Health and weight loss experts are telling us more and more that the secret to a healthy, lean body is clean green drinks.
While it’s true that healthy meals are also a key factor to a healthy lifestyle, smoothies and juices are the key to maintaining control of your nutrition and maintaining a slim, sexy body. If you’re interested in doing a smoothie cleanse, you might want to check out the 10 Day Smoothie Cleanse.
Of course, when you’re starting a smoothie/juice cleanse, you must keep three key things in mind:
Clean Green Drinks
For the first week, you should be replacing your breakfast and lunch with 2-3 clean green juices/smoothies. If you experience that mid-afternoon energy slump, you might want to grab an energy-boosting juice or green tea.
In addition, you must make sure that you’re drinking at least 10 cups of water every day. When you have that craving for a “pick-me-up” snack, grab a handful of raw almonds, an apple, or a banana.
Clean Green Foods
When you’re doing a smoothie cleanse, you must have a light dinner. There are many choices available to you. You’re definitely going to be feeling so much better after the second week of eating and drinking clean, green foods and drinks. You’ll start to lose weight and see that you have more energy.
You are going to need to work out for at least 30 minutes every day, so it’s important that you find a workout routine that you really love. If you can find something you like to do, chances are you’ll become “addicted” to this new, healthy way of life- and that’s perfectly fine!
Smoothies for Weight Loss
The reason that green smoothies can be helpful when you’re trying to lose weight is because they allow you to get all of your nutrients in one glass without the addition of empty and excess calories.
When you take some time to learn about ingredients that make a balanced smoothie, you can be sure that you have a balance of protein, healthy fats, complex carbs, nutrients, and vitamins.
Since you are in charge of your smoothies, in addition to the basic ingredients, you can add ingredients that boost the nutritional value of your smoothie without adding any additional calories. In addition, you can add some elements that increase weight loss by giving you more energy, keeping you full, and boosting your metabolism.
Smoothie Ingredients for Weight Loss
While it’s true that most of the typical ingredients in a healthy smoothie supports a healthy weight, there are some ingredients that offer more benefit than others. There are some things that you can add to your green smoothies that will increase your weight loss. They are as follows:
When it comes to thickening your smoothie and giving it that signature creaminess, avocado is an excellent choice. They offer plenty of healthy fats that will keep you full until your next meal as well as a variety of vitamins and minerals.
Berries are an excellent choice for adding flavor to your smoothie without increasing the sugar or calorie content. Plus, berries are high in fiber, keeping you full- and they have antioxidants for supporting your overall health.
Cayenne pepper contains a chemical compound known as capsaicin. This chemical will increase the smoothies’ weight loss power. When you add it to your breakfast smoothie, it decreases your fat and carb consumption throughout the day.
These tiny little seeds that are responsible for making “hair” grow on ceramic animals are full of protein and fiber that will keep you full and satisfied- which makes them an excellent addition to a green smoothie. They also have many healthy nutrients such as antioxidants, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids- and they absorb the toxins that are in your digestive tract.
Cinnamon is a very popular spice that improves the metabolism of glucose in your body, which regulates your blood sugar level. Some studies have revealed that abdominal fat is the most reactive to the effects of cinnamon than other fat stores on the body.
If you’re serious about using green smoothies for cleansing and weight loss, it’s critical that you have enough healthy fats in them. The fats that are found in coconut oil are used by your body as energy instead of being stored as fat. This means that you stay energized, feeling great, and satisfied.
When you compare it with other yogurts, Greek yogurt has more protein meaning that it will keep you fuller much longer. It’s best to stick with the plain, full-fat version as the flavored ones typically have lots of sugar added.
As mentioned above, if you’re serious about losing weight and being healthy, the healthy fats are critical. If you completely deny yourself of fats, you won’t lose weight, you’ll be unsatisfied when you eat a meal. You should include healthy fats in your smoothies by adding nut butters, nuts, coconut oil, and/or avocados.
Leafy greens, such as romaine lettuce, spinach, kale, and dandelion are very low in calories and full of phytonutrients. In addition, they have high amounts of fiber, making them a great addition to a green smoothie.
