The secret to weight loss is simple. A healthy diet combined with
exercise. Sounds simple enough in theory, doesn’t it? So why do so
many of us struggle so much? The reasons for this are complex and
varied, from eating the wrong food, eating too much and not exercising.
Weight loss smoothies offer a delicious, nutritious way to lose weight. There’s no cooking involved, very little cleaning up and only a little preparation. Basically if you can chop fruit and vegetables you can make smoothies.
You might think that drinking a glass filled with fruits and vegetables is the ideal weight loss remedy. You would certainly be getting plenty of fiber as well as your daily dose of vitamins and antioxidants. But that’s only half the story, because it’s unlikely you would feel full for very long. That’s why you have to add protein and healthy fats.
Weight loss smoothies work as meal replacements. You can fill them up and still come under 400 calories. One of these smoothies is so satisfying that it will keep you feeling full until your next meal without being tempted to snack on sugary treats such as cookies and cakes.
If you substitute one of these smoothies for a higher calorie meal you can save yourself several hundred calories per day (provided of course that all your other meals are healthy). This works best either as a breakfast or lunch-time smoothie.
Water, of course, has zero calories but also no taste. If you’re looking for taste, try:
Almond Milk, Green Tea, Coconut Water
Steer clear of fruit juices. The fiber has been removed leaving it high in sugar and calories.
Fruit adds a natural sweetness to smoothies, but tends to be higher in
calories than vegetables. Aim for no more than 2 cups of fruit per
serving and include at least one low GI fruit. Most fruits have a low
GI thanks to the presence of the low GI sugar fructose, soluble and
insoluble fibers and acids. Tropical fruits tend to have intermediate
GI levels, but they are such excellent sources of antioxidants, they are
Fruits with a low GI:
Apples, pears, citrus (oranges, grapefruit, mandarins), stone fruits (peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots), pomegranates and berries.
Fruits with a medium GI:
Pineapple, mango, papaya, kiwi, rockmelon and watermelon.
Dried fruit is out completely. Although it contains a lot of fiber, the sugar levels are just too high.
Vegetables are the secret to weight loss smoothies. You can
throw in just about anything and because the ingredients are blended
together, the taste is masked. Greens of course top the list. Leafy
greens will add phytonutrients to your smoothie without adding calories
or fat. The main ones are:
Leafy Greens – Spinach, kale, Swiss chard, beet greens, dandelion greens, romaine lettuce
Other Vegetables – Beets, cucumber, celery, pumpkin, carrots, broccoli
A weight loss smoothie should aim to be a meal replacement and
therefore needs to include some form of protein. It helps you to feel
fuller for longer, helps to build lean muscle mass and increases your
metabolism. Rather than use protein powders, I recommend sticking to
more natural sources of protein.
Great sources of protein are:
Silken tofu, chia seeds, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, beans and nuts.
Contrary to what we have been taught, not all fat is bad. The
trick is to eat the right kind, such as monounsaturated /
polyunsaturated fats found in nuts and seeds. A little fat added to
your smoothies will keep you healthy by providing those essential fatty
acids and keep you feeling full and less hungry. They also add a creamy
texture to smoothies.
Fats you can add:
Nuts and nut butters, flax seeds, chia seeds, coconut oil, avocados
Rather than adding sweeteners, spice things up with these flavors:
Cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, vanilla
Mint, basil, parsley, cilantro
The following smoothie ideas will help you in your weight-loss quest. Create your own. It doesn’t really matter what ingredients you use to create your smoothies. Just remember to follow the guidelines, of high in fiber, low in sugar, with healthy fats and protein. It really isn’t all that hard to substitute a calorie dense meal with a weight loss smoothie that is half the calories. They taste awesome and are so easy to make.
½ ripe avocado
1 c frozen raspberries
½ c Greek yogurt
½ c almond milk
½ c water
1/3 c goji berries
How to Make
Peel and de-seed avocado and throw one half into your blender. Add the frozen raspberries, yogurt, almond milk, water and goji berries and turn your blender on low at first. When the berries are process turn up to high and blend until you have a wonderfully creamy smoothie.
Pour into 2 glasses.
1 ½ c almond milk
1 handful fresh spinach
1 banana, frozen
1/3 c frozen blueberries
1/3 c frozen blackberries
1 tablespoon chia seeds
How to Make
Add the almond milk, spinach, banana, blueberries, blackberries and chia seeds to your blender and blitz on high until smooth and creamy.
Makes 2 glasses.
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