Ah, the great smoothies vs juicing debate. Juicing vs blending for weight loss is a controversial topic in some circles, with some people swearing by smoothies, whilst others insist on just juicing.
Both are trending in a big way so there are avid juicers lining up on one side to proclaim its benefits for weight loss while hardcore blenders shout about the weight they’ve lost from smoothies.
Well, which is it? As the debate continues to dominate many health websites, we’ve decided to weigh up (no pun intended) the pros and cons of each of these weight loss strategies to see which is truly best when it comes to weight loss.
Smoothies for Weight Loss: The Pros and Cons
When you’re making a smoothie, the whole produce is pulverized in a blender, pulp and all. Nothing is left out.
This means that smoothies contain fiber, which is good news for weight loss in a number of ways.
Smoothies = Fiber
- Fiber is good for the digestive tract as it helps move things through.
- In terms of weight loss, fiber slows down the absorption of sugar in the body. This is an important consideration when it comes to sweet fruits and sugar-rich vegetables such as carrots and beets.
- Fiber is also beneficial because it contains micronutrients, which are then readily available for your body to absorb when you drink a smoothie.
- What’s more, the fiber enables nutrients to be gradually and evenly released into the blood stream, preventing possible blood sugar spikes.
Smoothies Fill You Up
Fiber is also good because it is filling, which obviously helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer. In fact, a smoothie can constitute a light nutritious meal – even serve as a total meal replacement smoothie if you’re smart about what you add in it.
If you combine fruits and vegetables with a healthy source of protein, such as soy milk or low fat yoghurt, you will have a healthy, nutritious and filling meal on-the-go. This will keep you feeling satisfied until your next meal, helping you to stop overeating and so lose weight. In short, smoothies are a great low calorie meal replacement.
Because smoothies contain fiber and are more filling, they are also a more efficient fuel for exercise. A smoothie will give you more energy, fuel and staying power for a calorie burning workout than a juice. Especially when you consider that with smoothies – you can really stock up on proteins and healthy fats (both of which are highly beneficial for weight loss).
This means that you can pack more foods that promote weight loss into a smoothie than you can into juices.
So, as you can see, smoothies definitely have their place when you’re looking to lose weight. But that doesn’t mean juices aren’t good for weight loss, too…
Juicing for Weight Loss: The Pros and Cons
When you are making a juice, your machine is extracting the water and nutrients from the produce, leaving behind the pulp. This means that juices contain no fiber.
However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Without fiber, all the nutrients in your juice are absorbed into your body much more effectively and in larger quantities.
Juices also provide a an almost immediate boost in energy. Because the water and nutrients have been removed from the fiber, no digestive processes have to take place. No energy is required to break down the food, so you will experience an increase in energy simply from drinking healthy juices, enabling you to get up and get active.
In addition, juicing allows you to consume a very high intake of nutrients from leafy greens and veggies you normally wouldn’t eat or blend, like cabbage and wheatgrass. Vegetable juices are particularly high in nutrients and are a great way to cleanse and detox your body.
This is a also great way to reduce those unhealthy cravings. Drinking veggie juices on a regular basis helps decrease your appetite and even suppresses cravings for high calorie, high fat junk foods. In this way, juices help you to stick to a weight loss diet plan in the long run while getting nutrients from veggies that you normally wouldn’t blend.
Juicing vs Blending for Weight Loss: What’s Better?
Honestly? Both. Juicing and blending are complementary rather than mutually exclusive weight loss strategies. When you combine the two – and the unique nutritional benefits each offer – you get the most potent juice/smoothie recipe combinations that are oh, so much better than just one or the other.
Take for example, this simple weight loss juice recipe: Let’s say you juice grapefruit (speeds up fat metabolism), half a chili pepper (capsaicin fights the build up of fat), and two handfuls of leafy greens. That on its own would not be the yummiest recipe.
But say you blend it with a tablespoon of coconut oil (increases energy and decreases fat storage), berries (low calories and high in fiber, plus sweetness), and an avocado (full of healthy fats). You end up with a juice/smoothie blend that’s so much more nutritious than either the juice or the smoothie would’ve been on its own.
The bottom line is that we all need to consume a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables on a daily basis, and both smoothies and juicing enable us to do this in different ways.
One thing you want to keep in mind is that both juices and smoothies can end up containing more calories than you want on a weight loss diet. So be smart about what you juice and what you blend.
Stick to juicing the more “difficult” veggies like ginger, carrots, wheatgrass, cabbage (you know, stuff you don’t really want to put in a smoothie) and take advantage of the fiber content of smoothies by adding in low-calorie, high-fiber fruits as well as goodies like probiotic-rich yogurt, healthy-fat-packed avocados, and immunity-boosting, fat-loss-aiding coconut oil.
Juicing vs Blending for Weight Loss: An Example Recipe
This green juice and smoothie combo is the perfect example of how juicing and blending can complement each other. It’s called green juice and smoothie combo because the creator combined juice with the avocado smoothie since… you can’t juice an avocado.
Image Source: JuicingwithG.com
What you need:
- Half a medium sized pineapple (without the skin)
- 1 pear
- 2 handfuls of spinach
- One large cucumber
- 4 celery stalks
- 1 avocado
1. Make sure to peel the pineapple then chop it into quarters. It is okay to include the core.
2. Juice the pineapple, pear, spinach, celery and cucumber in a juicer then set aside.
3. Cut the avocado in half, take out the pit and scoop out the meaty part and place inside a blender.
4. Pulse until the texture is smooth then add the juice that you’ve set aside earlier then blend.
Drink immediately afterwards.
This drink would be best taken in the morning before breakfast because it is filling and nutritious at the same time. It is filling because you are using basically one whole avocado with this drink which will help you quell hunger pangs until lunch time.
Read more proven recipes and tips that you can apply for everyday juicing here: http://www.juicingwithg.com/best-juice-recipes-weight-loss/
Food Fact: Even though avocado contains a lot of fat it isn’t saturated fat that harms the body. It contains Oleic acid, a health monounsaturated fat that quells appetite. It also contains low fructose content so you don’t have to worry about adding unwanted pounds.