Are Smoothies Making Me Fat?
Are smoothies really good for you?
Are smoothies actually good for us? Will smoothies help me with my weight loss goals? It really depends on how you use smoothies. I remember one particular instance a few years back when one of my clients was upset about her weigh in. One of the major catalyst for weight loss is your nutrition and what an individual eats. I make it a point to provide guidance to my clients and steer them towards foods that they can eat and enjoy while losing weight at the same time. I knew that this particular client was active, so the first question I asked was, “How is your nutrition coming along?” She said that her eating habits have improved. One of the biggest changes that she made was adding more smoothie drinks to her daily food habits.
At the time, it sounded good to me. On the surface, it seemed like everything was going well. I then asked, “What are you adding in your smoothies?” She ran down a list which included rice milk, strawberries, orange juice, apples, yogurt and bananas. When you look at the list, initially it sounds like she is doing the right thing. By most standards, those are all healthy foods. When we were able to look at the list again, I realized why she gained weight rather than lost weight. If you look at the list of foods that were in her smoothie, they were all glucose based. In other words, they were all carbohydrates. Her daily dose of high amounts of sugar is what led to the weight gain.
The question that I asked in the beginning of this post was, Are Smoothies making me fat? The answer is yes they can if you don’t place the right amount of ingredients in them. Carbohydrates are primary sources of energy. Carbs are a good thing. The challenge for a person who is on a weight loss journey is that an excess amount of carbs will be converted to fat if the carbs are not being utilized through exercise. Storing fat is the last thing that a person wants to do if they are losing weight. Now I am not saying that blending smoothies, juicing fruits and making protein shakes are bad. I’m actually a big smoothie fan, as I use them for my personal health. Smoothies are a great way to boost your health. We just have to use them the right way by adding good things in them. Here are some pro’s and con’s for smoothies.
-excellent way to get your nutrients in
-people who are resistant to having breakfast can use a smoothie as a meal replacement
-cooking can extract key nutrients from the food while drinking it will ensure that you are able to get them all in.
The drawback to sugar loaded smoothies
-elevates insulin levels (sugar)
-because you are drinking the calories, it makes it easier to pack in more calories at a time
-most smoothies have too much sugar because people would rather blend fruits as opposed to vegetables
Here are some quick tips to make a better smoothie.
- If your smoothie has more than eight ingredients in it, you’re probably doing too much.
- The idea of more is better is simply not true. Keep your smoothie simple
- Use one fruit like an apple to mask the taste of a vegetable that you may not like to eat on a normal basis.
- Since most of us don’t eat a lot of vegetables, it is important to add green vegetables into our smoothies whenever you can.
Get the biggest bang out of your smoothie by adding these:
- Blueberries are one of the best fruits to use for your smoothie because it is so high in antioxidants
- Chia seeds are a good source of several B Vitamins which can help in energy production.
- Flax seed are rich in Omega-3’s and can help reduce inflammation
- Nuts are packed with protein and have unsaturated fats which are the healthy kind of fat that aids in the functionality of the heart.
Here’s one of my favorite smoothie recipes
Purple Power Protein Punch
1 generous handful of spinach
1 cup of frozen blueberries
1 scoop of your favorite chocolate protein powder
1 cup of Almond milk or 1 Cup of water if you want to reduce calories
When it comes to healthy eating and healthy living, smoothies can be your great benefit or an additional obstacle. Make sure that you put the right things in the mix and you will be on your way to the good and healthy life. I shared my personal smoothie recipe, so if you have some smoothie recipes that are working for you, please share so that we can encourage folks to live healthy and active lifestyles.
Wellness Expert Maxim Nazaire is a Personal Trainer in the Roswell, GA and metro Atlanta area. He specializes in double digit weight loss, injury rehabilitation and athletic/human performance. He is the author of two critically-acclaimed books including his latest book, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Wellness. Nazaire is a graduate of the School of Health Science and Public Health at Stony Brook University in New York. He is also Certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and holds the honor of Level 1 Coach from the United States Track and Field Association (USATF). Maxim has been featured on CNN Headline News Health as their go to health contributor where he shares his philosophy on wellness with television viewers all over the world. Nazaire is a highly sought after motivational speaker, captivating audiences from every walk of life. He is married to his wife Danay Nazaire and currently reside in Atlanta, GA.