Smoothies and meal replacement.
The idea behind meal replacements is that you don’t really eat at all for a good part of the day – instead, you have a special shake or other product that gives you all the nutrients you need, and stops you from feeling hungry. This works in two ways: first, it controls the calories you take in, because the meal replacements are low calorie. Second, it breaks the cycle of addictive behaviour because you’re not really eating. You can get away from the behaviour much as an alcoholic can (and must) get away from alcohol, and that gives you a better chance of breaking the addictive process.
There are drawbacks, though. For one thing, while a weight loss program is supposed to teach you how to eat for the rest of your life – to establish healthy habits, in other words – using meal replacements clearly doesn’t do this. Once you go back to eating real food, you might find that your problems with controlling your food intake are still there. Though you will have lost weight, you are more likely to gain it back if you haven’t learned healthy eating habits.
Also, there’s a danger that some people will keep using the meal replacements for extended periods of time, just because it’s easier and more convenient. Thought they’re designed to give you a minimum level of calories and nutrition, meal replacement bars cannot substitute for real food over an extended period.
Controlling your hunger.
Dieting is much easier once you learn to control hunger throughout the day. One popular way many dieters are suppressing their appetites is by drinking protein shakes as replacement meals. Even many bodybuilders are finding protein shakes to be helpful in getting all the protein they need each day.
Protein shakes enable you to eat – or drink – two replacement meals each day that are rich in nutrition and protein. The more protein you take in, the more fat your body will burn during and after exercise.
Adding more protein to your meals or using protein shakes to supply the protein you need, enables your body to burn fat while also building muscle while you exercise. It preserves your body’s lean muscle mass as well. Protein also helps the body to produce nucleic acids, cellular messengers, hormones, enzymes, and immune system components.
Unfortunately, eating protein in the form of meat can be hard on your digestive system. Protein powders, like our Collagen Peptides are easy to digest. It only takes approximately 30 minutes for the protein from shakes to reach the muscle after ingestion where solid food proteins could take an hour or longer.
Ditch the pre-packed stuff and make your own.
From a health point of view, blended smoothies are great for a concentrated meal that’s ready in minutes. You can combine a variety of fruit with some water, possibly add some dates or genuine maple syrup and make a delicious smoothie that can be enjoyed anytime as a healthy meal while helping yourself to achieve that goal weight. You’ve got nothing to lose (except the weight), so come on, let’s do this.
An additional benefit of making your own, is that you can control and get the most fibre, which is an essential nutrient present in our fruits and vegetables and beneficial for a variety of reasons, not just weight loss. Fibre serves as intestinal brooms to push all unwanted debris out. Read more about how to increase your fibre intake.
Our go-to smoothies.
We have something for everyone here, with plenty of choice to keep things interesting.
In the grocery store
Making healthy food choices at home generally starts with making the right choices at the supermarket. Healthy eating is easier if you plan what you buy, then work hard to resist the temptations while walking the isles of your local supermarket. Local produce and organic products are often healthier because they are not as processed and do not require extending shelf life with unknown chemicals and additives.
It is often easier to buy frozen fruit so that there is always a variety available for your smoothie. Additionally, they make the smoothie cold and these days, just about every fruit and vegetable is available frozen. They are frozen fresh and the goodness is captured immediately, so often healthier and more cost effective in preventing waste.
Need more help in making the right choices in the supermarket? Read our 8 Tips for a Healthier Shop.
What do you need to make great smoothies?
Preparation is essential to make a diet genuinely healthy. You could choose fresh ingredients and prepare your tasty smoothie, but spoil everything by adding processed items, flavour or seasoning full of sodium and fat. Healthier cooking methods may require some equipment. Think of this as an investment in your health, an investment in you.
Not a fan of smoothies, or wanting to mix it up a little?
Smoothie bowls are a great alternative to getting all the benefits of a delicious and healthy smoothie.
Finally, you may want to modify any of our recipes with these 6 superfoods for age defying beauty. Give it a go, mix it up!
Tips and recommendations
If you want results, adjusting your diet is no more than the first step. Follow these tips and recommendations if you’re going to speed up the benefits.
Always remember to combine diet and exercise
A healthy diet with fresh foods has the benefits listed above, and exercise is the perfect complement. If you want to lose weight as one of your goals, it is fundamental to have a physical exercise routine to see the benefits and feel better.
Exercise is not necessarily daily CrossFit classes or two hours of cardio. You can go at your own pace, with a 20-minute and then 30-minute walk, a home stretching routine, and lifting weights.
Adjust your mindset
Most of us need to revise our relationship with food. Ask yourself why do you eat and what attitude do you have when you’re eating. Can you recognize when you’re full and stop eating? Do you expect restrictions and hunger when you’re dieting?
Do not think about eating as something to avoid if you want to be fit. Instead of starving or having too much food, you can find a healthy path in the middle by adjusting your mindset and attitude.
Learn to read the labels
Reading the labels is probably the best advice we can give you. Nutritional tables might be difficult to understand at first, but you can start by noticing elementary facts. For example, look at the section “added sugars” and try to have all-zeros in this section. If you can’t have a zero, compare and look for the smaller number. Try to read the ingredients out loud and if you can’t pronounce them, take them back to the shelf. It is probably highly processed.
Learn to cook
People who cook their own food at home have a higher chance of following a healthy diet. You will have more control and make sure that the preparation method is appropriate for your goals.
A recommendation for emotional eaters
If you’re an emotional eater and feel hungry when you’re anxious or feel sad, why don’t you replace chocolate bars and fried foods with real foods? If you like crunchy stuff, carrot sticks with hummus can be a good solution. You can try with nuts or a smoothie. Find your own combinations, flavours, and textures, but try to replace fatty foods and sweets as much as possible. Read more about healthy snacking.
Frequently Asked Questions
Any recommendation to adapt?
You don’t need to jump right away into fresh foods from the start. You can do it gradually, and smoothies are a great way to allow you to do so. Start by replacing ultra-processed foods, one meal at a time or one food at a time. Introduce new foods every day and learn new recipes in the way.
How do you choose your veggies?
There are different sources of vegetables available for you. The first place to look is your local grocery store, but it is not the only one. In larger stores and specialised places, you can find organic vegetables. They are better than the usual vegetables because no pesticides are used in the growing process.
Alternatively, and if you like gardening, you could even grow your own veggies at home. They are an organic food at an affordable price.
Which fat sources are best for me?
The word fat does not usually have good connotations. But there are good and bad sources of fat. You have saturated and unsaturated fat and some unsaturated fats are particularly healthy. One example is the so-famous Omega-3. If you eat salmon, nuts, avocado, and olive oil, you will be eating healthy fats. Just stay away from the fatty portion of meat, which is one of the worst.
Can I consume sauces or seasoning?
Sauces and seasonings are not always a good option. Some of them are highly processed and contain saturated fats and excess sugar and salt. You can make your own sausages and salad seasoning using natural ingredients, but do not rely on anything that is canned or bottled.
If you’re about to start making your own smoothies or adopt a new diet with smoothies in it, you may have your own questions. If you do, do not hesitate to join others like you in our Private Facebook Community.