Protein bars are ideal for fitness enthusiasts and body builders who need muscle growth and repair. However, an even bigger market is now emerging with many of the bars available, now being specifically designed to provide a simple and convenient meal replacement for those working to achieve their weight loss goals.
Whilst these meal replacement bars can play an important role, it is vital to understand that permanent long term weight loss can only be achieved when you use them in conjunction with a sensible, healthy, low calorie diet and include exercise sessions in your weekly routine if your physical health allows.
Though these protein bars are popular and well known for the way they can aid your weight loss, it’s important you consult a doctor or nutritionist first before using meal replacement bars on a regular basis. This is particularly important if you have a medical condition such as diabetes or if you are taking prescription medications.
Top Meal Replacement Protein Bars
Here are two, very different bars that you could use instead of lunch if you are out and about for work or leisure. Alternatively, you could use one as a breakfast bar if your schedule is hectic and you have not had time to make a ‘proper’ breakfast.
The protein content of these at around 27 grams per bar, is excellent and will help speed up your metabolic rate. Met Rx call their protein Metamyosin but a little online research will show you that this is pretty much just good, healthy whey protein given a fancy name! The good news is that for anyone with problems digesting soy, this product will not produce the gas or bloating that could otherwise be a problem.
The nutritional breakdown of these bars is good if you are looking for a sustaining meal replacement that will keep you feeling full and avoid cravings for snacks. These are big by comparison with others available, weighing in at a hefty 3.5 ounces (almost 100 grams), but only contain 5 grams of fat and no trans fats at all. They are also fortified with around 40% of the daily requirement of many vitamins and trace minerals. However, if you are watching your carbohydrate intake, about 50 grams plus about 26 grams of sugar might be a little on the high side.
The big plus of these MET Rx meal replacement bars is that they are a convenient way to avoid “empty calorie” and nutrient deficient foods. At around 360 calories per bar, they are a good way to help to reduce your calorie consumption every day by simply replacing one meal where you would not be at home to produce a healthy, low calorie meal for yourself with a nutritionally balanced bar instead of one of the high fat, high sugar (or both) snacks that are most readily available from fast food outlets and convenience stores.
These are great value if price is important to you as well as quality. At around 200 calories per bar, they offer a lower calorie alternative to the bars above but still contain around 20 grams of protein and only 5 grams of fat (although 3 grams of this is saturates). In addition, they contain much less sugar at only 3 grams and 18 grams of carbohydrates.
With around 9 different flavors, these bars provide top quality essential protein from whey which will help give your metabolism a boost as well as ensuring that you stay feeling fuller for longer. This makes these bars an excellent choice as a meal replacement.
When eating protein bars as meal replacements, always make sure to drink an 8 – 10 oz glass of water as well. This will ensure that you maximise the benefit from eating the bar and that it keeps you feeling fuller for longer than if you didn’t drink the water.
Nutritional Content To Look For In Protein Bars
When buying your meal replacement protein bars, you must always make sure to look at the nutrition information on the product labelling.
- Try to buy bars with a low sugar content. Sugar will cause the body to feel hungry faster because it causes a spike and then a slump in the blood sugar which gets you feeling you want to eat something again!
- Look for a high protein content, as this is proven to help eliminate excess fats in the body and boost your metabolism. Twenty grams of protein is a good figure to aim for.
- Choose a product free of trans fats.
- Avoid artificial flavorings or preservatives where possible.
- Choose a bar with a protein source appropriate for your needs and dietary requirements.
If you are trying to find the source of the protein in your bar and it is not apparent from the product description (if buying online) or on the labelling, check out the manufacturer’s own website which usually will provide much more in depth nutrition information for you.
How To Use Meal Replacement Bars For Weight Loss
When trying to lose weight with protein bars, it is important that you don’t overeat them. The truth is that they are really delicious! Many people fall into the trap that because they are branded as healthy meal replacements, they can eat more of them! If you overeat these, just like any other food, you will not lose weight. The two bars mentioned above have 360 calories and 200 calories respectively and a single bar is intended to replace a meal. Eating a second one will defeat the object, no matter how delicious it is!
So, make sure you only replace one meal a day. Try not to use these bars every day and continue to make healthy food choices, preparing nutritious, balanced, low calorie meals at home whenever possible. Being consistent and eating additional protein in your diet will help your weight loss by speeding your metabolism, helping your body to burn more fat. Keeping you feeling fuller will give your willpower a boost too and make it easier for you to stick to your lower calorie diet.