The 21-Day Smoothie Diet, created by Drew Sgoutas, has spawned dozens of imitations and variations. All promise that replacing some of your meals with smoothies will lead to quick and easy weight loss.
As with so many weight-loss plans, though, the details are important. As part of a balanced diet, smoothies can help you lose weight. But ingredients, portion size, and your overall eating plan will make all the difference.
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Sgoutas is a certified health coach who created the 21-Day Smoothie Diet to help clients lose weight. His e-book, “The Smoothie Diet,” contains 36 smoothie recipes, shopping lists, and a three-week schedule explaining which smoothies to prepare each day. He also offers a “detox” plan with recipes and instructions for replacing three meals a day with smoothies for three days.
How It Works
On this eating plan, you will prepare and drink two smoothies a day as meal replacements. Your third meal is up to you, but for the best results it should be lower in calories. Sgoutas also suggests one “cheat day” per week but includes a recommended food list for this day. He also says that it is fine to repeat the 21-day cycle anytime you would like to lose weight.
What to Eat
The smoothie ingredients vary, but they focus on fruits and vegetables, with some protein and healthy fats. There is some guidance in e-book for the one solid-food meal you will consume each day (recommendations for what to eat, and some “ whole food” recipes). Sgoutas points out that if this meal is too high in calories, the diet won’t work for weight loss. The e-book also includes some suggested low-sugar, high-fiber snacks.
On the “detox” plan, all three daily meals are replaced with smoothies. On the 21-day plan, you’ll consume two meal-replacement smoothies (breakfast and lunch), one solid-food meal, and a few snacks.
If necessary, plan a “flex day,” in which you consume one smoothie and two regular meals. Also of note: The e-book suggests that this diet is not for people with food allergies.
Pros and Cons
- Emphasis on fruits and vegetables
- Less calorie-counting and food tracking
- Shopping lists included
- Preparation could be time-consuming
Fruits and Vegetables
The smoothie diet’s recipes contain plenty of fruits and veggies, which are an essential part of a healthy diet. They tend to be low in calories and rich in phytonutrients.
Unlike many other eating plans, the smoothie diet doesn’t require carbohydrate counting, a food diary, or full-time calorie counting. It does recommend being aware of the calorie count in the daily solid-food meal. With recipes and weekly meal plans (that is, smoothie plans) provided, there is not a lot of decision-making or tracking involved, which is a boon for some users.
The e-book contains shopping lists broken down by smoothie and by week, which simplifies grocery-store visits during the three weeks of the diet.
Even with these benefits, experts have concerns about the smoothie diet’s effectiveness and sustainability.
Most of the diet’s smoothies are low in protein, and a few fall short in healthy fats. Sgoutas does emphasize getting enough protein throughout the day, recommending at least 50 grams daily by eating a little with each meal and snack. However, some people may need additional guidance on this issue-and without proper planning, could fall short meeting their protein needs. If you are using a smoothie as a meal replacement, make sure it contains each essential macronutrient: protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
In general, fruit smoothies tend to contain plenty of calories from carbohydrates and perhaps a small amount of fat. But they also need a good source of lean protein. Protein helps build muscle, which you need to maintain a healthy metabolism. Try adding a tablespoon or two of chia seeds to a smoothie. The seeds will thicken your drink and provide a boost of fiber as well.
Making two or three smoothies a day (and cleaning the blender afterward) takes time. And while you can easily prep a morning smoothie and take it with you for breakfast on the go, it’s much harder to have a smoothie for lunch if you’re away from home and don’t have access to all your ingredients and a blender.
A Word From Fitness My Mind
The 21- day Smoothie Challenge is an easy, nutritious and delicious way to get the right smoothies into your day to begin transforming your health and body. It has recipes for every taste bud and preference, and even comes with gluten-free and kid-friendly options. Since the program is not designed to replace foods, it can be used by anyone looking to feed their body what it needs to achieve optimal health and safe, sustainable weight loss. You can even give it a try risk-free for two months with the 60 Day Money Back Guarantee. So, why not see how sipping on the right smoothies can bring you closer to your health and fitness goals? You have nothing to lose and at the very least, you learn some new recipes that make it easy and delicious to get all kinds of fruits and vegetables into your diet.