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Yes, information regarding weight loss is often confusing, uncertain and highly debated. We have often seen people trying out various ways and means to lose weight quickly. But all in vain….
The information available regarding weight loss is all over the internet, social media etc. Too much of information can be overwhelming. It becomes difficult to separate ethical information from non-ethical one’s with the bombardment of information all around.
Let us dive-in and understand the science behind effective weight loss with 7 evidence-based principles of weight loss:
1. Calorie Deficit- One key calculation for effective weight loss is the energy balance equation i.e., calorie input and calorie output. To put it simply, if we want to maintain our weight, the calorie input will be equal to the calorie output, However, when we want to gain weight, the calorie input should be more than calorie output. Similarly, when you want to lose weight, the calorie output should be more than calorie input. Consuming more protein and fibre rich food and exercising regularly can help increase the calorie output and decrease calorie input.
2.Get enough protein: Protein helps in weight loss in two ways:
(i) Protein helps us feel full for a longer time and makes us less hungry. Research data consistently shows that the body takes longer time to break down protein than fat or carbohydrates. The release of satiety hormone is also stimulated with the consumption of protein. Therefore, we feel less hungry for a longer period of time and tend to eat less. Increasing the protein content in the diet from 15% to 30% showed marked increase in satiety. Increasing the protein content to 30% also decreased caloric intake of around 400kcal, fat loss and subsequently weight loss.
(ii) Secondly, the process of digestion and absorption of protein in the intestine burns higher calories than carbohydrate and fat. Simply explained, if you consume 100kcal of protein, 20kcal- 30kcal will be expended by your system to break down that protein as compared to carbohydrate and fats which will expend only 5kcal- 10kcal and 0kcal to 3kcal to break down.
Therefore, consumption of protein leads to higher energy expenditure which is beneficial for weight loss.
(iii) Get enough fibre in your diet
Dietary fibre is an essential part of our foods. With the consumption of more processed foods and poor dietary habits, our consumption of fibre is not up to the mark as it should be. Adding fibre to our diet helps lose weight and keep it off.
(iv) Be physically active
The burning of calories through physical activity combined with low-calorie diet, creates a “calorie deficit” that results in weight loss. The 2016 American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) and the American College of Endocrinology comprehensive clinical practice guidelines for medical care of patients with obesity include an evidence recommendation for “aerobic training of ≥150 min/week of moderate intensity” for weight loss.
(v) Drink plenty of water
Drinking sufficient quantity of water is important to keep ourself hydrated and flush off toxins from the body. When we drink less water, our metabolism is slowed down which lead to weight gain and building up of toxins.
(vi) Get plenty of sleep
If you are chronically sleep deprived, the body’s ability to regulate several key hormones gets impaired. Hormones like leptin falls so it takes longer to feel full while hormones like ghrelin may increase triggering hunger. Therefore, being sleep deprived makes us feel hungrier, crave for sweets and also delays satiety. Also, as a result of sleeping less, you are tired and tend to exercise less. A study suggested that sleep deprived healthy individuals tend to eat at least 300kcal more than people who sleep well. Therefore, one of the key rules for losing weight is to have adequate sleep of 7-8 hours.
(vii) Work on your stress levels
Chronic Stress is not good for weight management. As our body perceives stress, our adrenal glands make and release the hormone cortisol into our bloodstream. Cortisol hormones are the ‘stress’ hormones. It’s our natural “flight or fight” response to stress. However, chronic stress leads to constant high levels of cortisol hormones in the body. This adversely affects our health and may lead to increase in appetite and potential weight gain or prevent us from losing weight. Therefore, it is very important to keep our stress levels in check. Practicing meditation, listening to good music, taking a walk are ways to relax the mind and refresh your mood.
Incorporating the above scientific way along with the following strategies will help in sustainable weight loss naturally
(i) Set realistic weight loss goals
It is important to set a realistic and achievable weight loss goal. Setting unrealistic goals for e.g., a goal of losing 10kg in 10 days and taking extreme measures to achieve it can have a detrimental effect. It can damage your metabolism in the long run. Aim for a realistic target of around 2kg to 3kg of weight loss per month. This is attainable and will eventually help in fat loss in long run.
