Why is it when everyone goes on the quest for getting in shape they cling to words like ‘healthy, healthier, or Clean?’
No different with these Healthy Style Bars either. See it’s a great idea because you can still have a treat, but just not eat the real thing.
There’s 100’s of variations out there too, just think of any bar you like, there’s probably a Paleo/Clean Eating style bar out there of it to make.
I used to make tonnes of these & had them on a local cafe Menu as a treat, so don’t think I’m bashing them, I’m not. I’m making you see the bigger picture here is all..
Because it makes sense right? Become ‘healthier’ or eat clean(er) and you’ll probably lose the weight.
But not so fast…
See no matter how much I aim to drill this into you with Blogs/videos etc. etc. people still miss the fundamental Concepts of Energy Balance (1) so here’s a quick, yet basic, recap graph I like to use to get this point across super easy.
Right, so now you’ll see why these Bars can just as easy – PACK ON weight.
With hopefully the aim of making you see the bigger picture when it comes to Mindlessly following Lads or Ladies that portray ‘if you eat this, you’ll look like this’ type stuff.
So…. I whipped out a sample recipe, opened up My Fitness Pal on my phone to calculate up the Calories/Macros & here’s what I found.
Here’s one I simply pulled from the interwebz to get this point across so here’s the Ingredients for x8 bars:
*For the nougat
1 cup (120g) raw cashews soaked overnight
1/4 cup (60ml) full fat coconut milk
1/4 cup (60g) coconut oil
2 tbsp raw honey
1 tbsp maca powder
1/4 cup (55g) raw cacao paste
*For the caramel
1/4 cup (30g) roasted cashew butter
3/4 cup (130g) pitted Medjool dates
2 tbsp (28g) coconut oil
2 tbsp water
Pinch of Himilayan Rock salt
*For the Chocolate
170g (3/4 cup) raw cacao paste
2 – 3 tbsp raw honey
2 tbsp (28g) coconut oil
Now I’ll skip the whole ‘how-to’ part and if you do actually want to make these, all credit goes to Michelle from Peachy Palate so click here if you want to make them. (2)
So you know you need to take in less overall calories to lose weight right?
So let’s take one of these Mars Bars you’ve just made above – here’s the breakdown of the whole batch;
And when you add all that up it equates to (roughly) around 3,434 k/cals.
Divide that by x8 (recommended serving size as per the Recipe) & that racks up to 430 k/cals per bar.
If you want to get pickier that roughly breaks down into a Macronutrient Breakdown of;
– PRO: 7.4g
– FAT: 27.8g
– CARBS: 37.5g
So, 430k/cals for a ‘treat’ isn’t exactly a small fat loss snack. But let’s add this up against an actual Mars Bar before we go any further:
*260 k/cals per bar
– PRO: 3g
– FAT: 10g
– CARBS: 40g
So 430k/cal VS. 260 k/cal ~ Don’t need a calculator for that one – the Clean Eating Mars Bar is nearly 200 calories MORE than the actual Mars Bar so do you see the point I’m making.
If you’re not smart about how you go adding treats in – more than often these ‘clean’ treats are probably packing on a nice treat rather than helping take it away. I know, I’m great with the pun 😉
Then comes the ‘Sugar’ debate and the ‘Is this Healthy’ debate.
Don’t get this Wrong – the Clean Mars Bar IS healthier. Using Real Ingredients & all that… BUT ‘being healthy’ does not mean you’ll just magically lose weight.[Tweet “It’ll still come down to Calorie Balance wether you like or not, so in this case, having an actual Mars Bar would make more sense aiming to keep calories lower.”]
Even though there’s ZERO Nutritional Benefit to having that Mars Bar & the fact that it’s just practically Sugar, the person eating the Mars Bar VS. the Clean Eating Mars Bar would (probably) make more progress – Why? Because they’re controlling their overall calorie intake better. Science 😉
Now someone who may have an emotional attachment to such food & borderline diabetics – different approaches may need to be taken so just remember the context with all this stuff too.
As above, you’re hormones could be out of sync & certain hunger signals may not be functioning ‘right’ (VERY dumbed down point on hormones BTW) this will also make being flexible a LOT harder, so again, CONTEXT.
Incorporate your treats but KNOW what you’re having. If you’re eating ‘Clean’ & making no progress, then maybe it’s time to dive deeper into your Caloric intake over a day/week to see what you’re actually consuming.
So there’s the low-down on all this treat stuff, not bashing these treats, they’re a brilliant way of getting in more nutrients in a treat style but just don’t miss the forest for the trees and like anything – that what works for you away from this blog.
If you’ve any questions – pop them in below because I’d love to hear your views on this too.
1: Hall et. al, (2012) ‘Energy balance and its components: implications for body weight regulation’, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, April 2012 vol. 95 no. 4 989-994: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/95/4/989
2: Peachy Palate.com (2014), ‘Paleo Mars Bars’: http://peachypalate.com/2014/10/20/paleo-mars-bars/