Are Protein Bars Good For Weight Loss?


In general, protein bars are good for weight loss because they contain the same high-quality whey protein derived from dairy as they protein shakes. Protein bars also have several vitamins, minerals and plant fiber that suppress the appetite and improves satiety.

So if you want to maintain this year-round peak saucy look where abs never go away, protein bars can do their trick.

Are Protein Bars Good For You?

As a general rule, protein bars are good for you because they have 20–30 grams of high-quality protein, and a very low amount of sugar, compared to regular chocolate bars. Also, some protein bars are fortified with vitamins, minerals, and organic herbs like ginseng and spirulina.

Protein bars aren’t perfect. They are good enough.

And definitely better than a regular Mars bar or Oreo bar.

Especially if you’re on the calorie deficit and you work hard to get those washboard abs out for display, then you should be careful with the amount of chocolate you consume (source).

So if like me, you love chocolate, then it is better to snack on a protein bar that will have a chocolate flavor but will also get that muscle protein synthesis going.

Related article: Are Protein Bars Worth It?

Why Are Protein Bars Good For Weight Loss?

Generally, protein bars are good for weight loss because of enriched whey protein and plant fiber. Fiber-rich and protein-rich foods lead to higher satiety, which can lower total calorie intake, improves physical activity, physical performance, and improve muscle recovery.

Let’s break this down:

  • Higher satiety

Thanks to the plant fiber and high-quality whey protein, just one bar should be enough to fill you up.

Those ingredients trigger satiety hormones to kick in so you feel less hungry (source).

And if I am honest, feeling less hungry while being on a calorie deficit is exactly what you looking for.

You don’t need to worry about doing more cardio, or weighing your food for better weight loss.

You want to minimize hunger. Getting one protein bar between your meals can do the trick.

  • Improves physical activity and performance

Having a protein bar before your workout can not only give you a great boost of energy, but it can make you do more volume than normal, regardless if you’re cutting or bulking.

  • Improves recovery

Having a protein after a workout will lead to better recovery as the amino acids will go straight into the swollen muscles and start recovering (source).

NOTE: After the workout is good to combine protein and carbs, without worrying about the insulin spike.

Carbs consumed after the workout doesn’t influence better gains, but they replace used glycogen so you will be less sore for the next day.

Related article: Will Eating Protein Bars Build Muscle?

Which Protein Bars Are Best For Weight Loss?

Generally, the best protein bars for weight loss are developed using organic ingredients such as whey protein concentrate, dietary fiber, dried fruits, nuts, and herbal extracts. They should also be optimized for low-carbohydrate and low-calories.

But also bear in mind that protein bars that have laundry list of the uber-fancy ingredients will have a high price tag on them.

Where in reality, this is just a snack.

So even if you would eat your protein bars daily, you won’t feel those extra nutrients.

It’s just the hype.

Those are the things you should be looking out when choosing the best protein bar:

  • Amount of protein per bar (minimum 20 grams)
  • Low carbs
  • Great taste

That’s it. Keep it simple.

What’s a Healthy Protein Bar?

On average, a healthy protein bar should have at least 20 grams of protein derived from soy or whey, a low amount of carbohydrates, and be fortified with a wide range of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, herbs, and other health-promoting organic ingredients.

On the flip side, there are people who will say that because protein bars are processed then they are not healthy.

I get it.

But I look at it from the real life situations.

In the perfect world, we all be drinking pure water from Fiji Island, breathing fresh Arctic air, and eat Alaskan salmon without contamination and pollutants.

And, in the perfect world, we wouldn’t be taking Lisinopril to control blood pressure and Metformin to control blood sugar.

But we do.

Because that’s the reality.

Besides we all eat process food for decades:

  • Cheese
  • Bread
  • Crisps
  • Ice creams
  • Sausages
  • Milk
  • Biscuits
  • Cakes

Those are all processed foods.

So I believe that having a protein bar as a way to down-regulate the hunger isn’t as bad as it seems. Especially if you’re doing calorie deficit for fat loss.

Worst Protein Bars

The worst protein bars are the energy bars with a high amount of carbohydrates and only a small volume of protein. Those types of granola bars usually have under 20 grams of protein and come as energy bars, breakfast bars, or fitness bars.

There is lot’s of junk on the market.

That’s why you need to read the labels. And once you find the brand you like, stick to it.

Check everything.

  • Protein amount
  • Sugar amount
  • Fat amount

Listen.

I bought the other day a protein bar where it said “30 grams of protein”. I thought to myself wow 30 grams for $2 is a steal. But when I read up closely on the label, there it was:

30 grams of protein per 100 grams of product.

And guess what.

One bar was just 25 grams.

So you were getting really 7 grams, not 30.

That is called a lie.

Many companies that used to sell junk food and cheap granola bars now implement “protein” on their labels. The problem is that supplement industry isn’t regulated.

So they can have some deceiving messages like:

  • Good source of protein
  • 100% protein
  • Organic protein

But when you read the label there is like 3 grams of protein and the rest is sugar.

You don’t want that.

Go with a bar that have at least 20 grams. The more the better.

NOTE: For weight loss, try to find protein bars that have minimum sugar

What Are The Healthiest Protein Bars?

In general, the healthiest protein bars are the ones with the highest quality of whey or soy protein and the most robust list of organic compounds and bioactive ingredients. Apart from macronutrients, they also contain algae, creatine, spirulina, and green tea extract.

Related article: Can I Eat Protein Bars Without Working Out?

Conclusion

  • If you’re doing calorie deficit and you’re on your way to get this absolute diced six-pack look, eating protein bars as a snack alternative can help you lower the hunger and make the process so much more sustainable.
  • Eating protein bars around the workout time can help you with performance and with recovery as well.
  • Once you find the best protein bar that you like then stick to it. Be careful of the junk that is widely available on the shelves and read the labels.

Michal Sieroslawski

Michal is an exercise physiologist (MSc), nutrition coach, Ashtanga teacher, and fitness blogger. He shares his successes and failures to help busy men and women squash down 20, 50, or even 100 pounds of fat without leaving their home.

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