(ii) Adopt a habit-based approach
Adopt a more sustainable, habit-based approach that doesn’t include a drastic calorie deficit. Including small changes every day in lifestyle could give us a better chance at adapting (physiologically and psychologically) to a healthier lifestyle and successful weight loss. Consistency is the key when it comes to weight loss. We should try and make small healthy changes gradually every day to achieve a healthy weight loss.
(iii) Have a daily regime consistent with your everyday routine
A nutrition regime should be customised as per your work schedule and lifestyle pattern. We often tend to follow a friend’s nutrition regime but it may not work with our eating and exercise pattern and therefore not yield the same result and makes us question what went wrong. Therefore, it is important to carve a regime that works for us.
(iv) Mindful eating
Mindful eating is a skill to listen and respond to our internal sense of hunger and fullness. By eating slowly, and tuning into our thoughts and emotions while eating, we can make tremendous progress in our eating behaviour and weight loss journey.
Weight loss is possible even with crash dieting or with starving yourself. But are these ways healthy? Will this lead to sustainable weight loss in the long run?
The answer is NO…. These ways are not sustainable and have a harmful impact on the nutritional status and overall health.
The right kind of nutrition is the one which not only helps you lose weight but also:
(i) Helps you eliminate any nutritional deficiencies
This is of prime importance as a good nutrition plan will never make you nutritionally deficient. Fad diets do that. In fact, a balanced nutrition plan will correct deficiencies of any vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. If a certain diet is asking you to cut down on a particular nutrient completely, it’s a sign of caution. Stay away from such diets for the benefit of your health.
(ii) Keeps your food cravings and hunger controlled
No good nutrition plans should starve you or keep you hungry. If it does so, it needs a re-evaluation. A well panned nutrition plan should allow you to eat well balanced meals as per your body’s requirements. It will also help work on your food cravings.
(iii) Gives you better stamina and energy
Fad diets drain you of your energy. An important thing to check whether you are following good nutrition is to assess your energy levels throughout the day. If you are feeling tired with your new nutrition plan, time to evaluate and change it for the better.
(iv) Makes your skin and hair glow
Well, this change will not happen in a day. But when you start practicing all the above changes in your body, a good nutrition plan will start to have a positive impact on your skin and hair. You may get rid of your acnes, reduce hair fall or also improve quality of skin and hair.
Lastly, there are no short cuts to effective and sustainable weight loss. A well-balanced nutrition regime along with physical activity and proper hydration will gradually help you achieve your health goals over a period of time.
When it comes to figuring out what to eat for weight loss, the most important factor is portion control. When you consume less calories than you spend you will lose weight. The best diet that helps you lose weight will be the one that allows you to consume lesser calories without causing lethargy. The key is to choose pick a diet that you can adhere to.
Losing weight requires a negative energy balance which can be achieved by eating less and exercising more. However, for a sustainable weight loss it is important to focus on the quality of the foods that we are consuming. Any fad diet or severe restriction can help us lose weight once. But the repercussion of such a diet will be getting back all the lost weight It can also severely impact our metabolism and overall health. Therefore, there are some foods which when taken in correct amounts helps us lose weight. Let us have a look at them:
(i) Protein rich foods– Proteins help us feel full faster, thus providing satiety. Protein also takes more time to metabolise in the body therefore burning more calories in our system—a process called ‘thermogenesis’. Some protein-rich foods that are ideal for weight loss are:
Eggs– Egg protein is considered as a complete protein. Egg protein has the highest digestibility with an excellent amino acid profile. It has the highest protein digestibility corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS). PDCAAS is the measure of quality of protein. For weight loss, egg protein can help decrease appetite and caloric reduction in the next meal and thereby weight reduction. A study confirmed that an energy deficit low-fat diet with egg breakfast can help reduce weight as compared to a similar energy deficit low-fat diet with bagel breakfast over a period of 8 weeks.
