How to Get More Weight Loss and Health Benefits from Smoothies
Some of the biggest reasons to drink smoothies are for weight loss and health benefits. Smoothies sound like a healthful drink or meal replacement, but unfortunately many smoothies are made in a way that work against your health goals.
The good news is that with some small changes to your recipes you can get the most health and weight loss benefits out of your smoothies. And they will taste YUMMY, I promise. In this post, I’m going to show you how to get more health and weight loss benefits from your smoothies.
Healthier Smoothie Basics
Some simple smoothie creation tips will help you get more weight loss andhealth benefits out of your smoothies:
- use whole fruits instead of fruit juice
- use water as the liquid base
- add vegetables
- use natural, liquid sweeteners instead of refined sugar.
I teach you more about these tips and give you FOUR more tips in my FREE guide How to Create Weight Loss Smoothies that Work.
Making these small changes to your smoothie recipes will is a great start to creating smoothies that will give you more health and weight loss benefits.
To get the most health and weight loss benefits from your smoothie, though, we need to dig deeper and understand what the process of blending does to the food in our smoothie and the way our body digests it.
What does blending do to food?
Blending food essentially pre-digests it and takes away most of the hard work of breaking down the food your digestive system would do if it was whole food. That’s important.
It’s a fact that the breaking down (digestion) of liquids (like smoothies) occurs much faster than the breaking down of solid foods. The more complex the food, the longer it takes to break down so the absorption of nutrients takes longer. Solid foods can take hours to break down, while liquids tend to be less complex and take less time to break down.
What does this mean?
The longer it takes your body to digest food, the slower it extracts nutrients, the longer you will feel full, and the less likely it is to spike your blood sugar. This is important for losing weight and being healthy.
Your body needs nutrients to function and for energy, and if they are absorbed quickly it will start telling you that you are hungry again soon after. This can lead to snacking and if you aren’t snacking on the right things it can lead to weight gain.
If absorbed quickly, the sugar in the fruit in your smoothie can cause your blood fructose levels to spike intensely and quickly. This can lead to a sugar crash making you feel like you don’t have any energy. It can also cause you feel hungry again soon after drinking your smoothie because your body wants more energy to function, leading to more snacking.
The longer you feel full, the less snacking you do. That will benefit your diet and health in the long run.
Boost your smoothie’s health and weight loss benefits
An easy way to prevent your smoothie’s nutrients from being absorbed quickly is to use a high-quality protein powder. Sometimes called meal replacements, these are powder supplements that can be blended in water as a meal replacement shake or added to smoothies to help you get the most out of it.
Adding protein powder to a smoothie helps your smoothie work harder for you by giving it fiber, protein, and nutrient boosts.
The added protein in the powder gives your smoothie an extra boost to help your body have strong bones, healthy hair and skin, and muscle growth. Protein also makes you feel full faster and for longer.
High-quality protein powders also contain fiber which helps slow the smoothie in your digestive system helping your body to slow down the absorption of nutrients – helping to prevent a spike in blood sugar! The fiber will also help make you feel fuller longer so you’re more likely to eat less and snack less.
What to look for in a high-quality protein powder:
There are many protein powders available, so how do you know which one to choose? Use this checklist to help guide you to a protein powder that will work hard for you:
- Healthy carbs: Most carbohydrates should come in the form of fiber – not sugars. Fiber provides many health benefits including heart health and digestive health. Insoluble fiber helps you feel more full between meals and can help you bulk when you’re eating your meal so you eat less. Both of these are very important to a weight management program.
- Low glycemic (low in sugar): The glycemic index is the measure of sugar in your blood. The lower the glycemic index number, the less likely you are to have a sugar crash. Sugar crashes can lead to more snacking which does not help with your weight management.
- Complete GMO-free protein: Protein supports muscle maintenance and growth. Muscle burns calories – the more you have, the more calories you burn at rest. You don’t have to be a weight lifter to get the benefits from protein. Including more protein in your diet will help you stop losing lean muscle mass. Protein also helps you feel full while you’re eating and keep you feeling fuller longer between meals.
I use protein powder in all of my smoothies because it helps me feel fuller for longer. If you’d like to learn more about the one I use, read my protein powder review.