When it comes to diets, it’s not about what everyone is doing but which diet works best for you. There are so many diets and new ones keep coming up – there is literally something for everyone. Before you start a new meal plan, it is always advisable to consult a dietitian or a nutritionist. With that out of the way, in this read, we shall highlight the 3-day smoothie diet for weight loss which is spreading faster than rumors. Why are people going for the 3-day smoothie, and is it really effective like people are saying? Let’s try to find out!
This is a meal plan that involves blending lots of vegetables, fruits, and water to make smoothies (3). The main aim of the 3-day smoothie diet for weight loss is to give your digestive system a break so that your body can devote more of its resources to eliminating fattening toxins, and that is why it is also referred to as the detox diet. The goals of this diet are to rest your organs by taking meals in liquid form to stimulate your liver and get rid of harmful toxins mainly through sweating, urinating, and defecating, as well as improving the circulation of blood and providing your body with healthy nutrients from all the fruits and vegetables you’ll be taking while on this meal plan.
Ways To Follow The Smoothie Diet
Just like most meal plans, there are different ways to follow the smoothie diet. Some people choose to take it for a few days, such as the 3-day smoothie diet, and others choose to follow it for a longer period, like 21 days. Apart from the duration of the two approaches, the two are also different in such a way that the short duration approach is more restricting compared to the long duration approach. The 3-day is more restricted because all the meals you’ll be taking will be in a form of smoothies and maybe adding healthy snacks like nuts along the way.
For the long-duration approach, the smoothie diet is incorporated into a balanced diet, and you have one of two meals in smoothie form while the rest of the meals are in their solid form. The short-duration smoothie diet should not be followed for a period longer than the indicated time as it can cause a serious case of malnutrition. From the fact that most smoothies are made from vegetables and fruits, it means you’ll be missing out on some important macronutrients like proteins and fats.
Pros And Cons Of The 3-Day Smoothie Diet For Weight Loss
The 3-day smoothie diet comes with benefits and risks like any other diet. Here are some of the benefits and risks you are likely to experience from following this diet:
Risks Of The 3-Day Smoothie Diet
The risks are:
It Is A Very Low-Calorie Diet
It goes without saying that to lose weight, you have to consume less than your body burns; this creates a calorie deficit, hence weight loss. But just because the goal is to consume less, it does not mean you starve yourself. You should never go below 1200 calories a day as that puts you at risk of starvation. In the 3-day smoothie meal plan, you can easily go below 1200 calories as most of the meals are smoothies made from low-calorie fruits and vegetables. Not getting enough calories would result in less energy for the body to carry out all the normal daily activities, and you may experience dizziness, headaches, fatigue, and so on.
It Is Not Sustainable (6)
A weight loss program that cannot be followed for a long period is never advisable. Even if you lose weight by following this meal plan, you are likely to gain all the weight you lost, and even more, once you go back to your normal eating habits. The more strict a diet is, the less sustainable it is. In this diet, you are taking only smoothies. Do you think you can make smoothies for the rest of your life and live a healthy life? Well, that answers it. When going for weight loss diets, go for ones you can easily incorporate into your daily life as they are easier to follow and sustain.
It Is Time-Consuming (6)
Everyone has a busy schedule, and sometimes making the smoothies from this diet can be time-consuming, especially if you are in a hurry. You have to prepare the ingredients before you blend them, which means there is a lot of peeling, slicing, and juicing involved.
It Is Likely To Cause Malnutrition (6)
Everyone should eat a balanced diet. A balanced diet provides the body with all or most of the nutrients the body needs. With the 3-day smoothie diet, you are eating more fruits and vegetables while ignoring other important macronutrients like proteins and fats.
Proteins help preserve muscle mass during weight loss, and thus you are likely to lose muscles during this meal plan. Muscles promote weight loss because they burn more calories at rest compared to fat mass. Therefore, losing muscles would hinder the weight loss you are trying to achieve. On the other hand, fats help absorb certain vitamins like vitamin A, D, E, and K. Not consuming fats would limit the absorption of these important nutrients.
It Has A High Intake Of Sugar
Fruits are one of the main foods of this diet, and they are high in sugar even though it is a natural one. Consuming a lot of sugar can promote fat storage as well as blood sugar swings. When you consume a lot of sugar, your body releases insulin that sends the sugar you’ve consumed either to use or store as fat (7). Since you’ve consumed a lot of sugar, not all of it can be used, and hence most of it ends up being stored as fat.
