- Diet & Weight Loss
Healthy Ingredients to Include in Smoothies to Help Weight Loss
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 2:--Add liquid and blend.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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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