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Juices & Blended Drinks for Weight Loss

With the many fad diets on the market, some people find it overwhelming to choose the right weight loss routine. Programs that incorporate juice or blended drinks such as smoothies offer many benefits. They can cut calories and add nutrients, but might not be healthy for all dieters. Talk with your doctor before beginning a new diet.

The only way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you consume. This means reducing your intake through food and increasing your burn with exercise. It takes a deficit of 3,500 calories to result in a one-pound weight loss. If you cut your intake by 500 calories per day, you'll lose one pound per week. Increase that to a 1,000-calorie reduction each day and you'll drop two pounds in a week. By including healthy and low-calorie foods in your diet, you'll jump start a calorie deficit. Many types of juice and blended drinks are appropriate for weight loss, but others may hinder your efforts.

Read the nutritional information on juice and blended drinks to determine whether they fit in your weight loss plan. In general, juice is lower in calories than blended drinks that typically contain yogurt, fruit and juice and sometimes honey and protein powder. Choose items that fit with your calorie needs for the most benefit. For example, an 8-ounce glass of fruit and vegetable juice has about 115 calories, while a strawberry smoothie from a popular chain contains 160 calories. In addition, consider the nutrient content of the juice or blended drink, particularly if your plan only includes one traditional meal per day. If you are at risk of nutritional deficiencies, you might need a supplement to fill in gaps until you complete the diet. Your doctor is a valuable resource for determining a healthy calorie and nutrient intake conducive to weight loss and good overall health.

Include juice and blended drinks as part of a well-balanced diet that includes foods from each food group. This ensures that your nutrient needs are covered and that your appetite is satisfied, which might not happen by drinking juice or blended drinks alone. Choose whole grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy foods and protein foods in servings appropriate for your weight loss goals in conjunction with your weight loss drinks.
While juice and blended drinks offer potential health and weight loss benefits, relying on them alone isn't a healthy choice for everyone, especially for those who have health conditions or special dietary needs. Consult a medical professional or a nutritionist if you need help choosing foods to include in your diet.

Blended drinks often have more nutrition than juice because they contain whole fruits and vegetables, rather than just the juice. Fruit and vegetable juice is lower in fiber than blended drinks because the flesh is removed. For example, an 8-ounce glass of apple juice contains less than 1 gram of fiber, while an apple and leafy greens blended drink from a popular smoothie chain weighs in with 6 grams. Blended drinks often include yogurt, which increases calcium and protein. Plain juice contains very little protein, if any. Getting enough protein and fiber is important for weight loss because these nutrients fill your stomach, reducing feelings of hunger. Fiber is particularly important because it digests slowly, keeping you feeling full for longer.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.