Hey friends! Happy Wednesday. I realized last night that I never published this Tuesday post- and then you are left with the blogger dilemma of should you post on Tuesday night when no one will see it or wait until Wednesday morning?
Episode 13 of The Grapefruit & Granola Podcast is taking your questions that you’ve sent me through the website or on social media.
I LOVE answering people’s questions. I really don’t like saying “yes, this is good” or “yes, do that”, but I do like explaining things in a way that can help a listener (or client) come up with her OWN thoughts about whether something is a good fit for her.
I hope you enjoy!
Q: Is Herbalife Healthy? It’s all over Instagram.
There are a ton of Herbalife products out there, so I chose Herbalife Formula 1 Healthy Meal in french vanilla as the product to discuss here. So, according to their website, this drink is supposed to be a meal replacement. They recommend consuming 1 per day for a “healthy” meal and 2 per day for weight loss.
Here is a screen shot of their nutrition label, which I have pulled from this link.
I notice a lot of women focus on 1 thing on the nutrition label and use that as the barometer as to whether they think a product is healthy. I recommend checking out the label as a whole to weigh the value of ingredients.
As a whole, I see that there are:
- only 90 calories in the powder (+80 with the milk for a total of 170 calories)
- Half of the calories are coming from added sugar
- minimal fat – 1 gram
- 13 grams of carbs, most of which is coming from added sugar
- 9 grams of protein coming from soy protein isolate, which is a protein supplement
- The first 5 ingredients are soy protein isolate, fructose, cellulose powder, corn bran and artificial french vanilla flavor
Ingredient label photo courtesy of their website:
My eyes always zero in on the ingredient label first… I want to know what’s in something if I’m going to talk about the quality of the product? I noted this one has soy protein isolate (protein supplement) and fructose (an added sugar). So if I’m being completely honest, this is basically a a sugary protein powder that has been glorified as healthy because they’ve added vitamins.
So here are my thoughts in a nutshell:
Calories: Most meals consist of anywhere from 300-500 calories, maybe more or less depending on the person. This product only has 170. Imagine all of the calories you’d be cutting out of your diet if you replaced 2 meals with this. Maybe this seems great if you want to lose weight, but this is a perfect example of the foundation of yo-yo dieting. Your body will know the difference because it knows when it’s not receiving adequate nutrition.
Hunger Levels: this product has minimal fat and calories and not a ton of fiber, all of which help with satiety. The macronutrient profile appears to be more like a snack. I would be concerned about how filling/satisfying this would be and when you would feel hungry again after drinking one of these.
Will this product be satisfying to you? Maybe satisfaction isn’t important for every meal, but it certainly is for a staple or something you’re going to have every single day.
I would highly recommend checking with an RD to see how this product fits into your diet, whether you’re meeting your nutritional needs, and if there’s another option to help your diet in the long run.
If you are interested in trying a product like then definitely be mindful of how your body feels. Do you feel full? Do you feel satisfied? Do you get hungry shortly after drinking this? Do you spend all of your time wishing you could eat a real meal? All of these things are incredibly important!
How do you find motivation to take care of yourself? How do you know if your current efforts will be worth it in the long run?
I would recommend focusing on internal motivating factors if you’re trying to gain momentum with motivation. Here are some examples:
- energy levels
- sleep quality
- mental health (do you think about food all the time)
- GI function / distress
- quality of life
Focusing on external motivating factors, such as weight, appearance, or a pants size is not really motivating in the long run.
As for knowing whether your efforts will be worth it, that’s an interesting question. I would recommend thinking of health and nutrition as a journey, not a destination. Feeling great in the moment is definitely something to celebrate :)
How do you weigh convenience foods like frozen meals against each other?
Ah, interesting question. So if I’m looking at prepackaged meals, here are some things that I compare
- sodium – this can be really high in packaged foods
- fat content / source – is fat from a good quality source, is it heart-healthy, etc.
- carb source – specifically, how much fiber is in it?
- protein content
- ingredient list
How I weigh products in the store really depends on what my overall diet is looking like. If there’s a new product that I want to try or something that I’m craving then I just grab what I want- sometimes I don’t even look at the ingredient label. If I’m looking for freezer staples then I try to be a little more aware of what I’m buying.
I think it’s also important to remember that what’s good for you, or what is more nutritious may look different for you from day to day depending on what else you’ve eaten, what you’re craving and just where your mind is at.
I would encourage you to strive for balance, whatever that looks like for you!
Q: I know that dieting is bad, but what would you recommend for someone who doesn’t know a lot about nutrition and really wants to be healthier?
I can see sometimes how the non-diet messaging on social media can be a little frustrating when you’re seeing a ton of pizza and desserts… I think the non-diet message is incredibly important, but I do see where questions like this come from.
Here are some great places to start for choosing nutrient-dense foods:
- increasing whole fruit intake
- increasing vegetable intake, incorporating a variety, and also reaching for non-starchy vegetables since most people already get more than enough starchy veggies
- choosing whole grains over refined grains.
- remembering that metabolism, hunger, and overall well-being are also affected by stress and sleep. So focusing on those is just as important as reading a nutrition label.
I would also recommend thinking of your nutrition as an overall umbrella. What’s under the umbrella? There’s certainly room for some pizza, or to reach for that chocolate bar when you have a craving. Do you feel your best? Do you have good energy? Can you tweak anything under the umbrella to change that?
Alright guys, that’s it for today. Have a fabulous day!