Shelf-stable bars and cans are easily stashed in a desk drawer, pocket, purse, or briefcase for quick meals. Some sugar naturally occurs in ingredients. Many bodybuilders use protein bars as a pre or post-workout snack. That said, here are my better bar choices for journaling purposes, you'd generally count calories for a meal-replacement bar and calories for a cereal bar:. Total Body Dumbbell Workout Plan.
Healthy Inexpensive Meal Replacement Bars
To help you make the best bar choices, I researched several brands of bars. I'll get to the breakdown shortly. But first, here are my four keys to a better bar:. Does it have at least 3 grams of fiber? I try to make sure my own breakfast and snack choices contain 5 grams of fiber. Fiber helps our bodies in many ways, but in a bar, it will slow digestion and make the energy from the bar last longer.
For testing purposes, since so few bars have 5 grams of fiber, I looked for those with at least 3 grams. Does it have at least 5 grams of protein? I also try to make sure my breakfast and snack choices contain 5 grams of protein.
This helps balance the carbohydrates, so the bar seems more satisfying and the energy lasts longer. Some bars I tested had 1 or 2 grams of protein, while others had 10 or more grams. I've got to warn you; not many bars meet this guideline. I like to calculate the percentage of calories from sugar because different brands of bars differ dramatically in size and calories.
Putting sugar into a percentage gives you a way to compare them fairly. How much total fat and saturated fat does it contain? You definitely want some fat in the bar, so that it has a more satisfying taste, texture, and helps slow digestion a bit. But you don't want too much fat, and you certainly don't want any saturated fat if you can help it. I read labels for the bars I came across and tried to find some that followed my four keys to a better bar. I was able to find some bars with 3 or more grams of fiber, 5 or more grams of protein, lower amounts of fat, and no saturated fat.
That said, here are my better bar choices for journaling purposes, you'd generally count calories for a meal-replacement bar and calories for a cereal bar:. Clif bars score really well on protein and fiber content. One of Clif's lowest-sugar flavors is Cool Mint Chocolate: One bar 68 grams weight contains calories, 10 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, 5 grams fat 1. Meal replacement shakes are designed to fit low-calorie and high calorie diets, so find the one that fits your requirements.
You can also adjust the serving size to fit your nutritional needs and always be in control of your meal replacement. Take these meal replacement shakes when you can't fit in a healthy meal or immediately after a workout session as a post-workout. Consider taking a meal replacement shake every couple of hours to spread your intake out over a longer period of time. Meal Replacement Meal replacement powder, shakes and drinks are ultra-convenient and provide a range of nutrients for a variety of needs: High Protein Meal Replacement Shake!
Promote Muscle Growth And Repair! Hi-Protein Meal Replacement Shake! These hot commodities fill huge amounts of shelf space in the gym, grocery, and health food stores, and there are literally hundreds of bars and meal-replacement drinks to choose from. Hey, wait a minute. Surely all of these replacements must be better choices than the fast food junk in the hall vending machine, right? Not always -- some are nothing more than glorified candy bars or high-calorie, sugar-based drinks.
Savvy marketing adds to the confusion as consumers try to sort through all the heavily hyped super-nutrition health claims on the front of the package. So what's a dieter to do? The only way to make an informed choice is to read the list of ingredients, nutrition label, ignore the front label and compare products. Ideally, the meal replacement will contain ingredients that don't sound like foreign chemicals found in a chemistry lab!
Nutrients should be primarily complex carbohydrates, with small amounts of simple sugars and a bit of fat, along with a moderate amount of protein. Look for products that fit the following guidelines:. Do your best to limit reliance on these products to a maximum of once a day, preferably only once or twice a week.