When it comes time to choose the best protein bars for weight loss, there are key things to look for to make sure they’re worth your time and money. Here are my dietitian recommendations.
One of the most important elements of a successful weight loss plan is to make sure you’re getting enough protein. And after working with clients for over 20 years, with thousands of individuals, this shows to be true time and time again.
Depending on your eating patterns and food preferences, your protein needs may or may not be difficult to get from the meals that you eat. That’s where a protein bar can really come in handy.
But first, how much protein should the bar have? I have put together this guide for you of the main things to look for when choosing the best protein bar for weight loss. Here are the key steps:
- Understand Your Daily Protein Needs
- Sort Through the Different Types of Bars
- Use These Nutrient Guidelines
Now let’s dive more into each one.
1. Understand Your Daily Protein Needs
Before you even think about which bar to choose, you’ll want to have in mind how much protein you need per day. Learn about your protein needs and recommended protein timing.
This way, you can plan your meals and snacks appropriately, and see how the protein bar fits into the mix.
2. Sort Through the Different Types of Bars
You likely see a lot of different types of bars at the store, including energy bars, builder bars, endurance bars, meal replacement bars, breakfast bars and more. The main thing that changes the category of each of these is the variety of the macronutrients in the bar – carbohydrates, fat and protein.
For example, a protein bar will have a larger amount of protein than an energy bar. A builder bar may have a good amount of protein, but may be too high in calories for your weight goals. This is why it’s important to have guidelines for the best protein bar for weight loss.
3. Nutrients in the Best Protein Bars for Weight Loss
Here are 6 guidelines to follow when choosing your protein bar:
- <200 kcal
- At least 20 g of protein
- Grams of fat in the single digits
- <15-20 g of carbs
- >3g of fiber
- No added sugar
If the bar doesn’t fall into these categories, it’s likely wasting your time, and you’re better off choosing a high protein meal or snack. You want a bar to help control your hunger while also meeting your daily needs. This way it can be an additional protein source in your day to help meet your higher protein needs during weight loss.
My Recommendations for the Best Protein Bars for Weight Loss
There are a few protein bars I often recommend to my clients when they are losing weight. These include:
- Quest Protein Bar
- Pure Protein
- Vital Performance
- One Bars
Each one has a slightly different taste and texture, so have fun and experiment to find the one that you like the best!
Other Things to Consider
You may be wondering, Manuel, what about the bar that has minimal ingredients, or is vegan or “natural” and claims other health benefits? There are tons of great bar options that have clean ingredients that can fit into an overall healthy eating pattern.
BUT, you have to remember that you are specifically looking for one for weight loss. And choosing one of those bars that doesn’t focus on protein eliminates the main purpose of that bar for you.
Final Thoughts on Bars for Weight Loss
If you want the best bar for weight loss, always keep protein and fiber in mind, especially when traveling or on vacation. Once you find one or two options that you like from my recommended list, stick with it and try varieties of flavors from that company! It will take any guesswork out of the equation, and you can feel confident that you are making the right choices to reach your goals.
Additional Weight Loss Tips
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