12 Best Meal Replacement Bars For Weight Loss Of 2022

Sometimes chaotic schedules can leave you with no time to actually sit down and eat. A meal replacement bar can really come in handy at these times, but you’ll want to pick one really carefully, especially if you’re trying to lose weight — some may have more calories than you want. The best meal replacement bars should have balanced nutrients and minimal added sugars.

A meal replacement bar is a protein bar with a little more nutrition meant to be able to take the place of a meal, says Audra Wilson, RD, a bariatric dietitian at the Northwestern Medicine Metabolic Health and Surgical Weight Loss Center at Delnor Hospital. And one typically comes with 200 to 400 calories.

Given the name, you may think you can just grab one and call it a meal. But TBH, they’re not meant to be consumed as a meal on its own. “The vast majority of bars on the market do not contain enough calories to replace an entire meal, so they will need to be paired with other foods — for instance, yogurt and a piece of fruit,” he says. Amy GorinRDN, an inclusive plant-based dietitian and the owner of Master the Media in Stamford, Connecticut.

Are meal replacement bars good for weight loss?

Having the occasional bar on the go can stop you from turning down the drive-through lane for heavy or unhealthy choices when you’re hungry, says Gorin, emphasizing that you definitely can’t subsist on these bars alone. If you plan on replacing a meal with one, make sure to also consume other foods along with it to amp up the calorie count.

May Zhu, RD, the founder of Nutrition Happens, agrees and points out that eating real food is still the best way to get all your nutrients. While meal replacement bars offer an equivalent number of calories, they don’t provide the vitamins and minerals you’d get from veggies, meat, and grains. “But if bars are easier for you to sustain a calorie intake that aligns with your weight loss goals, swapping it out for one meal a day could potentially help achieve that goal as long as your other meals are also in line with those goals.” she says.

You should use these bars sparingly, though — a few times a week at most. “Relying too much on meal replacement bars might mean that you are missing out on several essential vitamins and minerals that are found in fruits and vegetables,” says Zhu. Her advice is to check the label and see which macros are missing, then supplement with an item that can fill that gap. For example, if your bar is lower in fiber, try pairing it with an extra piece of fiber-rich fruit. Zhu adds that it’s fine to sub a meal with a bar once in a while if you are eating a balanced diet at other times.

Some meal replacement bars have a lot of fat and sugar, so save them for when you absolutely need one. Wilson says she recommends these bars only when you’re debating between skipping a meal and eating something.

How do you choose a meal replacement bar?

“Many bars will be within a similar calorie range, but analyzing the nutrition facts allows you to see where the calories are coming from,” says Wilson. “Protein should be between 10 to 15 grams for a filling effect. Saturated fat should not exceed 20 percent in the daily value column, and fat should stay around 10 grams or less. If the bar has whole ingredients, it should contain at least three grams of fiber. The bar may be high in carbs or sugar, but this should come from whole fruits like dates, not added sugars like honey or sucrose. ” So look for hidden sugar by checking for phrases like “dried cane juice,” “honey,” or “raw sugar,” as all of these are considered sugar.

Finally, search for whole foods in the ingredient list. “The more the better,” Wilson says. “Some bars will have added nutrients, so if you see ingredients like citric acid, know that these may be a nutritional add-on.”

Even knowing what the ideal criteria are, picking a meal replacement bar can still be tricky, especially if you have certain dietary restrictions or preferences. Here are the best meal replacement bars for every need, according to RDs.

1

Best For Nutrition

SANS Meal Bars

SANS meal bars are the next best thing to a plate of nutritious foods when you’re too busy for one. They are made from 100 percent whole foods like egg whites, flax seeds, peanuts, and spinach, providing at least 10 percent of the daily value of 15 essential vitamins and minerals, according to Zhu.

Even though you’ll find sugar in the bars, know that it’s derived from natural sources like dates. Overall, these bars have a well-rounded profile of protein, fiber, and healthy fats, and will make for a delicious, satisfying alternative.

Per serving: 380 calories, 24 g fat, 36 g carbs, 22 g sugar, 9 g fiber, 14 g protein

2

Best Gluten-Free Bars

MOON Bars

These are Gorin’s go-to when she’s on the go. “The LemonZest is my current favorite flavor, with eight grams of satisfying plant protein and three grams of filling fiber for 190 calories. Plus, it’s made with gluten-free ingredients, ”she says. Throw one in your purse, so you won’t be caught unprepared without an appropriate substitute if you’re sensitive to gluten.

Per serving: 190 calories, 6 g fat, 28 g carbs, 9 g sugar, 3 g fiber, 8 g protein

3

Best Grain-Free Bars

Perfect Bars

Made from a base of peanut butter, eggs, and rice protein, Perfect Bars are packed with almost 20 grams of protein per bar. There is also a blend of whole vegetable powders in the mix, including carrot, celery, dried kale, and spinach.

