Monday, May 13, 2013

Protein Powder vs. Real Food

I've been tossing around the idea of this post for awhile now, but couldn't exactly get my thoughts down on the screen until tonight.

I don't know about you, but it seems lately so many healthy living bloggers are obsessed with protein powder. But just not protein powder in smoothies, but pancakes, muffins, homemade protein bars, and pretty much anything you can sneak protein into.

What's the deal? Is it because they are working out so hard they need that extra protein?  Or is it because they think replacing meals (real food) with protein powder or bars will save them those extra calories to loose weight?

I'm not saying either reason is right or wrong, but I am going to guess alot of people eat them as meals for the second reason.

Two years ago I was that girl who replaced meals with protein bars. After eating one and convincing myself I was full, what did I get out of it? 200 calories with 20grams of protein. Oh right, let's ignore the fact that it was loaded with as much sugar as a candy bar or with artificial sweeteners which are even worse. And absolutely no nutrients.

I used to be the girl that didn't know the difference between eating real calories and empty calories. I used to be the girl that was always hungry thirty minutes later after eating one. I was the girl who ate a protein bar everyday and didn't lose any weight.

Now don't get me wrong I'm not against eating protein bars. They're convenient when you're traveling or stashing in your car for those food emergencies. But I'm glad to say I no longer rely on them for getting my protein or as meals.

So my point to this is bloggers have a huge influence on eating habits on others, whether we like it or not. When readers see fellow bloggers replacing protein bars with meals, is that healthy? For me it's not. I like getting my calories from real food. I know I'm not the only one who thinks this. Heather agrees she's tried crazy diets like replacing meals with Special K and she prefers eating real meals.

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on replacing meals with protein bars. Do you think bloggers should be promoting replacing meals with protein bars as healthy?

Of Possible Interest:

7 Nutrition Bars That Are Worse Than Candy
Energy Bars And Sugar: Are They As Sweet As Candy?


  1. I totally agree. I used to try and replace meals with protein bars and I'd be starving and miserable but I would tell myself that I "should" be full. I like to eat too much to just have one bar!

    1. Agreed. I used to end up eating more because I was always hungry from them!

  2. Awesome post. I NEVER use protein powder, as I like to get my protein from "real" food sources. When in a pinch, I will snack on a bar, but I like to stick to the brands that actually contain real ingredients, like Kit's Organic bars and Larabar bars.

    1. Thanks girl! Yes. it's crazy how you don't even know what half the ingredients are in it.

  3. I do keep one protein bar on hand for traveling or an emergency snack, and it's all natural with pretty minimal ingredients. I know it's processed, and whole foods are better, but I bet I only eat one once a week--at most! And it's never a meal replacement--I can't even imagine that--I'd be starving!

    1. Yes I totally was starving all the time when I ate them as meals!

  4. I love making smoothies and adding protein powder to them. I also keep a granola or protein bar in my purse, car and backpack at all times. I think they are a lot better options for me than hitting a drive through or stopping at a gas station for a bag of chips. I don't think the protein bars are a meal but they do just fine as a snack.

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  10. I am on the same boat with protein bars- way too much sugar! I eat them from time to time in a pinch, but I am very aware of the sugar content. They would never be a fixture in my diet. I do have half a scoop to one scoop of whey protein powder every day. I either stir it into my oatmeal or I make a shake. I do eat a ton of chicken breast, greek yogurt, etc... "real" foods... but using a little protein powder helps me get the right amount of macros in my diet without going broke buying chicken breast.

  11. Just found your blog, I look forward to following you!

    I only eat protein powder in a smoothie after a workout/run, and I will only do 1 scoop (a serving is 2 scoops). I prefer to eat whole foods, however, I know its important to get protein in to repair muscles, and at 8am after a workout or run that is the quickest protein.
    Sometimes I will skip the protein smoothie if I have time to make eggs on EZ bread w/avacado, YUM!


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