea or green tea extract. This usually comes in the form of a capsule of concentrated green tea, generally containing the same number of active ingredients as a cup of brewed green tea.

Green tea is good because it contains certain catechins that researchers have found may reduce body weight and fat. Catechins do this by supporting the hormones that enhance thermogenesis (the process during which your body burns calories to digest food).

So effective are the catechins in green tea that experts suggest their long-term consumption could protect against obesity, type II diabetes, and coronary disease.

Try adding green tea extract to an Oat Milk Smoothie or this Strawberry Beet Smoothie.

13. Flaxseed

spoonful of ground flax seeds.
Ground flaxseeds.

Also known as linseeds, flaxseeds are packed with nutrients, along with plenty of fiber to keep you full. They also contain a polymer called lignin, which is believed to help with weight loss

During studies on overweight and moderately obese people, researchers found that consuming them can reduce body weight, body mass index, and waist circumference

The authors of this review, meanwhile, agreed that whole flaxseeds are a good choice for weight management. 

Another bonus is that flaxseeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which – while not proven to help with weight loss – can help reduce inflammation and fight autoimmune diseases.

You need to ensure that they are blended thoroughly to get the most benefits from them, otherwise, they will just pass through your body whole. I recommend grinding flaxseeds before adding them to the blender or soaking them to soften them.

I love adding flax as part of my Anti-Constipation Smoothie.

14. Turmeric

Golden in color and with a unique, earthy flavor, turmeric contains a compound called curcumin that offers many health benefits, one of which may be weight loss

A powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties, curcumin is present in both fresh and ground turmeric, but our bodies don’t absorb it very well. A good way around the problem is to consume turmeric alongside black pepper. That’s because pepper contains a compound called piperine, which can boost the absorption of curcumin by up to 2000%!  

Fortunately, you don’t need to use a lot of black pepper to reap its benefits – just a pinch will do. This means you won’t need to worry about your smoothies tasting overwhelmingly peppery!

If you decide to use fresh turmeric root in your smoothie recipes, peel it before use and either grate it or chop it finely. It tastes wonderful combined with mango and pineapple. Try it in my Food Processor Fruit Smoothie.

15. Apple Cider Vinegar

a bottle of apple cider vinegar next to red apples.
Apple cider vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is tart and ever so slightly sweet. It contains white strands known as the “mother”, which are a combination of bacteria and yeast formed during the fermentation process.

It’s the “mother” that is responsible for many of the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, one of which is weight loss!

Research published in the Journal of Functional Food focused on participants who drank 15ml of ACV with lunch and dinner and ate a diet that was 250 calories fewer than their daily estimated requirements. Those who consumed the ACV with their meals lost an average of 8.8 lbs over 12 weeks, whereas those who didn’t receive the ACV lost only 5 lbs.

This doesn’t mean that ACV is the definitive answer to issues with excess weight since everyone in this study was on a calorie-controlled diet and exercised. Nevertheless, it does indicate that ACV may be useful for keeping your weight under control. 

Try adding around a tablespoon or so to your favorite smoothies to avoid adversely affecting their flavor. I like it in my Apple Banana Spinach smoothie.

16. Nut Butter

Nuts may be high in calories, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help you lose weight!

Research from BMJ Nutrition, Prevention and Health showed that eating more nuts – of any variety – is associated with less long-term weight gain than consuming other, less nutritious, snacks.  

It’s also important to add some health fat to your smoothies as dietary fat will help your body to absorb nutrition.

Nut butter like peanut butter or almond butter is perfect for smoothies as it’s easy to blend (although you could use shelled whole nuts, too – just soak them before blending). Smoothies made with nut butter are delicious and packed with satisfying protein, helping you stay away from less-healthy foods between meals. 

Be sure to carefully check the label of any nut butter you buy and avoid those containing added sugar, salt, and preservatives. You can also use any type of seed butter in your healthy breakfast smoothie if you or anyone in your family has a nut allergy. You can also add a drizzle to top smoothie bowls.

I love adding a scoop of nut butter to my Swiss Chard Smoothie.


How often should I drink smoothies for weight loss?

It can be tempting to try to replace meals with smoothies, but this isn’t necessarily recommended.

Researchers have found that liquids – including smoothies – are less filling than solid foods, so relying on them for meals will leave you feeling hungry. There are also studies that show that people who replace meals with smoothies and meal-replacement drinks are more likely to put weight back on as soon as they return to their normal diet. 

The best option, then, might be to use smoothies to replace unhealthy snacking behaviors or use them for convenience when there’s no time to create a “proper” meal (a well-balanced smoothie can make a good breakfast on a particularly busy morning, for example).

Should I be concerned about the sugar content in my smoothie?

It’s certainly something to consider when putting together your list of ingredients. While fruits are very nutritious, some – particularly mangoes and bananas – can be high in fruit sugars.

To mitigate this, balance your smoothies by combining fruits with dark leafy greens and one or more of the protein sources listed here.

Avoid store-bought smoothies, which may contain high levels of sugar along with other unwelcome ingredients like fats and artificial sweeteners.

Are green smoothies better for weight loss than other types of smoothies?

There’s no doubt that green smoothies are great for weight loss. What’s more, they encourage you to consume the leafy vegetables that you may otherwise avoid. But your green smoothies do not need to contain vegetables alone in order to be healthy, so feel free to add some fruit if you find the taste of leafy greens a little too bitter.  

How can I make sure my smoothie is balanced and contains all the necessary nutrients for weight loss?

The key to making a healthy smoothie for weight loss is to include the basic components of a nutritious meal – namely fiber-rich fruits and/or vegetables, a good source of protein, and healthy fats. This combination will supply the nutrients you need and leave you feeling satisfied.


Enjoying smoothies can be an excellent path to your weight loss goals. They can help you shed pounds and supply a broad spectrum of nutrients, all while tasting great and being easy to customize to suit your preferences! This post shares over 15 ingredients than can help your enrich your weight loss smoothie recipes.

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About the Author: Carrie Forrest has a master’s degree in public health with a specialty in nutrition. She is a top wellness and food blogger with nearly 10 million annual visitors to her site. Carrie has an incredible story of recovery from chronic illness and is passionate about helping other women transform their health. Send Carrie a message through her contact form.

Note: this post is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Please consult your healthcare provider for recommendations related to your individual situation.