How to Make Perfect Weight Loss Smoothies
Over the years, the line between smoothie and milk shake has been irrevocably blurred by the beverage industry. What was once a weight loss-friendly, all-fruit concoction is now likely to be an ice-cream-and-added-sugar extravaganza, capable of carrying over 2,000 calories a serving.
Even worse, this is wreaking havoc on not only your waistline, but also your wallet. Forget the $10-a-cup superfood smoothies and make your own at home using affordable weight loss foods — for about a buck a glass. Making smoothies can be a pretty freewheeling endeavor, which is certainly part of the fun, but we’ve established a few basic rules. Follow our guide and you’ll be ready for liquid liftoff.
If you want ice cream in your smoothie, call it what it is—a milk shake—and have it for dessert. We're firm believers that desserts have a place in any diet — if done right — but breakfast is not the time. (And if you're looking for a nutritionally sound base for your sip, rely on our guide to healthy ice cream options.)
A weak blender won’t be able to crush the ice quickly enough, which means it melts and ultimately dilutes your precious creation, rather than giving it that bracing, velvety texture you want. If you're stuck with a less-than-stellar blender for the time being, try substituting in frozen banana slices for the standard ice cubes. They'll instantly chill your drink and lend an ice cream-like consistency that makes your slim-down smoothie feel indulgent.
Once you learn the basic proportions of liquids to solids, you can turn anything into a pretty drinkable smoothie. For every 3 cups of fruit, you’ll need about 1 cup of liquid. Keep in mind that both yogurt and ice will thicken your drink.
In addition to being considerably more affordable, frozen fruits may actually carry higher levels of antioxidants because they’re picked at the height of season and flash frozen on the spot, research has found. Also, frozen fruit means you can use less ice to make your smoothie sufficiently cold, which in turn yields a more intense, pure flavor.
If you need ideas to get you started, try these healthy smoothie recipes. Once you're comfortable with the ratios, use these combinations as inspiration for creating your own custom slimming sips.