I used to count calories, but I've learned that a 50 calorie "low fat" cookie doesn't equal healthy. Once I stopped counting calories, and focused on eating clean, I started to feel (and look) so much better.
The biggest change I've made is watching my sugar intake. I rarely eat regular or whole wheat pasta (I am currently reading about health implications of wheat) or bread products. Simply speaking, carbohydrates turn to sugar, which turns into fat. I focus on eating fresh veggies, protein, and occasionally fruit. If I do purchase something pre-made or canned, I try to limit the sugar to 2g.
I used to carry protein bars with me just in case I got hungry, but I recently switched to bringing almonds and dried cranberries in a ziploc to put in my purse while I'm on the go. Think Thin bars were my snack of choice for months, and I thought I was being smart about my choice to eat them if I was in dire need of a snack as I spent a long time reading and comparing ingredients and nutrition facts of all the different options. The front of the package says "0g sugar, 20g protein, gluten free", which sounds amazing. I recently realized that Think Thin bars contain 11g of sugar alcohol...not as bad as sugar, but not ideal.
The majority of energy, protein, and snack bars claim to be "healthy" and "natural", yet they are packed with 100,000 ingredients I can't pronounce and contain lots of sugar and sodium. I have yet to find one that is actually "clean"--Think Thin is the best I've found.
I thought I'd share some photos I took at Whole Foods of popular protein/snack bars that claim to be healthy...prepare to be disappointed...
Power Bar Performance Energy Protein Bar
Kind Fruit and Nut snack bar
The sodium in these are remarkably lower than most, which is great, and a large portion of the sugar content is from the fruit.
Luna Chocolate Chunk Bar
Lara Bar (Chocolate Chip Brownie)
Have any of you found a zero/low sugar protein bar? I'd love to know!