Beans and legumes- Beans and legumes are rich in protein as well as fibre. These two nutrients promote satiety and help in weight loss. Beans like kidney beans, green beans, black beans are extremely helpful in weight loss. Soaking the beans for a few hours and then cooking them increases their absorption and also doesn’t cause bloating issues.
(ii) Vegetables– Vegetables add fibre and water content to our diet. Water and fibre in foods increase volume and thereby reduce overall energy density. Additionally, it also provides vitamin and minerals. Gustafsson and colleagues found that adding vegetables (carrots and spinach) to meals with equal calories enhanced the feelings of being full. These results were seen when at least 200 g of vegetable were added. Green leafy vegetables have a high fibre content and are rich in micronutrients. Including a variety of green leafy vegetables will help in weight reduction.
Non starchy vegetables like broccoli, spinach, capsicum, cucumbers and many others are better for weight loss than starchy vegetables like potatoes. Non starchy vegetables have lesser calories because of their high water and fibre content.
Eating vegetables in raw or cooked form for weight loss doesn’t have any significant impact in the long run. While raw vegetables will have higher water content, cooked vegetables will be slightly more calorically dense. This is due to loss of water during cooking. Some water-soluble vitamins may also get lost while cooking. An important thing to consider is to make sure the vegetables are not cooked with high calorie ingredients like too much oil, cream or cheese. The general recommendation for consumption of vegetables and green leafy vegetables by the Indian council of medical research (ICMR) for an healthy Indian adult is 300g per day.
(iii) Nuts and seeds– Nuts, in particular are energy dense and are also good source of unsaturated fatty acids. Nuts are also rich in proteins, fibre and low in glycaemic index and therefore provide satiety on consumption. Inclusion of nuts in caloric restricted diets produces a sustainable and greater magnitude of weight loss among obese subjects and also improves insulin sensitivity. Seeds are good sources of protein, good fats, minerals and vitamins especially vitamin E. Vitamin E has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Seeds like pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds are also rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium. These are, therefore, beneficial for heart health as well as mental health. The general recommendation for consumption of nuts and seeds by the Indian council of medical research (ICMR) for an healthy Indian adult is 20g per day.
(iv) Fatty fishes- Fatty fishes are rich source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids. Fatty fishes like salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines etc. are a very good option of meeting your protein needs and healthy fats. They provide satiety thus causing weight loss. As it is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, its helps reduce inflammation in overweight and obese subjects. A study showed that among obese subjects who were on energy-restricted diet, the salmon eating group showed significant reduction in inflammatory markers as compared to the other groups.
(v) Water- Water is an essential part of our living. Adequate water intake is essential for flushing out toxins and boosting our metabolism. Water intake before meals can also help suppress appetite and thereby decrease our subsequent energy intake. Thus, leading to weight loss. In a study, consuming 500 ml water with a hypocaloric diet prior to each main meal led to greater weight loss than a hypocaloric diet alone. This may be the result of a lower energy intake at meal times following water ingestion. The Indian council of medical research (ICMR) recommends 8 glasses (2 liters) of water for a normal healthy adult. This should go up in hot weather and during vigorous activities.
These nutritious and whole foods when taken in required quantities are excellent choices for reaching our weight loss goal when combined with the right kind of exercise and lifestyle changes.
While making effort in losing weight, belly fat is the most stubborn one to reduce compared to fat deposit in other parts of the body .Visceral fat in the stomach area is responsible for various disease conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. To prevent the onset of these diseases, it is important to lose belly fat.
(i) 30-minute cardio to lose weight
People try to follow the social media hype and trends for belly fat reduction. Suggestion from fitness trainers who provide big promises with less scientific evidence are also followed blindly. Lack of compliance and sustainable weight loss over long-term is always observed among obese people. Let’s try to fetch through the scientific evidence for the claims made on short-term solutions.
Is 30-minute cardio enough to lose weight?
It sounds very tempting that with 30 minutes of cardio every day, achieving weight loss is possible. Well yes, studies have shown very promising results but there are more than just 30 minutes per day.
