Smoothie consumption is an example of a dietary practice that you can get onboard with. These drinks can be prepared from healthy ingredients, making them great healthy drink options. Various smoothie diet plans have been established, including the 21-day smoothie diet plan. This diet plan is worthy of consideration for weight loss and other possible benefits. This might explain why you will find numerous people following the 21-day green smoothie diet or smoothie detox diet plan.
The 21-day smoothie diet plan is perfect if you are planning to lose weight. It is also perfect if you are trying to make healthy dietary changes. Based on this, you might be thinking of starting this diet plan. With that said, do you know of its risks? Do you know how long you are supposed to follow this diet plan? If not, then this article is for you.
Read on to determine how this smoothie diet plan works and what are the goals it can help you attain. You will also get insight into its health benefits and potential health risks.
What Is A Smoothie Diet?
When it comes to the smoothie diet, most people tend to confuse it with the liquid diet. These are actually two different concepts. To begin with, the smoothie diet contains smoothies that are prepared using healthy ingredients like veggies and fruits. In this diet plan, you do not stop consuming your meals. Instead of this, you only replace one or two meals a day with your smoothies.
However, in a liquid diet, you only consume liquid calories. Most liquid diets may replace all your meals and snacks, where only the consumption of vegetable or fruit juices and shakes is accepted (6). Understanding this difference is imperative as it helps you avoid mixing the two concepts while you start the smoothie diet plan.
Why Follow A 21-Day Smoothie Diet Plan?
There are numerous diet plans. Of course, most of them have been determined to work, depending on your goals. The question that bugs many people is why you should take on the 21-day smoothie diet plan over another meal plan? Here are some solid reasons why:
It Increases Your Nutrient Intake
Smoothies are prepared using healthy ingredients from all food groups. These include whole fruits, starchy vegetables, leafy greens, non-starchy veggies, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products (2). All these foods individually contain different nutrients. Fortunately, by combining all these food groups in one drink, your nutrients are amped up.
It Leads To Weight Loss
Weight loss is mainly dependent on the reduction of calorie intake (10). This is because your body burns more calories than you are consuming. Smoothies, especially protein shakes, promote weight loss by reducing the number of calories you consume in a day (13).
The smoothie diet aims at replacing one or two of your meals to help restrict your daily calorie consumption. This is the reason why each of your smoothie recipes restricts you to various servings. The reason for this is because each serving contains a certain number of calories. If you take more than the recommended servings, you risk having a calorie surplus, leading to weight gain.
It May Kick Start Your Healthy Eating Patterns
Healthy living calls for healthy dietary and lifestyle changes. Most people struggle with implementing healthy dietary practices as they try to incorporate them all at once.
This can be overwhelming, and as such most people tend to encounter so many challenges when it comes to healthy dietary practices.
The thing is, you only need to take baby steps and walk your way up the ladder. Start with simple changes such as the smoothie diet. It can help you increase your intake of nutritious foods that contain vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats (10). With time, you can embrace other healthy eating patterns like cutting down on sugar or refined carbs.
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Potential Drawbacks Of A 21-Day Smoothie Diet Plan
Although we would like to assume this diet plan is perfect, it certainly is not. The 21-day smoothie diet plan also has several health risks. For the most part, you should be fine following this diet if you replace only one meal. However, if you replace all your meals with smoothies, then you may suffer from the following:
Increased Calorie Intake
Lest we forget, smoothies are prepared from food products, which also contain calories. For example, a green smoothie is prepared from spinach, and one cup of raw spinach contains at least 7 calories (12). This is minor, but other ingredients can contribute many more calories.
When blended all together, these ingredients increase the total calories in your drink. Drinking a smoothie may also not make you feel as full as eating a solid meal. If you, therefore, take more than the recommended servings of a smoothie, you may end up consuming too many calories. This may compromise your overall weight loss goals and results.
Higher Blood Sugar Levels
Some smoothie recipes will ask you to use sweeteners to make your drinks tastier. Most of these sweeteners contain added sugars, which of course can lead to weight gain and have other negative health impacts. They might increase your blood sugar levels and this can become potentially dangerous if you have type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance (7). The key is to sweeten without using added sugar.
Potential Nutritional Deficiencies
You are replacing meals with smoothies that may not be nutritionally complete.
How Many Smoothies Should You Have A Day?
Just because you follow the 21-day smoothie diet plan does not mean you will have six to seven smoothies a day. Remember that you are using this diet plan to attain a specific dietary or fitness goal. If it is for weight loss, you will have to watch the number of smoothies you consume.
Your dietitian may recommend you limit them to only two or three. This will depend on several factors. One of them is your daily calorie limit. The number of smoothies and other foods you have must give your body fewer calories so that your body maintains a calorie deficit for weight loss.
Again, the number of smoothies you have will depend on the number of meals replaced by these drinks. If you replace both breakfast and lunch, then it means that you will be having two smoothies a day.
Who Can Start A 21-Day Smoothie Diet?
