Meal replacement bars can be a simple, and easily controlled way to achieve weight loss. The U.S. National Library of Medicine did a study a few years back to see how effective a meal replacement bar diet would be in weight loss. The conclusion from the study showed that meal replacement bars were effective and showed a noteworthy change--especially when getting started in dieting.
Meal replacement bars might be an excellent way for you to achieve your weight loss goals. You can use these to replace any and/or all of your three daily meals. There are some things you’ll want to look at when choosing a meal replacement bar…
What’s in it?
Meal replacement bars should help you achieve your goal by providing a healthy alternative to a typical meal. Look at the ingredients to see what’s been included in the meal replacement bars you’re looking at. See how many natural ingredients are included: fruits, vegetables, natural oils, etc. Stay away from artificial ingredients.
Artificial sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup are common in tasty treats, but they’re not your friends in losing weight.
You are replacing a meal with this bar, so you need to get the calories your body needs. Meal replacement bars don’t always include all the calories you need, so if you see that the numbers aren’t adding up, you might want to eat some fruit on the side to bolster your calories.
At the same time, consider counting your calories, so that you don’t end up eating too many. When you eat more calories than your body is burning off, they hang out in your body as fat. This could work against your weight loss plan.
This calorie calculator might help you determine how many calories are right for you. It’s really easy to use, and it takes your gender, age, activity level, and height to show you how many calories to consume in order to lose weight. It’s a great place to start!
Protein is crucial in meal replacement bars. It plays a few parts in the show. Protein is known for its ability to lessen your appetite. This saves you from consuming extra calories, and it helps keep muscles healthy and strong. If you don’t maintain an active lifestyle, you’ll need to be careful that you don’t over consume proteins. You could run the risk of defeating your weight loss plan if you’re consuming tons of proteins and not exercising your body.
If you’re going to be consuming meal replacement bars in the place of a typical meal, try to find ones you like. There is some variety out there, so you don’t have to choose the first one you see and stick to it. Try a few different ones and choose several for your arsenal.
There are just some bad tasting meal replacement bars out there, and you might stumble upon some of them. Do not fear–they’re not the only ones out available.
Making the most out of meal replacement bars
Meal replacement bars can be great for weight loss, but consider what else you can do to bolster their effectiveness:
- Exercise is essential for our bodies and will help you to make the most out of your weight loss journey.
- Add in some fruits and vegetables as you can. Nothing can replace the natural ingredients found in these.
- Check out which vitamins and minerals you’re consuming in your meal replacement bars. Consider a multivitamin if you’re not getting a variety of vitamins in your bars.
Making your meal replacement bars
Making your meal replacement bars is a great way to take more control over what you’re putting into your body.
There are many ways you can whip up your meal replacement bars. Many don’t even need to be baked. If you take ownership over making your bars, you will be more intune with what is going into your body. Even if we read the ingredients listing on food products, chances are there’s something listed that we can’t identify.
If you make homemade meal replacement bars for weight loss, you can count calories, fats, sugars, proteins, etc. as you add them to the mixing bowl. Here’s a list that includes recipes for a bunch of healthy, protein-rich meal replacement bars. Another simple option for homemade meal replacement bars can be found here.
Best Meal Replacement Bars Weight Loss
BSN Protein Crisp Bar by Syntha-6
The BSN Protein Crisp Bar made by Syntha-6 is jam-packed with protein–20 grams per bar. This is a huge amount of protein for a meal replacement bar. If you are keeping a very active lifestyle filled with regular exercise, this could be a great meal replacement bar for your weight loss needs.
If you’re not staying super active or working on muscle building, you won’t want to take this one regularly because it contains more protein than you’ll probably need. (Remember that protein is excellent for weight loss and helps to curb your appetite, but if you consume too much of it without the proper exercise to go along with it, you’ll end up putting on weight instead of cutting it.)
When you get into the routine of eating meal replacement bars instead of your daily meal, you might notice that there’s not as much texture variety. This bar can help with that need because it has a crispy texture which can be a pleasing meal experience.
The BSN Protein Crisp Bar has only 4 grams of sugar per bar and 240 calories. They are sold in packages of 12, but you have several flavors to choose from.
This meal replacement bar doesn’t have a wide nutritional spectrum like some of the other bars out there because it has more of a concentration on protein. Also, if you have food allergies, please note that these bars include milk, almonds, soy, and egg.
