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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.

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