Benefits Of The 3-Day Smoothie Diet
The benefit is:
You Get To Eat Lots Of Fruits And Vegetables (6)
Every time you visit a doctor for your normal check-up, you will always hear the doctor encouraging you to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Fruits and vegetables are packed with various vitamins and minerals that the body needs. These vitamins and minerals help keep your body healthy.
3-Day Smoothie Diet And Weight Loss
Most people follow this meal plan to lose weight – but does it really help you achieve weight loss? Let’s look at how the 3-day smoothie diet may help with weight loss or deter weight loss.
How Does The 3-Day Smoothie Diet Help With Weight Loss?
First and foremost, it helps with weight loss by promoting a low-calorie diet (7). The diet can take your calorie intake to 1200 calories or even lower, although taking less than 1200 calories is not recommended. If you were used to taking 2000 calories in a day but shifts to taking 1200 calories, that creates a calorie deficit. This will promote fast weight loss as you are creating a large calorie deficit, however, very little of the weight lost will be fat. Most of the weight loss will come from you losing water weight and lean muscles (7). This means that once you go back to your normal eating habits, you will gain back the weight you lost and even more since you lost muscles that have a higher metabolic rate than fat mass.
Second, the 3-day weight loss diet can promote weight loss from the fact that it is made from fruits and vegetables, and both have a high fiber content. Fiber helps promote satiety quicker and longer; hence you end up feeling full faster and for longer, reducing your daily calorie intake. While still on the vegetables and fruits, plant-based diets have been proven to promote more weight loss compared to other diets. This diet can easily be classified as a plant-based diet as you have no beef, chicken, and even fish in the smoothies as they mainly consist of vegetables and fruits.
Although one of the main reasons why people adopt this diet is to eliminate fattening toxins, they can also lose weight, but there is no concrete scientific evidence of this to be true. In addition to that, the body is well designed and capable of getting rid of its own toxins without the need to help it by adopting a restricting diet.
When it comes to weight loss, it is always advisable to go for weight loss diets and programs that are healthy and sustainable. When you adopt highly restrictive programs, you are putting your health in danger for results that may not even last.
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How Does 3-Day Smoothie Diet Can Deter Weight Loss?
Although the presence of vegetables and fruits would promote satiety, they would provide even more satiety if they weren’t in liquid form (3). Studies show that calories in liquid form provide less satiety compared to calories in solid form (5). Remember, the aim is to take the food with the most satiety as you will end up consuming the least calories hence promoting weight loss. Also, foods that have high satiety do not make you starve to lose weight, which means a double advantage.
The other way the fruit diet deters weight loss is from the high intake of sugar, as discussed earlier. Consuming high amounts of sugar promotes the release of insulin, which sends the sugar to be used by the body or stored as fat (7). Since the consumed sugar is more than the body can use, most of it ends up being stored; as a result, promoting weight gain.
Loss of lean muscles. This is a result of fast weight loss and the lack of enough proteins to prevent this from happening. Due to the fact that the 3-day smoothie diet promotes rapid weight loss, most of the weight you lost is water weight and lean muscles, and a small percentage being fat (7). When you lose muscles, you slow down your body’s resting metabolism and end up promoting weight gain instead of weight loss.
3-Day Smoothie Diet
Since we’ve covered how the diet will help you lose weight and at the same time how it may prevent you from losing weight or as much weight as you anticipated while joining the diet, here are 3 smoothies for the 3-day smoothie meal plan. Each smoothie is to be taken three times a day, one to two servings per meal.
Day 1: Matcha Green Tea Smoothie (2)
- 2 frozen bananas
- 2 large handfuls of baby spinach
- 1 large mango (fresh or frozen)
- 2 tsp matcha green tea powder
- 1 cup (240ml) light coconut milk
- Take your blender and add the coconut milk, matcha green tea powder, and spinach; then blend.
- Then add the mangoes and frozen bananas; blend until everything is in liquid form.
One serving contains 282 calories, 37.6g of sugar, 56mg of sodium, 6.1g grams of fat, 57.5g of carbohydrates, 8.5g of fiber, and 5.6g of protein.
Day 2: Pumpkin And Fig Smoothie (2)
- ½ medium frozen banana
- 2 fresh figs
- ⅓ cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
- 1 tablespoon of almond butter
- ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1 cup of unsweetened soy milk
- 2–3 ice cubes
- ½ tablespoons of hemp hearts
- Take all the ingredients and add them to a blender. Blend them until they are smooth and creamy.
