Smoothies are an easy way to incorporate more fruits and veggies into your diet. They’re chock-full of fiber, vitamins, minerals and all the “good stuff” we need more of in our lives.
No matter if you want to get healthier, gain muscles, or shed some pounds, there’s a smoothie for it. You can use them as a between-meal nutrient boost or even as a complete meal replacement.
Smoothies can be amazing, as long as you’re following a few simple rules. In this article, I’m going to show you the most common smoothie mistakes to avoid.
6 Smoothie Mistakes You Might Be Making
1. Your Smoothies Are Loaded With Calories
Just because smoothies are healthy, doesn’t mean they’re always low in calories. You might be surprised how high in calories they can get.
Even green smoothies can be loaded with sugar and empty calories.
Unless you’re drinking smoothies to gain weight, It’s best not to consume more calories than your body burns. Here’s a list of healthy, but high-calorie foods that may cause you to gain unwanted weight:
- Coconut Milk
- Dried Fruits
- Whole-Fat Dairy
- Nut Butter
- Honey or Syrup
If you’re looking to boost your health or lose weight with smoothies, you should only use a small amount of these ingredients. It doesn’t mean you should skip them altogether though.
These foods are high in calories, but they’re also loaded with healthy fats, fiber, protein, and vitamins. Just be mindful of portion sizes. One tablespoon of nut butter or a small handful of nuts a day is all you’ll need.
The most nutrient-dense smoothies you can make are green smoothies with very little fruit in it. They are very low in calories and sugar. Here are some green smoothie recipes under 100 calories to get you inspired.
2. You’re Choosing the Wrong Liquid Base
You want to be careful about the liquid base you choose. Most people love to add fruit juices to their smoothies.
It’s true that fruit juice contains vitamins, but it’s also loaded with sugar!
In addition to adding calories, fruit juices can cause your blood sugar to spike. It can lead to weight gain, negatively affect your mood, or even cause serious health problems. If you’re trying to slim down, keeping your blood sugar levels in check is key.
Full-fat dairy milk and coconut milk are other all-time favorites in smoothie recipes. While I won’t go into details about why cow milk is bad for you, just be aware that these choices can add unnecessary calories.
Unsweetened almond milk is a healthy, low-calorie alternative. It contains up to 80% fewer calories than full-fat cow milk. Unsweetened almond milk is rich in heart-healthy fats, and won’t let your blood sugar spike.
It’s easy to make almond milk at home. All you need are a blender, almonds, and some water. Here’s an easy almond milk recipe to get you started.
3. You’re Always Blending the Same Fruits and Veggies
I know we all have our favorite fruits and veggies that we blend over, and over, and over again. But if you’re drinking smoothies to improve your health, try to rotate the ingredients you use.
When it comes to a healthy diet, variety is key!
Every fruit or vegetable contains different vitamins, minerals, and compounds that are beneficial for us. No single fruit can provide all of the nutrients your body needs.
To truly benefit from smoothies, it’s best to blend a wide variety of different types and colors of produce. This way you ensure you’re getting the full range of nutrients.
Rotating is even more important when it comes to leafy greens.
All leafy greens contain small amounts of toxins. This way these plants protect themselves from animals. Excessively blending large quantities of the same greens every day could potentially be harmful to you.
Now, don’t throw your spinach away just yet.
Leafy greens are incredibly good for you, and most of us will never reach toxins levels that are dangerous. But keep in mind that too much of a good thing can be bad. Variety and moderation are key when it comes to smoothies.
4. You Don’t Drink Your Smoothies Immediately
Unless you’re using a vacuum blender, it’s best to drink your smoothies right after blending. Smoothies are prone to oxidation and lose nutrients rather quickly.
Oxidation occurs when fruits and veggies are cut and therefore exposed to oxygen. Think of an apple, once its cut, it starts getting brown right away. That’s called oxidation.
There are few simple ways to stretch the shelf life of your fresh smoothies.
If you keep them in an airtight container in the fridge, they should last for up to 24 hours. You could also add a bit of lemon or lime juice to keep it fresh. Citrus fruits have long been used as a natural preservative.
5. You Down Your Smoothie in Seconds
Smoothies are not meant to be downed like a shot of vodka. You may be missing out on important nutrients if you’re drinking your smoothies too quickly.
That’s why I actually chew my smoothies.
I know it sounds silly, as most of us use smoothies as a quick boost of nutrients. But by chewing your smoothies, you help your body to digest the ingredients more easily.
It requires enzymes to absorb nutrients and digest food properly. Your saliva contains these enzymes. Saliva is released when you’re slowly chewing your food.
Next time you’re having a smoothie, remember to give it a good chew. It’s like preheating the oven before you put something in.
6. You Let Your Blender Catch Dust
The most common mistake is to stop making smoothies!
Don’t let yourself get discouraged, making smoothies isn’t rocket science. All you need are a few fruits and veggies and a blender.
You might make mistakes in the beginning. I did too. But don’t let that stop you.
It’s way better to always blend the same ingredients and down it in seconds, than not having any smoothies at all.
Making smoothies and going to the gym have a lot in common.
You don’t expect to have six-pack abs after your first visit to the gym. You’ll have to cultivate the habit of consistent training and optimal nutrition.
It’s the same with smoothies. Just one smoothie won’t change your health for the better, but one smoothie a day over a reasonable time might.
Optimizing your smoothies should be the last step. First, let’s focus on cultivating this amazing health habit. Now it’s time to stop reading, and start getting your fruits and veggies in!
The best smoothie is the one you have daily. While there are some pitfalls to avoid, the most important thing is to be consistent. Don’t let yourself get discouraged if you do some mistakes in the beginning. We all do. Try different recipes, keep learning about healthy nutrition, and in a short while you’ll need a telescope to see how far you’ve come.