Walking has been found to provide a significant change in fat deposits in varied subjects when followed for a prolonged time frame.
Does cardio reduce belly fat?
When it comes to exercise, aerobic exercise alone shows significant weight loss compared to resistance training alone. A combination of aerobic and resistance training can prevent loss of lean body mass and is therefore recommended in a weight loss regimen for the prevention and treatment of overweight and obesity
The aerobic exercises recommended for obese patients are walking as the foundation. This is followed by stationary bicycle, jogging, swimming, and low-impact aerobic exercises. Combination of different aerobic exercises reduce the chance of injury and allow the usage of various muscle groups.
There are studies that have shown better results when combined with calorie restriction.
In a 14-week weight loss intervention program, aerobic training along with calorie restriction showed significant changes in intraabdominal (belly) fat in comparison to individuals who were only on diet restriction
One study showed on obese adolescent boys showed different results. Full body resistance training three times a week for 60 minutes showed a significant reduction in abdominal (belly) fat among adolescent obese boys compared to 60 minutes of aerobic training three times a week. One of the reasons was the boys felt the aerobic training boring compared to resistance training more interesting and enjoyable
There were no significant studies that proved only cardio exercise can reduce belly fat
Various types of abdominal (belly) exercises like bent knee sit-up, oblique crunch, stability ball crunch, and abdominal (belly) when done without aerobic exercise followed for 6 weeks showed no significant change in abdominal (belly) fat.
Spot reduction is more of a myth. Many studies have exposed the fact that a wholistic weight loss program provides better results
(i) Consume high fibre diet
Fibre is a non-digestible part of carbohydrate as the human body lacks the enzyme to digest it. There are two types of fibre: soluble and insoluble fibre.
a. Insoluble fibre acts as bulking agent providing more volume to the stool.
b. Soluble fibre slows down mobility of food in the gut as they absorb water and thus provide increased satiety levels. Due to this mechanism food intake is less and therefore promotes weight loss.
Another study showed positive results when insoluble fibre from whole grain were consumed the belly fat percentage reduced.
Combination of soluble and insoluble fibre with a recommended intake of 21-31 g / day for adults above 50 years can provide improvement in body fat composition.
Flax based drink and tablet when administered to different groups after an overnight fast and appetite was rated after 120 minutes. Results showed that 2.5 g of soluble fibre significantly suppressed appetite and energy intake.
A wholistic approach with combination of a balanced diet containing high fibre, high protein, good quality fat, complex carbohydrate and exercise helps in changing the body fat composition.
Next time you see an advertisement talking about only belly fat reduction, think twice before falling for it.
Trans fat should be avoided in the diet
Zero trans fat is marketed in most of the packaged foods. Food industry is also making efforts to make fried foods with no trans fat. Let’s understand what is trans fat. Trans fat is by product of industrial processing of vegetable oils. Vegetable oils when hydrogenated to make it firm for better cooking quality trans fat is formed. Margarine, bakery shortenings and vanaspati contains trans fat. Trans fat is also present naturally in meat and dairy products like butter.
Globally around 5 lakh individuals die due to heart disease every year due to consumption of trans fats. Trans fat also increase abdominal (belly) fat deposition, insulin resistance and increases body weight. A 6-year study on monkey who ate trans fat found 33% increase in belly fat compared to diet rich in monounsaturated fats. Trans fat has increased the risk of diabetes by 40% in a study with 80000 women subjects.
There are efforts made by food regulatory bodies worldwide to limit or eradicate trans fat from packaged foods like biscuits, chips, cookies, cakes and deep-fried snacks.
How to avoid trans fat in diet?
Read the labels carefully of the packaged foods. Look out for the trans fat content in the nutrition information table. Look out for the words like hydrogenated fat and partially hydrogenated fat in the ingredient list. Sometimes the labels do not declare the information completely. So, the best way to avoid trans fat is to reduce the consumption of processed food in the diet. Also try avoiding using vanaspati in your home cooked foods.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is prepared with fermentation process. Acetic acid is the active component.
