Smoothies can be a great tool to help you lose weight – but only when done right. Put the wrong ingredients in them and they can be just as calorific as eating your favorite ice cream! When you add a nutrient-dense smoothie into your daily diet, it can help to stop excess snacking by keeping hunger levels at bay and this can lead to weight loss.
What type of smoothies help you lose weight?
The best type of smoothies to support weight loss are ones that are filled, with minimal sugar content. Essentially they are smoothies that you make yourself. While store-bought smoothies taste delicious, they actually contain lots of fruit juices and extra calories which can lead to weight gain rather than weight loss.
If you want a healthy breakfast smoothie that will keep you satisfied until lunch and support you with losing weight, then you need to ensure you have the following components in it:
When you consume a smoothie as a meal, you want to ensure that it satisfies you, and the best way of doing that is by ensuring that it has at least 20-30 grams of protein in it. The addition of a protein source such as Greek yogurt or protein powder helps to make the smoothie more filling so that you aren’t tempted to reach for the snack cupboard come mid-morning.
The type of liquid base you have for your smoothie is incredibly important too. Fruit juice may satisfy your sweet tooth but it’s loaded with sugars that can cause your blood sugar to spike and will leave you feeling sluggish. Instead, you should opt for low-fat milk or a dairy-free option such as coconut milk or almond milk.
Healthy fats are also incredibly important to add to your smoothie. Foods such as unsweetened nut butter, hemp seeds and avocado are excellent sources of fats and can really help to balance out the macronutrients in your smoothie. They also help to give your smoothie a more creamy texture too making it feel like you’re having a milkshake rather than a smoothie!
Low sugar fruits and vegetables
Adding low-sugar fruits and vegetables to your smoothie recipes is a great way to add natural sweetness without the added sugar. As a rule of thumb, I recommend sticking to one or two cupfuls per smoothie.
Are smoothies healthy to drink every day?
There are plenty of benefits to drinking smoothies. Not only do they help with fiber intake, but they also contribute towards our 5-a-day, help with long-term weight control and help us get in lots of essential vitamins and minerals that the body needs to thrive. However, there is that old saying of ‘there’s too much of a good thing’ and that’s the same with smoothies.
While smoothies can be incredibly healthy, when we blend fruit we are breaking down the cells which expose the natural sugars from the fruit. This can cause blood sugar spikes, lead to dental decay and result in us consuming more calories and this is why nutritionists typically advise limiting the number of smoothies you consume weekly.
Are green smoothies healthy?
If you struggle to get enough vegetables into your diet, smoothies can be a fantastic way to get them in without compromising on flavour. When you add leafy greens to your smoothies, it helps you to get Vitamins A & K into your diet as well as fiber. But rather than adding in green veggies, frozen cauliflower and sweet potato can actually be just as good.
Weight Loss Smoothies for Busy Moms
Working moms barely get time to take care of themselves and are always busy doing home chores. We will share some weight loss smoothie recipes for you as a busy mom so you can also keep track of your body and diet.
Avocado Kiwi, and Spinach Smoothie
As a working mom, we brought you these three ingredients to help you get rid of toxins from your system. Avocado and spinach are full of fiber and vitamins while Kiwi has various health benefits.
1 cup spinach
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/4 frozen banana
Pumpkin Ginger Protein Smoothie
Ginger works as an antibiotic and helps with muscle pain and inflammation. It is also good to cure nausea while pumpkin is a great antioxidant and rich in vitamin A. It is a perfect meal for a working mom to get rid of toxins.
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 scoop protein powder
- 3 tbsp coconut milk
- 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
- 1 cup coconut water
- 1 tbsp milled flaxseeds
- Optional: ice cubes or frozen banana to make it thicker
Chocolate and Berry Smoothie
Chocolate is good for the heart and skin and has several health benefits. Berries lower cholesterol levels and work best for weight loss. You don’t have to skip meals anymore if you add this meal replacement smoothie to your diet.
Add all these ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth and you can garnish it with berries.
- 1 cup frozen berries
- ½ cup (120g) Greek yogurt
- 2 medjool dates
- 1 ½ tbsp. cocoa powder, natural
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp milled flaxseeds
Oatmeal, Banana, and Strawberry Smoothie
Oats are available in every household and are nutritious, make a great smoothie for weight loss, and are high in soluble fiber. Add them with banana and strawberries in the blender and make a meal replacement smoothie for yourself.
- 1/2 cup (150g) blueberries, frozen
- 1/2 medium bananas, ripe
- 4 tbsp. rolled oats
- 1 tbsp. almond butter
- 1 cups (240ml) almond milk, unsweetened
- 2 medjool dates
- 1 scoop (25g) vanilla protein powder
Coconut milk and Pineapple Smoothie
No more skipping meals, this smoothie helps with weight loss and boosts your immune system. Blend them well and add 1 tsp of honey and 1 tsp of lemon juice, you can add half a cup of fresh strawberries as well.
- 4 tbsp. oats
- 1 cup (240ml) almond milk, unsweetened
- 1 cup (100g) pineapple chunks
- 4 tbsp. desiccated coconut
- ¼ cup (30g) walnuts
Do smoothies make you gain weight?
Yes and no. Smoothies will only contribute to weight gain if you lace them with the wrong type of ingredients or if you are not eating them correctly. If you’re trying to lose weight by consuming smoothies and are finding the scales going the other way, you might be making some common mistakes, including:
Your smoothie contains too many refined sugars and artificial sweeteners
If your smoothie tastes sweet, you can bet that it’s laced with sugar. Believe it or not when you make a smoothie and pile it with fruit it can end up with just as much sugar as fizzy pop! While sweet smoothies might satisfy your taste buds, excessive sugar can cause a crash soon after and put your hormones out of balance.
To avoid this, make sure you add more vegetables than fruit to your smoothie and remember don’t add more than two fruits to your smoothie!
You’re drinking your smoothie rather than eating it
Drinking your smoothie too quick can spike your blood sugar and leave you craving something else an hour later. A lack of sufficient protein and healthy fats can also mean that you’re reaching for the snack drawer sooner.
To avoid this, slow down. Try putting your smoothie in a bowl with some whole fruits as this will make it last longer. When you sit down to a meal, rather than a drink, your body produces hormones that help increase how full you feel and the addition of proteins and fats can increase this. You can sprinkle some chia seeds on your smoothie bowl and this will help with your dietary fiber which will help keep you fuller for longer too.
Your smoothie has too many ingredients
You might think that adding plenty of low-calorie foods to your smoothie is fine, but every ingredient adds up! Many smoothies purchased from the store can contain additional sweeteners such as maple syrup, heavy cream, sweeteners and even ice cream that can lead to a spike in calories.
If you have to buy smoothies from the store, consider looking at the nutritional information. See how many servings it contains and make sure you only have one. Alternatively, make your own smoothies and stick to 2 portions of fruit and veg, a liquid source, protein source and healthy fat source and you should be able to keep the calories at bay.
You’re consuming your smoothie at the wrong time of day
Believe it or not, your body can handle sugar better at different times of the day. The more active you are, the better your body can deal with sugar. When your body absorbs sugar quickly, it means that your sugars won’t spike as much and you won’t be left feeling cranky and hungry an hour later.
Instead of consuming a smoothie on your way to work in place of your breakfast, consider having your smoothie after you exercise or during a part of the day when you are more active as the body can digest it quicker and use it more.
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