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LADYSTARWIND SparkPoints: (83,703)
Fitness Minutes: (65,704)
Posts: 4,975
3/4/14 12:21 P

I agree with the previous posters....! I don't think drinking them as part of a reasonable calorie base will greatly affect your weight loss....however, part of my goal is to be Healthy--not just lose weight!

I believe our digestive tracks were designed! So many folks seem to have gastrointestinal complaints, and its no wonder when you look at how they consume their calories. I'd guess about half of those folks are still eating the higher fat, highly processed foods...or they have gone the opposite way with the excess use of "diet drinks" and "meal replacements". They are either overtaxing their GI system..or under utilizing it!

This goes right with what Russell posted about slowly releasing the nutrients into our bodies. We have built in nutritional systems for a reason...and part of my definition of being healthy is that those systems work as best as possible.

While I don't view smoothies as inherently 'bad' since most folks try to include some good contents...its definitely not the way I choose to get my calories. I have an informal rule of not drinking my calories!!
All the best,

ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,925
3/4/14 12:08 P

I put the skins of fruits and veggies in my smoothies (after washing them well first), so there is the benefit of fiber there. As far as hurting or helping weight loss, how many calories when you make a smoothie? Count those and track the veggies/fruit/liquid, and you know where you are.

A smoothie is downright refreshing. That's probably all you need for motivation to make one. They are delicious and you haven't added any sugar (beware of protein powders if you use them). It's easy to have to have a heavy hand when adding something like vanilla, but IMO, that's like gilding the lily.

You can make a smoothie that has fruits (banana + mandarin oranges were in my smoothie last night) and vegetables (throw in fresh herbs and some zucchini). I usually get a smoothie that is not so 'smooth' but is flecked with little green things. Still tastes delish. Put in fresh raspberries and you're still finding little seeds in your teeth the next day.

Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 3/4/2014 (12:14)
RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
Posts: 1,379
3/4/14 11:36 A

I would agree pretty much with Russell here -- for me at least a smoothie would be less than helpful because it "burns off" so fast and has so much more concentrated sugar in it than anything else. Then again I'm someone who happily eats a less than 200 calorie breakfast of just granola and "milk" 4 or so days a week (with more later on, usually) and does fine with that so what do I know. You'd have to see what it does to you. Just be prepared that a smoothie may not keep you full as long as it "should" for the number of calories in it. If so you will have to adapt by modifying the smoothie (many people use nut butters or seeds in it for example), modifying your eating schedule otherwise, or keeping smoothies as more of an occasional treat than a serious way to meet your nutritional needs on a daily basis. But some people enjoy them and do well with them, so you may as well give it a try and see if you are one of them.

You might also find that it's easier and more practical to include smoothies in a slightly larger maintenance calorie budget than it is now while you are losing.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
3/4/14 8:15 A

The smoothie itself won't be a problem. It can be measured, and if it fits into your calories for the day, you will lose, or maintain as you planned.

The problem comes from you blending out all the fiber, and turning fruit/veggies into a liquid. Liquids get absorbed faster, meaning you have a ton of glucose in your body at one time, and your body can only use a little at any one time. So Insulin is released by the body. some glucose is used immediately, and still more is turned into glycogen, ready to be used very soon to fuel your body. This is all good so far. The problem is, because you have so much glucose, there is still a lot left, and your body cannot leave it in your bloodstream. So Insulin takes the rest and turns it into triglyceride, and stores it as bodyfat. Again, this is normal. Not a real big problem at this point.

The real big problem comes after all you glucose is used up in the bloodstream. You have a bunch of energy stored as body fat, and you burn through your glucose, and glycogen in the muscles, and at that point, you have low blood sugar. It's at 70-80, and you are now hungry. You ate some energy, but Insulin stored it as bodyfat, and the body will have to break down the fat, and use it. This is natural, and how the body is intended to work, if you eat an easily digestible meal. It takes a while to break down fat though, and use that energy.This is called ketosis/lipolysis and we all do it. Meanwhile you are hungry at say 10 a.m., and you have food lying about everywhere. At this point, you can wait for the body to tap into the fat your smoothie was turned into, and use that as fuel, OR, you can eat more food. The reason America has an obesity problem, is most of us eat more food when hungry. The breakfast we ate that was turned into body fat doesn't get used for fuel, the "brunch " we just ate ( maybe a bagel ), gets used, then lunch, then a snack, then supper, and maybe another snack before bed.

