Have you heard of something called the 21-Day Smoothie Diet? Most of us have. The diet was developed by a health coach, who claimed that replacing some meals with smoothies can lead to an easy road to weight loss.
There are many, many different diets out there that people for weight loss especially. The 21-Day Smoothie Diet is basically one of those.
As a part of a balanced diet, smoothies could help people lose weight, but factors such as the portion sizes, ingredients used, and how you eat overall. But, this counts for any diet, regardless of what it is.
A diet that consists of primarily smoothies will not always work for everyone as a long-term weight loss solution.
The diet was created as a weight loss diet, and the original plan and related e-book by Sgoutas even include a detox plan. Yet, before you delve into this head first, look over what we have to tell you.
The diet does recommend that you still eat normally, and healthily one day each week, and if you do this according to Sgoutas plan, there is even a recommended food list. You should repeat the cycle any time you wish to lose weight according to Sgoutas.
However, there is not a lot of research backing up that this diet is effective, and if you have to repeatedly do it in intervals, we cannot really say that this is totally healthy or effective for the long term.
This is not necessarily healthy as it does mean that you will be continually restricting important food groups that contain vital nutrients. So, for a lot of people, two-homemade shakes per day as a meal replacement and a single regular meal might not give them the nutritional and calorific balance their bodies need.
What Can You Eat On A Smoothie Diet?
So, what can you eat on this diet? Well, on this suggested diet, people tend to drink 2 fresh smoothies per day as a way of replacing meals. The ingredients can vary, with a lot of focus on fruit and vegetables with some healthy fats and proteins.
The e-book for this diet does offer some guidance on the solid-food meals that you can include, as well as some snack foods. You can also eat as per ‘normal’ for one day each week, as long as your meals comply with the e-book recommendations.
The strict plan for this diet will replace all three of your daily meals with smoothies for 3 days. In this plan, you enjoy 2 meal replacement smoothies, and a solid-food meal as well as some snacks. There is also room for a flexi-day, although this is not official.
It should also be noted that per this diet if the meals are too calorific then the diet will not be weight loss effective.
This diet is also not suitable for anyone with a food allergy.
The recipes in this diet have a lot of fruits and vegetables, and are also low in calories, but provide you with a lot of phytonutrients. However, with so much fruit, it should be noted these contain natural sugars, which does not always work for those who need to lower their sugar intake.
A majority of the smoothies in this diet are also low in proteins, and some fall low on their healthy-fat count too. Sgoutas, himself, recommends getting 50 grams of protein daily, however, some people may struggle to do this on this plan.
You should always ensure that your smoothie contains carbohydrates, fats, and proteins if you are using it as a meal replacement.
You Can Eat:
- A single nutritious meal once a day.
Here’s What You Cannot Eat:
- No solid food for 2 out of 3 meals per day.
Pros Of A Smoothie Diet
- Heavy emphasis on vegetables and fruit.
- Little to no calorie counting and food tracking included.
- Shopping lists are included in the plan.
Cons Of A Smoothie Diet
- Very restrictive.
- Preparation can be very time-consuming.
- High in sugars.
- Lacks enough scientific support and research.
- Not sustainable in the long term.
Our Thoughts On The Pros & Cons Of The Smoothie Diet
A great deal of the rules for the Smoothie Diet is spelled out really simply in the e-book. Although it might seem super simple to prepare smoothies, preparing 2-3 per day and cleaning the blender is quite time-consuming, especially when following the recipes completely.
Of course, you can easily prepare a morning breakfast smoothie easily enough, but it is harder when it comes to making a lunchtime smoothie, especially if you are not at home and do not have easy access to your blender or the ingredients.
It is different from other diet plans as it does not need a food diary, calorie counting, or carb counting. Instead, what it needs is awareness of calories in your solid-food meals.
Recipes and the weekly plans are available in the e-book, which does make things easier, especially since shopping lists are simply broken down week by week and smoothie by a smoothie.
However, in spite of these easy conveniences, health and diet experts are concerned about the sustainability and overall effectiveness of dieters going on the Smoothie Diet.
Are Smoothie Diets A Healthy Choice?
Are these types of diets healthy? Yes and No. Overall smoothies (especially fruit smoothies) often contain calories and a little bit of fat. However, to get a meal that is well-rounded, a smoothie needs to contain a decent lean protein content.
Protein helps the body to build up muscle, which is critical to maintaining a healthy metabolic rate. Therefore, a diet that is made up of mainly smoothies are going to fall short here, and you won’t get enough protein.
Diets like smoothie diets are very popular, however, they are not unlike other short-term, low-calorie diets focused on meal replacement. SlimFast is a good example of another one of these. But, remember, none of these diets actually meet expert advice on eating healthy.
Dietary Guidelines for Americans
Note that the USDA 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans states that you should consume a range of nutrition-dense foods and beverages while you stay within the limit of around 2,000 calories each day. This is stated to help you manage weight in a healthy manner.
