Are ’Healthy’ Smoothies Hindering Your Weight Loss Success?
The answer to, "Are smoothies good for weight loss?" is a little more than a simple 'yes' or 'no.' When it really comes down to it, smoothies can be healthy and aid in weight loss with the right information and ingredients.
Mixing up smoothies each morning in hopes to shed off unwanted pounds? Drinking smoothies as a meal replacement and not seeing results? This smoothie phenomenon is all too familiar! Understand why smoothies may be hindering your weight loss success and take control over the situation.
Are Smoothies Healthy?
The answer to, "are smoothies good for weight loss?" is a little more than a simple 'yes' or 'no.' When it really comes down to it, smoothies can be healthy and aid in weight loss. However, the convenient smoothie packets or ones grabbed through a drive-thru may be hindering your weight loss success. Fruit smoothies may lack an ample protein source, leading to quick energy that only plummets and leaves you hungry within the next hour or two. Protein is an essential component to weight loss, as it increases satiety without packing on a tremendous amount of calories.
Best Smoothies to Lose Weight
When it really comes to down to it, there is not one "best" smoothie. In reality, the vast options and versatility is what makes smoothies so appealing. So many flavors can be created and demolish the risk of burnout. When creating the most nutritious smoothies, follow these simple guidelines:
1. Choose a Protein Source
Cow's milk provides 8 grams of protein per one cup while offering bone-strengthening calcium. Almond and cashew milks are dairy-free contenders but may be limited in protein. Soymilk, on the other hand, offers protein while being a nut-free and lactose-free alternative.
Yogurt offers the smoothie with protein, calcium, and smoothness. To keep added sugars in check, resort for a plain, non-sweetened yogurt. Use Greek yogurt for an accelerated protein content.
• Cottage Cheese
Although a little off the smoothie-track norm, adding cottage cheese to smoothies offers a generous amount of protein. Its use also enhances the creaminess that many anticipate in a quality smoothie.
2. Bulk Up the Nutrients
Absent of any seeds, bananas mix exceptionally well in smoothies and pairs with a variety of flavors. As a tip, peel and cut ripe bananas and keep on hand in the freezer. Frozen bananas are a simple way to keep smoothies chilled while offering accelerated creaminess.
Fresh or frozen, berries offer light sweetness but with heavy antioxidant power! Blueberries and strawberries frequently appear in smoothies, as they are less likely to leave with you a mouthful of seeds.
A half-cup of applesauce naturally sweetens the smoothie and offers a subtle apple flavor. Although applesauce is absent of fiber, it mixes more efficiently in the blender.
Like applesauce, pumpkin can naturally sweeten smoothies. Since pumpkin puree contains fiber, your smoothie will keep you feeling fuller for longer.
• Peanut Butter
Using peanut or any nut butter solely as the protein source packs on heavy calories. Use a tablespoon of peanut butter to accelerate flavor, protein, and healthy fats within the smoothie.
Flax and chia seeds supplement the smoothie with fiber and nutrients at a tasteless cost. They are a renowned source of omega-3 fatty acids, a healthy fat shown to be heart protective.
• Go Green
Throw in handfuls of greens for amplified nutrients. Kale and spinach are commonly used in smoothies without overpowering the flavor.
Cinnamon seasons smoothies with a sweet, yet spicy flavor without packing on calories. The spice complements various flavors including dark chocolate, apples, and berries.
3. Serve It Up
Have the time for a more leisurely breakfast? Pour the smoothie into a bowl and top with berries, granola, shredded coconut, pecans, and other favorite toppings!
Rushed out the door? Whip up a smoothie and take on your morning commute or during a quick lunch break. The protein and nutrients will have you more than ready to tackle your day and keep it going!
Feel free to express your smoothie creativity beyond the suggestions listed above. If you are getting burnt out of the go-to strawberry banana smoothie each morning, try out these flavor ideas to keep your smoothies fresh and exciting!
Mix fresh or frozen strawberries with Greek yogurt and a drop of vanilla extract. Add a pinch of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey if desired.
Berries n' Cream Bowl
Combine frozen blueberries and cottage cheese for a thick, creamy smoothie. Pour into a bowl and top with sliced berries, bananas, or chopped nuts.
Mix applesauce, Greek yogurt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a splash of milk. Swap out applesauce with pumpkin for a pumpkin pie treat!
Chocolate Dipped Banana
Use frozen banana slices, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and milk for a chocolaty concoction. Add in a tablespoon of nut butter for enriched flavor!
Mix Greek yogurt with your favorite tropical flavors – pineapple, strawberry, banana, etc. Top with shredded coconut!