If you’ve ever used a juicer, you know that you end up with a pile of pulp that you usually throw out or compost. However, instead of doing that, you can throw it into your smoothie for a natural fiber source.
If your smoothie isn’t sweet enough by adding fruit, you can use stevia. It is a zero-calorie, natural sweetener that is free from the side effects/risks of artificial sweeteners because it is plant-based.
When you’re looking at smoothie recipes, you’ll find that many of them call for fruit juice or milk to create the right consistency. However, if you want to avoid the additional calories, consider using ice, water, or tea.
Smoothie Ingredients You Should Avoid
As you can see, there are many things you can add to your smoothies to give them a flavor boost without adding additional calories.
However, there are also some things that can sabotage your plans. Unfortunately, many people believe that a smoothie is just a smoothie and they’re all healthy.
While that’s somewhat true- if you’re planning to use a smoothie cleanse as a tool for weight loss, there are some things that you should not be putting in them. The primary thing to avoid is excess sugar- even “healthy” sugars from things like maple syrup, honey, and fruit should be used as little as possible.
You should always choose fresh fruits/veggies whenever possible. However, when that’s not an option, frozen is better than canned. This is because the canned fruits/veggies often have added sugars/preservatives, which means more calories. In addition, most of the nutritional value is depleted.
A quick look at smoothie recipes will show you that dairy products such as ice cream, frozen yogurt, and milk are common ingredients. Unfortunately, they are full of extra calories. Most of the time, you should find other options- avoiding dairy. There are a few exceptions such as plain, full-fat Greek yogurt and raw milk.
When it comes to fruit juices, they are typically low in nutritional value and high in calories and sugars. Most of them contain added sugars and all of them have lost the fiber from the fruit.
“Some” Protein Powders
While it’s true that the clean protein powders are fine, make sure to check the label as the ones that have the long list of words that you can’t pronounce should be avoided. Of course, you shouldn’t feel like it’s required to use a protein powder because you can plenty of protein from other sources such as gelatin, seeds, nuts/nut butters, and Greek yogurt.
If your smoothie is really sweet, chances are you’re using more sweetener than you should and possibly sabotaging your weight loss plans. Stevia is a natural, plant-based sweetener that is acceptable. Other sweeteners such as maple syrup and honey are acceptable as long as you use them in moderation.
Too Much Sweet Fruit
While it’s true that whole, fresh fruits are a natural way to add sweetness and flavor to your smoothies, too much can be an issue. When you add too much fruit, you can cause a spike in your blood sugar, resulting in digestive issues. The best thing to do is stick with berries and avocados. You can add small amounts of other fruits such as pineapple, apple, mango, and banana- but keep those to a minimum.
Weight Loss Plan
As you work to achieve your weight loss and cleanse goals by using yummy smoothies, you must keep in mind that the best way to reach those goals requires more than just simply changing your diet.
It’s true that your smoothies will give you the nutrients you need- but you also need to eat healthy foods as well. Make sure you’re consuming plenty of veggies , whole grains, moderate amounts of fruit, high quality proteins, and healthy fats.
As mentioned earlier, healthy fats are critical as an ingredient in your healthy, weight loss smoothies and are necessary for an overall healthy diet. You must make sure you’re getting the healthy fats you need and getting the unhealthy fats out of your diet.
Now that you know you must make sure to consume a healthy, balanced diet- you must also make sure you’re getting the proper amount of exercise.
Try to make sure you’re getting the same amount every day, even if just a quick walk around the block. The most effective workout plan has been the HIIT (high intensity interval training) and peak performance workouts. These will help you get rid of that excess weight quickly.
Some other factors that can have an effect on successfully reaching your weight loss goals are:
- Getting adequate sleep
- Reducing stress
- Staying hydrated
- Maintaining a positive outlook
- Resolving emotional issues
Another strategy that you can use is mindful eating. This is a practice that will help you slow down your meals and pay more attention to what you’re eating. By doing this, you’ll eat less because you’re paying attention to what your body is telling you- and when it says you’re full, you stop eating.
To do this, you must remove all distractions such as reading and television, take smaller bites, and pay attention to the way your food smells, feels, and looks. This may sound simple and easy to dismiss, but it will give you some amazing results.