With this in mind, we need to consider the 21-Day Smoothie Diet. It clearly does not adhere to these federal guidelines as while it is packed with healthy foods, it also excludes many, and therefore is not balanced.
In order to lose weight, the USDA states that you should intake 1,500 calories per day. Sgoutas (the 21-Day Smoothie Diet creator) does recommend around 1,500 calories each day in the diet ebook, the recipes included in the e-book actually have much less than 1,500 calories.
This makes it very difficult for those on this diet to actually meet this target without going overboard in their solid food daily meals.
The best way to lose weight is simply to create a calorie deficit. However, not everyone will have the same calorie goals.
Healthy diet calorie goals depend entirely on weight, age, sex, and level of activity. This is exactly why you should use calorie goal calculators to find out what a realistic goal should be for you. Luckily with the vastness of the internet, there are plenty of these available for you to use.
Health Benefits Of The Smoothie Diet
It is highly likely that people can lose weight very fast when starting on this smoothie diet, as they are cutting out a lot of calories. However, they are also cutting out nutrients like healthy fats and proteins as well.
However, replacing solid meals with liquids and maintaining a healthy lifestyle while living on so few calories is not a realistic goal for most people. It is not something that is sustainable for a majority of people in the long term.
Is Smoothies A Good Way To Lose Weight?
Smoothies can be a good way to lose weight. However, doing it in the long term is a health risk. Having a smoothie a day, as a replacement for breakfast can be a healthy way to start your day for example.
Also, smoothies can be a good way to lose weight, even in the long term, however, if you decide to do this, you do need to ensure you are ingesting the right amount of calories and getting all the nutrition you need.
If you decide to try a smoothie diet, make sure that you do a calorie count and watch your nutrition as well, as smoothie diets can be healthy, but only if you ensure you are giving your body what it needs in the process.
Health Risks Of The Smoothie Diet
There is not really any viable scientific evidence available to support the whole idea of detoxing diets at all. This is mostly because there is no real clarification about what a detox diet actually does.
The body naturally detoxes itself via digestion and sweat, bowel movements, and urination. It is the primary function of our organs, including the kidneys and liver. There is no food combination or single food that is capable of doing this on its own.
Let’s not forget that the ‘Smoothie Diet’ itself is actually high in sugar. This high sugar content of this diet is not ideal for those who may have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes
As well as this, it is also possible to lose muscle mass if you were to lose weight too fast.
Of course, another issue is that if you were to go through this weight loss diet and then go back to your typical eating habits and go back to your usual calorie intake, then weight loss is not long-term sustainable either.
This is likely the main reason why the e-book actually suggests that people on this diet repeat this diet as often as is necessary for them.
Do remember, as well, that detox diets are not ideal for some people, this includes pregnant and nursing people, children, and those who have particular health conditions. So, before you start ANY diet, ensure that you talk it over with your doctor first.
What Is The 21-Day Smoothie Diet?
You can use the ‘Smoothie Diet’ as a way to get recipe ideas, just using your own common sense and making healthy smoothies yourself as a part of a balanced, sensible, and realistic eating plan is a much better idea.
For the best results, you should measure each ingredient individually and note the overall calorie count for the drink. Doing so could actually save you from a very typical mistake for those undergoing a weight loss plan.
The underestimation of liquid calorie impactfulness.
Following any short or long-term diet is not always necessary, and some just won’t work for you, especially in the long term.
In our opinion, the 21-Day Smoothie Diet is a diet plan that is not exactly safe but can be used as recipe inspiration. However, its rules and recipes are neglectful of calorific needs and nutritional quality. Make your decisions based on YOUR body.
What Happens If You Only Drink Smoothies For A Week?
If you only drink smoothies for a week you are at risk of nutritional deficiencies. Making balanced healthy smoothies can avoid this, however, it is nearly impossible to get all the nutrition you need for a whole week only from smoothies.
Can I Just Drink Smoothies Instead Of Eating?
It is perfectly fine to have a smoothie a day, it can be a good idea as a meal replacement, however, you need to ensure it is ACTUALLY replacing the meal nutritionally and in terms of calories as well.
What Happens to Your Body When You Start Drinking Smoothies?
There are several benefits associated with the consumption of smoothies. These include an increase in fiber intake, a contribution to a healthy 5-a-day, assistance with issues such as high blood pressure, and a boost in the levels of vitamin C we intake. However, we also expose ourselves to more sugars.
The smoothie diet does have its pros and cons, however, the issue with this diet is just like many other diets, it’s too restrictive.
Often, you will find yourself having a yo-yo effect after you have completed the diet and returned to your usual eating habits.
Incorporating smoothies into your diet is great, but replacing all of your meals completely with smoothies may be a little too extreme.
If you want to lose weight, eat healthily, move plenty, and watch those calories!