Protein bars as a between meal snack can really help you to reach your weight loss goals if you know which type to look for as there are big differences in nutritional content and number of calories between the many bars on the market.
Eating Between Meals Can Boost Your Metabolism!
- Eating more protein will help you to increase your resting metabolic rate so that you burn more calories even when you are asleep! Avoiding long periods between eating not only stops those hunger pangs, but also prevents the slow-down in the metabolism that can happen when the body feels ‘starved’.
- Eating a protein snack will also help you to retain more lean muscle mass when you lose weight – in other words, more of the weight you lose, will be fat.
- Finally and perhaps most importantly for anyone trying to stick to a diet, protein helps to keep those hunger pangs at bay by keeping blood sugar levels on an even keel. By doing so, it can help those trying to shed those excess pounds from reaching for a less healthy, possibly sugar and fat-laden snack instead. Avoiding going for long periods of time without eating, prevents you getting hungry and then over-eating when you do sit down for a main meal.
What to Look For in a Between-Meal Snack Bar
- Don’t choose a ‘meal replacement’ protein bar, it will almost certainly have too many calories.
- Choose a bar with up to 200 calories and which has at least 10 grams of protein.
- Choose a bar with as close as possible to a one-to-one ratio of protein to carbohydrate (in other words, the same number of grams of carbs as protein). This is because this ratio is very important in how long you will feel full after eating the snack bar. Eating a bar with less protein and more carbohydrate will have you craving another snack much more quickly than one with a one-to-one ratio.
Some Suggested Bars For Your Between Meals Snack
|Brand||Calories||Protein (in grams)||Carbs. (in grams)|
|EB Performance PB Whey Protein Bites||140||10||14|
|South Beach Diet Cereal Bars||140||10||15|
|BioNutritional Power Crunch Bars||195||15||10|
|ProtiDiet Protein Bars||150||15||15|
*Figures above are averages and may vary depending on variety chosen within each brand.
Which Do We Recommend?
ProtiDiet Bars come in several varieties and we particularly recommend the Wildberry or the Hazlenut bars as these offer a great choice for a healthy between meal snack with the one-to-one ratio of protein to carbohydrate we talked about earlier and a low fat content at only 4.5 grams. They contain protein from whey and soy protein isolate.
Healthy Snacking Doesn’t Begin and End With a Protein Bar!
If you are trying to shed those extra pounds, protein bars make a great choice for all the reasons outlined above. However, it is a good idea not to rely on these exclusively and to be sure that you do not eat more than one as a snack – frankly, they taste so delicious that it can be hard to resist! Ring the changes with a handful of mixed seeds and nuts or a platter of fresh fruits for snacking – and remember to accompany your snack with a large glass of water.
Lower calorie protein bars with the one to one (or close) protein to carbohydrate ratio can really help you stay feeling fuller and avoid cheating on your diet by helping you to resist other less healthy snacks. Give them a try – just remember to only take one with you when you are out and about if you want to see those excess pounds melt away!