How many smoothies a day can you drink before it becomes detrimental to your health or weight loss goals?
Smoothies are the name of the game for our staff, and it's essential for you to know the answer to this burning question.
How Many Smoothies A Day Is Ideal?
Like any form of dieting, deciding when and how many smoothies a day to drink is more complicated than throwing a number out there.
Everyone reacts to food differently, and they have different caloric and nutritional needs.
As a general rule of thumb, you can start by drinking 16 ounces of smoothie a day and increase or decrease from there. But there are things to consider before you settle on that number.
The complication to the calculation
Switching from a diet of whole foods to blended fruits and greens too suddenly can shock your system if not done carefully. However, drinking smoothies will not cause you to lose weight if you don't alter the rest of your diet as well.
Therefore, the key to deciding how many smoothies a day you should drink is through experimentation and observation. If you find you're gaining weight or perhaps staying where you are, consider the factors that are preventing you from achieving your goals.
The trick to using smoothies to lose weight is by having them replace meals, rather than adding them to meals. To do this, you need a solid understanding of how your diet affects your body.
Your diet as a whole
Do you have room to remove non-smoothie meals from your diet? Be honest with yourself.
Sugary morning cereal, excessive amounts of pasta, and large bowls of ice cream are examples of food to cut back on. It's difficult to observe how smoothies are affecting you without limiting other variables.
To that end, you should be replacing calories with your smoothies, not adding on to them.
Instead of drinking a smoothie with your cereal, cut cereal out of your diet completely. Most people eat cereal for its fiber content, which you can get by adding it to your smoothies.
When you're craving something sweet, try a healthy chocolate smoothy recipe. Always keep healthy smoothie recipes easily accessible.
In contrast, packaged sweets you buy from the store are loaded with processed sugars that often contain zero health benefits.
Although tasty, meals with chicken and beef are high in saturated fat. While chicken is one of the cheapest sources of protein, a better alternative is to add whey protein powder to your smoothies.
Give yourself a break
If it sounds like we're saying you can never eat the things you love again, don't worry. Dieting is about long-term habits. A few brownies or a cheeseburger every now and then will not ruin you.
Instead of cutting these things out completely, set limits for yourself by eating smaller portions and having them less frequently. Make sure to eat slowly and savor your food!
Sugar vs. fruit
Is the fruit in your smoothies causing you to gain weight or lose it slower? How many smoothies a day should you drink with fruit in them?
Fruits contain fructose and glucose, which are forms of sugar. Sugar is a carbohydrate, which your body consumes for energy. Therefore, sugar is a necessary part of your diet.
However, when you eat too many carbs, your body converts them into fat.
The amount of sugar in fruit is much lower than what you find in sugary treats like candy and soda. Fruit also contains many nutritional benefits such as vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants, in addition to sugar.
Sugar by itself is a highly addictive substance that is easy to overeat and will leave you wanting more. The more of it you consume, the more you'll crave it. But fruit is a healthy way of satisfying those cravings if you don't go overboard.
So, to answer the question, the amount of fruit you add to your smoothies shouldn't cause you to gain weight if you do the following:
- Never add table sugar to your smoothies
- When buying frozen fruit, make sure you choose the unsweetened kind
- Add vegetables, grains, protein, and sources of healthy fat to your blender to make you feel fuller
Alternatively, you can save fruits for your juicer and omit them from smoothies entirely.
Risks and benefits of protein smoothies
How many smoothies a day should you drink with protein?
Protein is a vital component of how our bodies function. Most people know that protein repairs our muscles after working out and makes them grow back stronger.
But it also affects everything from our hair and nails, to our bones, skin, hormones, and blood.
Like carbohydrates, eating more protein than you can process causes your body to store it as fat. However, protein is not as plentiful in mosts food.
Additionally, research shows that protein speeds up your metabolism and causes you to feel full longer.
The amount of protein you should consume is heavily debated by experts. As a general rule, multiply your weight in pounds by 0.35 and try to get at least that many grams in protein.
If you exercise regularly, you'll want to increase that to a maximum of 0.6 grams per pound of body weight.
It's important to be mindful of the protein you're consuming from all food sources when considering how many smoothies a day to drink with protein.
The power of fiber
Fiber aids in digestion and can help your body process macronutrients and vitamins. It also helps regulate your blood sugar levels, which can reduce sugar cravings. And of course, it even helps lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
However, overconsumption of fiber can wreak havoc on your digestive system and lead to bloating, gas, stomach pains, constipation, and other digestion related issues.
The recommended amount of fiber is 21 grams for adult women, and 30 grams for adult men. That decreases slightly as you age.
When deciding how many smoothies a day you should drink, be sure to consider your fiber intake. Fruits, grains, beans, potatoes, and dark-colored vegetables all contain fiber.
You can go over the recommended amount, but pay attention to the way it affects your body. Some people will feel negative effects when they reach around 40 grams per day.
Fiber comes in two forms: soluble and insoluble. To ensure you get both types, get your fiber from a variety of sources. That will also help control the number of calories you get from sugar in fruit.
What about fat?
You've probably heard of healthy fats, which have had the unfortunate history of being lumped in with unhealthy fats responsible for numerous health issues.
Maybe you're wondering how many smoothies a day you can have with foods like avocados or almonds in them. Coconut oil is another popular choice.
When implemented correctly, healthy unsaturated fats and omega-3s can have the counterintuitive effect of causing you to lose weight by making you feel fuller.
They also provide you with energy, lower blood pressure and the risk of heart disease or stroke, and help control your moods.
However, all fats contain nine calories per gram. In contrast, protein and carbohydrates only have four calories per gram.
Therefore, you should use foods high in healthy fats conservatively to avoid gaining weight.
For example, adding avocados and almonds to the same smoothie will dramatically increase the number of calories you're consuming. It won't matter that you feel full if you've already had over 700 calories in a single sitting.
Timing and balance
Your body functions on an internal clock that is relatively consistent with a 24-hour cycle. That's called your circadian rhythm, and the more in tune you are with it, the healthier you can become.
You may notice that you always get hungry around lunchtime at work. That's because your body understands your schedule. Knowing this, you can manipulate your internal clock by generating better habits.
Unsurprisingly, living in harmony with your circadian rhythm starts with waking up and going to bed around the same time every day.
As far as eating goes, when and how much to eat during meals is the subject of much debate.
However, consistency is definitely important. Whether you try intermittent fasting or small meals spread throughout the day, sticking to a schedule will help you manage your calories.
Moreover, your body will anticipate what's coming and know how to react to it.
When deciding how many smoothies a day to drink, it's also important you mix a variety of food.
Multiple smoothies containing only fruit are not healthy. Neither are pure avocado, oatmeal, or protein smoothies. Even green smoothies full of vegetables need to be supplemented with other kinds of food.
Now You Know
So there you have it. How many smoothies a day to drink is more a question of fitting them into your eating schedule in a healthy and balanced way.
When drinking them for weight loss, you want them to replace calories, not add on to them. Therefore, your smoothies should be rich with a variety of nutrients and vitamins.
It's unlikely you'll feel satisfied replacing every meal with smoothies. To avoid overeating, you should only replace meals that you don't have time to cook, like breakfast and lunch. That's a more realistic long-term solution, and there are even portable blenders that you can take with you to work.
How many smoothies a day do you drink? What healthy ingredients do enjoy using? Let us know in the comments below!