Here’s an e-mail I recently received from a frustrated reader:
“Help! I’m drinking green smoothies every day, I eat healthy and work out like crazy, but the scale won’t budge! I’m not losing any weight! I’m hungry all the time. What can I do?”
While green smoothies are excellent at facilitating weight loss, some green smoothies are not. But I’m not referring to the meal-replacement smoothies I often post on my Facebook page, or smoothies that contain “too many” bananas, mangoes or grapes.
The best way to sabotage weight loss is by starving yourself with low-calorie green smoothies (and whole foods).
Are You Starving Yourself With Green Smoothies?
A green smoothie that contains 1/2 cup of blueberries, 1/2 banana, 2 cups of fresh spinach and a whole cucumber looks like a lot of food, but it only contains 153 calories.
Sure, you might feel full after you drink it, but if that’s all you are having for breakfast, then no wonder you feel hungry all the time! A calorie-deficient recipe like this will only set you up for a junk food binge. You wont have the energy to work out, either. Your weight loss will stall.
Since fruits and vegetables, as well as a plant-based, whole foods diet, are lower in calories than the processed foods of a standard western diet, you need to eat a more than you think you should.
A 32-ounce green smoothie that contains 350-400 calories is not “too much”. It’s a proper meal, providing sufficient calories to keep you satisfied between meals and to fuel your workouts.
It doesn’t matter one bit that you used two bananas, a whole mango and a cup of grapes to get your meal-replacement smoothie to the point where it provides a meal’s worth of calories!
Consuming insufficient calories on a consistent basis wrecks havoc with your metabolism, and sends your body into “starvation mode” where it stores fat – and refuses to let it go.
So don’t just fill up on low calorie leafy greens and vegetables as this will only cause you to feel hungry later. If you are “eating right”, but feeling hungry, low on energy, and your weight loss stalls, take a good look at what you are eating and find out how many calories you are actually consuming.
Drastic calorie restriction does not equal drastic weight reduction. Starving yourself only sets you up for failure, and doesn’t facilitate weight loss.
How Many Calories Do You Consume Each Day?
A lot of people can’t answer this question, because they don’t track their calorie intake. You can guess at the amount of calories you consume, but numerous studies have shown that people routinely underestimate the amount of food they eat each day.
You can’t guess about your food intake. You have to know.
I highly recommend tracking your calories in a free app called Cron-o-meter. You can download it to your computer, use the web-based version, or get it on your Apple or Android device for a few dollars. I use the app on my iPhone since it is so easy to add foods whenever and wherever i want.
You can also calculate how many calories you should consume each day to lose (or maintain) weight using this tool.
I’m A Fan Of “Strategic Snacking”
If you plan your meals ahead of time, you can space out your calories over the course of the day. You will also know exactly what to eat when you walk into the kitchen.
One thing I do is that I have a 300-calorie afternoon snack. It can be really hard to go from lunch to dinner without eating something. Snacking, when used strategically from a calorie-standpoint, doesn’t sabotage your weight loss. Instead, snacking on healthy foods can prevent a hunger-driven junk food binge at the end of the day.
Keep healthy, high-calorie foods on hand. Foods like goji berries, hemp seeds, red grapes, mangoes, bananas, chia seeds, flax seeds, sweet potato, and dried oats are great additions to meal-replacement, weight loss green smoothies. They add additional calories to a smoothie, without the extra low-calorie bulk that water-rich foods like watermelon and cucumber add.
How To Lose Weight Without Worrying About Calories, Carbs, Servings and Sugar
I don’t give a second thought to the calories or number of carbohydrates in my green smoothies. I am equally indifferent about the sugar content and serving size.
I have good reason to be. I lost 40 pounds with green smoothies. And I’m not alone. Thousands of people have also lost weight with green smoothies and a whole foods diet.
Find out how to stop dieting and worrying about what you eat. Check out my Green Smoothie Weight Loss Program. It contains a full 21-days of breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack meal plans, shopping lists, substitution recipes, all of the nutritional information, my 15-minute fitness guide, a success journal and so much more!
Tracy Russell is the creator of the Green Smoothie Weight Loss Program, the 30-Day Whole Foods Challenge and founder of Incredible Smoothies. She is passionate about helping people improve their health with green smoothies and a whole foods lifestyle.