Healthy Ingredients to Include in Smoothies to Help Weight Loss

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How to Lose Weight With Breakfast Smoothies

Do you find yourself in a constant of yo-yo diets—you get on and off and you never seem to get a handle on the weight situation? Remember the new year weight loss resolution you made last year? Or the crash diet you endured to squeeze into your summer swimsuit? According to statistics, Americans spend more than $40 billion a year on weight loss programs and products and yet, the obesity rates are higher than ever. Why is that? The fact is most diet plans are restrictive or highly controlled in terms of food choices or they try to alter meal patterns or content. It is difficult to stick to such diet plans in the long run. To lose weight and keep it off, why not consider making nutritional changes that you would love to keep? One easy and enjoyable way is to include smoothies in your diet plan.

Why smoothies, you ask?

Smoothies enable you to control what goes into your drink. We’re not talking smoothies you can easily buy at the juice bar or smoothie shop—they range anywhere between 400 to 1,700 calories depending on what goes into the smoothies. We’re talking about smoothies you make at home where the ingredients are fresh, nutritional and healthy. By choosing healthy low-calorie, high-fiber, nutrient-dense options, smoothies can provide fewer calories with higher nutritional value—a definite plus in the weight loss equation.

Mindless snacking can stack up calories, especially if the choice of snacks are laden with sugar, simple carbohydrates and saturated fats. You can easily blend a smoothie with low sugar content, high protein and fiber to satisfy hunger and keep you full longer. Fiber also has the added ability to control the release of sugar into the blood, resulting in a more stable blood sugar level. This can effectively keep you from snacking unnecessarily and adding empty calories to your diet.

Further, smoothie is a great way to concentrate nutrients such as antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins and enzymes in one drink. Whether you use smoothie as a snack, a breakfast pick-me-up or to replace a meal, smoothies can be used effectively to help weight loss.

Green Smoothie includes fruits and vegetables

Step 1: Choose fruits and vegetables. Cut them up.
Step 1: Choose fruits and vegetables. Cut them up. | Source

Step 2:--Add liquid and blend.

Rev up your smoothie fat-busting power by using no-fat calorie water, green tea or natural juices.
Rev up your smoothie fat-busting power by using no-fat calorie water, green tea or natural juices. | Source

Deciding what to put in your smoothie is crucial to health index of the drink. Here are some choices that will not only help you make delicious smoothies but will help you to trim waistline as well. Now, all you need is a good blender.

Fruits

According to Mayo clinic, a salient point to remember when trying to achieve weight loss is to choose low-energy dense foods. That means food that makes you full with few calories—a winning factor when it comes to maintaining weight. Fruits fall nicely into this category. Not only are fruits full of antioxidants, fiber and nutrients, they are also high in water content and low in calories. They add nutritious bulk without hefty calorie count. To top it off, they add flavor and color—making smoothies drinking a pleasure. Cut up your favorite fruits (fresh is better) and drop into your blender. That easy and so good for your waistline.

The same goes for vegetables—water, fiber and nutrients can add up to a very healthy low-calorie drink.

Heath experts advise that colorful fruits and vegetables have higher levels of anthocyanins, a powerful group of antioxidants that helps to promote good health. Consider raspberries, blueberries, grapes, kiwis, green apples, cantaloupe or papaya and for the vegetable lover, carrot, celery, spinach make good options.

Whey Protein

If you need something more substantial, why not add whey protein? Not only is whey protein rich in protein, it can also be low in fat and carbohydrates (depending on the type you buy). No wonder body builders love using whey protein to help develop lean muscle mass. According to a recent study reported in the Journal of Nutrition, participants who consumed whey protein have significantly lower levels of ghrelin, a hormone that regulate food intake. The higher the gherlin levels, the hungrier the person feels. Whey protein helps to induce satiety (feeling of fullness) that may help to control the need to eat unnecessarily. Participants not only saw a drop in pounds but a reduction in waist size.

Add a scoop or two of whey protein in your smoothie to provide fuel for your body.

Greek yogurt is thicker, creamier and has more protein and calcium.
Greek yogurt is thicker, creamier and has more protein and calcium. | Source

Yogurt

Yogurt has a lot going for it. It is rich in calcium, protein, probiotics and it gives the smoothie a richer taste. In terms of health, yogurt has already carved a name for itself in many areas from promoting good gastrointestinal health to treating mouth ulcers. Now, there is more reason to include yogurt in your diet—a June 2011 report in the New England Journal of Medicine ranks yogurt as one of the best fat-busters.

Add a cup of yogurt to your smoothie to help fight flab.