Pros and Cons
- Low Sugar
- Lots of Protein
- Multiple Flavors to Choose From
- Crispy Texture
- Is not as nutritionally balanced as others out there
- Includes milk, almonds, soy, and egg
PROBAR-Meal Bar, Superfood Slam
PROBAR’s Superfood Slam is an excellent option for meal replacement bar weight loss. This one is jam-packed with calories: 370 per 3 ounce bar. This is an incredible dosage of calories. Each bar contains 10 grams of protein.
PROBAR is attentive to the needs of creating a natural and healthy option for meal replacement. These bars are gluten-free, soy-free, vegan, and non-GMO.
These bars do not include any artificial ingredients, which is a treasure when you find bars that don’t! The ingredients are plant-based whole foods including things like flax seed, chia seeds, oats, dates, peanuts, and many more. About 75-90% of the ingredients in the Superfood Slam Bars are organic.
When you purchase these bars, you’ll get a pack of 12. This bar is a nutritional option and might be a great one to add into your list of meal replacement bars. One complaint by some consumers is that it is too sweet. The sweeteners are natural, but if you’re not into a lot of sugar, this one might not be your favorite.
PROBAR is a family-owned and private business. Their mission is to create healthy and natural bars that don’t include all of the extra stuff. They are dedicated to providing options that taste good and are full of quality. One takeaway after looking at their mission and vision is that they are passionate about what they do, and they want to show you this through their products.
Pros and Cons
- Loaded with Protein
- Purchase in 12 count package
- Plant-Based whole foods
- Includes high percentage of organic ingredients
- Includes flax seed, chia, and more
- No Artificial Ingredients
- It’s too sweet for some people
Amelia Kirchoff fought the fight with breast cancer and won after she and her daughter decided she would embark on a plant-based diet instead of going with traditional cancer treatment methods. During this time, she came up with the MacroBar in her kitchen in Wisconsin. Since then she’s decided to spread the goodness she discovered in the GoMacro MacroBars.
The MacroBar can be a great addition to your meal replacement bar weight loss program. These bars are most noteworthy because of the dedication to organic and natural ingredients. The 6 grams of protein packed into the bars are plant-based and natural. This is a nice amount of protein for most lifestyles.
The MacroBar is packed with granola and coconut, and it is a vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free option. The MacroBar is USDA Certified Organic, so you are putting pesticide-free nutrients into your body without having to worry about chemicals.
Kirchoff’s dedication to quality ingredients can also be seen in the R.A.W. and C.L.E.A.N. Certifications it holds. The whole, real, and high bioavailability offer you a product that is safe and nutritious for your body.
These are sold in packages of 12 bars. It is a more expensive option, but if you dig the organic and natural ingredients, it might be worth the extra money.
Pros and Cons
- Plant-Based Protein
- Includes Granola & Coconut
- USDA Organic
- R.A.W Certified
- C.L.E.A.N. Certified
- Pricier Option
Nature Valley Chewy Granola Bar Coconut Almond
Nature Valley’s Chewy Granola Bars are an affordable option. They come in 5 bar packages, but many options sell the boxes in multiples. These bars are high in fiber and have 10 grams of protein. Each bar holds 7 grams of sugar, which isn’t too bad.
The bars have a chewy texture, and they are made with natural ingredients like roasted nuts. Many consumers are saying that they like these bars for breakfast and that they are great tasting.
One downside to these is that you probably won’t be filled if you try eating them for lunch or dinner because they only have 170 calories.
Pros and Cons
- High in Fiber
- Good Breakfast Option
- Chewy Texture
- Natural Ingredients: roasted peanuts & almonds
- Low in Calories
Clif Builder’s Protein Bar
Clif Builder’s Protein Bar has a high level of protein. This might be a good meal replacement option for you if you are working out or involved in an active exercise routine. Protein is a great way to keep your hunger cravings at bay, but remember that you shouldn’t consume high amounts of these on a regular basis if you’re not regularly working out. It could work against you.
These bars are non-GMO. They are also low-glycemic which means they help you process food slowly and get the nutrients out them. It also means that your blood sugar won’t spike when you ingest the bar, and you’ll find that you have energy for a more sustained period of time.
The Clif Builder’s bar is made with an excellent selection of organic ingredients like dates, almonds, oatmeal. Each bar contains 270 calories. You can buy these in 8 or 12 count packages, and there are several flavors to choose from.
