I have a question about protein bars. I normally work out BEFORE work (at 6-7am) in the morning, so that my nights are free. However, some nights I just don't have time to go home to create a meal, so what I have been doing is going to convenience stores and buying protein supplements.
For example, yesterday, I went to a MACs and I got this Mk Protein Shake (30g Protein, 15 g. carb + Banana). Other times, I'll go to Shoppers Drug Mart and get the UltraMax bars (30 G Protein and 35 g Carb). Another place I go is to Booster Juice and buy the ProMax bars (~20g Protein and ~25g carbs). IN short, I try to find a seemingly reputable bar that has a relatively equal balance of protein and carbs.
I know eating these bars is not the ideal as they are filled with chocolate and sugar, but sometimes when I am busy, I have no choice. I mean I would think these bars are better than going to McDonalds, but is it ok to eat these bars while doing Body For Life?
I went to Popeye's and they literally have the same selection (although larger selection) of bars as Macs, Shoppers, Booster Juice, etc.)/
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Try to avoid the bars and only use them in emergency situations when you have nothing else to eat. They are loaded with a mix of chemicals, sugars (simple carbs), and fat. Many of the are basically protein enhanced candy bars. Of course, if it's between having a protein bar and McDonalds (or skipping a meal), eat the bar.
My suggestion would be to plan ahead and prep enough healthy meals to get you through the day without running into those situations. You might even consider keeping a bad of raw almonds or some turkey jerky in your bag, your car, your office, (etc.) just to have them on hand if your unable to prep your meals properly. Hope this helps.
I made extensive use of multiple kinds of protein bars and protein shakes during my first challenge, and it went quite well. Understand, most people here would probably echo what Becoming Superman said; I'm a good bit more laid back about it.
That said, here are my semi-random thoughts about protein bars:
(1) If you're going to use them, try to maximize the quality (or, if you prefer, minimize the "junkiness"). I usually go with CLIF Builders bars for mine - some of the better ingredients and quality control I've seen, plus they're vegan (which makes them compatible with most dietary plans, as well as Eastern Orthodox fasting days).
(2) Know your digestive tract - many (if not all) of the low-sugar protein bars use sugar alcohols, which can cause problems for some people (like me). Stomach cramps and diarrhea make it really hard to go for your 10s.
(3) Don't let the convenience of them make you lazy! If you get too used to having the bars as backup, it's easy to not plan your meals as carefully as you should. In addition to "real" foods just being better overall, the awareness involved in planning and prepping meals can have a powerful psychological effect that helps keep you moving towards your goal, whereas lazy planning and prepping tends to make you lazy about the whole program (which is exactly what happened to my third challenge - I fizzled out after maybe three weeks).
© Abbott Laboratories,2013