Believe the hype: smoothies are one of your best breakfast bets if you want to lose weight. Here's why.
They're filling: You can throw just about anything in your blender, even foods you'd never think to eat for breakfast, and as long as they're mixed in with some fruits or protein powder you won't even be able to taste them. Choose fiber-rich ingredients like greens, broccoli, beans, flaxmeal, avocados, cucumbers, nut butters, and chia seeds, and they'll fill you up for hours, crushing hunger. And since smoothies are also high in water content, that adds to the filling effect.
Consider your sweet tooth satisfied: If sugary pastries, doughnuts, and pancakes doused in syrup are what you crave, there's a fruit-filled smoothie out there to satisfy your needs, from banana bread, to carrot cake, to chocolate cashew. Naturally sweet and without added sugars, these smoothies clock in at a fraction of the calories of the baked stuff.
You choose the calorie count: Everyone's daily calorie needs are different depending on height, weight, amount of exercise, and lifestyle. Since you choose the ingredients to put in your smoothies, you can make that first meal of the day as many calories as you want. Specifically for weight loss, nutritionists recommend aiming between 300 and 400 calories, which makes for a large, satisfying smoothie. Just make sure to measure out your ingredients — it's easy to make a 600-calorie smoothie without realizing it.
They're protein-packed: There's more to a smoothie than banana and blueberries! Fill up on satiating protein by choosing high-protein ingredients. We're talking the usuals like Greek yogurt and protein powder, but don't be shy about adding cannellinni beans, lentils, silken tofu, and hemp seeds. And instead of water, increase the protein with unsweetened soy milk — it has way more protein than almond milk.
They're crazy quick: Breakfast done in minutes — you can't beat that. Plus you can make this fast meal even quicker by storing pre-cut fruit in the fridge, using frozen kale and spinach, or by pre-making smoothie freezer packs.