"I eat balance gold and zone perfect, sometimes 1 or 2 a day, ***when
I'm having a bad day I eat as much as 5***." (Emphasis mine.)
I'm going to be very blunt with you, and I hope you don't think it's
rude, but for the love of your waistline, throw those protein bars
If you're an athlete and you work out a couple hours a day, a protein
bar is a terrific way to keep your energy up. They're also a great
substitute for breakfast every once in a while if you're late for work
and need to jam out the door in a hurry. Otherwise, no. Don't.
They're broadening your beam!
Balance Gold and Zone Perfect bars contain between 200 and 210 calories per bar:
Balance Nutrition Information
Zone Perfect Nutrition Information
If you're having a bad day and you have five of these, you're looking
at 1000 - 1050 calories just from these "healthy" snacks. This isn't
even taking into account the other (presumably healthier) foods you
eat each day. Yipes!
Now consider that the US Food and Drug Administration recommends that
the average adult eat just 2000 calories (and no more than 65 grams of
fat) per day to maintain his or her current weight:
Why 2000 Calories?
Daily Values Encourage Healthy Diet
Consider also that to lose a single pound, you need to burn 3500
additional calories in a week:
If you eat more calories than you burn off - not hard to do if you're
snacking on protein bars! - you gain weight.
So what do you need to do to get rid of that weight? Cut your calorie
intake down, and increase your activity level. Keep your calorie
intake to no more than 1500 calories and no less than 1400 calories,
increase your activity, and be certain to eat a healthy, well balanced
diet, such as that outlined in UC Berkeley's "14 Keys to a Healthy
1 - Limit your total fat intake. Fat should supply less than 30% of
your total daily calories.
2 - Limit your intake of saturated fat.
3 - Keep your cholesterol intake below 300 milligrams per day.
4 - Eat foods rich in complex carbohydrates. Carbohydrates should
contribute at least 55% of your total daily calories.
5 - Avoid too much sugar.
6 - Make sure to include green, orange, and yellow fruits and
vegetables?such as broccoli, carrots, cantaloupe, and citrus fruits.
Eat five or more servings a day.
7 - Maintain a moderate protein intake. Protein should make up about
12% of your total daily calories. Choose low-fat sources.
8 - Eat a variety of foods.
9 - Limit your sodium intake to no more than 2,400 milligrams per day.
10 - Maintain an adequate calcium intake.
11 - Try to get your vitamins and minerals from foods, not from
supplements (with the exceptions listed below).
12 - Consider taking supplements of the antioxidant vitamins E (200 to
800 IU daily) and C (250 to 500 milligrams daily).
13 - Maintain a desirable weight. Balance energy (calorie) intake with
14 - If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
Excerpted from 14 Keys to a Healthy Diet
Knock off on the protein bars, and you've already got half your battle
won - just don't expect that that's all you need to do to drop the
extra fluff! Of course, you'll want to look into good nutrition to
keep the weight off, too, and the Mayo Clinic has some great resources
to help you both lose the weight and keep it off, including a portion
control chart and a calorie calculator (and they're free!):
The Mayo Clinic - Food and Nutrition Center
Hang in there, Kyleleelee! You can do it!
Wishing you much luck,
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