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February 8, 2024

That ‘healthy’ smoothie you love could be causing weight gain – here’s how to avoid that

Filed under: Fitness — Tags: — admin @ 9:02 pm

On the list of ‘healthy’ breakfast foods we all have in our heads, surely a nice fruit smoothie is high up on the list.

Packed with fruit and nutrients, plus protein powder if you choose to add it, smoothies make sense for a ‘good-for-you’ breakfast on the go.

But if you’re not careful, smoothies could help contribute to weight gain.

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Woman blending spinach, berries, bananas and almond milk to make a healthy green smoothie

UK nutritionist Angela Clucas says when we’re blending up our food, it can be harder to stick to the right number of calories we should be consuming for weight loss or maintenance.

“It’s really easy to blend and drink far more than you would eat,” Clucas told Business Insider. To lose weight, you need to be in a calorie deficit, where you’re burning more calories than you eat.

Clucas warns that while smoothies are great for athletes and those trying to gain weight or consume a lot of calories, the average person can get blinded by the drink’s “health halo”.

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Closeup of one caucasian man pouring healthy green detox smoothie from blender into glass in kitchen at home. Guy having fresh fruit juice to cleanse and provide energy for training. Wholesome drink with vitamins and nutrients

So what’s the golden rule for creating smoothies that are still good for you – without being too calorie-dense?

Lay out all your ingredients on a plate before you blend them, so you can visualise exactly what you’ll be consuming, and compare it to a normal-sized meal.

“If it’s half a large tub of yogurt, a banana, an apple, half a pineapple and a big spoonful of peanut butter and you think, ‘Oh, God no, I’d be stuffed by eating that,’ then don’t drink it,” Clucas said.

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However, if you’re not a fan of eating fruits and veggies, and smoothies are the only way to get them into your diet, that’s better than not having them at all.

Blending them is definitely better than juicing them, Clucas added. “If you want to blend loads of vegetables and drink that because you don’t really like vegetables, great,” she said. “Don’t juice them because you’ll lose the fibre.”

Not only does fibre help you feel full, but it’s also been linked to good digestive and gut health.

The key to making a good smoothie is to ensure it has a good balance of protein, fat, and fibre, otherwise you might find yourself hungry again within an hour. 

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