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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

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            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 January 21, 2020

            The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

            The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

            Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

            your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

              Why You Need a Vision

              Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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              How to Create Your Life Vision

              Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

              What Do You Want?

              The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

              It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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              Some tips to guide you:

              • Remember to ask why you want certain things
              • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
              • Give yourself permission to dream.
              • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
              • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

              Some questions to start your exploration:

              • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
              • What would you like to have more of in your life?
              • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
              • What are your secret passions and dreams?
              • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
              • What do you want your relationships to be like?
              • What qualities would you like to develop?
              • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
              • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
              • What would you most like to accomplish?
              • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

              It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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              What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

              Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

              A few prompts to get you started:

              • What will you have accomplished already?
              • How will you feel about yourself?
              • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
              • What does your ideal day look like?
              • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
              • What would you be doing?
              • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
              • How are you dressed?
              • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
              • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
              • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

              It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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              Plan Backwards

              It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

              • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
              • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
              • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
              • What important actions would you have had to take?
              • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
              • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
              • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
              • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
              • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

              Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

              It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

              Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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