Clients and friends ask me all the time for recommendations on weight loss smoothies. Running from work to soccer practices to piano lessons – you think I’ll just skip dinner and grab a smoothie. You’re busy, and you want something quick and healthy – I get it.
Before you reach for a diet smoothie or juicing quick fix, make sure to review these 4 key facts about weight loss smoothies and juicing to help you achieve your weight loss goals – the right way.
1. Check the label for protein
Your body needs protein. Our society is on carbohydrate overload. Only smoothies or weight loss shakes that contain adequate levels of protein will help you lose weight and sustain weight loss.
If you’re consuming one or more a day without adequate levels of protein, your body will start to break down your own muscle to get protein causing muscle wasting, which ultimately lowers metabolism. If you do this for a a month or longer, you may cause a significant reduction in your metabolism. And then to maintain and lose weight – you’ll have actually have to start eating less.
2. A smoothie is not synonymous with healthy
A smoothie could be filled with sugar, but because it says “smoothie” many people think its healthy, just like they do with cereal, oatmeal, etc. Unless you know the actual ingredients and in what amounts, it certainly shouldn’t be mistaken for healthy because it probably isn’t.
3. Juicing decreases nutrients, especially fiber
The juicing mechanism removes parts of the fruits and veggies, often containing rich nutrients and fiber. You many think you’re consuming more nutrients by juicing, but you may actually be getting less. Eating whole fruits and vegetables preserves all the nutrients.
4. Uncharted territory – limited rules
There are few rules on what is in them or what determines “weight loss”. You need to check the ingredients and find out what’s in them. Are they really going to help you achieve weight loss – the right way? Probably not. Similarly – a lot of food labels may say “protein bar” or “protein shake” but the amount of protein they actually have varies. And they can be laden with all kinds of sugar.
How to improve smoothies or juicing? The answer is simple-add protein and cut the sugar! By adding protein and limiting sugar you give your body a more balanced, mixed nutrition that can turn smoothies into a healthy snack or meal replacement. (a healthy carb and a protein together is much better for your body).
Protein sources for smoothies
- Whey protein powders
- Milk (almond, cow, soy)
- Greek yogurt
- Peanut butter (natural is best)
While a smoothie may seem like a good healthy option – make sure it fits into you overall weight loss plan. Ideally, one that has been customized for your body and your weight loss needs. There is no quick fix to achieve and maintain your weight – it’s about making healthy choices and learning what to eat and how much.