When it comes to diet food, the options are practically endless. And while this may seem like a good thing to some, to others, too many options is flat-out daunting. Searching the shelves for wholesome, healthy bars and protein shakes can prove to be a rigorous task that rarely yields positive results.
But fortunately for you, we get to test these products out so you don’t have to. And because we always give our honest opinion about their taste, cost and nutritional value, you’ll quickly know whether they’re worth your time and hard-earned money.
Last week, we were happy to receive a shipment of OurSkinny weight loss shakes and protein bars. And while we’re typically weary of ‘diet food’ since whole, fresh foods are always a healthier choice, there can be a place for convenience foods in a person’s diet if it’s a quality, nutritious product.
In our shipment we received two kinds of ‘mini meal’ protein bars – crispy bars and high protein bars – as well as a large variety of OurSkinny protein shakes.
As stated on their website, ‘The OurSkinny weight loss program is designed to keep you satisfied all day, while allowing you the freedom to enjoy one main meal of your choosing. The key to success is learning to make good choices – healthy choices – even when you are dieting on-the-go. Along the way you’ll learn the basics of a healthy diet, which you can continue using once you’ve reached your target weight.’
Dieters are instructed to consume four OurSkinny shakes, one ‘mini meal’ bar, and one healthy meal of their choice per day (which should consist of three servings of vegetables, one small portion of a lean meat, and one to two servings of a healthy fat) to lose weight. And once they’ve reached their goal weight, the program includes steps on how to transition away from the bars and shakes into a healthy, well-balanced diet, as well as how to maintain their new lifestyle going forward.
Each box of ‘mini meal’ bars included seven different flavors. The crispy bars, which had a crisp rice-like texture, came in flavors like chocolate peanut, cinnamon raisin, and lemon meringue. And the high protein bars, which were more like a traditional protein bar, came in flavors like caramel crunch, double peanut butter and strawberry cheesecake.
Nutritionally speaking, the bars measured up pretty well with one bar running on average 170 calories, 5 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 8 grams of sugar, 16 grams of carbohydrates, and 15 grams of protein. Our one concern here was with the saturated fat, which can cause increased cholesterol if consumed frequently or in high amounts.
As for taste, the bars got a great response from our team with the lemon meringue and chocolate peanut butter listed as favorites. My top pick was the caramel crunch bar, which tasted just like a Snicker’s bar. It was byfar one of the best protein bars I’ve ever tried.
As for the shakes, nutritionally speaking they’re pretty sound with each one running about 100 calories, 1 gram of fat, 7 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of sugar and 15 gram of protein. Taste-wise, they were slightly chalky so we weren’t as big of fans of these as we were the bars.
As for cost, one week of OurSkinny products, which includes 28 shakes and one box of high protein bars, comes in at $70 plus shipping. The 2 week option includes 56 shakes and two boxes of high protein bars and costs $140. And the 4 week option costs $280 and includes 98 shakes, four boxes of bars and two items from the company’s ‘mini meals,’ which range from smoothie mixes to pastas to soups.
So, if you’re in the market for a new protein bar or shake, OurSkinny seems like a fairly healthy and calorie-wise choice. We like that the program ultimately promotes a balanced, healthy diet as the longterm solution to weight management, as bars and shakes are never a sustainable plan for anyone trying to control their weight.
July 23rd, 2012