But not every smoothie is created equal. The fact is, smoothies may contribute to your weight gain if you're not careful about what ingredients you add to it (or leave out).
Here are eight ways that your smoothie may cause you to gain weight:
1. It's Too Big
Too much of a good thing is often unhealthy, and smoothies are no exception. Even a smoothie that's packed with healthy ingredients will add up to extra calories, carbs and sugar if you make it too big. Experts say that a smoothie should be no more than 8 to 10 ounces.
2. It Lacks Fiber
Fiber helps keep your hunger at bay and improves digestion. Make sure that your smoothie includes foods with high fiber content, such as avocado and kale.
3. It's Too High In Sugar
Buyer beware: many store-bought smoothies include almost as much sugar as soda. That much sugar isn't good for you no matter how many other health benefits the smoothie might include.
Your homemade smoothie should contain more vegetables than fruits, including sweet veggies such as carrots to replace berries that have a higher sugar content.
Too much sugar also leaves you feeling tired and hungry, which can make you eat even more.
4. There Isn't Enough Protein
Studies show that protein reduces your daily calorie intake while helping your body burn fat. Many smoothies are loaded with only carbohydrates and fats, so it's important to add high-protein foods such as plain Greek yogurt, beans, cottage cheese and nuts.
You should aim to add at least 10 grams of protein to your smoothie. It will help you sustain your energy while preventing you from indulging in high-calorie snacks.
But don't add excess protein powder to your smoothie. Many protein powders have artificial sweeteners and other unhealthy ingredients.
5. You've Added Sweeteners
Adding sweeteners like honey to your smoothie enhances the flavor, but take care not to add too much. One tablespoon of honey contains 60 calories. Instead, add sweet fruit, vegetables or Greek yogurt.
6. You Drink It At The Wrong Time Of Day
Your body processes and absorbs sugar better the more active you are, which means that your sugar levels won't spike as much and leave you tired and hungry hours later. That said, the best time for your smoothie is after your workout or another part of the day when you're physically active.
7. It's High Calorie
Even low-calories foods like fruits and vegetables can add up if you're not careful. But also beware of smoothies that include calorie-rich ingredients like nut butter and coconut oil. A good way to monitor your smoothie's calories is to measure out your ingredients and plug them into a calorie counter.
8. It's Always Made With The Same Ingredients
Using the same greens in your smoothie prevents you from getting a wide variety of nutrients. Replace and add a variety of greens every week to ensure that you're getting all the nutrients you need.
Want to eat healthier and lose weight? Check out my other blog posts on nutrition.