Some of our medical weight loss patients tell us that they run short on time for meal prep, and need quick and easy meal ideas that they can take on go. That’s especially true in the mornings, when everyone is busy getting the family off to school and work. If you’ve wondered whether smoothies can fit into your meal plan, the answer is absolutely!
Of course, there’s a catch. When you’re tossing ingredients into a blender and making a smoothie to-go, it can be easy to get carried away with calories. Even though a smoothie seems like just a drink, it’s full of food (and hopefully, nutrition). So follow these steps to create healthy, nutritionally balanced smoothies that fit well into your medical weight loss eating plan.
Consider macros. A smoothie can work as a complete meal in a to-go cup, as long as you remember to balance protein, carbs, and a little fat.
Choose your protein. Aim for about 15 grams of protein per smoothie, or a bit more if you’re male or following a weight training regimen. Non-fat cottage cheese or yogurt make great options, and you can add a little protein powder if you need more of that nutrient.
Opt for healthy fats. A little fat keeps you feeling full, but be careful not to overdo it. Shoot for a tablespoon of nut butter, one quarter of an avocado, or one to two tablespoons of nuts or seeds.
Include some veggies. One cup of greens like spinach or kale are ideal for smoothies, because they add a ton of nutrients without many calories or strong flavor.
Remember fiber. One-half cut of rolled oats adds the right amount of fiber to your smoothie, and makes it taste great.
Add a little fruit. Fruit adds a sweet flavor to your smoothie, but watch out for the sugars. Limit yourself to one piece of fruit or one cup of berries, cut-up watermelon, cantaloupe, etc. If you choose mango or bananas, you probably won’t feel the need for any added sweeteners.
When mixed wisely, a smoothie can contain around 400 calories. It’s a perfect breakfast on the go, or a lunch for later. If you have any other questions about your medical weight loss eating plan, call us so that we can support you in reaching your goals.