At Erbology, we believe that food should be a source of joy and nourishment for your body and soul. However, we know that there are times in all our lives when we want to lose a bit of weight for health reasons. Here are five healthy smoothies for weight loss that can help you on your journey.April 27, 2022 4:27 pm October 12, 2021 4:47 pm
Healthy smoothies for weight loss
Has there ever been a more useful food for weight loss than a smoothie? We don’t think so. Generally speaking, they’re low in calories, full of nutrients, all natural and delicious – exactly the sort of food you need if you’re aiming to trim down.
However the calorie content of smoothies can vary enormously. We’d always recommend that you make your own at home, because commercially available smoothies can be surprisingly high in sugar and calories!
Below, we’ve got plenty of tips for you which will help you become a smoothie maker extraordinaire. Once you know the basic components and flavour combinations it’s easy to whip up a huge variety of smoothies, based on whatever you feel like that day!
A note on weight loss
Before we get into our recipes, we should stop for a moment and talk about weight loss. It is a tricky subject. After all, we’ve been so happy to see the growth of the body positivity movement in recent years, and to wave goodbye to the ‘size zero’ model of beauty many of us grew up with.
If you’re keen to lose weight because – thanks to the bombardment of pressure that still comes from society and the media – you feel that you have to be thin to be accepted, we’d encourage you to take a step back.
Self-acceptance is hard work. But we believe it ultimately leads to more happiness than trying to fit into the mould that outdated beliefs have built for us.
That said, there are still some completely valid reasons why you might want to try and lose a bit of weight. For example, you may want to get your BMI down into a healthy range, you might be prepping for surgery, or you may just want to lose weight to boost your self-esteem.
If that’s you, then smoothies may be a great way to help. Now, let’s get into how to make the best smoothie of all time!
Blend, blend, blend
If you’re new to the world of smoothies, you’ll need to invest in a blender. Luckily, there are plenty of affordable options on the market.
If you’re only interested in making smoothies, go for a blender which is specially designed for them; they’re often very affordable. You just need to make sure that the blades are strong enough to withstand any tough fruits and vegetables you’re planning to use.
Or, if you’re a culinary whizz, go for a model which has other functions too (such as chopping or grinding). You’ll then be able to use it in your other recipes too! These models tend to have stronger blades as well.
Are smoothies good for you?
In a word, yes! Smoothies are good for you. As they’re made primarily from fruit and vegetables, they’re full of healthy nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and fibre.
There has been some debate recently around whether smoothies are that great for your health because of the sugar they contain. Unless you add lots of sweeteners such as sugar, honey or syrup, most of that sugar comes from the fruit you use.
While naturally occurring sugars in fruit are not generally considered to be bad for us, when you blend fruit in a smoothie you’re turning it into what’s called ‘free sugars’. (If you’re unfamiliar with the term, click for a more detailed article all about refined and free sugars.)
This is because you’re releasing the sugar from the cells of the fruit, where it’s normally contained by fibre and other nutrients. These prevent you from absorbing the sugar so quickly.
Free sugars are more easily absorbed by the body and can lead to sugar spikes in your bloodstream. They can also damage your teeth.
Making the most of your smoothies
You can avoid any issues around free sugars in smoothies as long as you try and avoid adding too much extra sugar or sweeteners, carefully consider the fruit you use, and keep to one smoothie per day.
The NHS recommends that a portion of smoothie should be no more than 150ml – that’s a small glass.
Importantly, the NHS also says that a smoothie can only count as one of your recommended five a day, regardless of the ingredients you use.(1)
How to make your smoothies more filling
If you’re aiming to replace a meal with a smoothie, you will need to make sure it’s filling enough to power you through the rest of the day.
While some people will manage just fine on a fruit-based smoothie, others will need a bit more bulk to provide the energy they need.
Luckily, there are a few easy additions you can make to almost any smoothie to make it more filling.
Firstly, make sure you use whole fruits rather than fruit juice in your mix. This is because with fruit juice all of the fibre has already been removed from the fruit, making it less filling.