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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 March 13, 2019

            How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

            How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

            Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

            You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

            Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

            1. Work on the small tasks.

            When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

            Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

            2. Take a break from your work desk.

            Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

            Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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            3. Upgrade yourself

            Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

            The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

            4. Talk to a friend.

            Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

            Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

            5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

            If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

            Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

            Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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            6. Paint a vision to work towards.

            If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

            Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

            Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

            7. Read a book (or blog).

            The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

            Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

            Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

            8. Have a quick nap.

            If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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            9. Remember why you are doing this.

            Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

            What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

            10. Find some competition.

            Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

            Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

            11. Go exercise.

            Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

            Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

            As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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            Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

            12. Take a good break.

            Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

            Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

            Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

            Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

            More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

            Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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