I think smoothies make a great option for a quick, easy, and no-fuss meal or snack on the go.
When made with the right combination of nutrient-dense, whole food ingredients, smoothies can taste delicious, nourish our bodies, and also keep us full for hours without feeling overly stuffed or bloated.
Smoothies can seriously satisfy sweet cravings, and many of my clients have been able to cut back on their caffeine intake by replacing a cup of coffee with a green smoothie. They still get that energy boost, actually!
Smoothies are also a great post-workout option because our bodies can absorb the nutrients quickly and benefit from the protein and fast-digesting carbohydrates.
However, smoothies can actually be detrimental to our nutrition efforts if 1) we actually prefer to chew our food and we end up still eating a meal or snack anyways after drinking the smoothie, and/or 2) just they aren’t made with the right combination of ingredients.
My ideal smoothie combination includes protein, healthy fats, and fiber. This overall balance keeps me satisfied and satiated as opposed to smoothies that are full of extra sugar from using ingredients like store-bought juices, sweeteners, or even overdoing it on the fruit.
A smoothie isn’t so healthy if all it does is leave us with spiked blood sugar and increased hunger… not so great if fat loss is the goal, right?
When it comes to ensuring our smoothie/shakes are actually HELPING our fat loss efforts as opposed to hurting them, it all comes down to the nutrient breakdown.
Here’s how to think about making a well-rounded smoothie that will help you stay full and satisfied:
Choose Your Liquid Base
I prefer using non-dairy substitutes like unsweetened almond milk or unsweetened coconut milk as opposed to water or juice. If you do want to use juice, I recommend using a hand-held juicer to get the juice straight from the fruit itself instead of using store-bought juice. You could also try coconut water!
Pick Your Protein
Protein is essential for a smoothie that will give you that staying power. My favorite protein powders are Vega Sports Performance, SunWarrior, and Tera’s Whey. If protein powder isn’t your thing, some other protein sources you could consider using include Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, or even some hemp or chia seeds.
Don’t Forget Fiber
Here’s where you can add carb sources like oats or fruit. I like using frozen fruit without any added sugar because it makes my smoothies nice and thick and frothy. You can also add fiber in the form of veggies. Consider adding a a cup or big handful or two of spinach or kale. Using frozen is perfectly fine, and you won’t be able to taste it. Adding greens to your smoothies will give you that extra veggie serving in your diet, something that many people struggle with. Get it in by hiding it in your shake!
Finish Out With Fat
Finally, consider using avocado, coconut oil, and unsweetened nut/seed butters. Some nut and seed butters have a lot of added sugar, so make sure to read your labels carefully! Be mindful of calorie content and what other fats you will be consuming over the course of your day.
Once you play around with a few different options, you can mix and match and play with new ingredient combinations. Of course, in true #AntiPerfectFitness fashion you don’t want to stress about it, but at the end of the day, you simply want to be mindful that the things you are putting in your smoothie don’t add up to the equivalent of a few glazed donuts. 😉
Readers, let’s chat! Do you like drinking smoothies? Why or why not? What is your favorite combination of ingredients? Is your smoothie helping or hurting your current diet?
Enjoy a good smoothie, but DON’T love dragging out all the ingredients needed to make a smoothie every morning and the tried and true mess that ensues?!
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It not only contains my #SmoothiesMadeSimple strategy for easy meal prep, but it will also give you new ideas for breaking out of a breakfast rut, provide ways to save time in the kitchen, and ensure you are starting your day in a nutritious way to support your fitness goals.