Have you ever seen the documentary called “Super Size Me”? Morgan Spurlock did an experiment on himself where he ate nothing but McDonald’s for 30 days. In 30 days, he did more damage to his mental and physical health than you might think could be possible. He suffered to prove a point: That even if you’re eating three meals a day, it’s the quality of the food and the nutrients you are consuming that dictates, well, everything.
The sad thing is that most Americans, and many other populations around the world, are not getting quality nutrition when they eat. And if we take a gander at the modern fast food culture, one thing you immediately notice the absence of is vegetables. Namely, green, leafy vegetables.
Even when McDonald’s had salads, those salads with the dressing and add-ins were sometimes more caloric than a burger, fries, and Coke.
So what do you do? How do you lose weight, get adequate nutrition, and manage your life?
You grab yourself a healthy, fat burning green smoothie.
How To Balance Healthy Eating & Exercise
In the fitness world, we look at balance in the 90/10 or 80/20 version, especially when in the kitchen. That means, most fitness pros and athletes eat clean 90- or 80-percent of the time and indulge 10- or 20-percent of the time. The point here is that even the elite Olympian athletes with their vastly superior genetics cannot eat healthy 100% of the time. It’s madness, and you don’t want to make yourself miserable trying to do something impossible.
However, what you consume is extremely important—more than exercise. Depending on your life, your hobbies, work, responsibilities, and time constraints, you might find that you are having difficulties with meal prepping and eating at the optimal time to maximize results.
In order to balance healthy eating, exercise, and fun, you will need to put a little effort out first, but the rewards you reap are worth it. One of those is gathering the fat-burning, metabolism-revving powerhouse ingredients for a smoothie or two. Need a boost before or after a workout? Grab a smoothie. Need a quick breakfast? Smoothie. Bust your cravings? Smoothie.
Foods That Burn Fat & Boost Metabolism
Now, as you know food = fuel. Without fuel, you cannot do the things you want to do, just like a car can’t run without gas. For building muscle and losing weight, you need healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, quality protein, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. A smoothie can cover all those bases because you can use ingredients like:
- Raw, whole nuts – these contain amino acids for building muscle and burning fat, as well as protein for satiety and muscle growth and recovery
- Berries – sweet, fibrous, and chock full of nutrients to fight free radicals
- Apple cider vinegar – burn fat, stabilize blood sugar levels
- Matcha green tea powder – EGCG burns fat, caffeine boosts your energy, and the protein content helps build muscle
- Spinach and other leafy greens – vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other phytonutrients
- Avocado – healthy fats, fiber, vitamin B6
- Pears and apple – high in fiber and pectin, both which keep you full
- Celery – low in calories, high in fiber, creating a negative calorie balance
- Flaxseed and chia seed – contains fiber, fatty acids, and protein
- Cacao nibs – cacao is high in polyphenols, which burn belly fat
- Spirulina – a green algae extract that has amino acids, protein, and other nutrients
Carrots, butternut squash, beets, coconut, almond milk, and other ingredients can be added to jazz up smoothies too.
Proper Nutrition For The Best Results
Despite the USDA recommending at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, most Americans only eat one or two servings. With a smoothie, you can incorporate 1-2 cups of mixed greens and 1-2 cups of fruit, making it an easy way to get your fruits and vegetables. Because smoothies are blended with a number of ingredients, sipping on one is going to give you more nutrients than you might get from eating that recommended 5 servings separately. This is advantageous when you dislike vegetables and need to trick yourself into consuming more. Eating a serving of kale can be painful, but if you slip that kale into a smoothie, you won’t notice.
Smoothies also have another benefit: properly balanced nutrition. If you pair a banana with skim milk, for example, you are getting a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals. If you add an apple and peanut butter, you get a delicious balance of protein and fiber. Citrus items pair well with milked almonds and coconut, as well as Swiss chard, kale, and spinach. Fresh or frozen, knowing how to pair your vegetables, liquids, and fruits can give you a rainbow of nutrients that pack a powerful punch and keep you healthy.
Fat Burning Smoothie Recipes
Here are a couple of fat burning green smoothie recipes to try:
1. Citrus Mint Smoothie (adapted from simplegreensmoothie.com)
- 2 cups spinach
- ¼ cup muddled mint leaves
- 1 cup brewed green tea
- 1 large grapefruit, peeled and seeded
- 2 stalks celery
- ½ avocado
- 2 cups pineapple chunks
- Place the mint, spinach, celery, and green tea into the blender.
- Puree until greens until smooth
- Add fruit
- Blend until smooth then enjoy.
2. Apple and Kale Smoothie (adapted from realsimple.com)
- ¾ cup kale
- 1 stalk celery
- ½ banana
- ½ cup apple
- ½ cup ice
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup water
- Put all the ingredients into the blender. Ice should go in last.
- Blend until smooth and enjoy.
3. Ginger-Orange Green Smoothie (adapted from bridgetgallagher.com)
- ½ cup water
- 2 cups spinach
- 2 romaine leaves
- 1 navel orange, peeled and seeded
- 1 ripe banana
- 1” knob of fresh ginger
- 1 cucumber, peeled
- Prep the vegetables and fruit
- First blend the spinach, romaine, and water together
- Add the remaining ingredients
- Blend until smooth then enjoy.
Tips for Great Smoothies
Now that you have some recipes to try, keep the following tips in mind:
- Put the liquid in before anything else to eliminate chunks.
- Start the blender on a slower speed first. Pulse a few times before switching to puree.
- If you accidentally make the smoothie too watery, you can thicken with a few ice cubes.
- If you want to up the nutrition, even more, try adding some protein powder!
For the busy professional, training mom or dad, non-stop trainer, or person looking to shed a few pounds, green smoothies are the nutritional powerhouse that you should add to your diet. A well-blended smoothie can help with filling in any imbalances you might have in your diet. Once you get your nutrition smoothed out—pun intended—you will find that weight loss and fat burning becomes much easier. Which smoothie are you going to try first?
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