There are a large number of weight loss programs that promote replacing a meal with a liquid drink. Sometimes this is a good idea, and sometimes not. It really depends on the liquid drink. Smoothies are often the best of the bunch for weight loss, because you can still get a complete meal while drinking a smoothie. You can make sure you get all the proper amounts of fiber, protein, carbohydrates from fruit and vegetables, and healthy fats. Smoothies will keep you fuller for longer than a juice or any artificial weight-loss concoction or powder.
Not only do smoothies keep you fuller for longer, but smoothies are also easier to digest than a meal you have to chew. This is great news for weight loss. Because the cell walls of the fruit and vegetables in your smoothies have already been ruptured in the blender, your body doesn’t have to do all that work for you. This saves the body a lot of work, time, and energy. When you save your body this type of energy, it helps you in a big way. Many people who are overweight often complain of fatigue, or lack of energy. This is usually accompanied by a sluggish digestive system. Because smoothies are so easy to digest, your body saves that energy. Lots of people like to drink a smoothie before working out, because it gives them a power boost.
The boost also comes from the concentration of fruits and vegetables. When we blend our fruits and vegetables together and drink them, it is much easier to consume more of them. This is an especially important in consuming greens. Many people drink green smoothies for weight loss regularly. If you take a large handful of baby spinach leaves and put them on the plate, you could easily make them cover the plate. But if you put that same handful in a blender, that large-looking handful becomes much smaller since it is concentrated. You can use smoothies to sneak extra greens into your diet. Spinach is a good green to add because its flavor is sweeter than most greens, so it won’t make your smoothie taste bitter. It’s also loaded with iron and plenty of other minerals and vitamins, as well as phytochemicals for anti-aging.
Smoothies are also great to drink after a workout. Because all of the fiber and protein are already broken down for you, it is easier for the body to absorb and assimilate after a workout. If you want to add protein powder to your smoothie, make sure it’s completely natural with no additives. Also be sure your chosen protein powder has gone through minimal processing. If a food has been through high heat to be processed into a powder, many of the nutrients will be obsolete by the time the powder reaches the shelves. If you’d rather avoid protein powders all together, you can add a small handful of nuts or seeds to your smoothie to get some more protein and an extra nutritional boost. Many people also like to put a spoon of almond butter or peanut butter in their smoothies. For a special chocolate-y treat, toss some hazelnut butter and raw cacao powder into your blender, and blend them with frozen bananas and almond milk.
Perhaps one of the most exciting benefits of smoothies is convenience. It’s thrilling to spend less than 5 minutes preparing a meal—even including clean up! Sometimes cooking is fun, but often times when we are in a rush or only preparing food for ourselves, the last thing we want to do is food prep. Smoothies are a fast and easy way to get all of your nutrients without all the fuss.
Another benefit of experimenting with smoothies is that children love them. Because smoothies are sweet and refreshing, kids love drinking them. They’re the perfect snack to help them incorporate more fruits and veggies into their diet.
It’s best to make your own smoothies from fresh fruit, but there are also plenty of smoothie bars out there that will also offer you creative and healthy smoothie options. If you go to a mainstream smoothie chain or a fast-food restaurant, make sure to ask for your smoothie without added sugar. Many of these places add sugar to smoothies, even though they are already sweet with the natural fruit sugar. Avoid extra sugar as much as you can, and your blood sugar will remain more stable.
Now get creative, and start looking for new smoothies for weight loss. Start simple with just a couple ingredients, and then once you understand how the flavors combine you can get a little more complex. Open up your world to the brilliance of blending, and let it help you along on your weight loss journey.