One downside to these bars is that each one has 20 grams of sugar. This is a little high, so be sure to keep track of how many sugars you’re consuming on the days you eat these. You could compensate by eating a bar for your next meal that has a lower sugar count.
Pros and Cons
- High in Protein
- Nice amount of calories for meal replacement
- Organic Ingredients
- High in Sugar
Nutrisystem On The Go Bar Variety Pack
These bars have been made to be part of the Nutrisystem Meal Plan but can be great as a stand-alone meal replacement bar. They have upwards of 200 calories per bar, and they come in a pack of 10 assorted flavors. These bars are on the higher end of sugar as some of them have 12 grams of sugar. The range is 7-12 grams depending on which bar you’re eating.
The Nutrisystem On The Go Bar Variety Pack includes 5 different decadent flavors. This meal replacement option might be an excellent option for you if you don’t want to give up your sweet tooth. Many consumers have said they like being able to eat something sweet and tasty as part of their weight loss. Also being said is that they don’t leave an aftertaste in your mouth.
Pros and Cons
- Variety Pack of Flavors
- Some of the flavors have a higher sugar count
KIND Bars Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate
KIND is a common brand who offers natural foods. This one includes a variety of nuts: macadamia, cashews, brazil nuts, almonds, etc. All of the ingredients found in these bars should be natural, and they are a great source for fiber. They are gluten-free and non-GMO.
Each bar contains 200 calories, which should keep you full. Remember it’s often a good idea to try supplementing a meal replacement bar diet with fresh fruits and vegetables.
These bars are low in sodium and dairy free. They are also low-glycemic, so they digest slowly and offer prolonged energy.
One negative about these is that since they have so many nuts in them, they can be kind of hard to chew if they aren’t fresh.
Pros and Cons
- Great Fiber Source
- All Natural
- They can be too crunchy if not fresh
Luna Protein-Gluten Free Protein Bar
Luna’s Protein Bars are an excellent option to choose from when looking for a meal replacement bar for weight loss. These bars are non-GMO, gluten-free, and low-glycemic. There are a few reasons low-glycemic is a positive thing for your diet. Low-glycemic helps your foods to digest more slowly, and this helps keep your blood sugar lower.
These bars are rich in iron and Vitamin D. You can purchase them in a 12 bar package, and there are over 10 flavors to choose from. Most are chocolatey and sweet, but there are some Greek yogurt options thrown in there as well. These bars hold 170 calories per bar and 12 grams of protein.
Many consumers are saying they like the taste of these bars and that they are filling. There are some complaints that the bars are too sweet.
Pros and Cons
- Rich in Iron & Vitamin D
- Variety of Flavors
- Some say these bars are too sweet
Odwalla Berries Go Mega
The Odwalla Berries Go Mega Bars are stuffed with fruit: blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, and raspberries. Other natural ingredients include flax, figs, plum puree, oat flour, and sunflower seeds, and many more. These bars are about 21% organic in content.
You can buy these bars in packages of 15, and there are some other flavor options to choose from.
These meal replacement bar options include 210 calories each. They have a bit of a high sugar content at 16 grams per bar.
Pros and Cons
- Lots of Berries
- Natural Ingredients
- 21% Organic
- A bit high in sugar
Organic Food Bar-Active Greens Chocolate Bars
A green superfood combination loads this bar with 4000 mg. These are an excellent option for getting your greens in the meal replacement bars, and there aren’t any others out there quite like them. Organic Food is proud of their organic bars and make them fresh each day.
These bars are 100% raw and non-GMO. They are high in protein--16 grams per bar. The simplicity of these bars continues as they are vegan and gluten-free. You can buy them in packs of 12.
They have a ton of antioxidants packed into them, and you don’t have to worry about any additives or preservatives.
These aren’t the cheapest option out there, but they aren’t super expensive either.
Pros and Cons
- USDA Organic
- Loaded with Antioxidants
- No Additives or Preservatives
- Freshly Made Each Day
- 100% Raw
- High in Protein
- Packed with Greens
- Not the cheapest option out there
Research indicates that meal replacement bars could be an effective way to lose weight. Above are some ideas for where to start when choosing your meal replacement bars for weight loss. Not only are they good for weight loss, but they also make meal prep easier and less messy.
Try it for yourself and see what you think. You might find yourself experimenting with different calorie counts, flavors, and more. You don’t have to settle on ones you don’t like, and you don’t have to stick to only one option unless you want to.