Drinking smoothies is a great way to get more fruit in your diet—and they’re easy to make. But many people don’t realize that smoothies may have a lot of calories depending on their ingredients. It can be deceptive because we often focus on taking in fewer calories by eating healthier food, but paying attention to what you drink can be just as important.
The good news is there are many options for lowering the number of calories in what you drink, which may help turn your delicious blended drinks into weight loss smoothies. Check out the following tips to help you get started:
1. Use Simple Ingredients
Stick to a basic mixture. Combine fresh or frozen fruit with some low-fat or non-fat milk, maybe some yogurt and 100% fruit juice. Then mix it in a blender till it’s smooth.
Feel free to experiment with many different fruits too, so you’ll have a variety of weight loss smoothie recipes to enjoy in the future.
2. Freeze Fruits
Adding frozen fruit to your weight loss smoothies can help thicken their consistency without sacrificing any flavor. There are a couple of ways to do this.
You can freeze fruit like fresh berries, for example, by washing them under running tap water; patting them dry with clean paper towels, and freezing them in a single layer on a rimmed cookie sheet. When they’re frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag and pour them out as needed. Using small fruit like berries, or cut-up pieces of larger fruits like mangoes, will make it easier for your blender to process them.
Another easier option may be to use pre-frozen fruit, which you can buy at a grocery store and add to your weight loss smoothies right away.
3. Choose a Thinner Glass
Picking the right glass to drink your weight loss smoothies from is more important than you might imagine. Our eyes can play tricks on us, so when you drink from glasses that are short and wide, you’ll likely fill them with more fluid and gulp down more. Instead, use a more slender glass when you drink any beverage except water.
4. Check for Bad Ingredients
If your weight loss smoothie recipes contain prepared ingredients, you should take a look at what’s in those ingredients to make sure they’re not sabotaging your health goals. Sweeteners that add calories go by many different names, and they may not be obvious to you. You should watch out for sweeteners that add calories like high-fructose corn syrup, fruit juice concentrates, honey, sugar, syrup, sucrose, dextrose, and fructose.
5. Spice it Up
Let’s face it: fat, sugar, and salt can make food delicious. But there are great ways to avoid using them and still end up with a tasty treat. So when you’re creating your weight loss smoothies, add spices and herbs like cinnamon, chili powder, pepper, cayenne, or basil. It will help keep them flavorful—and healthy.
6. Add Veggies
Sneak some spinach, carrots, squash, or really any vegetable you’d enjoy into your weight loss smoothies, and add a frozen banana to improve the experience. It will give your smoothies a thicker, creamier consistency while infusing them with a sweet banana taste that improves the flavor of the veggies.
The following are some intelligent ways to make healthier smoothies that you’ll still love to drink:
1. Get Milk
Milk is full of vitamins and other nutrients that are great for your health, but it also has a lot of calories. Go for low-fat or fat-free milk instead. It’s a good way to drink in fewer calories while getting milk’s nutritional benefits.
2. Ditch Sweetened Drinks
Sugar-sweetened beverages are full of sugar, which means they have a lot of calories. Try substituting them with low-calorie or no-calorie drinks instead.
3. Skip the Sugar
There’s no need to add sugar to your weight loss smoothies. If the ingredients include fruit (which is naturally sweet), juice, or yogurt, then they already have some sugar in them.
4. Swap Out Ice Cream
Ice cream has a lot of sugar and fat. Instead, add sherbet, ice milk or frozen low-fat or fat-free yogurt to your weight loss smoothies for a healthier treat.
Fiber is part of a healthy diet, and amount of fiber in your weight loss smoothies is reduced when you take the skin and pulp out of the fruit during the juicing process. Fortunately, there are ways to make sure you get the fiber you need in your weight loss smoothies. For example, you can use a blender, which does not extract or remove the pulp from fruit.