There are several claims on benefits of apple cider vinegar in weight loss. The usage has increased with the number of commercially available products with very good marketing strategy. Let’s understand whether there is any scientific evidence
Apple cider vinegar has shown good glycemic control when consumed before starchy and high glycemic index meal. The reason could be delay in gastric emptying, increase in insulin sensitivity and improved satiety levels
Animal studies have shown increase in the enzyme AMPK which increases fat breakdown, and reduces sugar and fat production in the liver
There are very few studies showing benefit in fat and weight loss in humans.
Apple cider vinegar has shown reduction in bad cholesterol. This may be due to increase in lipolysis fecal excretion of bile acid and increase in satiety.
One study showed 1.6kg weight loss on consumption of apple cider vinegar but the weight was gained back when stopped.
How to consume apple cider vinegar
1-2 tablespoon in a glass of water consumed before meals every day for few months can show weight loss in overweight individuals. One need to be very careful on the dosage and long-term use of the same. The acidic pH of the vinegar can irritate and burn the esophagus, may interact with other drugs. Need to read the label of the product to find the acidity levels and include exactly as mentioned on the label.
Fat loss being the top most priority in losing weight, it is important to incorporate cardio along with resistance training to lose weight by maintaining the lean body mass. Dietary fibre as we have known is good but having only fibre without taking care of calorie restriction and incorporating other nutrients like protein, complex carbohydrates, good quality fat, vitamins, minerals etc. will not really help. Spot reduction which is more widely marketed is more of a myth than reality. A wholistic approach is what can provide a long term and sustainable weight loss.
Binge eating simply means eating to excess. For some people, it is an occasional lapse or slip or overindulgence. For some, it is partial or complete loss of control over eating.
Guilt. Regret. Anger at yourself. These are the emotions you experience when you binge eat especially when you are on a weight loss regime. As every binge eater knows, the joy of over indulgence comes with consequences. You feel physically uncomfortable, bloated, perhaps even sick to your stomach. Mentally, you feel guilty and angry.
There are ways in which you can avoid binge eating. This can be done by making some behavioral changes and being more aware about the environment and emotions around binge eating:
(i) Be gentle with yourself
First and foremost, it is important to let go of the regret and anger we tend to have on ourself for binge eating. While on a diet, we tend to be very hard on ourself. An occasional indulgence should not be the reason for stopping your efforts towards weight loss. Be gentle with yourself and start afresh with the subsequent meals.
(ii) Eat only when you are hungry
Start eating only when you are physically hungry and stop eating when you are physically full. Sometimes, while following the food rules on a diet, we forget to listen to our body’s cues. Be in touch with your inner self while eating. Eat only when you are hungry. Do not eat simply because you are bored or stressed or sad or are experiencing any other emotion. Emotional eating can be avoided by asking yourself- Why am I eating? Am I really hungry? Or I want to eat because I am bored or stressed? Do this over and over, and you’ll start to see some patterns. That’s your opportunity to change overeating behaviour and do something else to address those emotions instead of binging.
(iii) Make an effort to eat more mindfully
Mindful eating (i.e., paying attention to our food, on purpose, moment by moment, without judgment) is an approach to food that focuses on individuals’ sensual awareness of the food and their experience of the food. Mindfully eating encourages you to enjoy and savour food and eat only when you are physically hungry. Mindful eating helps you to differentiate between physical hunger and psychological hunger. The purpose of mindful eating is not to lose weight, although it is highly likely that those who adopt this style of eating will lose weight.
(i) Identify your triggers
Over eating is related to our emotions. Stress, anger, sadness, boredom, loneliness can all lead to binge eating particularly at night.
The cycle often looks like this.
This can be a vicious cycle if the triggers for overeating are not identified. Understanding the emotions and working on them through mindful eating can help prevent overeating.
(ii) Have a meal schedule for the day and sleep on time
If you have a proper meal schedule where you are taking all your main meals on time and especially dinner, there is a very less chance of binging at night. Erratic eating habits and irregular timings can leave you craving for food at night. Secondly, sleeping on time will help you avoid unnecessary snacking at night. Also, adequate and sound sleep helps to balance hormones in the body.
