Smoothies are a great choice for low-calorie, healthy and energizing snacks during the day. It is one of the best ways to eat on-the-run instead of eating fast food and boxed or bagged foods.
Eating bagged snack packs and sugary treats for snacks leave you unsatisfied, under-nourished and wanting to eat even more. These empty calories will destroy your meal plan and fat-burning goals. You could be gaining weight because of your snacks between meals.
What you eat for snacks can mean the difference between out-of-control weight gain or weight loss management/fat loss.
The American Dietetic Association also recommends healthy snacking. Snacks bridge the gap between meals and can help you eat less at regular mealtime.
Going too long between meals can cause you to load up on sugary carbohydrates to get quick energy. These types of snacks are usually high in calories, not very nutritious and cause rapid ups and downs in blood sugar levels.
How to Use Smoothies for Workouts
Smoothies are ideal for pre- and post-workout nutrition. This will help you build more muscle mass. You have to eat enough of the right foods to rebuild your muscles bigger. Even if you gain weight, you will be leaner because muscle takes up less space than fat.
The rigors of weight training breaks down your body and you need proper nutrition and rest to rebuild your body bigger and better. Protein consumption, in particular, is critical if you want to build muscle.
1. Pre-workout nutrition should mainly include carbohydrates and proteins. During intense training, your body depends on fuel from glycogen stored from the carbohydrates that you eat. The body can’t use fat for fuel during high intensity exercise because there is not enough oxygen available.
Consuming smoothies 1-2 hours before a workout will build up your glycogen stores. When your glycogen stores are low, your performance will suffer.
Research has shown the effectiveness of pre-workout protein drinks (such as whey and casein).Your muscles get 2 times as much benefit from a pre-workout protein drink compared to having just a post-workout protein drink. You can add protein to your smoothie drink.
2. Post-workout nutrition is important to help your body recover from intense exercise. You don’t need to eat immediately after your workout but there is a 45-minute window where replenishing your body’s fuel (carbs, protein, fats) will optimize your tissue’s repair and growth.
The post-exercise meal should consist of carbohydrates, protein and a small amount of essential fats. A drink, such as a smoothie, is good because it is quickly digestible. A ratio of 2g carbs/1g protein is what you need.
Here are 2 great smoothies to eat as snacks:
BASIC FRUIT SMOOTHIE
1 quarter strawberries, hulled
1 banana, broken into chunks
1 cup orange or peach or mango or apple juice
2 cups ice
BERRY BLUE SMOOTHIE
2 cups fresh or slightly thawed frozen blueberries
1 (8 ounces) container low fat vanilla Greek yogurt
1 (6 ounces) cups milk
1 (12 ounces) can pineapple juice
3 tablespoons honey
12 to 16 ice cubes
Place all ingredients, except the ice cubes, into container of electric blender and blend on high until smooth. With blender running, add 2 to 3 ice cubes at a time through the center opening in the lid until all ice cubes have been added. Blend until smooth. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.
Drinking more water during the day will also help you eat less. Aim to drink half your weight in water every day. So, if you weigh 180 pounds, drink about 90 ounces of water every day.
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