Few things plague the adult mind as much as keeping off weight.
What to eat, how to eat it, when and how long to exercise. It’s exhausting. And most of us simply don’t have the time for all the things we know we should be doing.
The Good Stuff was inspired in no small part by this very notion. In a time crunch, it’s much easier to eat poorly than it is to eat well. And our hard-earned dollars pour into the coffers of high sodium, high-fat diets that fill us, but ultimately make us feel (and look) less than ideal.
But all is not lost. There are a few rules of thumb that we like to keep in our back pocket for smoothie making (and just about any food, for that matter) that can help guide you through the cacophony of bad eating decisions.
These are 5 tips for losing weight with smoothies.
1. A Calorie isn’t a Calorie isn’t a Calorie
Counting calories is helpful, but it doesn’t tell the whole story.
In 1956, a study out of the University of Cambridge compared three cohorts who were put on a “calorically equal semi-starvation” diet of 90% fat, 90% protein, or 90% carbohydrate.” The original document is a little tough to digest (no pun intended), but let’s tease out the salient points.
- 1000 calories made up of 90% carbohydrates resulted in a weight gain of 0.24lbs/day
- 1000 calories made up of 90% of protein resulted in a weight loss of 0.6 lbs/day
- 1000 calories made up of 90% of fat resulted in a weight loss of 0.9 lbs/day
Carbs, fats, and protein calories manifest differently when they’re metabolized. Calories, by themselves, just don’t give you enough information. Don’t lean on them.
In all of our smoothies, we seriously consider the ratio of veggies to fruit to superfoods, because a gram of pineapple absorbs into the bloodstream a heck of a lot different than a gram of kale. More on that in the next point.
2. Know the GI (Glycemic Index)
What’s the glycemic index? To a diabetic, it’s the northern star for eating decisions. But even if you’re not, it can provide a TON of valuable information about what food does to your body.
The GI measures your glycemic response to any given food as compared to a control. In other words, it measures how much a given food raises your blood sugar.
Why is that important?
Generally speaking, higher blood sugar = more fat on your body.
For smoothie drinkers hoping to keep the excess off, it can help make seemingly trivial decisions a lot more interesting. For example, if you had the choice between a sweet potato and a regular potato, and your goal is weight loss, the sweet potato should be your choice every time, all the time.
It’s lower on the GI, absorbs slower into the bloodstream, and provides cleaner fuel for your body. Sure, it’s a “pesky carbohydrate”, but of the nutritionally-favourable variety. It’s one of the reasons it rounds out our High Performance smoothie with a strong source of slow-burning energy.
3. Speed (and fibre) really matter.
One of my personal shticks on juicing is the jettisoning of fibre that come part and parcel with it. Every physical component you take out of a veggie or fruit culls a major part of its digestive composition: Fibre.
And fibre is critical.
Natural fibres in the food we eat make sure that we digest them in the way nature intended. Slowly. A whole orange has a much different glycemic response than an equivalent measurement of orange juice because the latter has been stripped of all it’s fibre. Juice spikes blood sugar. And spikes in blood sugar, as we know, turn into fat.
Which is one of the reasons I love smoothies.
Sure, a blender beats up the orange, but you aren’t sacrificing any of it’s physical fibers. It’s kind of like your teeth, but with stainless steel metal blades. In smoothies, the whole fruits and veggies are there to stay and help in the digestive process.
4. Watch your eating (or drinking) speed
Fibre isn’t the only thing that can slow down the digestion of your food. If you enjoy inhaling your chow, read on, because one of the easiest ways to keeping blood sugar down is slowing down chewing and drinking.
Really. That simple. And it’s actually pretty intuitive. Take Matt for example.
Matt Mullenweg, founder of Wordpress and Automattic, lost 18 pounds because of one change in his diet. He chewed each mouthful 20 times.
In his book “The 4 Hour Body”, Tim Ferriss reported that Matt’s conscious decision to count, and thus slow down each bite, effectively elongated meals, and meaningfully helped him reach weight goals.
In his own experiments, Tim even measured his own blood sugar with a glucose monitor and found that he could bump up his glucose levels eating protein and veggies if he rushed them quick enough.
What does this mean for you?
Don’t pound back your smoothie in 30 seconds if you’re trying to lose weight. Take your time, smell the turmeric, enjoy it slowly.
Oh, if you wanted your smoothies curated perfectly for weight loss without the effort, check out The Good Stuff's Weight Loss Bundle :)