Are smoothies good for weight loss? Smoothies are often touted as one of the best weight loss drinks/meals, but there are several caveats to consider, and in many cases they can be bad for you when you don't use the right ingredients or buy them at a smoothie shop. You need to be extremely careful with the ingredients that you put into your smoothies, but if you use your own recipes or only healthy recipes you'll be less likely to make a mistake. When made with the right ingredients, smoothies can hold you over between meals and help you avoid snacking, and they can be a great way to maintain a healthy weight. They can even work as meal replacements, but follow some of the tips in this article so that you know what to look for with your smoothie recipes.
Find out what's included if you buy them at a smoothie shop
If you buy them at a smoothie shop be sure that you get the calorie total and find out if there are any sweeteners added or other ingredients that can cause weight gain. Most shops will show you the calorie total somewhere on the menu, but if they don't be sure to ask. They should also show you every ingredient that goes into your smoothies, and you'll need to figure out whether or not those ingredients will be good for your weight loss goals. For example, you won't want to have a smoothie made with bananas when you're trying to lose weight because of the starch content, but berries are often perfectly fine because of their high fiber content.
In any case, you will most likely want to make your own smoothies at home rather than expecting a smoothie shop to provide you with healthy recipes. Because of how easy they are to make they are a great option for quick meals at home; all you need is a blender and the ingredients that you want in it. You should look for recipes online that have exactly what you are looking for in your smoothie; whether it is for muscle gain, weight loss, as a meal replacement, or to maintain your weight. This way you'll be getting exactly what you need and won't have to worry about the calorie content or ingredients of smoothies that you buy elsewhere.
Be sure that your smoothies have fiber and protein
One common mistake is to not include enough protein or fiber in your smoothies. Be sure to add ingredients that are rich in fiber and avoid adding bananas, cherries, mangos and other fruits that are too high in sugar when you are trying to lose weight. If you are just maintaining your weight or are trying to build muscle you can add higher sugar fruits into your smoothies. Fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber like kale, blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, and many others are a great option for your smoothies, because they provide a lower amount of sugar and are more filling,
You'll also want to make sure to add protein in some form into your smoothies; most of the time this is in the form of soy or whey protein. Adding protein will help reduce your appetite and make the smoothies more satisfying, but if you neglect adding it, the carbohydrate content can quickly jump up to be too high for weight loss. You can definitely make smoothies without protein and make them with mostly vegetables and fruit, but adding protein makes them even healthier. It's particularly important to add protein when you are using smoothies as a meal replacement, and you should discuss the specific ingredients to include in your smoothies with your medical doctor if this is the case for you.
Be careful which brand of protein that you use
With whey protein you need to be extremely careful which brand you use; several brands have dozens of additives that can make your smoothies very unhealthy. Some of the additives can include artificial sweeteners and even extra sugar and other ingredients that can lead to metabolic problems or other issues. Be sure that you use organic whey protein, nut butters, pea protein or other natural sources of protein that have minimal processing and don't have additives. There are several brands available now that use mostly organic or naturally sourced ingredients that you can use for your smoothies. If you can't get your hands on high quality organic whey protein right away just stick with organic vegetables and fruit for your smoothies as the main ingredients.
Add healthy fat to your smoothies for a balanced meal
When you include organic protein, healthy fat, and carbohydrates in the form of fruits and vegetables to your smoothies you'll have a complete meal and it can be an excellent way to maintain a healthy weight and also know exactly how many calories you are consuming. Some good options for healthy fat include extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil or coconuts, nut butters or nuts like almonds, cashews, and walnuts, avocados or avocado oil, organic Greek yogurt or low fat yogurt, and flaxseed oil. Nut butters are very easy to add into smoothies and are a great alternative to peanut butter which is often contaminated with mycotoxins and pesticides and is not really a healthy source of fat for your smoothies.
Many of these ingredients are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke and your cholesterol levels. The monounsaturated fats in these ingredients can also reduce your risk of cardiovascular illness and even help you lose weight. Avocados, nuts, olive and coconut oil and other healthy fats are the best source for fat in your diet and you should try to stick to them as much as possible in spite of the large amount of unhealthy fat that's found in most foods in a modern diet. Healthy fat can lower your inflammation levels and make it more difficult for you to gain weight, and they can reverse symptoms of metabolic syndrome, the dangerous condition which can lead to weight gain around the belly and in other parts of the body.
In general, look up the healthier smoothie recipes that are available on the internet and stick to those, and be sure that you are getting your recipes from a knowledgeable source that understands nutrition.