Have you ever spent a bunch of money to make healthy smoothies?
So you buy bananas, apples, oranges, cucumber, celery, and other fruits and vegetables with the good intention of eating them and they were in the refrigerator or in the pantry and ended up throwing them away?
Are you also trying to lose a few pounds for the summer? Well, why not combine those two thoughts and make some healthy smoothies so that you can lose weight and save money at the same time!
Research has shown that Fruit and Vegetables or Protein – Healthy Smoothies can be an effective weight loss tool, when used in place of a caloric dense meal or snack.
To keep it “healthy” we recommend you do not use regular juice or cow milk when creating your smoothie. Instead use water, ice, coconut water, Diet/Light Juices, Unsweetened Almond Milk, or even Greek Yogurt.
Benefits of Healthy Smoothies as a Meal to aid in Weight Loss:
- Ensure adequate Protein and Fiber! Each smoothie should have ~20 grams of protein and at least 5 grams of fiber. This will help to keep you full and less likely to snack. Protein can come from Protein Powder and even Plant-based Protein powders, like Pea Protein. These powders are low in sugar, low in calories, and rich in high-quality protein that, in combination with strength exercises, will help build metabolism-boosting muscle mass.
- Add lots of vegetables to increase the fiber. Examples include: winter squash, spinach, carrots, kale, collards (raw), broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, celery, beets, and even Cayenne pepper. (If the color of the smoothie is a “turn off” then use a solid color cup and colored straw so you cannot see the “green smoothie”).
- Use Blueberries in your healthy smoothies as they are the most antioxidant dense berry, which can help you with regulating fat-burning and fat storage. Other great fruit options are: Oranges, Lemons, Limes, Grapefruit, Grapes, and Pomegranate.
- Add ingredients to your healthy smoothies that can burn calories like Chia Seeds, Flax Seeds, Nut Butters (Cashew, Almond, Peanut), or Coconut Milk.
- Add Oats, which increase your metabolic rate and provides you with fiber which can make you feel full and lose weight. This can prevent snacking and overeating at meals.
- Add ice as it increases the amount of the smoothie, making you feel fuller.
- It also reduces the amount of sugar in the final product.
- If a smoothie is being made as a meal replacement/supplement, the extra calories add up quickly.
- Adds bulk so it takes longer to drink and fills me up more
- Gives the drink more texture similar to small, cubed ice.
- Keeps the beverage colder for longer
- Ice is very inexpensive when compared to fresh fruit, and is still refreshing
- Follow the recipe –
Fruit (1 cup) + Vegetable (1 cup) + Liquid (1 cup) – Coconut Water, Unsweetened Almond milk, Greek Yogurt, or Water (no Juice) + Mix-In’s (Chia Seeds, Flax Seeds, Peanut Powder, etc)
- When ordering a Smoothie out, always order the smallest and, if you can, substitute the sugar for Splenda or Stevia.
- Tropical Smoothie – Sunrise Sunset Smoothie (regular) – 400 calories, 97g carbs and 2g protein. However if you choose Splenda version of Sunrise Sunset Smoothie instead – 180 calories, 43g carbs, and 2g protein (you can still add protein)
- Keep in mind that it is a meal replacement, not in addition to your meal. Ensure less sugar and more protein. Try to go more organic or natural with as many products as possible. Ensure that the calories, fat, protein, and carbohydrates are within your budget.
If you need help in determining your calorie, carbohydrate, protein, or total fat budgets, goals, or if you need more smoothie ideas, please contact Kinetic Physical Therapy and Wellness at kineticptgreenville.com to schedule your appointment with our Registered Dietitian / Nutritionist, Sharon Lewis-Hackler.