- Pour the smoothie into a glass, then top with hemp hearts and additional cinnamon. Serve immediately
One serving of this smoothie contains 355 calories, 15g of fat, 46g of carbohydrates, 9g of fiber, and 15g of protein.
Day 3: Kale Pineapple Smoothie (2)
- 2 cups lightly packed chopped kale leaves with stems removed
- ¾ cups of unsweetened vanilla almond milk or any milk you like
- 1 frozen medium banana cut into chunks
- ¼ cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup frozen pineapple pieces
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter creamy or crunchy (I use natural creamy)
- 1 to 3 teaspoons of honey to taste
- Take all the ingredients and put them in the blender.
- Blend until they are soft. You can add more milk to make the smoothie lighter.
One serving contains 228 calories, 29g of carbohydrates, 11g of proteins, 10g of fat, 2g of saturated fat, 1mg of cholesterol, 702mg of potassium, 3g of fiber, 14g of sugar, 95mg of vitamin C, 247mg of calcium and 1mg of iron.
Foods To Add To Your Smoothies For More Weight Loss
Green Tea Powder
Green tea contains catechins which makes it a good addon for promoting weight loss. The catechins help promote the release of fat from your cells (1). An added advantage is that green tea powder does not come with an unbearable taste. So you can easily add it to your smoothies, and it won’t make it taste bad.
Blueberries And Strawberries
These small fruits are known far and wide for their weight loss properties. What you have to be careful with is the sugar they come with, as we had already discussed the effects of too much sugar intake. Blueberries and strawberries, and most of the berries contain antioxidants that help activate genes that help with fat burn (1). Strawberries also contain polyphenols that are useful when it comes to stopping the formation of fat in the body.
Not most people would like to add spinach to their smoothies because of the taste it comes with, but apart from that, spinach is healthy and helps promote weight loss. It has high fiber content, and this helps promote faster and longer satiety, which means reducing the number of calories you take in (1).
The advantages of coconut oil keep piling up, and weight loss has become one of them. Some studies show that eating two teaspoons of coconut oil can result in the loss of stomach overhang (1). The best part is that coconut oil has a palatable taste; hence you can easily add it to your smoothies.
People are starting to call it the weight loss spice due to what it does when it comes to shedding off those extra pounds. Turmeric contains an antioxidant referred to as curcumin which helps block the growth of new fat tissue, speeds up the burning of existing fat, and helps improve the fat burning in the liver (4). It pretty much does everything when it comes to weight loss. It aids both in immediate and longer-term weight loss.
This is yet another spice that helps in weight loss apart from tasting and smelling nice. It helps relieve bloating and water retention (1).
Although mostly grown for their oil, they also aid in weight loss by increasing your satiety, preventing hunger pangs, and reducing the need for regular snacking, thus, reducing your daily calorie intake results in weight loss (1).
Both in solid form or powder form, ginger is a superfood that comes with numerous benefits, and weight loss is one of them. It helps promote weight loss by boosting your metabolism (1). When you have a high metabolism, you burn more calories than you take in, hence promoting weight loss. Ginger also helps balance the levels of your blood sugar; this keeps you from wanting to overindulge.
The Bottom Line
Just like any diet, the 3-day smoothie diet for weight loss comes with its benefits and risks. Before choosing to try this meal plan, it is advisable to first consult a health worker for a proper individualized approach to this diet. The diet is highly restrictive as it encourages the intake of smoothies for 3 days, which means you should not follow it for more than the recommended days.
When following the 3-day smoothie diet for weight loss, you are likely to miss out on important nutrients, and to prevent malnutrition, try adding foods that contain most of the nutrients you need to your smoothies. High sugar consumption is yet another thing you should be on the lookout for when following this diet. Also, people with diabetes are not advised to follow this diet for this reason, and if they must, they should first speak to their doctor before they do. Adding the various foods highlighted in the last section of this read will help with weight loss, and it would be wise to do so.
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 to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- 10 Things To Add To Your Smoothies For Quicker Weight Loss (2020, food.ndtv.com)
- 30 Healthy Smoothy Recipes That Can Help Your Weight Loss Journey (2021, womansday.com)
- Are Smoothies Healthy? Are They Good For Weight Loss? (n.d., pritikin.com)
- How to Lose Weight in 72 Hours on the Smoothie Detox Diet (2019, womansworld.com)
- Liquid versus solid carbohydrate: effects on food intake and body weight (2000, nature.com)
- What Is the Smoothie Diet? (2021, verywellfit.com)
- What Is The Smoothie Diet—And Can It Really Help You Lose Weight? (2017, womenshealthmag.com)