When we are sleep-deprived, hormones like leptin falls so it takes longer to feel full. On the other hand, hormones like ghrelin may increase triggering hunger. Therefore, being sleep deprived makes us feel hungrier and crave for sweets. This may lead to increased weight gain.
(iii) Focus on things other than food.
If you keep thinking about food, there are high chances of binge eating. Distract yourself from the thought of food. Do something that you enjoy like socialising with friends, pick up a hobby, go for walks etc. This will help your mind focus on things other than food.
(iv) Include protein and fibre in your meals.
Adding protein and fibre in every meal will help provide satiety and feeling of fullness. This can help delay hunger and thereby avoid snacking and binge eating late at night. In a study of obese subjects on energy-restricted diets, the group on high protein foods experienced increased satiety, lower late-night desire to eat and low preoccupation with thoughts of food as compared to the normal protein group.
(iv) Turn off the screen while eating
Screen time may encourage mindless eating and increased food intake. Eating in front of the TV, while playing video games or surfing the Internet can distract attention from what and how much is eaten, reduce satiety signals sent to the brain and lead to over eating. It is advisable to reduce or totally avoid screen time during meals to avoid binge eating.
With some mindfulness and proper planning, overeating or binge eating can definitely be restricted.
One of the other areas with a high chance of binge eating is when we are on holidays. Holidays are time for relaxation, fun and rejuvenation. Good food also has a very deep connection with enjoyment and fun. Therefore, it is highly likely to go overboard on holidays with food and drinks. However, if planned well, this can be controlled:
(i) Focus on rejuvenation and relaxation– When on holidays, focus on other aspects of enjoyment apart from food. Exploring the nature, taking spa and massages, going for walks are different ways to relax and rejuvenate yourself and distract yourself from the thought of only food.
(ii) Skip or limit alcohol as much as possible- Alcohol add empty calories to your total intake. Keep a close watch to your alcohol intake. Try to cut down as much as possible to maintain a healthy regime.
(iii) Don’t let yourself get overly hungry– Sometimes in a need to cut down on calories, we try to skip meals. Avoid doing this as it may lead to excessive hunger and subsequent binge eating.
(iv) Carry some healthy snacks and foods with you– If you plan your holiday well, you can keep some healthy foods handy with you while travelling. This will help you keep full and not starve. It will also prevent you from binging.
(v) Get regular exercise– When on holidays, try to be keep your exercising schedule on track. This will help you not only in burning calories and but also elevate your mood. Exercise will also help regulate hunger and fullness signals, making it easier for you to listen to your body.
(vi) Have a pep talk with yourself on what is the deeper purpose for weight loss for you– Identify your deep reason for wanting to lose or maintain your weight. Remind yourself of the purpose frequently. It could be that with your new healthier self, you are able to play actively with your children or you are looking younger and feeling more energetic like never before. Finding a deeper purpose will help you stay on track. This will prevent you from binge eating on holidays or any other situation.
Lastly, to avoid binge eating, try incorporating a nutritious smoothie which is protein-rich, low in calories, fibre rich. The protein and fibre will help provide satiety and make you less hungry. A protein rich smoothie will also help burn more calories and help in weight loss.
What are smoothies?
A smoothie is a beverage made by pureeing ingredients in a blender. Smoothies are thick, beverages usually blended from puréed fruits, vegetables, juices, yogurt, nuts, seeds, and/or dairy or non-dairy milk.
Smoothies are ideal for quick, healthy and delicious meals on the go. Smoothies can give your body what it needs and help eliminate unhealthy foods. There are a variety of combinations that can incorporated in nutritionally dense smoothie. Smoothies can easily fit into our busy lifestyle as they can made quickly and conveniently.
A nutritionally dense smoothie can be an excellent solution for:
Smoothies are a good choice to incorporate a variety of ingredients in a single drink and make it nutritious. Vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds can be all put together to make it nutritionally rich.
