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5 Smoothie Mistakes That Make You Gain Weight

5 Smoothie Mistakes That Make You Gain Weight

The idea of the smoothie as a weight-loss tool has been around for a long time. By blending a bunch of fruits and vegetables together, smoothies are supposed to melt fat away by combining all sorts of fancy nutrients together.

But like so many other weight loss tricks, smoothies are trickier to use than you might expect. Anyone can make or buy a smoothie, but if you want a smoothie that actually makes you lose weight, you have to understand how smoothies truly help you lose weight and avoid some of the common mistakes.

1. Thinking that all fruits and vegetables are low-calorie

Roman Davayposmotrim

    The entire point of going on a smoothie diet is that by combining fruits and vegetables into a smoothie, you consume less calories than when eating a regular, carbohydrate-based meal.

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    But all of this assumes that the smoothie is actually low-calorie. As Web MD points out, some restaurant smoothies can contain more calories than a fast-food meal. Throwing in a bunch of varied fruits, while appetizing, will just add in more calories for little benefit. It should also be noted that fruit contains a lot of natural sugars, and contrary to what many health experts may claim, there is no real difference between natural sugar and artificial, refined sugar.

    If you buy a smoothie, make sure it has few calories. If you make one, only use one or maybe two kinds of fruits or vegetables to keep the calories down.

    2. Not adding protein

    Carissa Gan

      As noted above, smoothies should help you consume less calories than eating a regular meal. But at the same time, a good weight loss smoothie needs to be filling so that you don’t just get hungry and eat again a short while later.

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      For that reason, protein is a necessary part of any smoothie. The popularity of low-carb, high-protein diets has helped show that protein can be a valuable part of losing weight because protein is filling and can keep your energy levels high. Weight loss, at a fundamental level, is about eating less calories while tricking your body into thinking that it is full, and protein is key to accomplishing that.

      Now, that does not mean that you should throw some bacon into your smoothie (though you can). Good protein choices include nuts, tofu, or protein powder if you want to keep things simple. Milk is probably the best choice, though almond milk should be avoided as it carries little protein.

      3. Not adding fiber

      Chie Carroll

        Protein is not the only thing which can be used to keep your stomach full throughout the day. Dietary fiber is also incredibly beneficial. One study conducted by the Annals of Internal Medicine found that just increasing fiber consumption to about 30 grams a day was as effective a weight loss tool as reducing saturated fats and following American Heart Association dietary guidelines.

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        Good sources of fibers include leafy greens like kale along with berries or chia seeds.

        4. Using sweeteners

        Sonja Langford

          So, you added just a few fruits, leafy greens, and milk to create a smoothie, only to find that you don’t like the taste. As a result, you throw in just a dollop of honey or sugar to improve the taste, thinking that it will not destroy your smoothie’s health benefits.

          But there is no reason to do that, especially since any smoothie will contain sugar-bearing fruits to begin with. Adding more sugar just makes your smoothie less nutritionally viable and packs in additional calories which will ruin your weight loss plans. This will especially make it difficult to lose fat around the belly and other problem areas.

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          If you really cannot tolerate the taste of your smoothie, there are other alternatives such as cinnamon, salt, or lemon juice which can make your smoothie more palatable. But when you are making a smoothie, try not to use anything that you don’t like unblended. If you don’t like it in a solid form, you are not going to like it in a liquid form.

          5. Making your smoothie too large

          257346002_7745cb7cea_b

            We can talk about all the healthy foods which will help you lose weight, but the fact is that the most basic thing you can do is to just eat less. It’s not like Americans are eating worse foods today than 50 years ago. We’re just eating a lot more, as we have lost all sense of portion control.

            And this applies to weight loss smoothies as well. As smoothies are a liquid, it can be easy to drink way too much and end up no better than before. Don’t fill up your blender with every ingredient you can find, and try to keep your smoothie thick instead of thin and runny. A good smoothie should be no more than 300 calories, and you should try to make it less if you can.

            Featured photo credit: VIKTOR HANACEK via picjumbo.com

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            Last Updated on July 10, 2020

            How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

            How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

            We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

            We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

            So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

            Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

            What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

            Boundaries are limits

            —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

            Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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            Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

            Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

            Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

            How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

            Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

            1. Self-Awareness Comes First

            Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

            You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

            To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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            You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

            • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
            • When do you feel disrespected?
            • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
            • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
            • When do you want to be alone?
            • How much space do you need?

            You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

            2. Clear Communication Is Essential

            Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

            Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

            3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

            Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

            That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

            Sample language:

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            • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
            • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
            • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
            • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
            • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
            • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
            • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

            Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

            4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

            Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

            Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

            Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

            We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

            It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

            It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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            Final Thoughts

            Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

            Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

            Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

            The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

            Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

            Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

            They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

            Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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