Frappacinos, lattes, milkshakes, soda, energy drinks and the list goes on and on and on. All of these liquid caloric black holes that suck us in with their deliciousness. We drink them without even thinking about it. Even when we are trying to be healthy, we focus too much on what we are chewing and not enough on what we are drinking. When we are on the go, we reach for smoothies to tide us over instead of actual food. Sure, they are easy to prepare and portable. Still, none of these are healthy choices or choices that you should substitute for a meal.
Why aren’t these beverages a good choice for someone who is trying to watch their caloric intake? First off, these drinks aren’t full of nutrients. Most are full of sugar or high fructose corn syrup. According to CNN, a seemingly healthy smoothy can pack 300 calories into your body. That’s quite a bit, especially if it accompanies a regular full calories lunch. And even on its own, most smoothies you get are not full of nutrients that you need to keep you feeling full. So yes, maybe you’ll drink that smoothie and on its own it seems ok. But by 2:30 in the afternoon you’re hungry again and reaching for more and more food.
The fact of the matter is drinking your calories isn’t even a satisfying way to get your nutrition. According to scientists, there isn’t the same psychological cue associated with drinking as there is with eating. Which is why you are still hungry after drinking that full-fat latte.
Here is some information from CNN.com
75 percent of U.S. adults are projected to be overweight or obese by 2015, according to researchers. Americans consume anywhere from 150 to 300 more calories than they did three decades ago and half of those calories come from liquid. A new study out of John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health finds that reducing liquid calories, especially from sugar-sweetened drinks such as punches, fruit juices and sodas, helps people lose weight and keep it off.
So instead of having a soda, drink water. Water has no calories and keeps you hydrated without added sugar. If you are hungry, have a nutritional snack like a piece of string cheese or a handful of almonds. Have a healthy lunch instead of a smoothie. If you are going to make smoothies anyways, make them at home with little to no sugar. Use real or frozen fruit and plain non-fat yogurt. Add healthy nutrients like protein powder and flax seed meal. These will keep you full and will add healthy calories instead of empty calories into your diet. Still, it’s always better to have a meal than drink your calories for the day in one beverage.
Healthy Smoothie Recipe
Banana-Strawberry Fruit Smoothie Recipe
- 1 banana, frozen
- 6 strawberries, frozen
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp. skim milk powder
- 1 heaping tbsp. high- quality protein powder (optional)
- 1 tsp. flax oil (optional)
In a blender, process all the ingredients until thoroughly mixed and serve.