green smoothies and calories

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl:   I am nursing  my three-month old daughter and at the same time trying to lose the rest of my baby weight (I have about 43 pounds to lose…I gained 70 . . . oops!).   I have been trying to incorporate the smoothies into my diet, but it seems that I do not lose in the weeks when I am very consistent with drinking them.   This is what I am typically eating:

 

hot pink breakfast smoothie

1 small homemade pumpkin muffin (with wholegrain flour and agave nectar)

 

1/2 portion of whatever we had for dinner the night before (we are vegans, so usually some kind of veggie soup, stew, etc….always low fat)

1  quart green smoothie

 

vegan dinner…small portion

1 small homemade muffin

 

i also drink 2 cups of decaf chai and mother’s milk teas with stevia and a splash of vanilla almond milk

 

I am 6 feet tall and weigh approx 225 lbs (weighed 185 when I conceived, but would like to get back down to 165 eventually) and work out a few times a week.

 

I love drinking the smoothies, but am worried about the scale not moving down when I am drinking them . . . should I make my lunch only the smoothie and not any leftovers?

 

Answer:   I’m not a fan of strict calorie counting, but it helps to know some essential information.   First, your body can handle 600 to 800 calories at a time.   So, when we eat a huge meal of well over 800 calories, the body has to store some of that food energy as fat.

 

Second, a quart of green smoothie (good job!) is about 400 calories, or 500 if you’re adding a Tbsp. of flax oil.   So just keep an eye on that.   It’s obviously very nutritionally dense and low in calories.   If your leftovers portion is 600 calories, however, you might want to eat a smaller amount.

In general, your menu sounds good.   So, third, if you are eating in accordance with principles of good nutrition, not overeating, and not indulging in processed foods, and you are still not losing weight you need to lose, then my next suggestion for you would be to have your thyroid checked.   Don’t go to your OB/GYN or a standard lab for this.   Find a clinic specializing in women’s hormones, and the practitioner may be a nurse.   Have a full blood panel run, because the T3 measurement your OB/GYN would likely have you test does not tell the whole story.   You will need to have your blood workup analyzed for a fairly complex interplay of a number of factors, including T4 and some other hormones that work with your thyroid.

 

If you are one of the burgeoning number of women suffering from low thyroid (estimates seem to fall about 25% of American women), ask to be prescribed a bioidentical thyroid hormone rather than a synthetic drug (like Cytomel or Synthroid).   The natural bioidenticals are also cheaper than the drugs, since you can’t patent a natural substance.

4 thoughts on “green smoothies and calories

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  1. wow! what a great post. I don’t know if this is the same for you–but are you having ENOUGH calories? for me I am BFing a 71/2 mo old DD–we are dairy/soy/egg free and I was having a hard time getting enough calories–I was actually gaining weight nursing–when I made sure to get 1500 calories I stood still and could not lose a pound!! eating VERY VERY very healthy! (green smoothies and all) just the past 3 weeks–we decided to trial me and my son off gluten (for allergies) and I have lost 8 lbs! (not sure it losing that quickly is good for my nursing daughter as losing weight releases toxins-right?!!) anyway but I was doing nothing else–eating the same–just filled the other grains with gluten free grains. I’m sure I’m jsut the odd one out but I was SO surprised and happy to chance upon this finding–I still have to figure out WHY this is working for me–but I am now at my prepregnancy weight (overweight still!) but am losing which makes me SO so SO happy! I may be having thyroid issues too-I got it checked at the normal dr and it was “normal”. I think the nutrition is worth it- esp for your breastfeeding babe!

  2. May I suggest you focus on consuming the most healthy foods to nourish both yourself as well as your new baby for the time being. Give yourself some time for the weight to come off…remember it took you 9 months to put it on. Often once you stop nursing, you will notice the weight coming off more easily. You are doing the best thing for your child at the moment by nursing so keep up the good work…because that is what you are doing – work! All the best, Laura

  3. So I’m sort of in the same boat, but do not want to get on medication. I want to believe that following the 12-step program will fix my thyroid problem. Is this not true? I have to think there’s something going on in my body because I eat so healthy and workout regularly. I have had problems with candida, but am hoping it is getting better and better. Do you have any recommendations of doctors who will do a full panel blood test? I live in Northern Utah.

  4. As you did not clarify the amounts of foods you are eating, it is possible to assume that you are actually not giving yourself enough calories – which causes your body to hang onto what ever it can get; especially true when breastfeeding. Use one of the numerous calorie counters for a one-day intake of food, just to get an idea. Remember to add the number of calories needed to breast feed – generally 600 calories!!!!

    BTW, assuming you are eating healthy, nutrient dense foods, you can use a tool like shown here, http://ss-biggie.livejournal.com/29512.html, to figure out how much food to consume.

    🙂 happy eating to both you and your little one!

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