The smoothie mistakes that are making you fat!

As a holistic nutritionist I drink a lot of smoothies! They are such a great way to get a big dose of nutrients in the morning. When I work with clients who are looking to clean up their diet, I often recommend they start their day with a smoothie. I love them because they can be made in less than 5 minutes and you can take them on-the-go.  

Recently smoothies have been making quite a comeback with everyone making them in effort to lose weight and get healthy. The problem is many people are making mistakes when they make their smoothies, creating a drink that is not only unhealthy but contributing to weight gain, yikes!

Fiber keeps things moving

Fiber keeps you full and sweeps clean your digestive tract removing toxins along the way. It will also slow the release of sugar into your blood stream so you don’t get a sugar buzz followed by an energy slump. I recommend adding about 10g of fiber to your smoothies; this can come from ground flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, dark leafy greens (collard greens, romaine lettuce, Swiss chard, spinach, kale), berries or legumes.

Protein will keep you full

Have you found yourself feeling hungry minutes after drinking a big smoothie? Chances are you forgot to add protein. Protein will sustain your energy and keep your hunger at bay. I recommend adding around 15g of protein to your smoothie. This can be done by adding nuts, seeds, legumes or a high quality raw plant based protein powder. Overly processed protein powders contain chemicals, fillers, sweeteners and genetically modified ingredients can hinder your health.

Don’t be afraid of fat

It is important to add a little healthy fat to your smoothie; this will keep you feeling full and help your body absorb the fat soluble vitamins in the smoothie. You can add ½ an avocado for a silky smoothie or 1 Tbsp coconut oil, flax oil or hemp oil.

Filling the blender with fruit

Fruit is an excellent way to add sweetness and antioxidants to your smoothie but it is also high in sugar. Fruit metabolises into simple sugar very quickly which spikes your sugar levels and leaves you tired and hungry 30 minutes later. I recommend limiting yourself to 1 cup of fruit in your smoothie.

Using Juice as a Base

Speaking of additional sugar, many people use juice as the base for their smoothies. The juice that you buy in the store is pasteurised which means that it no longer contains the vitamins and nutrients it did in its whole form, making it simply another source of sugar in your smoothie. I recommend using 1.5 cups of water or unsweetened nut milk as the liquid base of your smoothie.

Not Chewing

Chew a smoothie? Sounds odd but an important part of digestion happens in the mouth. When you chew your saliva mixes with the smoothie and the digestive enzymes in your saliva break down the food particles. To remember to chew your smoothie, try adding some chunky superfoods like cacao nibs, goji berries, coconut, seeds or nuts.

Need Smoothie Inspiration?

If you ever find yourself in a smoothie rut, check out my e-Book, The Holistic In The City 21 Day Smoothie Guide which contains 21 delicious smoothie recipes, the ultimate formula for a delicious and nutritious smoothie, the answer to the age old debate of juicing vs smoothies and what to look for when buying protein powder.

Jesse Lane Lee, CNP