06 Oct Smoothies & Health Part 4: Natural Weight Loss
With the arrival of summertime, weight loss is on everybody’s mind as we look for an easy, healthy and long-lasting way to work off those winter pounds. Of course, regular exercise is a sure-fire way to stay slim and trim, but diet naturally plays a major role as well, and smoothies are amazing dietary tools for weight loss. Find out why they help and what you should be including in your daily smoothie recipes – plus we have two delicious and filling summer slimming smoothie recipes for you!
How Smoothies Help with Weight Loss
Smoothies allow you to get a load of essential nutrients in one glass, without any extra empty calories. By choosing the right ingredients, you can create smoothie blends that provide you with a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. Plus they taste great and leave you feeling full and satisfied.
By replacing just one meal a day with a balanced smoothie, you can really reduce your daily calorie intake and shed unwanted pounds without depriving your body of anything it needs. So, what should you be putting into your smoothies for optimal weight loss benefits? And which ingredients should you be avoiding?
A Few of The Best Fat-Fighting Foods
You Should Put In:
Avocados: They’re rich in healthy fats, which will keep you feeling satisfied for longer, Plus they add creaminess to your smoothie without any dairy.
Berries: Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are all delicious and great for slimming. They’re high in fibre and antioxidants, but low in sugars.
Cayenne pepper: Add a spicy kick to the mix! Cayenne is a source of capsaicin, a compound that boosts your metabolism and curbs your appetite.
Chia seeds: These “super-seeds” are packed with fibre and full of protein, to help keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer. They’re also rich in omegas and antioxidants, and help to absorb toxins from your digestive tract.
Cinnamon: A very beneficial spice for blood sugar control. Cinnamon helps to reduce the amount of excess blood glucose in your body that would otherwise be stored as fat, particularly abdominal fat.
Coconut oil: Excellent for weight loss! Virgin coconut oil adds healthy (medium chain) fats to your smoothies; these medium-chain fats are used by your body for energy, rather than being stored as fat.
Greek yoghurt: Much higher in protein than other varieties of yoghurt; and without added flavouring, it’s lower in sugar too.
Leafy greens: Spinach, kale and lettuce are all very high in phytonutrients and fat-busting fibre, and low in calories. They’re also wonderful alkalising foods, and so good for your whole system.
Fruit pulp: After juicing, don’t throw away the left-over pulp from your fruits. Instead, mix it into your smoothies, for a powerful fibre boost.
Stevia: The plant-based, zero-calorie way to add a little sweetness.
Tea, water or ice cubes: These are all great low-calorie alternatives to milk or fruit juice.
You Should Leave Out:
Minimise or avoid using these ingredients entirely.
Canned fruit: Canned fruits often contain added preservatives and sweeteners they’re higher in calories and lower in nutritional value than fresh produce. Instead of buying canned goods, rather freeze some of your smoothie fruits and veggies to make them last longer.
Dairy: Milk, ice cream and flavoured frozen yoghurt instantly send the calorie count of your smoothie soaring. If you do want to include dairy, opt for high-protein, low-calorie ingredients, like raw milk and plain Greek yoghurt.
Fruit juices: Ordinary supermarket fruit juices include added sweeteners and preservatives, and far less fibre and nutrients. Opt for fresh home-made juices, and keep them to a limited quantity, to reduce the amount of natural sugars present in the smoothie.
Protein powders: Avoid ordinary protein powders that have been formulated to help you bulk up and build muscle. Instead, look for natural protein-packed superfoods that assist with weight loss. Hemp protein is an excellent choice.
Artificial sweeteners: Natural stevia, raw honey and real organic maple syrup are great natural sweeteners, but they should still be used in moderation to keep the sugar content in check.
Sensational Slimming Smoothies
Mango Avocado Green Tea Smoothie
329 calories; 22g fat
- 1 cup green tea
- 1 cup fresh or frozen mango chunks
- ½ medium avocado
- 1 cup spinach
- ½Tbsp coconut oil
- Dash of sea salt
- ½tsp honey or stevia
Simply blend all ingredients together in a food processor. Sip and enjoy! Perfect as a breakfast smoothie.
Blueberry Chia Smoothie
327 calories; 20g fat
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- ¾ cup plain Greek yoghurt
- 1Tbsp chia seeds
- ¼tsp cinnamon
- ½Tbsp honey OR ½ a banana
Blend all ingredients together in a food processor. Sip and enjoy!