Smoothies as Meal Replacements

How was everyone’s 4th of July!?

I hope it was rockin’ and patriotic-y.

It’s Friday! And you know what that means: it’s time to partaaaay. And by partaaaay I mean hopefully workout—at least for me. I haven’t had a legitimate workout in about 2 weeks, what with my siblings’ visit and being sick. Not cool, man. Now that I’m getting better, Matt’s getting sick, so let’s hope I keep getting better and can get back to the fitness thing. While it’s been nice to have that extra hour+ back in my day, I feel like I’m getting out of shape fast.

Aaaaanyways, I hope you all have a great weekend! Workout for me. Thanks.

Now for the main point of this post…

I was approached recently by someone looking to replace meals with smoothies to help him lose weight. I’ve had smoothies instead of lunch or breakfast in the past, but not often because they never seem to tide me over. A lot of people support the notion of smoothies being a great aid in weight loss, and I’m here to write about that theory.

Smoothies as Meal Replacements thumb

I have travelled to the ends of the internet (that’s a lie) to find how to best use smoothies to replace meals to encourage weight loss (without getting ‘hangry’). I have come to the conclusion that the following must apply to smoothies in order to make the weight loss work:Berry Spinach Smoothie21.jpg thumb1

Make it filling.

They say that every meal should be around should be 400-500 calories. Don’t jip yourself on smoothie if you’re drinking it as a meal. You don’t want to be ravenous after just a couple hours. According to a study done by the journal Flavour, people who drank thicker smoothies felt twice as full as those who had thinner ones. It has to do with us associating a thick texture with feeling satisfied. I found this pretty friggin awesome. Easy ways to thicken your smoothies include chia seeds, xanthan gum, and frozen bananas!

Include important nutrients.

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This one is huge. Every meal should be balanced and include carbohydrates, healthy fats, and proteins. Depending on the time of day and what you have planned, the level of each may vary (aka, if you’re going to workout soon, you’d probably want a smoothie with more carbs for energy). I never have to try to add carbs because everything I want is usually heavy on the carbs. However, for protein I always add Greek yogurt and occasionally may include peanut butter or protein powder. For healthy fats, like I said, I use peanut butter once in awhile. Flax seed and avocado are also in some recipes though. And don’t forget to add some fruits and veggies!

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Be consistent.

Like any part of healthy living, consistency is key. If you want to lose some weight by drinking smoothies as meals, you should incorporate the replacement on a regular basis. I’m not talking about three meals a day, seven days a week. You could just do it once or twice a week, or maybe you could start drinking smoothies in the morning for a breakfast on-the-go. It really depends on your lifestyle and when it’s most convenient for you. I know for me breakfast is easiest since I’m at work all day, and I like dinner to be real food.

Get creative with flavors.

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Ideally, you’d have some sort of green smoothie everyday, but after my 2012 green smoothie obsession, I recognize that that gets VERY old and blah. And that is how frozen berries became my best friend. If you want to be a rockstar at something, it helps if you actually enjoy it. Check out a bunch of smoothies I’ve found around the world wide web that suit my fancy: Kale Apple Smoothie | Carrot-Pineapple Smoothie | 10 Spinach Smoothies | Banana Cashew Smoothie | Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie | Kale, Spinach, and Pear Smoothie | Mango Smoothie Surprise | Blueberry Smoothie | Chocolate Raspberry Smoothie | Apple Smoothie | Green Monster Spinach Smoothie | 23 Smoothies that Aid in Weight Loss

Cut back on the bad ingredients.

One of the biggest ones: beware of sugar! I never add sugar to my smoothies, but once in awhile I’ll add honey or agave nectar. While these are a little healthier, they’re still sugar in the end. Try to find alternatives to the bad. Fruit is a great option to add some pizzazz to an otherwise boring smoothie. I know blueberries are my best friend.

Smoothies Found on Getting’ My Healthy On

Check out two smoothies that I’m always making:

Berry Spinach Smoothie.jpg Protein Spinach Smoothie2

P.S. If you’re ever interested in a topic and wanted to hear about it on Gettin’ My Healthy On, please feel free to email me! I’m always open to suggestions and topics to research. The world of healthy living is endless, and I’m always searching for new subjects to write about!

