Green smoothies can be an ideal fat burning food when they are nutrient-rich, loaded with fibre and protein to keep you fuelled and full. However, there is an art to making a properly built smoothie. These seven tips will help you create filling and delicious green smoothies.....
Tip 1: Start with water or plant milks. Water, unsweetened coconut water or unsweetened plant milks like almond, coconut, hemp and cashew milk are low in fat and usually calories but do read the labels carefully as products really vary. Almond milk helps give your green smoothie a creamy texture, while making it more filling. It's super easy to make your own too - cashew milk is y far the most fuss free if you want to give it a go.
Tip 2: Add a pinch of healthy fat. Add 1/4 of an avocado, or a tablespoon of chia seeds or flaxseed, or a few nuts to give your smoothie some heart healthy fats which help you absorb more of the vitamins from the green veg.
Fat doesn’t necessarily make you fat. The right proportions of healthy, plant-based fats are good for you and can help speed up a metabolism alongside a sensible balanced diet.
Keep the fat content low, however, as too much fat and fruit in the same green smoothie might cause gas and bloating. Fat is also a dense source of calories. While calories from whole foods are better for you, too many calories from any source may sabotage any weight management goals.
Tip 3: Sweeten it with a little fruit. Keep the ratio 2 veg to 1 portion of fruit. Aim for low GL fruits like apples, pears, berries, kiwi fruit - and just add 1 or 2 portions max to at least 3 portions of green veg, to keep the sugar content low.
Skip the honey, agave, and maple syrup. Any concentrated sugars can turn a healthy, weight loss smoothie into a sugar bomb. Refined and concentrated, processed sugar will probably hinder your ability to lose weight.
Tip 4: Use a quality protein powder. Use a quality, plant-based protein powder in your green smoothies to boosts the protein content, and help you feel full and satisfied. I use Pulsin’s, That Protein, The Organic Protein Company or Naturya’s hemp or pea protein in my green smoothies, which are easily available at big supermarkets or health food shops. You can also increase the protein content of your green smoothies naturally using chia seeds and goji berries, as well as higher protein greens like kale and dandelion greens.
Tip 5: Make it a meal. I have found it very effective to use green smoothies as a meal replacement. Replacing one meal each day with a smoothie is an easy way to lower daily calorie intake and will help keep you full and fuelled, so long as it contains all the crucial elements. It also increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables while boosting your water and fibre intake – all great things for healthy weight goals.
** Meal replacements are NOT advisable for children - just use smoothies alongside other nutritious breakfast options or as a post school snack.
Tip 6: Stick with fresh, whole foods. Fresh fruits, vegetables and dark leafy greens are packed full of fibre, naturally water rich, and full of micronutrients that boost your metabolism.
If you are looking to save money, buy frozen fruits or buy fresh in bulk and freeze for later use. Avoid canned fruit as it is often soaked in syrup and nutritionally inferior to fresh fruit.
Tip 7: Don’t rely only on green smoothies for weight loss. Green smoothies can certainly help you lose weight, but a long-term change in other areas of your diet and lifestyle are helpful as well as your smoothies, to provide long term results.