Craving Life ~ Choosing Protein Bars

Protein bars are one of my go-to snack choices when I am on the go or need something in the middle of the day to help energize me and get rid of the munchies.

I am interested in maintaining as well as losing more weight, so I target roughly a 1200 to 1500 daily calorie range. I don’t go nuts counting the calories, however, I do try to be aware of what goes into my mouth. Protein bars are great — if you can find the one that meets your needs. There are so many out there that it can be both overwhelming and sometimes discouraging. I am amazed on how many supposedly “nutrition bars” are out there that seem to be sugar and carbs disguised as healthy bars. So when you find a winner it is truly an awesome thing.

Here is my criteria for choosing protein bars:

  • Tastes great!
    My favorite flavour is chocolate. I find that good quality chocolate protein bar make me feel like I am having a tasty treat, yet after eating the protein bar I feel happy and sated. Whereas with a chocolate bar, I  just want more. Finding the protein bars that tingles your taste-buds may take time. Sort of like dating — you might have to kiss a lot of frogs.
  • In the 200 Calorie ballpark
    Many of the high-quality protein bars have been designed for athletes and are in the 300 calorie range. For myself, 300 calories is more of a meal than a snack. There are bars out there at 200 calories; you just need to look a bit harder
  • Target is a minimum of 1 gram of Protein for every 10 Calories
    This formula makes it simple, especially if I am picking one up at the spur of the moment.  So for 200 calories I am looking for 20 grams of protein. Not always achievable but that is the target. If a bar is a protein / fiber combination, then I add the two numbers together.

ChocolateDeluxeBarMy current favorite bars are called Pure Protein that I purchase at Costco. In-store you get 3 different flavours averaging at about $1.05 per bar. At Costco Canada I found them online averaging $1.25 per bar. Typically in stores I find protein bars range in price from $1.89 upwards to $3.

Now instead of reaching for a chocolate bar, I reach for a protein bar. I get the same WOW! for my taste buds, however the difference is that I feel sated after the protein bar and have more energy. After the chocolate bar all I want is more… more sugar, more fat, more carbs. And that is where the chocolate bar score high on. It isn’t really the calories that do me in. It is the carbs, sugar and fat that end up on my hips. ProteinCandyBarComparison

How do the Pure Protein Chocolate Deluxe bars score for me?

  • Taste Score = 9
  • Calories Score = 10
    • It has 180 calories which is less than 200 calorie target;
  • Protein/Fiber Score = 10
    • The bar has 21 g of Protein + 2 g of Fiber which = 23 g total. For a 180 calorie bar my target is 18 g so this bar definitely exceeds my target.
  • Overall Score = 10

No, I am not paid by either Pure Protein or Costco. I let my taste-buds do my typing. 😉

What is your favorite protein bar for satisfying the munchies monster? Please let me know in the Comment section at the bottom of this post.

Enjoy!

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