We never tap into our energy reserves ( fat ), because we get hungry, and eat more food. We are using 80 % of our calories that we ate as fuel, and storing 20 % as fat, then never using up the fat. So the 20% ( example ) is never being used since we just eat again, because food is easy to find.

You have a few options now:

1 ) at 10 a.m., when you get hungry, just wait, and fat burning will kick in, and you will use that energy, but it may take a little while.

2 ) You can plan to be hungry in 2-3 hours, and eat 6-7 smaller meals, so that about the time you get hungry, you have a scheduled meal, not an EXTRA one.

3) You can eat carbs with fiber in them, and let them be absorbed naturally slower, and used as they are digested.

The best option is to eat foods naturally, and eat less carbs at any meal, so maybe 40 grams each at 6 meals for example. This can never be done perfectly, but can be a goal. Avoid having 80 grams at one meal, so the body has time to use the carbs you ate, and less is stored as body fat.

So the problem is not carbs, but that they are " used up " quickly when in shake form, and you get hungry as soon as Insulin has cleared you bloodstream of the glucose. It is more likely that you will overeat, and since that " cheat meal " would most likely not have been planned, you probably eat bad food.

Just be aware of the idea that you may be hungry, and plan for it. Try a smoothie, and take a snack to work, or wherever you are going. See if hunger is great, and if necessary, have the snack, but try to wait until the body taps into burning the fat, which is where the excess glucose you got from breakfast has been stored. If you are always hungry, and can't control appetite after a smoothie, then you may not want to have them, but the smoothies themselves won't cause weight gain, just maybe cause you to eat extra, which IS the reason you can't lose, or even gain.

So, indirectly yes, it is possible, but any easily digested meal, can do the same thing. The problem can be solved by having a few ozs. of nuts at 10 a.m., so as long as you don't eat 3 donuts, not a hard to solve problem. You could of course eat some food at breakfast that is harder to digest ( fat/protein ), along with your smoothie making it a more balanced meal. That is why they tell you to eat foods from all 3 macros. If you are eating 50/20/30 for the day, your meals should roughly be 50/20/20 also. A smoothie, is more like 85/10/5.

You could of course always thrown in some avocado to the smoothie, and balance the smoothie out a bit. Experiment a little, and see if you can make it work.

NIRERIN Posts: 14,246
3/4/14 7:39 A

that depends entirely on you. there isn't anything in smoothies that automatically makes you gain anymore than there is anything in there that makes you lose. which means to say if you burn 1900 cals a day total and eat 1400, then you should be losing about a pound a week, smoothies or no. if your shakes are higher in protein and your smoothies are higher in carbs, you might see a slight increase in water weight as you switch from shakes to smoothies. but as long as you're replacing something with the smoothies you should see the same results long term.
the main issues i would anticipate would all have to do with adding smoothies not replacing something else with smoothies. back to that burning 1900 cals a day, if you were eating 1400 cals a day and you add 250 cals of smoothie to that, that should slow your loss down to half a pound a week. the other thing is that a lot of people find that smoothies don't really make them feel full. they are something that is recommended for people who are having a hard time eating food first thing in the morning or getting all of their calories in because they don't really feel filling even though they have calories. so if you were to keep to that 1400 cals you were eating and starting drinking smoothies to the tune of 600 cals a day, you'd be gaining if you only burn 1900 cals a day.

3/4/14 7:22 A

Hi all! I'm getting one of those fancy Ninja Systems for my kitchen. And I'm sure smoothies (with both veggies & fruits) will be at the forefront of its use. My worry is that the calories and carbs from the ingredients will add up quickly and derail my success. Right now I do more shakes from powders & milks than all those fruits you put in those "super blenders". And it is working for me with no problem. But sometimes I just don't hit my required amount of fruits & veggies and was looking forward to upping my intake with these drinks.

So can all these fruits & veggies slow my progress (or make me gain altogether)?

Thanks so much!!!

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