The only people who can start this diet plan are those who have acquired a go-ahead from their doctor and nutritionist. Usually, these professionals assess your health and medical history to determine if you are safe to follow such a diet plan. Despite this, they recommend a specific timeline during which you are supposed to follow this diet plan.
Truth be told, diet shakes are not the magic bullet for weight loss (3). With this in mind, after getting the go-ahead to follow this diet plan, remember to use these drinks judiciously. Successful weight loss will require other practices, including regular physical activity and getting adequate rest.
21-Day Smoothie Diet Recipe Ideas
Are you looking for weight loss smoothie ideas to include in your 21-day smoothie diet plan? Check out some of the options we have analyzed for you. These smoothies will not only satisfy your sweet tooth but also help you stick to your daily calorie range.
Remember to go through each smoothie diet with your dietitian before including it in your diet plan. The smoothie options we have for you include:
Vanilla Chai Smoothie
The Vanilla Chai smoothie recipe is refreshingly cool and flavorful. It is prepared using healthy ingredients like soymilk, making it a healthy meal replacement drink. Here are more details about this healthy weight loss smoothie:
- Half a cup of vanilla light soymilk
- Two-thirds cups of frozen banana slices
- Half a cup of vanilla light or low-fat yogurt
- Half a cup of crushed ice
- Two pinches of ground ginger
- Two pinches of ground cinnamon
- One pinch of ground cloves
- Put all the ingredients in your blender and let them mix until you get your puree.
The recipe above makes only one serving. The nutritional information of this serving is as shown below (1):
- Calories – 149
- Carbohydrates – 28 g
- Protein – 7 g
- Fat – 1 g
- Saturated fat – 0.1 g
- Polyunsaturated fat – 0.5 g
- Monounsaturated fat – 0.3 g
- Cholesterol – 3 mg
- Fiber – 2 g
- Sodium – 124 mg
- Omega-3 fatty acids – 0.1 g
- Omega-6 fatty acids – 0.4 g
The Green Smoothie
Perhaps this is the most popular type of weight loss smoothie. It requires no introduction as it is trendy, especially among dieters. Most people believe it is only made from vegetables, and for this reason, the name ‘Green’ smoothie.
However, vegetables are among the primary ingredients but not the only ones. A green smoothie is also prepared with fruits like bananas to help with enhancing the flavor. Here are more details about this smoothie:
- Two medium ripe bananas
- One apple or pear, peeled and chopped
- Two cups of kale leaves, chopped and tough stems removed
- Half a cup of orange juice, cold
- Half a cup of water, cold
- Twelve ice cubes
- One tablespoon of ground flaxseed
- Place all your ingredients in the blender and pulse it a few times until you get a smooth drink
The following recipe makes two servings. The recommended serving size is one and three-quarter cups (5). The nutritional profile of this serving is as shown below:
- Calories – 240
- Total fat – 3 g
- Cholesterol – 0 mg
- Fiber – 8 g
- Carbohydrates – 55 g
- Sodium – 38 mg
- Protein – 5 g
- Total sugars – 28 g
- Potassium – 987 mg
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Sunshine Lemon Smoothie
Another creative and refreshing smoothie idea you can consider for your 21-day smoothie diet plan is the Sunshine Lemon smoothie. Here is the recipe you will follow to make this drink:
- Two cups of skim milk
- Half a cup of ice
- Two cups of low-fat lemon yogurt
- Three tablespoons of powdered lemonade mix
- Let all your ingredients mix in your blender and serve the outcome. You can garnish it with lemon zest or wedge if you so like.
This recipe obtained from the WebMD website makes four servings (9). The nutritional content of each serving is as follows:
- Calories – 140
- Fiber – 0 g
- Carbohydrates – 24.7 g
- Total fat – 0.4 g
- Cholesterol – 4.9 mg
- Sodium – 136 mg
- Protein – 8.9 g
- Total sugars – 24.7 g
- Iron – 0.2 mg
- Calcium – 451 mg
- Vitamin A – 567 IU
- Vitamin C – 5.9 mg
- Potassium – 434 mg
Avocado Banana Smoothie
Another smoothie idea to consider for your 21-day sugar detox diet is the avocado banana smoothie. It is a great breakfast idea, and the recipe is as follows:
- One large banana
- One ripe avocado
- Eight to ten ounces of 1% reduced milk like almond, soy, or oat milk
- Two tablespoons of sugar or honey
- Combine all these ingredients in your blender and let them mix until you get a smooth and creamy drink.
