One question my clients ask me often is whether or not they should use a smoothie or shake to lose weight. I think the reason so many people like this idea is that it’s something they can easily take with them in their busy lives, they don’t have to think about meals or do any meal prep, and they hear that it really helps people lose weight. It can definitely help, but I also get a lot of clients coming to me saying they’ve been having shakes every day and aren’t able to lose weight. Here are some of the biggest mistakes people make:
Smoothie Mistake #1
Using a ton of add-ins because they’re supposed to be “good for you”. Here’s the problem. All of these add-ins also add up to too many calories and fat and/or sugar and will make it difficult to lose weight. If you follow me at all, you know that I don’t normally get hung up on calories or tracking your macros, and I even discourage counting them at all. But that doesn’t mean that they’re not important. With smoothies, it’s very easy to add too much. Keep it simple and include 1 serving of carb, 1 serving of protein, and 1 serving of fat and you should be good to go.
Smoothie Mistake #2
Not including protein or carbs. On the opposite end of the first mistake is the fact that you might not be adding enough. I have many clients who are only using protein powder and water. Or I have some clients who are only blending fruit and almond milk. The first has no carbohydrate, so you wouldn’t get enough energy from it, no boost in your metabolism, and not enough food to get you through to your next meal without being starving. The second has no protein and is just sugar. In this case, your blood sugar will spike up (spiking your insulin along with it), and then crash down (leaving your insulin up high, which may hinder your efforts to lose weight). When your blood sugar crashes, you become hungrier, crave more, and become irritable and more stressed. You can’t make healthy choices like that and it sets you up for a rough day.
Smoothie Mistake #3
Drinking all of your calories. Please don’t have smoothies for every meal. You cannot possibly feel satisfied this way. And you can’t sustain it. It’s not a lifestyle, it’s just a quick fix, and we all know that when you lose weight that way, it comes right back. Smoothies can be great additions to a healthy lifestyle, and are amazing on-the-go breakfasts. But please leave it at that and have a healthy chew-your-food kinda lunch and dinner.
The Best & Most Simple Formula for Smoothies
- 1c low calorie liquid (water, unsweetened non-dairy milk, skim milk, etc)
- 3/4c frozen fruit
- 1c leafy green vegetable
- 1 serving protein powder
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