When it comes to weight loss, snacking can be a friend or foe. Snacking is inevitable, especially with today’s fast paced society. However, sometimes we encounter snacking disasters by choosing junk food rather than a more nutritious option.
Protein bars are a great snack choice when losing weight, but which are the best protein bars for weight loss? Let’s see.
Who Should Use Protein Bars for Weight Loss?
Protein bars have come on leaps and bounds in the last few years. Behind us are the days of bars that feel and taste like cardboard or alternatives packed with sugar. The protein bar market has picked up which is a great advantage for anyone looking to use protein bars to aid weight loss.
Protein is an essential macronutrient. Our bodies need it for pretty much everything! Every cell is made with protein, so it’s clear to see why getting enough in your diet is vital.
When you’re dieting, your body often starts to break down muscle to use as energy. Getting enough protein helps maintain lean muscle mass and promote fat loss.
Of course, the best way to get enough of this essential nutrient is to eat a diet packed with protein-rich foods. The problem is, on a calorie restrictive diet plates full of turkey breasts and boiled eggs can host a whole load of calories.
Often, people rely on protein supplements as a low calorie way to meet their daily protein needs. Protein powders are very popular with fitness fans. Protein bars however, are a great alternative supplement that can make a high protein meal replacement.
Meal replacement bars are typically packed with protein and fiber. This can stop a hunger pang before it starts and leave you feeling fuller for longer. They can also reduce snacking between meals – many come in indulgent dessert flavors to satisfy that sweet tooth.
The American Dietetic Association notes that protein bars as a meal replacement are an effective tool for weight loss, when part of a well balanced diet.
Advantages of Protein Bars
Protein bars made with high-quality protein, such as from animal sources, provide essential amino acids. These help build and maintain muscle mass, synthesize red blood cells, and make both enzymes and hormones.
Depending on your fitness goals, protein bars can support your workout routine – giving you the boost of protein needed to maximize your results. Not only will a protein bar before the gym give you the steady flow of energy you need, but the amino acids will help repair and grow your muscles afterwards.
Protein bars are super convenient. There’s no need to mix up a shake, no mess to clean up. Just throw it in your purse and go. This is especially helpful for busy professionals.
How to Choose a Protein Bar
The American Council on Exercise warns that you will not benefit from protein bars if you make the wrong choice. Using a high-calorie meal replacement bar as a snack can actually lead to weight gain.
You should avoid protein bars which are high in calories, sodium and sugar. Your daily sugar intake should be no more than 25 grams daily for women and 37.5 grams for men. Make sure you’re not using up most of that allowance solely on a protein bar.
The Best Protein Bars for Weight Loss
I’ve looked at the protein bars currently available and selected five which I feel would make an excellent choice for anyone looking to lose weight.
I’ve ranked each product and listed pros and cons to help you make an informed decision. At the end, I’ll leave you with my overall favorite.
For me, the winner has to be the thinkThin bar. If you are looking for a protein supplement, the protein content is the most important factor. This bar offers a level of protein which rivals many protein powders, yet remains a low carb and sugar option. I think this product would make a good choice for anyone looking for a protein bar for weight loss.