Questions for you:

Do you ever drink smoothies in place of meals? What’s your go-to? When I very rarely do, I use my Berry Spinach Smoothie recipe.

When do you usually drink smoothies? (i.e. workout recovery, meals, snacks) I used to always have a green smoothie following workouts but have since gotten lazy. Now it’s more for an addition to a small lunch.

Any other tips you’d like to add to my list?

What did you do for the 4th?! Nada. We were planning to go places and possibly see fireworks, but we ended up just hanging out at home to watch the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks since the boyfriend wasn’t feeling well. The day was surprisingly enjoyable though. Yay for getting off work!

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Comments

  1. says

    I always have a fruit smoothie after a weightlifting workout, and often after a long bike ride (70 miles or more). One advantage of being a distance cyclist is that I don’t have to limit my smoothies to 400 or 500 calories. After burning 4,000 or 5,000 calories on a bike ride I really don’t have to worry about a few extra calories in my smoothie!
    David Padfield recently posted…Trek Domane 5.9 Carbon Fiber Endurance Race BikeMy Profile

  2. says

    You already have lot’s of great tips for making smoothies, but I’ll share a couple of things that also do. Totally agree that you gotta make it thick, so I always use some banana+chia seeds+ scoop of protein powder (unsweetened). Trust me, you’ll feel full & satisfied for a while if you include those 3 things. Often I have one to be my breaky or lunch, so I’ll add some spinach in there too. I think they are a great way to eat healthy and help with fat loss.
    Fit Betty @fitbits fitness gear recently posted…Adidas Women’s Squad Duffel Bag, Blaze Pink/Ultra Pop Pink/Ultra Bright/Red Zest, One Size Fits AllMy Profile

    • says

      Banana, chia seeds, and protein powder all at once!? That sounds like a foolproof way to stay full from a smoothie. Thanks for your tips!

  3. says

    HI! I juice and make smoothies everyday for lunch and dinner. I actually eat breakfast because you are supposed to have the bulk of your calories early in the day. It’s great! Totally loved this post. Keep up the good work!

    Hanna

  4. BONNIE says

    Hi I am wondering if I were to just have a smoothie for lunch instead of breakfast will I get the same results? I get up early and don’t want to wake the rest of the house by running a blender. Also should I have one everyday? I want to lose 15 pounds by July 1

    • says

      Hey, Bonnie! I’m with you on not wanting to run the blender in the wee hours of the morning. I think replacing lunch with a smoothie would be just fine. In regards to losing weight, the whole day’s worth of food really comes into play, though. I think swapping out a healthy smoothie for a big meal would really help though. Hope this helps!

  5. BONNIE says

    I am trying this smoothie right now it has water,lemon, lime,blueberries, ginger, honey and kale Is there a way to make the kale blend up more so its is not so chunky? otherwise very tasty

    • says

      The only way I have found is to but the kale already chopped up in bit sized pieces. I sometimes juice the kale and pour it into the blender before I blend. I would juice the kale and then follow it with the lemon so the kale washes out of the juicer well.
      Hanna recently posted…The BEST ToothpasteMy Profile

  6. Thomas says

    I usually start the day with a pint of oatmeal smoothie. I mix juice, 100g of oat, and a layer of frozen berries. Blueberries are the cheapest so usually that. occasionally I´ll put in a banana. Without the banana this adds up to 570 +- kcal, 14gprotein, 8g fat, and 104g carbs. I´ll top it off with a protein shake adding another 30g of protein.

  7. Angie says

    Is it possible to replace all meals with a nutritionally complete smoothie? I’m trying to lose weight but its difficult to make 2 separate meals each meal (one for me and one for the rest of the family)

    • Chris says

      Hi Angie. I have been pondering the same question for the last week or so and doing some research. As far as I can tell it is definitely possible to do this but there are a couple of nutrients and minerals that might be hard to come by in smoothie recipes, especially when following a vegetarian or vegan diet. The main things that might be hard to get are vitamins A, D and B12, iron, zinc and calcium. I understand that these are available from various plant based foods but have lower absorption rates when compared to dairy, meat, fish, poultry and eggs (which I assume won’t be going in your smoothies). That’s just from what I’ve been reading though so I could be totally wrong haha. I’m thinking about heading to a registered dietitian and seeing what they have to say. Hope your weight loss journey is going well. Regards, Chris.

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