Yes, you read that right: a 400-calorie smoothie actually helped me lose weight. If you've ever looked up weight-loss smoothie recipes, they were probably all in the 250-300 calorie range. And, hey, maybe that works for some people. But if I don't have a sizable breakfast, I'll be hungry by midmorning and absolutely famished by the time lunchtime rolls around.
I also work out most mornings, so by the time I'm done and shower, I need to refuel with something that will fortify my muscles — ideally a mix of protein and carbs — and keep me satiated all morning long. I need to eat something that will also give me enough energy to power through my workday. After some tinkering with ingredients and protein powders, I found the right concoction that works for me. I have some variation of the same smoothie every morning.
400-Calorie Weight-Loss Smoothie Recipe
- Vegan protein powder
- Unsweetened almond milk
- Baby spinach
- MCT oil — MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides, which is a type of fat that is metabolized by the body more quickly than other fats (you can learn more about it here)
- One-fourth or one-half of a banana
- Frozen cauliflower
There's enough of a balance of macros to keep me satisfied, and I rarely need a midmorning snack.
I learned the frozen cauliflower trick from Juice Press in New York City, which offers frozen cauliflower in place of a full banana in its shops. You can't taste the cauliflower in the smoothie, and it helps keep it cold and thick. I always have at least a cup of baby spinach in my smoothies (another healthy ingredient you can't taste) and, depending on how hard my workout was that morning, throw in either half or one-fourth of a banana.
But the trick in making this smoothie extra delicious is the protein powder I use. I'm obsessed with Vega One All-in-One Nutritional Shake ($51 on Amazon). I use either the vanilla or chocolate flavors. Each serving has an impressive 20 grams of plant-based protein. I also add Perfect Keto Pure MCT Oil ($30 on Amazon). As for the almond milk I use, I prefer the 365 Everyday Value Organic Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk ($3 on Amazon Fresh), and I always grab the 365 Everyday Value Frozen Organic Cauliflower ($2 on Amazon Fresh), although I usually buy both from Whole Foods.
I've been using the Noom weight-loss app over the last few months and have lost about 15 pounds. Noom has an incredible food database in its food log and all my ingredients are available. So I plug in my ingredients every morning and register my 400-calorie breakfast. This is what the calorie breakdown looks like below.
Most important, this smoothie is delicious; I don't think it's something I would continue to drink if I had to choke it down every morning. If you're looking for a filling breakfast that's not only a good post-workout smoothie but also satiating and protein-packed, you've got to try this recipe.