Smoothies are a nutritional powerhouse, and are full of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, proteins and also prove to be highly supportive for weight loss. Just a few misguided inputs can convert your diet smoothies into a high calorie and sugar-laden dessert. To make sure that your blend is low in calories yet nutritious, ensure that you are not making the following mistakes –
1. Say no to added sweeteners
Liquid inputs play an integral part in the preparation of a smoothie as they help in easier blending & mixing of all the ingredients. Flavored yogurt, fruit juice, & sweetened milk are a popular choice for smoothies, but using it can load it with added sweeteners. So the key to a healthy smoothie is to avoid the extra sugar, and experiment with plain low-fat Greek yogurt, light coconut water or unsweetened soy/almond milk. These ingredients not only make your smoothie rich and creamy, but also pack it with proteins.
2. Go Green
Adding kale is a good option to enrich the protein content & make your smoothie green, but don’t dive into it right away. If you start with a bitter green, you may be tempted to add too many sweeteners/sugar. Start with adding some spinach as its flavors are easy to mask and then start branching out to kale or parsley for a more nutritious drink!
3. Play with proteins
Proteins are needed to boost up the weight loss process as they sustain the food desires for unnecessary snacking. A small dose of peanut butter, a tablespoon of flax-seed or silken tofu is a healthy way of adding protein to a smoothie.
4. Too much of a good thing
Sipping a creamy fruit smoothie is better than any junk food as fruits are full of fiber and nutrients but don’t forget that they aren’t void calories. Fruits have natural sugars, which affects your body the same as any other kind of sugar. Bananas and Apples and any citrus has way too much sugar. If you are going to use fruit in your smoothies, you’re better off using strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cantaloupe which are the lower sugar/carb fruits. Also, a healthy smoothie can have green inputs like spinach, kale, tomatoes, carrot greens, chard, etc. You can also pair the fruit ingredients with a protein source such as nuts, milk, soy milk, yogurt, etc.
5. Fiber is a must-have
Fiber is a kind of magical pill for weight watchers. It’s what keeps you filled you up for hours & curbs your appetite. For an effective contribution of fiber in your weight loss process, you must include at least 10gms of it in your smoothie. Some of the ingredients, which can prove helpful include – berries, spinach, flax seeds, kale, avocado, kiwi, pear, beans, chia seeds.
6. An over-indulgence of anything can intoxicate
If you’re having a smoothie as a meal replacement, it’s natural to think that you’ll need a larger portion. But the key to success here is to avoid overindulgence as even if you’re only adding more fruit, the calories and sugar can creep up quickly. To increase the satiety value of your drink try adding ingredients such as avocado and oats which are extremely high on fiber and proteins.
7. Keep a check on them
Just because a food is high in nutrition doesn’t mean it’s low in calories. Certain healthy foods such as yogurt, dates, nuts, butters, mangoes, fresh-pressed juices, oats, and even fruits like apples, pears, mangoes, & cherries, contain more than a hundred calories each. You should not shy away from these healthy ingredients but use them in moderation to keep you weight loss regime on track!
8. Variation in flavors is important
To keep you intact and enjoy your drink on a daily basis a variation in the preparation method and ingredients used can be really helpful. Herbs, spices, and varied extracts can make a world of difference in the flavors of a smoothie. Fresh grated ginger adds a warming touch while Sriracha (red chili and garlic spiced sauce, served especially with Vietnamese and Thai food) brings a little heat.
So, next time you make a smoothie keep these inputs/tips in mind to make a healthy and nutritious one and not a drink that is rich in unnecessary calories!