Finally, you must keep in mind that all of us are different. Not everyone is meant to be “supermodel-skinny” and not everyone is meant to have six-pack abs.
Therefore, you must learn to love yourself just as you are and stop comparing yourself to others. By following these tips, you’ll reach your goal weight before you even realize it.
Are Smoothie Diets Effective?
These days, it seems as if everyone is doing a smoothie cleanse/diet. They have become extremely popular. However, many experts warn that you should only be consuming a smoothie for breakfast and then having healthy, well-rounded meals for lunch and dinner.
Of course, it’s perfectly fine to substitute a smoothie for one of your meals every now and then or grabbing one after a workout.
Many experts warn against the smoothie cleanse/diets because they’re considered a “quick fix.” Most of the time, diets such as this significantly restrict calories- which can actually end up causing more harm than good.
Sure, you might lose a few pounds- and you might even reach your goal- but the weight loss is often short-term. You will end up gaining it all back and then some. This is not a cycle that you want to catch yourself in.
Recipes for Weight Loss/Cleanse Smoothies
Following, you will find some ideas for weight loss smoothies that will get you going on a smoothie cleanse diet.
Keep in mind that though some of them may seem pretty high in calories, they’re actually good calories that will help facilitate your weight loss and keep you feeling full until your next meal. Each recipe will make one serving for an average person.
Ideal Weight Loss Smoothie
1 cup water
½ cup fresh/frozen blueberries
½ tablespoon honey, maple syrup, or stevia (substitute ½ banana if preferred)
½ medium avocado
½ tablespoon coconut oil (over the course of one week, increase to 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon chia seeds/chia seed gel
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Place all of these ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. The nutritional information for this smoothie is as follows: 331 calories, 24 grams fat, 4 grams protein, 31 grams carbohydrates, 11 grams fiber, 16 grams sugar, 29 percent of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C, 110 percent of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin K, 8 percent of the recommended daily allowance of Calcium, 11 percent of the recommended daily allowance of Iron.
Avocado-Mango-Green Tea Smoothie
1 cup each green tea, fresh/frozen mango chunks, spinach
½ tablespoon coconut oil
½ medium avocado
Pinch of sea salt
Little bit of stevia, honey, or maple syrup to add sweetness
Place all of these ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth. The nutritional facts for this smoothie are as follows: 329 calories, 22 grams fat, 4 grams protein, 35 grams carbohydrates, 10 grams fiber, 23 grams of sugar, 131 percent of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C, 216 percent of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin K, 6 percent of the recommended daily allowance of calcium, and 14 percent of the recommended daily allowance of iron.
Blueberry Greek Yogurt Smoothie
½ cup each of water and fresh/frozen blueberries
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon chia seed/chia seed gel
¾ cup Greek yogurt (plain, full-fat)
½ Tablespoon honey (can substitute maple syrup, stevia, or ½ banana)
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. The nutritional facts for this smoothie are as follows: 327 calories, 20 grams fat, 8 grams protein, 31 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams fiber, 21 grams sugar, 13 percent of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C, 86 percent of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin K, 30 percent of the recommended daily allowance of Calcium, and 9 percent of the recommended daily allowance of Iron.
Banana Berry Smoothie
1 cup each water, spinach, and fresh/frozen mixed berries \
1 Tablespoon each gelatin (for protein) and coconut oil
½ fresh/frozen banana
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. The nutritional facts for this smoothie are as follows: 251 calories, 14 grams fat, 3 grams protein, 5 grams fiber, 32 grams carbohydrates, 18 grams sugar, 43 percent of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C, 181 percent of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin K, 108 percent of the recommended daily allowance of calcium, and 10 percent of the recommended daily allowance of iron.
As mentioned in each recipe, you will take all of the ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth- usually about 30 to 45 seconds.
Of course, if you don’t have a powerful blender and you have liquid coconut oil, it might be a good idea to blend all ingredients except the coconut oil and then drizzle it on and blend for about five to ten more seconds to keep it from clumping.
You can always feel free to add or take away ingredients based upon your preferences and what you have available- or to avoid an allergic reaction.
Don’t forget to check out the 10 Day Smoothie Cleanse to learn more about making a smoothie cleanse work for you.