Looking for a way to slim down that’s quick, delicious, satisfies carb cravings and leaves you glowing from head to toe? Then take a tip from Travis Stork, MD, and start whipping up daily smoothies loaded with his favorite body-transforming ingredient: plant protein.
“Smoothies make getting more plant protein tasty and convenient — and plant protein contains a jackpot of nutrients that’ll help you get lighter, improve your health, and feel ready to take on the world”, The Doctors star promises. Research backs him up, proving that extra plant protein fights diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and more. Meanwhile, an exciting new Purdue study found that dieters who increase their intake of plant protein melt a whopping 290 percent more flab than those who don’t. No wonder smoothie fans have dropped up to 20 pounds in three weeks!
To shed spare pounds Dr. Stork–style, simply replace one meal each day with a plant-protein–rich smoothie. At other meals, aim for at least half of your protein to come from sources like beans, peas, soy, nuts, and seeds. You’ll get bonus doses of plant protein from unlimited veggies and fruit, along with a couple of servings of whole grains. Make everything taste good with a little healthy fat. That’s all there is to it. It’s no-fuss, affordable and — unlike plans that cut out food groups or severely limit food intake — it just feels right.
How Plant Protein Helps Weight Loss
Plant protein stimulates metabolism, firms skin, and strengthens muscle the same way that animal protein does, “but plant protein comes with a lot more advantages for anyone trying to lose weight”, says Dr. Stork.
Compare, for example, 250-calorie servings of soy and steak. Each contains about the same amount of protein, but soy’s protein is packed with antioxidants that flatten the belly and soothe inflammation. Steak has virtually no antioxidants. Instead, it’s chock-full of belly-plumping saturated fat. What’s more, a 250-calorie serving of soy boasts roughly double the volume and 10 times more fiber than steak.
“Fiber not only fills us up and makes plant foods harder to overeat, but it’s also the body’s best ‘prebiotic’ — which means it feeds bacteria in our gut that promote weight loss and overall vitality”, says Dr. Stork.
Good gut bacteria are proven to reduce calorie absorption, kill junk-food cravings, slash levels of belly-fat hormones, and reduce the risk of countless diseases. They’re so powerful in terms of weight control. A massive new British study recently found that gut bacteria seem to be the key factor when one twin is naturally lean and her identical sister is obese. As for animal foods? A landmark Harvard study found they feed bacteria in our gut linked to weight gain and illness.
Now, Dr. Stork isn’t suggesting you swear off steak or any other animal protein you happen to love. The goal is simply to increase plant-based protein.
“Even if you only make a small change, like adding one plant-based smoothie meal a day, you’ll notice benefits”, he says. Those benefits won’t just be on the scale either. “The most striking finding for me has been how much better women feel when they eat more plant-based protein!”
Simply opting for a daily plant protein-rich smoothie will nudge you effortlessly toward better health. Want to slim down at top speed? Dr. Stork recommends each day, you have one smoothie meal plus unlimited fruit and nonstarchy veggies; 4 servings of protein (at least two of them from sources like tofu, beans, plant milk, nuts or seeds); 2 servings of healthy fat and up to 2 servings of healthy starch. As always, get a doctor’s okay to try any new plan.
Breakfast to Go — Blend 1 cup soy or hemp milk, 1 cup chopped peaches, and 1⁄2 cup uncooked oats; a scoop of plant-based protein powder is fine too, but Dr. Stork prefers protein from whole plants most of the time.
PB and Berry — Blend 1 cup soy or hemp milk, 2 Tbs. flax or chia seeds, 1 Tbs. natural peanut butter, 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1 cup baby spinach, 1 tsp. honey, and a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg.
Fruity Green Blitz — Blend 1 cup water, 1 Tbs. lime juice, 1 cup baby spinach, chunks of 1 frozen banana, 1 Tbs. flax or chia seeds, 1 Tbs. almond butter, and fresh mint to taste.
Snickers Smoothie Recipe
Social media is going crazy for this candy bar–flavored recipe — and Dr. Stork gives a thumbs-up to all the ingredients.
- 2 frozen bananas, in chunks
- 2 cups unsweetened vanilla soy or almond milk
- 2 dates
- 1 Tbs. cocoa powder
- 1 Tbs. natural peanut butter
- 1 scoop plant-based protein powder (optional)
Add all ingredients to a blender and blitz until smooth. Enjoy! 1 serving
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.