Spice Up Your Smoothie

A hint of mint makes your smoothie decidedly appetizing.
A hint of mint makes your smoothie decidedly appetizing. | Source

Spices

Spices in your smoothies? Why not? After all, spices add an interesting dimension to the drink, making it more edgy, more distinctive and more delicious. However, there is another reason why weight watchers will do well to include spices in the smoothies. Researchers reveal that spices have the potential to boost metabolism and promote satiety, thereby helping with weight management. And because spiced-up smoothies are super yummy, you may not be ditching this form of diet any time soon.

Consider cinnamon—a popular spice often added to coffee, lattes and hot beverages. Add half a teaspoon of cinnamon to your smoothie and enjoy its health-giving benefits. Another star spice is ginger—one teaspoon of ginger has the equivalent antioxidant level as one cup of spinach. In addition, it helps speeds up metabolism and relieves any digestive issues. Other spices to play with: nutmeg, pumpkin spice and mint.

Nuts

You’ve been told that nuts contain healthy monounsaturated fats that are good for lowering bad cholesterol levels and promoting healthy heart. Even though nuts have high fat content, a small helping of nuts can actually promote weight loss. How? The fat, protein and fiber found in nuts can actually help to increase feelings of satiety and delays gastric emptying—two factors that lead to eating less.

Good nut choices include almonds. They are nutrient dense and contain omega-3 fatty acids that help to reduce body fat and increase lean muscle tissue, according to the Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition. Because nuts tend to be high in fat calories, it is best to practise portion control.

There are many more healthy ingredients to consider adding to your smoothies—wheat germ, oats, soy protein, tofu, low-dairy products, matcha green tea. No end to the possibilities.


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Comments 48 comments

AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

These sound so good and so appropriate for me right now (do I need to lose some weight?? Yes!!)


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

Good stuff, anginwu! Thanks to another recent hub on smoothies I was already thinking about the need to begin making them again, but I had not thought of spices as you mention them. Voted up.


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Those all look so yummy. Just in time for the New Year's healthier eating hopes. The green smoothie is quite unique


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States

Thanks for the excellent information. I bought some items today so I can start having smoothies for breakfast. I think I need to buy some whey protein. Rated up!


Arlene V. Poma 4 years ago

angin, this is sooooooo helpful. Thank you! I love smoothies, but I need variety. I heard cinnamon and nutmeg were THE spices to use. Bookmarked, voted up, and everything else.


fayyasbabu profile image

fayyasbabu 4 years ago

Thanks for your good information. I thinks, it will better than risky exercise!!!


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Audrey, i agree -- sounds like a good way to start the new year. Happy New Year to you and yours.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Rtallonic, yes, smoothies are delicious and they make dieting bearable, even enjoyable. Thanks for your encouraging comments and Happy New Year to you!


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

rebecca, yay to new year's healthier eating hopes, as you put it nicely. Have a Happy New Year.


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

Excellent advice. A couple months ago, Steve and I were on a detox diet for a week. All we ate during that week were smoothies, salads and vegetable soups. Also, we added either silken tofu or whey protein to our smoothies. Like you said, whey protein does help induce satiety. I thought I was going to feel so hungry and quit half way through, but my body actually felt great, and I completed the 7-day program without cheating!


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

loved the wonderful advice esp with new year upon us and all the extra pounds accumulated after indulging in cheese cakes et. al.

keep it coming anginwu. wishing you joy, this coming year :)


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 4 years ago from United States

Hi Anglnwu! Happy New Year! I always seem to learn something new when I read your excellent hubs! This one is no exception. I am bookmarking for future reference. Voted up, up and away!


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Pamela, good to see you here. Yes, breakfast smoothie is a great way to jump start your metabolism. Thanks for commenting.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Thanks, Arlene, for your super encouraging comments. Yes, I agree nutmeg and cinnamon have some kick-ass fat burning power. Appreciate your visit and have a happy new year.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

fayyasbabu, haha, less risky than exercise--brilliant--agree--I would rather drink smoothies than exercise. Thanks for commenting.


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 4 years ago from London, UK

Thanks for sharing a less painful way to lose weight this year. Best Wishes. :)


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

Good reminder for me anginwu, I must start making myself smoothies, they sound delicous and are good for me!

Excellent advice and voting up thank you.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Om, applause for you and of course, Steve for sticking to your detox program. What determination! You must feel a whole lot better after the detox. Thanks for dropping by to comment and happy new year!


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Ruchira, lol on cheesecake. For me, it's all the sweets that come with the season. Let's smoothie our way to a trimmer us. Thanks for coming.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Happy New Year, Dexter, good to see you here. Thanks for your encouraging comments and may your new year be blessed.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Haha, Lady E, a less painful way--well put. Best wishes for the new year too!

Thanks, Movie Master, all the best for the new year with a resolution to include smoothies in our diet--yes! Glad you dropped by to comment.


