If you’re trying to lose belly fat, smoothies are a great addition to your diet to help you achieve your goals. Not only do they make sense for people on the go, but they are also quick to whip up and can help you stay full by sipping on one at the start of your morning or for a mid-day snack.
But of course, what you put in your smoothie is super important if you’re trying to target belly fat. Specifically, you should consider adding protein, whole fruit, yogurt, and nut butters to your smoothie to target belly fat faster, according to Cory Ruth, MS, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist, women’s health expert, and CEO of The Women’s Dietitian.
- Protein: Your smoothie should include some form of protein for more stable blood sugar, says Ruth. This will prevent an insulin spike, which essentially causes your body to store more fat in your belly.
- Fruit, like strawberries or oranges: These fruits contain vitamin C, which research shows plays a big role in stabilizing cortisol levels. “When cortisol (aka our stress hormone) is high, it can make the body want to hold onto weight and not let it go,” says Ruth.
- Yogurt: Adding some yogurt can help increase levels of healthy gut bacteria, which research shows may play a role in how much and where your body stores fat.
- Peanut or almond butter: These contain ample amounts of magnesium, which may help lower cortisol, says Ruth.
Looking for some new recipes that will target belly fat? Here are six of our favorites. Read on, and for more on how to eat healthy, don’t miss Eating Habits to Lose Abdominal Fat As You Age, Say Dietitians.
This plant-based smoothie is technically paleo and includes 3 types of berries (blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries) with a cashew milk base. When you’re looking to burn belly fat faster, it’s important to choose the right liquid base for your smoothie, which is why we recommend cashew milk and not fruit juice.
Fruit juice is not the same as whole fruit, and can also be packed with sugar. “I prefer plant-based milk or regular milk for your smoothie base. This is because fruit juice can contain around 36 grams of sugar per cup,” says Ruth. “Once you couple this with a bunch of extra fruit inside the smoothie, it’s like a one-way ticket to a giant insulin dump. Plus, the sweetness in juice comes from fructose, which studies show is associated with the development of belly fat.”
Get our recipe for Paleo Avocado Berry Smoothie.
Don’t be freaked out by the fact there is tofu in this one–it adds a protein punch, and the addition of mushrooms (i.e. adaptogens) will give you some added immune support and sleep cycle regulation.
Get our recipe for Plant-Based Chocolate Tofu Smoothie With Reishi Mushroom.
READ MORE: 24 Ways To Add Protein To Your Smoothie Without Powder
The addition of flaxseeds in this spinach and avocado-based smoothie will not only help you feel fuller longer but has some added health benefits. Flaxseeds are packed with lignans, which are plant-based compounds showing amazing health benefits in cancer prevention and hormone balance.
Get our recipe for Creamy Paleo Green Smoothie.
If you’re looking for a super high protein smoothie to start your day, this one is it: it packs 28 grams thanks to plant-based protein powder and walnuts. Top your smoothie with extra walnuts for some added crunch—and avoid the granola.
Sure, granola can add some added texture, but at the expense of lots of calories and sugar. “While marketed as ‘health food,’ granola typically contains around 15-35 grams of added sugar!” says Ruth. “Instead, opt for whole nuts, seeds, and oats [to burn belly fat faster].”
Get our recipe for Dark Chocolate Banana Nut Smoothie.
RELATED: 8 Best Protein Smoothie Recipes to Help Lose Abdominal Fat
You read that right—this smoothie has cauliflower, which not only gives it great texture but also adds fiber that will keep you fuller longer. This recipe will also help you blast belly fat faster with the addition of protein powder, but it’s important that you’re buying the right one. Look for no-sugar-added protein powders, like these 12 Best Sugar-Free Protein Powders. That’s because protein powders made with added sugars can send our blood sugar for a roller coaster ride, and can increase the chances of an insulin spike, which makes our bodies want to hang onto belly fat, explains Ruth.
Get the recipe for Berry Cauliflower Smoothie.
The star of this recipe, kefir, is an excellent source of probiotics that helps keep your digestion moving, supports your immune system, and gives your bones a boost of calcium.
Get the recipe for Kefir Banana Date Hemp Smoothie.