I was having lunch with a friend of mine the other day when I overheard a conversation between two women who were seated next to us. They had just finished paying their bill and were getting ready to leave when one of the women- who we will call Lady X- said to the other that she needed to go buy some protein bars. Now, on the surface this seems like a pretty innocent statement but let me tell you what caught my attention.
Lady X had just finished eating a large Caesar salad, a pizza that could have easily been for two and at least one glass of red wine. When she got up to leave I could see she was clearly 30-40 pounds overweight. The last thing this woman needed was a protein bar.
The majority of protein bars are high calorie, high sugar, high fat and high chemical candy bar replacements. You might as well go buy a snickers bar because the only real difference is they add some protein in it.
I don’t want to discuss the nutritional value of protein bars today because there are some out there that work really well when you’re in a pinch but for the most part stay away from them. In an upcoming blog I will examine all the most popular bars and do a nutritional comparison.
What I do want to discuss today is the never-ending issue of education. In our very first blog we discussed all the misinformation out there and this is just another example. Instead of going to buy a protein bar after consuming a ridiculously large lunch, Lady X should have ordered a more appropriate lunch. She started her meal with a large Caesar salad that would have been at least 200 calories with over 20 grams of fat and a ton of sodium. I didn’t really notice what was on her pizza but I’m guessing it was at a bare minimum 400 calories and about 30 grams of fat. Add in the glass of red wine that had about 80 calories and Lady X consumed approximately 680 calories and 50 grams of fat for lunch. And they weren’t there for more than about 45 minutes.
Lady X was probably around 160 pounds and 30-40 pounds overweight. This means that if she consumed 1600 calories per day she wouldn’t lose any weight. Now there are varying factors such as fat consumption, exercise levels etc but this is a pretty good guide. And if Lady X wanted to be at an ideal weight of 120 pounds then she would need to consume 1200 calories per day.
Based on this reasonable estimation of caloric intake and the approximate caloric intake of her lunch at 680 calories Lady X consumed more than 50% of her whole daily allowance in a 45-minute lunch. When we add breakfast, lunch and the occasional snacks throughout the day you can be pretty sure way more than 1200 calories were consumed throughout the course of the whole day. And even if that wasn’t the case, it’s still a problem because you can’t consume one large meal then starve yourself for the rest of the day to make up for it. And going to buy some protein bars after such a meal will add to the problem not help it.
What Lady X should have done is same thing that you should be doing with every single meal and that is portion control. We almost always consume way more than the body actually needs. The general rule of thumb is that your portion should be no greater than the size of your fist. Yes, there are a hundred other factors and we will discuss many of them in the months to come but start with your portion control.
The second thing I really want to stress today is that there is no magic pill. No protein bar, shake, drink, or surgery will EVER stop the effects of weight gain and being unhealthy if you consume unhealthy foods. It’s as simple as that. If you truly want to be fit, look great and feel better than you do now, start thinking lifestyle change and not ‘diet’ or short term fixes. There is no short term anything when it comes to being healthy. It’s about changing the way you think and what you do for the rest of your life. Once you start thinking this way, nutrition and exercise becomes so much easier and so much more enjoyable.
Lady X easily could have had the small garden salad with some oil and vinegar instead of a Caesar salad. And she certainly could have had a slice of pizza instead of the whole pizza. She really shouldn’t have had pizza at all but let’s be realistic, some days you are going to eat foods that are not the best. That’s a fact and it’s okay. The important thing is to constantly remember the food that you consume is the fuel that powers your body and your brain. To be your best, put the right fuel in your body!
Lot’s to know, lots to learn! Our seminars will be starting up soon!
Have a great and healthy day.