I started drinking weight loss smoothies two years ago. I found them to be a very easy and convenient way to get the nutrition I needed while losing weight. After a year I managed to lose forty pounds! I didn’t do anything crazy – I just ate well, exercised regularly and stuck to it.
During that time, I fell in love with smoothies.I firmly believe that smoothies are the world’s most nutritious and fastest meals. And they really are meals, not like a quick glass of orange juice or something like that. They are rich in fiber. They are filled with vital phytonutrients. They give you a natural energy-boost and help stave off hunger throughout the day, helping you to lose weight.
What are the Benefits of Smoothies?
Smoothies are very filling, especially if you add greens to them. Because of this, they make the perfect healthy snack while dieting. Sipping a fruit-filled smoothie is a far better alternative to junk food when you start to get hungry in the middle of the afternoon.
They are great before or after a workout. Whether you make your weight loss smoothies with ice, milk, soy milk, or yogurt, they will have a high content of water which will keep you hydrated. The extra energy they give will help you extend your workout, letting you burn more calories.
Nutritionists agree that fruit smoothies and green smoothies are an excellent source of vitamins, oils, healthy fats, and other micronutrients that your body needs. Studies show that when you take a vitamin pill or supplement, only a small portion of the nutrients get absorbed by your body.
Getting your nutrients directly from all-natural fruits and vegetables allows a much higher proportion to be absorbed by your body – especially if the digestive process is helped along by blending them up first. Smoothies are also healthier than juices because many of the nutrients in juice are distilled out during the manufacturing process. Juices also do not have anywhere near the amount of fiber that smoothies have.
If those aren’t enough reasons, smoothies are great for your skin! The high levels of antioxidants in fruits such as blueberries can give you brighter, glowing skin.
As Ashley Koff, author of the bestselling book “Mom Energy” says, “Smoothies are a great way to get all of the nutrients you need for beautiful skin in just one drink.” As you start to get healthier and notice how good you look in a mirror, it will reinforce your commitment to stick to your diet and lose those extra pounds.
Getting Started with Smoothies
I found the best way to get into the habit of making weight loss smoothies every day was to start with very basic – and very simple – smoothie recipes. Pick one that has just one or two ingredients. It will only take a minute or two to make, and then you can sit back and enjoy. Once you get in the habit of making simple smoothies, then you can start making more complex weight loss smoothie recipes.
I also recommend starting with fruits, especially the so-called “super fruits” like strawberries, blueberries, and mangos. Then when you are more adventurous, you can move onto vegetable or “green smoothies”. Green smoothies contain leafy greens like lettuce, spinach or kale. The fruit masks the bland flavor of the greens, giving you an easy way to get healthy greens into your diet.
Keep your combinations simple. Simple combinations of five or less ingredients are easier to digest. Also, include a lot of water-rich ingredients.
Smoothies will give you a power-packed blast of nutrients that will help your body function better. Plus they improve skin tone and energy levels. With low-fat or nonfat yogurt, they are a great source of calcium. Plus, fruit smoothies will satisfy your sweet tooth so you won’t be tempted by unhealthy sugary snacks.
They are simply a great way to transition into a healthier lifestyle. And they are so easy to get in the habit of making. All you need to do is gather the ingredients, put them in a blender, cover and blend. If I had to peel something, I think the longest time I ever spent making a smoothie was five minutes. And clean-up is a breeze.
Chew Your Weight Loss Smoothies!
Yes, I said chew your smoothies.Make sure you chew your smoothies, even though they are liquid. Swish them around in your mouth before swallowing them. Digestion begins in the mouth. The enzymes in your saliva play an important role in breaking down the sugars in the fruit. Your overall digestive process will be more effective if you chew your foods more.
Gulping them down is the biggest mistake you can make with a smoothie. Gulping them down without chewing means that your stomach will have a harder time doing its job. More sugar will enter your blood stream, and higher blood glucose levels make it harder to lose weight (and they can cause long-term digestive disorders!).
So if you want optimal health and maximum weight loss, chew your weight loss smoothies no matter how weird it feels at first.
“I Have Health Challenges. Are Smoothies Still Good For Me?”
I was asked this question in an email, and I decided I should add this section to the web page. The answer depends entirely on the nature of your health challenge.
Talk directly with your doctor, nutritionist or health practitioner. Your health practitioner will give you advise based on your specific situation and based on their experience and scientific evidence.
Healthy fruit smoothies can be a tremendous elixir. Or they can make certain digestion issues worse. Work with someone who can help you make informed decisions.
Make Your Weight Loss Smoothies Thick
I usually peel and freeze bananas and other ingredients in advance so that I have plenty handy whenever I need them. Adding the fruit frozen to smoothies is like adding ice. When blended, it helps give everything a smooth, thick consistency. In fact, you can also substitute ice cubes for water.
Using frozen fruit and ice makes for a thicker smoothie. Thicker weight loss smoothies, in my experience, ward off hunger even longer than less-thick ones. See how economical smoothies are?
If I happen to make more than a single glassful of smoothie, I usually put it in the fridge to enjoy later. The leftover makes a great, healthy snack.You can also pour any extra smoothie mix into ice cube or popsicle trays and put them in the freezer.
You can enjoy these frozen treats as a future snack. Especially if it is banana based, stirring a frozen smoothie gives you a delicious raw ice cream.
Frozen smoothie leftovers can also be added to a different smoothie blend another day.
Smoothies are starting to show up on the menus of more and more fast-found and coffee shops, such as McDonald’s, Tim Horton’s, and Starbucks. Not only are these “fast food” smoothies more expensive than the smoothies you make at home, there are significant nutritional differences as well.
Fast food smoothies have a lot of calories. A small strawberry banana smoothie from McDonald’s has 210 calories. This is the same amount of calories as a small order of fries or a medium Coke. A large has 330 calories, which is more than a cheeseburger!
These extra calories come from the high sugar content of McSmoothies. McDonald’s adds additional sugar to the smoothie base as well as to the yogurt they use. Plus the pureed fruit and fruit juice they use contains a lot of sugar. A large smoothie from McDonald’s has 15 teaspoons (70 grams) of sugar. Smoothies from other fast-food restaurants and coffee chains have similar sugar content and calorie count.
Homemade Weight Loss Smoothies
The other big difference between fast-food smoothies and homemade smoothies is that fast food smoothies tend to be made from pureed fruit and fruit juice. Much of the nutritional content of fruit is lost during the pureeing process.
Even if a fast food chain advertises that their smoothies are made from whole fruit, they likely use frozen fruit that has been pre-processed and lacking in fiber.
Homemade fruit smoothies can include the pulp, skin, and seeds of the fruit, which is where nutrients like vitamin A, C, and E and minerals like iron, potassium, copper, magnesium, and iodine reside. Plus the extra fiber helps regulate and slow the absorption of sugar into your blood stream.
Remember, always make your weight loss smoothies at home using real fruits and vegetables. Avoid fast food smoothies that are essentially cups of healthy sugar.