TheListLady profile image

TheListLady 4 years ago from New York City

Ah, these are the real thing. Delectable! As Spring approaches I really need to lighten up and change the healthy diet a bit - and nothing could be more satisfying than a freshly made smoothie.

Great stuff - I'll bookmark.

Rated up and yay!


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Happy New Year, listlady, soo good to see you here .Thanks for your lovely comment. Freshly made smoothies are the best!


Nicole S profile image

Nicole S 4 years ago from Minnesota

This is so helpful! Thank you for sharing your tips. It made me crave a healthy smoothie right now :)


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Nicole, smoothie is lovely anytime of the day. Glad you dropped by to comment.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

I love smoothies and my favorite if it use healthy ingredients, like fruit and vegetables. I drink yogurt every two days, it's good for my digestion. Very inspiring hub and I give my vote to you, except funny. Cheers..

Blessing and hugs,


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

prasetio, thanks for commenting. Yogurt is very good for your digestive tract, you're right on. Cheers to you too.


GmaGoldie profile image

GmaGoldie 4 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

anginwu,

My favorite last summer was mango. I was on a mango kick.

Do the nuts blend well? Or will it be crunchy?


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

GmaGoldie, I love mango too.Yes, nuts blend well too--just blend it a little longer. Thanks for dropping by to comment.


Ingenira profile image

Ingenira 4 years ago

I love smoothies, they are delicious and filling. Certainly a great idea for weight control than mindless snacking. Voted up and tweeted !


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Ingenira, I love them too. Thanks for voting it up and tweeting. Have a great day!


loveofnight 4 years ago

A lot of good info here. I can get into a smoothie kick...thx 4 share


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Thanks, loveofnight, glad you liked it.


Suzie HQ profile image

Suzie HQ 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

Hi anginwu,

What an informative piece on smoothies which I love. Fresh is so much better and more nutritional and less calorific than store bought ones. Loved this, great job which gets my thumbs up! Voted Up, Useful, Interesting, Shared.


Vellur profile image

Vellur 3 years ago from Dubai

Great ideas and useful tips to loose weight. Thank you for sharing, voted up.


torrilynn profile image

torrilynn 3 years ago

anglnwu,

the fact that these smoothies are healthy is one thing

but since you can include ingredients that promote weight loss is another

and such an amazing article that you have here. this can really help someone

feel better about themselves while losing weight. thanks.

voted up


dghbrh profile image

dghbrh 3 years ago from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!!

Very informative and useful hub for a new idea to loose weight here. Shared across the board and voted up interesting and useful.


livingsta profile image

livingsta 3 years ago from United Kingdom

Wow, a very useful recipe. Thank you for sharing your ideas. Voted up, useful and sharing!


Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 3 years ago from Georgia

The great thing about smoothies is that you can make it what you want. Most people are trying to loose weight and smoothies are great for them because they can even add commercial weight loss products. They are also helpful for some people trying to gain weight (I'm not one of those). Again, the calories can really be packed into the smoothie. Voted up.


Kathryn Stratford profile image

Kathryn Stratford 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

I love smoothies. I would rather have one than a milk shake! Thanks for sharing this with us!


newusedcarssacram profile image

newusedcarssacram 3 years ago from Sacramento, CA, U.S.A

I love smoothies, especially homemade. Thanks for sharing the ideas, I'm going to try some spices next time.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 3 years ago from malang-indonesia

I love the recipe. Wow...just looking at the pictures makes me thirsty and I can't wait to make it soon. Thanks for writing. Voted up!

Best wishes, Prasetio


Dulce y Sabrosa profile image

Dulce y Sabrosa 3 years ago

I really love yogurt in my diet, but is it really non-fattening? How do you avoid fatty yogurts?


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 3 years ago Author

Suzie HQ, lovely to see you here and thanks for your votes and rating it up.

Vellur, appreciate your stopping by to read and rate.

torrilyn, yes, it's a win-win situation when you get to combine weight loss with foods you love. Thanks for reading.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 3 years ago Author

dghbrh, thanks for reading and commenting.

livingsta, thanks for reading and sharing.

Cynidi10, thanks for adding to this hub with your helpful observation.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 3 years ago Author

Kathryn, I'm with you--I rather have smoothies than milk shakes. Thanks for dropping by.

Newusedcarssacram, thanks for reading. Yes, some spices would definitely kick things up.

Prasetio, so good to hear from you. Glad you like it.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 3 years ago Author

Thanks, prasetio, for your nice comments. I hope you're enjoying your drink.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 3 years ago Author

DUlce, thanks for commenting. Yogurts do come in non-fat and low-fat. Eating yogurt helps you stay full and therefore, fights eating urges in between meals.

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