Smoothie DOs and DON’Ts You Want to Know if Weight-Loss is the Goal
if Weight-Loss is the Goal
Smoothies are awesome, and if you make them right they can give you lots of nutrients, boost energy levels and help melt excess fat.
Unfortunately, most smoothie beginners make mistakes that undo the health benefits of smoothies and even end up adding weight.
According to Care2’s fitness expert, Bryan Syuki, if fitness and weight-loss are your goals, then pay attention to these smoothie DOs and DON’Ts:
DON’T add too much fruit. It’s true, you’re better off drinking a creamy smoothie made from fruits than eating a cupcake. But most fruit is high in calories, a typical fruit-smoothie can add up to over 500 calories. And their high sugar content means they’ll spike blood sugar levels and trigger cravings.
DON’T skimp on fiber. Fiber keeps hunger at bay, improves digestion and ultimately aids weight loss. So include foods high in fiber content. For instance, a smoothie which has avocado and kale is better than one made of bananas and spinach. Here’s a guide to choosing high-fiber foods:
DON’T add a lot of sweeteners. Just because honey is natural doesn’t mean you can go overboard with it. It’s high in calories and it too, will spike blood sugar levels and trigger cravings. Rather than sweeteners, add a sweet fruit to your smoothie. And avoid using flavored yogurt since it has a lot of added sugar and opt for full-fat Greek yogurt instead.
DON’T forget the protein. Research shows that protein helps burn fat and reduces total daily calorie intake. Unfortunately, most green smoothies are only loaded with carbs and fats. Add high protein foods to your smoothie, such as plain Greek yogurt, beans, cottage cheese, and nuts.
Still on the protein theme: DON’T add protein powder. Most protein powders are loaded with artificial sweeteners, GMOs and other unhealthy ingredients. Stick with real food for your protein boost (see suggestion above).
DON’T use the same greens over and over. Not only is this boring, it prevents you from getting a variety of nutrients. Use different greens every week to get all the nutrients you need.
With the smoothie DON’Ts covered, let’s move on to smoothie DOs. Bryan says that adding certain ingredients to smoothies can make them more weight loss-friendly. Check this list to see how weight-loss-friendly your smoothies are:
DO add chia seeds, the perfect ingredient for thickening and they’re loaded with protein and fiber, which will keep you full.
DO add cayenne Pepper. It’ll add a kick as well as boost your metabolism.
DO add matcha Green Tea Powder. Made from fresh green tea leaves, it’s safe and healthy. This powder gives you all the benefits of green tea plus fiber. One teaspoon is all you need.
DO add cinnamon. Popular among diabetics, research shows it helps regulate blood sugar levels, which helps control cravings, and ultimately make it easier to lose weight. Add an eighth to a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon to your smoothie, and blend as usual.
DO add apple cider vinegar. Studies show that adding it to your diet can help you lose an extra pound or two if you maintain healthy eating habits and exercise regularly. (Note: drinking too much has negative side effects. Take a maximum of two tablespoons/day).
DO add avocado. This nutrient-dense fruit helps with weight because of its fiber content. Add a small to make it thicker and more satisfying. (Note: avocado is high in calories, however, so adding too much can cause undesired weight gain.)
DO add leafy greens. These should comprise the bulk of your smoothie. Start with small amounts though, until your palate acclimates to the “green” taste they bring to the mix.
DO add berries. If you’re “green taste,” then add in low-glycemic berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries). They’ll add sweetness along with lots of fiber and antioxidants.
Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2006
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