You start your day with a healthy breakfast. You avoid carbs and sweets. You only have a salad for dinner. But you’re still gaining weight? Maybe you’ve never asked yourself: is your smoothie making you fat?
A few years ago I started my mornings with a sweet and healthy breakfast. Especially in the summer, smoothies seemed to be a smart choice. I mean, are strawberries healthy? They are! Bananas, peaches, mango, raspberry, avocado, dates, pineapple, coconut oil, yogurt, milk, honey, agave syrup, peanut butter, almond butter, they all are healthy choices, aren’t they? And – why not? – from time to time, a scoop of ice cream? I mean, I deserve it! But days were passing by and, even though I was convinced I was eating healthy, I actually started to gain weight. I asked myself what I was doing wrong. That was the first time I realized that healthy food doesn’t necessarily mean low-calorie food.
Is your smoothie making you fat too? Reconsider the ingredients you’re blending.
Is your smoothie making you fat? What to avoid
1. Sugar or sweeteners
Brown sugar, molasses, honey, and agave syrup are healthier than white sugar. But they are still sugar! One tablespoon of honey has 17 grams of sugar and 65 calories. You need to be very sparing with these sweeteners if you’re looking to lose weight.
Even sugary fruits can make you fat if you enjoy them in a smoothie every day. Apples, pears, mangoes, cherries, and bananas can tack on a hundred calories each. Drinking your calories means your body works less to process them than if you eat the whole fruit. This means your metabolism doesn’t have to work hard to burn those extra calories, and then you start to gain weight.
Besides, when you’re making a smoothie, you may put in it three or four different fruits in it, right? But is quite impossible to eat three or four fruits at one time, isn’t it? Instead of using lots of fruit, which are high in sugar fructose, use only one or two fruit and more greens if you want to cut calories!
2. Fat milk or yogurt
I like Greek yogurt and fat milk! But I found out that, even if they enrich my smoothies with nutrients, they also add calories. Full-fat dairy has cholesterol, saturated fats from animals, and they can really make you gain weight quickly. Remember when I said that I used to spoil myself with some ice cream in my smoothies? That was a bad idea, and I gave up on it! If you want to add yogurt or milk in your drinks, chose low-fat or fat-free versions instead.
You should also avoid sweetened non-dairy milk! If you are vegetarian or vegan, you probably use soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, or rice milk in your smoothie. Be careful and buy unsweetened varieties, because they are lower in calories.
3. Peanut or almond butter
Unfortunately, just because some foods are nutritious it doesn't mean they are low in calories. Certain foods, such as avocados, dates, nuts, and nut butter are high in calories. For example, just two tablespoons of peanut butter have 190 calories. One tablespoon of almond butter has 100 calories, one tablespoon of organic coconut oil – 120 calories.
Avocado is one of the healthiest food in the World, but one cup with avocado cubes (150 grams) has 300 calories. It’s huge!
These foods are definitely good for you, but if you eat them often, you’ll gain weight. But don’t cut them out completely! Just use small amounts!