You avoid store-bought smoothies because you know those can be sugar bombs. Smart! But if you're making the mistake of loading your smoothies with too many ingredients at home, then your fave beverage might be disguising loads of calories, sugar, and fat. And just because you call it a smoothie doesn't make it a healthy choice, even if you toss in some whey protein into the blender.
So the first rule of smoothie life? "Measure everything that's going in your smoothies. Of course, smoothies will need more concentration from fruits and vegetables to give it a base and flavour. But, you should also be aware that the total amount of calories from two fruits and 2-3 vegetables blended together to shrink as a smoothie will be more than what you get from eating whole fruits and veggies as it is. You’d never consume more than an apple in one go, right?" says Raksha Lulla, a lifestyle coach and nutrition expert.
Apart from measuring your ingredients, there are a few rules you should follow if you're all for that smoothie life:
It's a rookie move to add too many ingredients in one glass of smoothie. A general rule of thumb is to stick to around 1 cup of fruit per smoothie. Thus, putting in a few different fruits together can add up calories. "You should also keep an eye out for smoothies with added nuts as these add up a significant amount of calories," suggests Raksha.
You're doing a big mistake if you aren't eating your smoothie with a spoon from a bowl. Slow down, sit and eat your smoothie. "Sitting down and chewing your smoothies helps your body secrete hormones that make you feel full," says Raksha.
Maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar, or any other form of added sugar, if you're adding any of these to your smoothie then you're loading it with too much sweetener. Even flavoured smoothies will add calories. "Your smoothies should have more veggies than fruits. Only two servings of fruits paired with veggies like spinach, cucumber and zucchini make for a great smoothie. You can even add smoothie condiments like cinnamon to make it more flavourful," says Raksha.
Smoothies are versatile, they make for a great on-the-go breakfast or a post-workout snack. Agree. But knowing the difference between how you're consuming your smoothie--as a snack or a meal--can make all the difference. "If you're taking smoothies as snacks then your smoothie glass doesn't need heart ingredients like Greek yogurt, coconut oil, and nut butter," says Raksha.
Don't mix up Greek yogurt, nuts or a protein powder together. You just need any one of these ingredients in your smoothie. "You have to strike the right balance when it comes to protein: too much is not better and too little could leave you feeling hungry and unsatisfied," says Raksha
So ladies, follow these rules and avoid blender blunders!
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