The following recipe obtained from the WebMD website makes only two servings. The nutritional profile of one serving is as shown below (4):
- Calories – 134
- Total fat – 16.2 g
- Cholesterol – 6.3 mg
- Fiber – 8.5 g
- Sodium – 63.2 mg
- Carbohydrates – 42.7 g
- Protein – 7 g
- Calcium – 226 mg
- Potassium – 920 mg
- Iron – 0.8 mg
- Vitamin A – 437 IU
- Vitamin C – 16 mg
Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie
Next in our list of healthy smoothies to have in this diet plan is the peanut butter cup smoothie. It is quite easy to prepare this drink as it uses readily available ingredients in your kitchen. To make this drink, you will need to follow this recipe obtained from WebMD (1):
- Half a cup of light vanilla soy milk or half a cup of 1% or nonfat milk plus half a teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Two tablespoons of natural-style smooth peanut butter
- One tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder
- A two-third cup of frozen banana slices
- One packet of Splenda or another alternative sweetener
- Two-thirds cup of crushed ice
- Add all your ingredients to the blender and let them blend until you obtain a thick drink
This recipe only makes one serving, and the nutritional content for this serving is as follows:
- Calories – 284
- Carbohydrates – 25 g
- Fat – 16 g
- Monounsaturated fat – 8.2 g
- Polyunsaturated fat – 5 g
- Protein – 10 g
- Cholesterol – 0 mg
- Fiber – 6 g
- Sodium – 206 mg
- Omega-3 fatty acids – 0.1 g
- Omega-6 fatty acids – 4.5 g
Keto Avocado Smoothie With Coconut Milk, Ginger, And Turmeric
If you are looking for a keto smoothie to match your 21-day smoothie detox diet, this recipe is specifically for you. It will perfectly fit in such a diet plan or a dairy-free or vegan smoothie diet plan. Here it is, obtained from the Medical News Today website and is as follows (11):
- Half an avocado
- A quarter cup of almond milk
- A three-quarter cup of full-fat coconut milk
- Half a teaspoon of turmeric
- One teaspoon of freshly grated ginger
- One teaspoon of lime or lemon juice
- One cup of crushed ice
- Sugar-free sweetener to taste
- Put all your ingredients in a blender and let them mix until you get a creamy puree.
The following recipe serves two, and the nutritional information of one serving is as shown below:
- Calories – 232
- Carbohydrates – 6.9 g
- Protein – 1.7 g
- Total fat – 22.4 g
Cafe Mocha Collagen Protein Smoothie
Are you wondering what smoothie you can have for breakfast or in the afternoon? Try the cafe mocha collagen protein smoothie. It is prepared using numerous healthy ingredients, including coffee. The recipe is as follows (11):
- Two scoops of collagen protein powder
- Half of a large avocado
- One and three-quarter cups of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- Half a cup of cold coffee or one or two tablespoons of espresso powder
- Three tablespoons of cacao powder
- An eighth teaspoon of cinnamon
- Three packets of pure stevia
- One cup of ice
- Mix all your ingredients in your blender and let them blend until fully combined into one drink
The nutritional information of one serving is:
- Calories – 350
- Protein – 24 g
- Total fat – 23 g
- Carbohydrates – 16 g
Strawberries And Cream Smoothie
If you are craving something sweet, then you can prepare yourself a strawberry cream smoothie. Be extra cautious with this drink as you may be tempted to have more than one serving due to its sweetness. As you may know, each serving contains calories, and too many calories in your body will affect your weight loss results. Without further ado, here is the recipe for this smoothie as specified by Medicine Net (8):
- Half a cup of light cherry vanilla yogurt
- One cup of sliced strawberries
- Half a cup of light vanilla ice cream or low-fat frozen yogurt
- One tablespoon of ground flaxseed (optional)
- Place all these ingredients in your blender and blend until you get a thick and creamy puree.
The above recipe only makes one serving. The nutritional information for this one serving is as follows:
- Calories – 233
- Carbohydrates – 40 g
- Protein – 9.5 g
- Fat – 5 g
- Monounsaturated fat – 1 g
- Saturated fat – 2.6 g
- Polyunsaturated fat – 0.5 g
- Cholesterol – 17 mg
- Sodium – 134 mg
- Fiber – 3.2 g
- Calories from fat – 18%
The Bottom Line
The 21-day smoothie diet plan involves consuming smoothies in addition to your meals. You can replace either one or two meals a day with smoothies for a limited amount of time in this diet plan. It is not safe to replace all the meals with smoothies, as you may suffer from various nutritional deficiencies.
This diet plan can help you increase your nutrient, fruits, and vegetable servings. It can also promote weight loss only if you stick to the recommended smoothie servings. Please note that it may also lead to high blood sugar and a calorie surplus, and may not provide all the nutrients your body needs. Remember to only follow or start this diet plan after seeking medical advice.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on for decision-making. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Best and Worst Smoothies (2009, webmd.com)
- Boiling down the dietary guidelines (2021, mayoclinic.org)
- Diet Shakes: Sipping to Slimness (2008, webmd.com)
- Family Recipe: Banana Breakfast Bash (2015, webmd.com)
- Green Smoothie (2021, webmd.com)
- Liquid Diet (2020, webmd.com)
- Smoothies: Are They Good for You? (2020, webmd.com)
- Strawberries and Cream Smoothie (2006, medicinenet.com)
- Sunshine Lemon Smoothie (2015, webmd.com)
- The best smoothies for people with diabetes (2019, medicalnewstoday.com)
- What are some of the top keto smoothie recipes to try? (2021, medicalnewstoday.com)
- What are the most healthful vegetables? (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)
- What to eat in the protein shake diet for weight loss (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)