Ways Drinking Smoothies Can Help You Lose Weight, Say Dietitians
Whether you're trying to look your best for an upcoming event or just want to fit back into your favorite jeans after some pandemic-related weight gain, everyone has their own personal reasons for wanting to slim down. Unfortunately, there often seems to be little overlap in the Venn diagram of foods that are quick and easy to make and those that are good for aiding in your weight loss efforts.
However, there is one notable exception: smoothies. When they're made with the right ingredients, smoothies can be your secret weapon for losing weight and keeping it off. So, how exactly does drinking something that tastes like a dessert help you rid your body of those extra pounds? Read on to discover how smoothies help you lose weight, according to dietitians. And for more simple ways to shed some unwanted pounds, check out these 15 Underrated Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work.
Their high liquid and air content keeps you full.
While chewing your food may be satisfying, the liquid content of smoothies can play a significant role in keeping you physically satiated, thus aiding your long-term weight loss efforts.
"Being naturally high in water, fruits and vegetables are, by default, low in energy density, which is the number of calories divided by the weight in grams," explains Elizabeth Brown, MS, RDN, CPT, The Kitchen Vixen, a registered dietitian and certified holistic chef based in Santa Monica, California. "Not only do smoothies add water to these already water-rich foods, by way of blending, you also incorporate more air into the volume of your soon-to-be weight loss smoothie."
When combined with protein, they help aid muscle development.
While the thought of eating steak after steak may sound laborious, drinking smoothies is a delicious and easy way to increase your protein intake and help build muscle along the way.
"Smoothies containing whey protein aid in muscle building. Muscles burn more energy, even when you are sitting and sleeping," thus helping you shed pounds more easily, explains Marie Ruggles, MS, RD, CN, CDE, creator of The Whole Foods Quick Start Guide with Tracker.
For more incentive to keep these satisfying drinks on your menu, check out these Side Effects of Giving up Smoothies, According to Science.
Their fiber and protein content can keep you full for longer.
Want to say goodbye to those hunger pangs telling you to snack between meals? A smoothie might just be the easiest way to bid them adieu once and for all.
"Making a smoothie with mostly veggies, one to two fruits, and a protein source can aid in weight loss. It's full of fiber and protein, which can help you feel full longer," explains Stacy Roberts-Davis, RD, LDN, of Flavorful Nutrition LLC.
They can help stabilize your hunger hormones.
Adding some protein to your favorite smoothie recipe can not only keep you feeling full for longer, but it may also help suppress your hunger hormones and kick those cravings to the curb.
"Whether you use a protein powder, cow's milk, Greek yogurt, or tofu, you can bolster the protein content which will help you have a satisfying smoothie that also fills you up with supportive calories, rather than empty calories that are lacking nutrients. In fact, higher protein intake increases levels of the appetite-reducing hormones GLP-1, peptide YY, and cholecystokinin, while reducing your levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin. This can help lead to a reduction in calories throughout the day," explains Lisa Bruno, MS, RDN, founder of Well Done Nutrition.
They can help crowd out less nutritious foods.
The easiest way to eat fewer junk foods isn't necessarily to prohibit them—sometimes, it's easier to crowd them out with a greater proportion of nutrient-dense, low-calorie foods instead.
"Smoothies allow you to easily increase your fruit and vegetable intake," says Bruno. "On average, only 14 percent of American adults consume at least two servings of fruit and at least three servings of vegetables daily. A diet high in fruits and vegetables is optimal for weight management. We should aim to eat two to three cups per day of both fruits and veggies."
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