Updated November 01, 2018
Low Calorie Smoothie Dos and Don’ts
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Smoothie lovers beware! Creamy and delicious weight loss smoothies can actually ruin your diet if you don’t follow a few critical rules. Do you know what they are?
Use this list of healthy smoothie dos and don’ts to make sure that your drink isn’t too high in fat and calories. Then use the weight loss smoothie recipes and try new ingredients and boost the nutritional potential of your favorite drinks.
Do Measure Your Ingredients
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Don’t throw ingredients into the blender without measuring them first. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a high-calorie disaster. Do measure each ingredient and tally the complete calorie count for your drink so you know how many you’ll consume when you drink it.
You won’t have to follow this step every time you make your smoothie, but if you measure the ingredients once and continue to use the same recipe, you’ll save yourself from making a common weight loss mistake: underestimating the impact of liquid calories.
Do Add Protein
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Do balance nutrients. If your smoothie is a meal replacement, make sure it contains each essential macronutrient: protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Many fruit smoothies contain plenty of calories from carbohydrates and perhaps a small amount of fat. But don’t forget to add a good source of lean protein.
Protein helps you build muscle, which you need to maintain a healthy metabolism. Need a recipe? Try a yummy mocha smoothie with chocolate protein powder. If you already have a favorite smoothie recipe and want to add a boost of protein, throw in a tablespoon or two of chia seeds. The seeds will thicken your drink and provide a diet-friendly boost of fiber as well.
Don’t Limit Ingredients
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Do try to use fresh or frozen fruit, such as blueberries, strawberries, mango, peaches or apples. You won’t need a recipe to combine these sweet ingredients. Don’t be afraid to branch out and use ingredients such as watermelon, spinach or kale to get additional vitamins and minerals. Try this sweet green smoothie to get vitamin-packed green veggies with your morning meal.
Do Cut the Fat
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Don’t use high-fat ingredients to get a creamy texture. A smoothie made with ice cream, gelato or a large amount of peanut butter is delicious, but it may be too high in calories to help you lose weight. Even frozen yogurt may add unwanted fat and sugar.
Do use bananas, either frozen or at room temperature, to get a thick, smooth texture without the added fat and calories. If you love the taste of peanut butter, consider using a peanut butter powder instead of the fatty spread. PBFit makes a regular and chocolate-flavored peanut butter powder that provides 50 calories per two-tablespoon serving as compared to nearly 200 calories provided by peanut butter.
Don’t Add Extra Sugar
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Don’t add unnecessary sugar. If you make a fruit smoothie, you’ll get plenty of sugar from the fruit ingredients that you add to the blender. If you add dairy, that source will also contribute lactose, a form of sugar.
Do limit the amount of honey, table sugar or other sweeteners that you add. This 175-calorie peanut butter smoothie is creamy and sweet without the addition of any extra sugars.
Do Add Juice Cautiously
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Do add fillers such as water or ice. Some smoothie recipes are very thick. It can be tempting to thin them out with high calorie, heavily sweetened fruit juice. But juice can add mega calories and unnecessary sugar.
Water will make your smoothie easier to drink and ice will add thickness. Experiment with a basic smoothie recipe. Try decreasing the amount of juice and adding water or ice to get the thickness and flavor that you like.
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