These bars provide 50 percent daily value of vitamin B3, which helps the body convert food to energy, explains Zhu.

Per serving: 340 calories, 19 g fat, 27 g carbs, 19 g sugar, 3 g fiber, 17 g protein

4

Best For Energy

GoMacro MacroBars

“GoMacro MacroBars contain a blend of sprouted brown rice and pea protein that in combination, helps you get a more well-rounded source of complete protein,” says Zhu. The puffed brown rice in these bars is a fiber-rich carbohydrate that’ll keep you full and power you through the day.

Per serving: 270 calories, 9 g fat, 35 g carbs, 13 g sugar, 3 g fiber, 12 g protein

5

Best For Keto Dieters

EPIC Bars

Sugar and carbs are a big no-no when you’re trying to achieve ketosis through the keto diet, which makes finding a meal replacement bar that fits into your carb limit more difficult. Look no further than this EPIC chicken bar, which has just three grams of carbs. True to its name, it is all chicken and gives you 11 grams of protein and two grams of fiber for 90 calories, says Gorin.

Per serving: 90 calories, 4.5 g fat, 3 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 2 g fiber, 11 g protein

6

Best Nut-Free Bars

Rise Protein Bars

Simple and natural, these Rise protein bars are crafted with only five whole food ingredients “that you can pronounce.” They pack 15 grams of pea protein per bar, which is both vegan- and paleo-friendly. While these bars are a great option for anyone looking for a healthy meal replacement bar, people with nut allergies will especially appreciate them because they’re completely nut-free.

Per serving: 280 calories, 15 g fat, 21 g carbs, 12 g sugar, 2 g fiber, 15 g protein

7

Best Organic Bars

Pro Bars

“At 400 calories, Pro Bars are a great size, and also contain fiber, fats, and protein for a good balance of macronutrients, ”Says Zhu. Plus. it is made with natural ingredients like organic dates, nuts, oats, and seeds.

Per serving: 400 calories, 22 g fat, 43 g carbs, 19 g sugar, 6 g fiber, 11 g protein

8

Best Plant-Based Bars

ALOHA Protein Bars

The protein from these bars are all from plant-based ingredients, such as brown rice and pumpkin seed, by Zhu. For example, the coconut chocolate almond-flavored ones provides 14 grams of USDA organic protein, six grams of fiber, and only three grams of added sugars. These bars can cater to the needs of a lot of different people since they are gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, and stevia-free.

Per serving: 260 calories, 13 g fat, 22 g carbs, 4 g sugar, 6 g fiber, 14 g protein

9

Best High-Protein Bars

No Cow Protein Bars

Made with pea and rice protein, stevia, and monk fruit, No Cow bars come with more than 20 grams of plant protein and a whopping 14 grams of fiber in one serving. They are also gluten- and soy-free.

Calorie-wise, it is on the lower end, so Zhu recommends that you have it with another snack-sized option to make it a more substantial meal. Think: fresh fruit, hummus, nuts, or vegetables.

Per serving: 190 calories, 4.5 g fat, 27 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 14 g fiber, 22 g protein

10

Best For Vegans

Go Raw Organic Sprouted Bars

Consisting of only five ingredients, Go Raw bars are vegan-friendly because it is made with a minimally processed base of dates and sprouted seeds. They pack 12 grams of plant-based protein from seeds and five grams of fiber per bar, making them a very satiating meal substitute.

Per serving: 270 calories, 18 g fat, 16 g carbs, 10 g sugar, 5 g fiber, 12 g protein

11

Best For Weight Loss

KIND Energy Bars

These bars provide 10 grams of protein, which is an excellent amount, for 230 calories, says Gorin. “You also get five grams of fiber, and this protein and fiber together help keep you satiated for longer,” she adds.

Sweetened with honey, these gluten-free bars also contain super grains like oats, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, and millet.

Per serving: 230 calories, 7 g fat, 34 g carbs, 13 g sugar, 5 g fiber, 10 g protein

12

Best For Whole30 Followers

RXBARs

“There are few energy bars in this category that pass the Whole30 criteria since the whole premise is about eating primarily foods in their whole form, ”says Zhu. But any of the RX Bars (which are made with real foods, BTW) without peanuts would work if you’re following this diet.

You’ll find protein from egg whites, fiber from dates, and satiety from nuts like cashews and almonds in these gluten-free bars. Given their low calorie count, Zhu suggests that you eat these bars with a piece of fruit or something else with fiber on the side for a more balanced meal.

Per serving: 210 calories, 8 g fat, 24 g carbs, 18 g sugar, 3 g fiber, 12 g protein

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https://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/g39561778/best-meal-replacement-bars/

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