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Homemade Shakes to Lose Weight

By Kimberly Blough

Homemade nutritional shakes for weight loss are a terrific kick-start or addition to any diet. Shakes and smoothies aren't a magic potion, but they are an easy and quick way to create a healthy, low calorie meal while ensuring a delivery of healthy fruit, fiber, fats and protein to your body. Follow sound nutrition guidelines, such as bulking up on fiber and balancing sugar with protein, to keep yourself feeling full and satisfied while cutting calories and nourishing your body.

Consuming Calories

One key to successful weight loss is consuming fewer calories than you are burning, and homemade shakes and smoothies will help you do just that. It can be helpful to figure out how many calories you need in order to stay at your current weight, then count calories to be sure you are creating a deficit. There are many online calculators to determine what your caloric intake should be for weight maintenance. Measuring and preparing shakes can make it easier to keep track of calorie consumption.

Nutritional Balance

Staying nutritionally balanced and healthy is important when considering weight loss. High-sugar fruits such as bananas, grapes and oranges add more calories than low-sugar fruits, so use them sparingly. Opt for low-sugar fruit like berries and green apples, and consider adding raw greens to your smoothies such as lettuce, kale, collards or chard. These are nutrient powerhouses with very few calories and will add bulk to your smoothie. Protein is also an important component to make sure your are healthy and satisfied, so add a scoop of protein powder, a spoonful of nuts, some peanut butter, plain yogurt or milk to make sure you are covering your bases.

Filling Up

One of the most difficult aspects of cutting calories is the inability to feel full and satisfied. Fiber is important for digestive health and it's imperative for easing the symptoms of hunger -- it adds bulk without calories. Make sure to add sufficient fiber to home made smoothies in the form of psyllium husk, chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp fiber or any other fiber supplement.

Final Tricks and Cautions

Once you have a recipe that you like, write down proportions so you can replicate it. Prepare smoothie packs in advance by portioning out fruit and veggies in freezer bags, then store until ready to use. Add in protein powder and liquids, blend, and enjoy. If calorie counting helps you stay on the right path, weigh out your ingredients and add up the number of calories per smoothie, checking online for the exact amount of calories in each fruit or vegetable. Note that it is not advised for anyone to intake fewer than 1200 calories per day without medical supervision.

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