Smoothies can help you lose weight as they
(i) Helps improve your morning routine– Smoothies can be made in the fastest way possible if we invest little time in pre-preparation and with the right ingredients. In the busy morning hours, smoothies make good breakfast option especially for people who skip breakfast or starve in the morning due to lack of time to prepare a healthy breakfast.
(ii) Tailor made ingredients to help you lose weight-The choice of ingredients taken in smoothies will determine whether it is healthy or not. With the choice of correct ingredients, smoothies can help in burning fat, as well as to improve digestion, and decrease inflammation. These can boost your energy during and after workouts. Nutritionally balanced smoothies can fully satiate you till your next meal and hence, help you get through your busy days. A smoothie can help with weight loss if they are:
–Low in calories– With the right kind of ingredients, a smoothie can be made low calorie. A low-calorie smoothie can help in losing weight.
–Are high in protein– Protein rich smoothies with the addition of whey or soy or seeds and nuts, milk, almond milk etc. can help provide satiety and also increase protein intake. Higher protein intake can suppress appetite for the next meal and help in weight loss.
–Rich in fibre- Vegetables and fruits are essential part of a smoothie. Since they are blended, the fibre remains in the smoothie unlike the process of juicing. This helps in meeting the fibre needs and help provide satiety thereby helping in weight loss.
–Rich in probiotics and prebiotics- Prebiotics and probiotics when added to smoothies helps enhance healthy gut bacteria and thus improve digestion. With improved digestion, the absorption of nutrients is enhanced. This helps eliminate nutritional deficiencies and thereby support the process of weight loss.
–Is table sugar free- Added sugars in drinks have negative health effects. There is an increasing risk for obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and tooth decay. If you put sugar in your smoothies, you will be increasing your added sugar intake and unwanted calories. For weight loss, ensure that smoothies are sugar free and not adding unwanted calories to your diet.
When a meal replacement smoothie was given for breakfast and lunch each day for 12 weeks as part of a calorie-restricted diet to overweight and obese subjects, it showed improved satiety up to 2 hours post consumption. It also curbed the hunger of the participants effectively. This helped in weight loss of the participants.
Helps you hydrate yourself– Being a combination of fruits, vegetables and base like dairy or non-dairy liquids, smoothies help us in keeping ourself hydrated and prevent water loss and dehydration.
Helps improve digestion– Nutrients in smoothies are raw and they are blended. Unlike the juicing process, blended ingredients retain their fibre content. Fibre helps improve healthy bacteria in the gut. This improves the gut health and thereby improve digestion.
Helps you get your daily allowance of fruits and vegetables– A smoothie can easily blend 2 or more servings of vegetables or fruits, thus meeting half or more of the daily requirement of fruits and vegetables.
Helps improve immunity– Smoothie with the immunoenhancing ingredients can help boost the immune system with daily intake. Ingredients like nuts and seeds, amla, raw turmeric, green vegetables, cinnamon, curd etc. can be easily incorporated in a smoothie and can help enhance immunity.
Can boost hair and skin health– With the goodness of various vitamins and minerals like Vitamin E, biotin from raw foods, B-vitamins, antioxidants, phytonutrients and proteins, smoothies can help boost quality of hair and skin.
Help lose weight easily– A smoothie with low calorie, high protein, fibre-rich ingredient can be a great tool for losing weight if consumed on a daily basis. A high protein and fibre rich smoothie with low calories and other nutrients can help provide satiety and fullness, balance your blood sugar levels and also improve metabolism.
Reduces craving for junk foods- When you start your day with a nutrient-dense smoothie that meets half of your nutrient requirement of the day, you will find that your cravings for unhealthy foods at evening will decrease considerably. Also, a fibre and protein rich smoothie will help suppress appetite and delay hunger for the next meal. This may help in weight loss.
Help improve quality of your diet– Smoothies can be a powerhouse of nutrients. A single glass of nutrient-dense smoothie can meet your daily nutrients requirement to a great extent. This helps in improving the quality of diet up a notch or two.