One of the best health perks of drinking green smoothies is losing weight. They helped me to shed over 60 pounds 4 years ago! Plus, since I have included them into my daily eating plan a few years ago, I have continued to lose weight without putting in too much effort.
Thousands of people who follow me via Facebook have also successfully lost weight with the help of wholefoods and green smoothies.
I managed to make it much easier to lose weight by following three steps that changed my lifestyle and diet.
Step 1: Drink A Green Smoothie Each Day
To lose weight, I drink a green smoothie each day. Through all these years I found that it works best for me when I replace one of my daily meals with a big smoothie, particularly breakfast.
Your green smoothie should be about 30 ounces. If you are unable to drink all of it at once, just drink half of it right after you have prepared it. Simply store any leftover green smoothie in an airtight container and pop it in the fridge. You can then enjoy the rest of your wholesome green smoothie about an hour later.
If you're a woman, your smoothie should contain a minimum of 300 calories. If you're a man, it can have 400 calories. When I started making green smoothies, I was using recipes that my buddy health coach Drew shared with me. I have found that the majority of these recipes can be used effectively to replace a meal.
Your smoothie should have a minimum of 10 grams of protein and a bit of healthy fat too. Examples of healthy fat are avocado (about a quarter), coconut and flaxseed/chia seeds (about three teaspoons should do the trick). To boost your green smoothie's protein content, I recommend that you add protein powder. I like NutriBiotic's vanilla protein the best.
When you replace a meal with a green smoothie every day, you will enjoy the following four perks that help with losing weight.
- You will have more energy.
- You will consume fewer calories (fruit and veggies do not have many calories and on top of that have a lot of water as well as fiber).
- Your taste buds will improve. You will acutally start to like healthy food. Food with a lot of sugar will be too sweet and food with a lot of salt/grease will not be as nice.
- You will eat more fruit and veggies. This way you will easily get all your daily servings. According to clinical studies, people who eat more fruit and veggies weigh less and are less likely to battle a chronic illness.
Step 2: Consume More Wholefoods and Plant-based Food
A green smoothie will help you to lose weight, but when you follow a healthy, wholefoods diet these smoothies will work even better.
I have found that the best weight loss happens when you switch to an eating plan that has loads of fresh wholefoods like nuts, fruit, seeds, low-fat protein, veggies, legumes and whole grains. You can rest assured, just by switching to a diet that is rich in plant-based foods does not necessarily mean you must become a vegetarian or vegan.
I can't stress enough that if you eat takeaway foods, snack a lot or snack on too much unhealthy food, even if you drink a green smoothie every single day you will not erase those bad eating choices. A green smoothie can't just fix an unhealthy diet.
You can make several small changes to your diet. Over time these small changes will lead to impressive results. Here are four examples of great changes you can make.
- Eating brown rice/quinoa instead of white rice, pasta or couscous. Quinoa and brown rice boast loads of protein plus many minerals and vitamins. Instead of pasta, I love to prepare zucchini noodles. They are extremely easy to prepare, add a nice texture and do not have add many calories to your diet.
- Enjoy a bigger breakfast and smaller supper. As you need more energy in the morning, your body needs a big breakfast. When you consume a big supper, the extra calories will just turn into fat when you sleep.
- Remember to enjoy healthy snacks. I always ensure that I have healthy snacks available such as granola, raw nuts and fresh fruit. Healthy snacks are so important to help reduce cravings and hunger. This way your diet also doesn't get derailed.
- Do not become dehydrated. According to research, those who suffer from chronic dehydration tend to weigh more partly because dehydration is often mistaken for hunger. I recommed drinking water and enjoying fresh fruit and veggies that will help you to stay hydrated.
You do not have to make all these changes at the same time. You can go slowly. I suggest you begin by eating some wholefood alternatives instead of processed foods that have a lot of fat and sugar. Another good practice is to study the labels and pick items that do not contain so much added sugar, salt, preservatives and other artificial ingredients.
My suggestion is that you begin by making your lunch healthier and only then move on to supper.
Also, I never recommend that you skip a meal or try to eat as little as you can. When you restrict your daily calorie intake to 1500 calories or less, you will not shed more weight or lose weight quicker. You will be hungry which will lead to strong cravings which can derail your healthy eating plan.
What's more, by significantly restricting your calorie intake, your metabolism can also become slower. You definitely do not want to slow down your metabolism as it will make it more difficult for you to continue to lose weight and when you stop with your diet, it will be easier to gain the weight again.
Therefore, I suggest you form new habits instead of some extreme diet that will not ensure the weight will stay off. Read this blog post for more information on forming healthy eating habits.
Step 3: Exercise
Your diet makes up 80% of weight loss! The majority of people can get close to their goals without having to work out regularly as long as they follow a long-term healthy diet.
Though, exercising regularly will help you to lose weight faster. Another major benefit of exercising is that your metabolism will increase which will make it easier to keep that new lower weight.
Once you're fitter, you will feel more energized, your mood will improve and you will feel less stressed. All of these make it easier for you to lose weight.
Exercising does not have to be difficult. There's no need to become a gym member for you to be slender. The only thing you require is approximately half an hour each day that you can be physically active. You can also change your lifestyle to increase your fitness. I park further away from entrances and avoid using the elevator. When I watch television, I do a set of exercises during an ad break. Walking also offers many health perks which means you do not have to do high-intensity exercises to lose weight.
Simply find a form of activity that will mean you are doing more than you did the previous day. It is really as easy as that.
What About Carbohydrates?
If you eat a healthy, wholefoods diet, carbohydrates are not significant. There is this big misconception that you should avoid any carbs if you want to lose weight.
You can still enjoy carbs and shed those unwanted pounds. There are several healthy wholefoods such as beans, brown rice, quinoa and fresh fruit which are great for losing weight. I use these ingredients (even banana, watermelon and grapes) a lot in my meal plans which have assisted countless people to shed those unwanted pounds.
I highly recoomend that you include these good carbohydrates in your diet. They will help to regulate your blood sugar and offer fiber, minerals and vitamins. They are much better choices than pizza, pasta, biscuits and white bread that are high in calories.
One of the best benefits of eating healthy food in their natural form is that you do not have to keep track of your carbs or count calories.
I hope this blog post has given you some direction and motivation to take your next step towards your weight loss goal. Here are two steps you can take right now:
1) Kickstart your weight loss journey with 3-WEEK Smoothie Diet Challenge. Lose up to 8 pounds in a week! Feel confident in your own skin without starving yourself.
2) Choose and exercise routine that works for you. I really like this one. But if it's too hard for you, jogging counts as well.