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Does your breakfast smoothie leave you feeling hungry by mid-morning? You’re probably wondering why your smoothie isn’t filling you up and what you can do to stay full until lunchtime.
Today, I’m going to reveal my top 13 tips to make your smoothies more filling.
- Why Aren’t My Smoothies Filling?
- 13 Ways To Make Smoothies More Filling
- Common Questions About Making Smoothies More Filling
- Final Verdict: How to Make a Filling Smoothie
Why Aren’t My Smoothies Filling?
There are five key reasons why your smoothie might not be as filling you up as much as it should.
1. Not Enough Fiber
Fiber keeps you feeling full for longer because it slows down the digestion process. Ingredients that add fiber to a smoothie include fruit, green veg, and oats. If your smoothie is low in fiber, then you will digest it more quickly, which will make you hungry sooner.
2. Not Enough Protein
High protein smoothies will keep you feeling full by decreasing levels of a hunger hormone called ghrelin and boosting levels of peptide YY, which is a hormone that makes you feel full. Protein-rich ingredients include yogurt, nut butter, and protein powder.
We recently published a massive guide on how to add protein to smoothies!
3. Lack of Healthy Fats
Healthy fats help to keep you feeling full because they are the last nutrients to leave the digestive tract when your body processes your food. If your smoothie lacks healthy fats, such as the fat found in seeds, then you will digest your smoothie more quickly and won’t stay full as long.
4. Not Enough Complex Carbs
Complex carbohydrates raise the level of satiety hormones, which cause the brain to suppress feelings of hunger. If your smoothie does not contain enough complex carbs, such as oats or quinoa, or only contains simple carbs like refined sugar, then you’ll quickly start to feel hungry again.
5. Small Portion Sizes
If your smoothies aren’t filling you up, then you may simply not be eating enough! As long as your smoothie is reasonably healthy, then increasing your portion sizes will keep you feeling full for longer.
13 Ways To Make Smoothies More Filling
1. Whole grains
Adding whole grains – such as oats or quinoa – to your smoothie will add fiber and complex carbohydrates, which slow down digestion and keep you feeling fuller for longer.
2. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds help you feel fuller for longer due to their high fiber and protein content and because they soak up liquid and expand in your stomach, which gives a feeling of fullness. Chia seeds are one of our favorite substitutes for yogurt in smoothies!
3. Nut butter
Nut butter, such as peanut or almond butter, is another ingredient that contains both healthy fats and proteins to help stave off hunger. Nut butter is one of the best ways to make a smoothie sweeter.
4. Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt makes a smoothie creamier and thicker, which also makes it more filling. Greek yogurt is also naturally high in protein.
5. Cottage cheese
Like Greek yogurt, cottage cheese is a dairy product that contains lots of filling protein and will help thicken your smoothie. Cottage cheese is one of our favorite ways to add protein to a smoothie. It’s also great for making smoothies smoother!
6. Coconut water and/or Coconut oil
If you’re currently using fruit juice or water as your smoothie base liquid then switching to coconut water (and perhaps adding a dash of coconut oil) will really help to make your smoothie more filling. Coconut oil and coconut water contain MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides), which are fats that help you feel full.
Milk is another good substitute for your fruit juice or water smoothie base. Milk will help to thicken your smoothie and adds protein to fill you up more than water or juice.
You can make smoothies with water, but milk will make them more filling!
Check out our guide on the best milks for smoothies!
A great way to make your smoothie more filling is to add green vegetables that are low in calories but high in fiber. Spinach and kale are two of the best vegetables for smoothies! That’s why we put together two roundups of kale smoothies and spinach smoothies!
Like green veggies, fruit is also packed with fiber, which will slow down digestion and help keep you feeling full. Some fiber-rich fruits that I recommend trying are raspberries, avocado, and dates. The vitamins and nutrients from fruit are one of the biggest health benefits of smoothies!
10. Protein powder
As you would expect, protein powder adds lots of protein to your smoothie. It also helps to make it thicker. If your smoothie is intended as a replacement for a meal then protein powder is a great way to make it more filling.
If you’re making a vegan smoothie, then tofu is a fantastic ingredient that will add protein, and make your smoothie thicker, while avoiding dairy products.
12. Increase portion size
Obviously, the more you eat, the more full you feel, and the longer that feeling of fullness will last. If you’ve already perfected your smoothie recipe and don’t want to make any changes, but do want to feel full for longer, then simply increasing your portion size could be the answer.
13. Make a Smoothie bowl
Instead of thinking of your smoothie as a drink, why not make it more of a meal? All you need to do is make your smoothie as usual, pour it into a bowl, and add granola, seeds, and unblended pieces of fruit.
Adding solid ingredients and taking longer to eat a smoothie bowl than you would to drink a smoothie will all help to keep you feeling full for longer.
If you need a new blender, check out our list of the top blenders for smoothie bowls!
Common Questions About Making Smoothies More Filling
To make your smoothie more filling, add ingredients that are high in fiber, protein, healthy fats, and carbs, such as whole grains, chia seeds, nut butter, dairy products, tofu, coconut oil, fruit, and green vegetables.
If your smoothie is not filling you up, then it is likely too thin and lacking in fiber, protein, healthy fats, and carbs. Thickening your smoothie with oats, seeds, and dairy products will help to make it more filling. You may also want to try increasing your portion sizes.
The best way to add volume to smoothies is to blend frozen fruits, fibrous vegetables like carrots or sweet potatoes, and thick dairy products, such as yogurt or cottage cheese.
Final Verdict: How to Make a Filling Smoothie
You must make sure your smoothie is packed full of fiber, protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs if you want to make a smoothie more filling. Some of the best smoothie fillers are whole grains, seeds, nut butter, dairy products, and lots of fibrous fruit and vegetables.
These ingredients will also help to make your smoothie thicker and creamier, which will make it more filling. They’ll also help slow down the digestion of your smoothie and suppress your appetite.
You should also consider your portion sizes and whether transforming your smoothie into a proper meal, in the form of a smoothie bowl, will keep you feeling full for longer.