SMOOTHIES; THE NEW SECRET INGREDIENT FOR SUSTAINABLE WEIGHT LOSS
If you didn’t know it before now, you will be pleased to learn that smoothies are the new secret ingredient for weight loss that is sustainable in the long run. This is because, with smoothies, you are able to control the ingredients that you take in into your body. Smoothies thus give you the optimal opportunity to take in only relatively low-calorie ingredients that are yet high in nutrients. So, you are fuller for a longer time on fewer calories than you would normally eat while still getting enough of the nutrient that your body needs to function.
A quick definition of a smoothie
Smoothies are typically thick and creamy beverages that consist of raw fruit and vegetables that are blended/pureed. Sometimes, there is an addition of dairy products such as yogurt, ice cream, cottage cheese or milk to achieve a creamy consistency. Smoothies sometimes contain other ingredients such as water, fruit juice, sweeteners, crushed ice, nuts, tea, herbal supplements, nutritional supplements, whey powder etc.
Why smoothies are good for you
There are several reasons why smoothies are good for your body if you are looking to lose weight or stay the same weight. The first reason is that smoothies are capable of keeping you satiated for a long time. We all know that losing weight requires you to effect a calorie deficit and that one of the ways to do this is to eat less and less often. Because smoothies keep you full for longer, you tend to eat less than you normally would, and you are thus able to create the required calorie deficit.
Secondly, smoothies are capable of delivering a larger volume of the daily nutrients your body requires in one meal than other foods typically can. So, your body is not starved of the nutrients it needs, unlike some weight loss diets that border on the edge of actual starvation.
So, you can now lose weight by getting all of your necessary nutrients in one cup without adding excess or empty calories.
The right ingredients
It is important to learn about the ingredients that are needed to create a balanced smoothie. This is because you should aim for a good balance of complex carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats, vitamins and nutrients in one glass.
To increase the nutritional value of your smoothie without adding extra calories, and to include factors that will increase your metabolic rate, give you more energy, and keep you satiated for hours, the following are ingredients you should include in your smoothies:
Fruits: The base of any smoothie is the fruits, and the great news is that you can use any kind of fruits you like. So, go for your watermelons, pineapples, bananas, apples etc.
Berries: We all love berries such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. The great news is that you can use any of these or a combination of these to add flavor to your smoothie without adding sugar or any other kind of sweetener. What more, berries are high in fiber, which helps you keep full for longer, as well as antioxidants.
Cayenne pepper: Cayenne pepper in smoothies will do two things for you. First, it will spice up your smoothie so that it feels like you are eating a full meal. Secondly, cayenne pepper contains a compound called capsaicin which helps you to reduce the consumption of fat and carbohydrates, thus working to curb your appetite.
Cinnamon: Another great spice you should consider adding to your smoothies is cinnamon. It helps to improve the metabolism of glucose in the body and by so doing regulates blood sugar levels. This means that there is a reduction in the amount of excess blood glucose stored as fat in your body.
Coconut oil: If you want to lose weight, you need to eat more healthy fat, and coconut oil is about the healthiest fat on earth. This is because the fats in coconut oil are used by your body for energy instead of being stored as fat. This means that you feel full for longer, and have enough energy to face your day.
Avocados: All smoothies need a thickener, and avocados are the right way to go to provide that smoothie creaminess. They also provide your body with adequate healthy fat which has the ability to keep you feeling full and nourished until your next meal. What more, avocados contain a lot of vitamins and minerals that are good for your body.
Pulp from fruit: Never throw away the pulp you get left with when you juice your fruits. This is the fiber from the fruits and adding it to your smoothies gives you a natural source of fiber.
Greek yogurt: If your smoothie must contain a dairy product, let it be Greek yogurt. This is because it is much higher in protein than other yogurts. Use the plain, full-fat kind of Greek yogurt, as the flavored brands usually have a lot of added sugar.
Tea, water or crushed ice: Instead of using the traditional milk or fruit juice many smoothies recipes call for, why not use tea, water or crushed ice. This means less calories while achieving the same great smoothie result.
Leafy greens: Leafy vegetables such as romaine lettuce, kale, spinach, and dandelion, are great choices for smoothies because they are high in fiber and are packed full of phytonutrients. What more, they are low in calories.
The not so great ingredients
Not every smoothie is a great option for weight loss, and the most important thing you want to avoid in your smoothies is excess sugar. This is why you should avoid the following ingredients when making your smoothie:
Canned fruits or vegetables: If you don’t have access to fresh produce, go the frozen route rather than canned, as canned products have added preservatives or sweeteners.
Dairy: Use raw milk or plain full-fat Greek yogurt rather than other dairy products like milk, ice cream, or frozen yogurt.
Fruit juice: Most fruit juices are packed full of sugar and calories and no fiber from the original fruit. It is better to juice your own fresh fruits.
Sweeteners: Use berries for that sweet flavor instead of sweeteners. If you must use sweeteners, use them very sparingly.
Too much sweet fruit: While fresh fruits are good for you, go for the less sweet ones and less of the very sweet ones such as bananas, apples, mangos, and pineapples, as too much of them can spike blood sugar and cause digestive problems.
Although smoothies have huge health benefits, eating them only rather than implementing a full lifestyle change in order to lose weight permanently will not work.
The underlining truth is that you need to consistently eat fewer calories than you burn, and there is no magic food that will allow you to do that if you are not willing to put in the hard work.