Protein bars are stocked full in grocery stores. With so many choices available these days, people may be wondering if protein bars are good for weight loss.
There are many reasons why protein bars can be a great choice to include in your diet for weight loss. This article will discuss how you can make a protein bar a part of your healthy diet for weight loss as well as some things to look out for when picking out your protein bar.
What are protein bars?
Protein bars can often be described as something similar to a granola bar but often has at least 10 grams of protein. Some bars even have upwards of 20 grams of protein per bar!
The source of protein can vary from bar to bar. The most common protein sources are whey protein, pea protein, or extra protein from nuts like peanuts, almonds, or peanut butter.
Why are protein bars good for weight loss?
Protein bars can be a great choice to help promote weight loss for many reasons. They may help control appetite, they can help preserve muscle mass when in a calorie deficit, and they are easy to grab and go and keep on hand when you are craving a snack and want to avoid eating junk foods.
Appetite control for weight loss
Studies have shown that people who eat meal replacements may be more successful with weight loss endeavors. A protein bar can be a filling option for a breakfast or a snack. A 2019 systematic review showed that people using meal replacements led to greater weight loss after one year than people who did not use a meal replacement.
The high protein content found in protein bars slows the absorption of nutrients while traveling through the digestive system. If food is moving slower through the digestive system, you stay feeling full and are less likely to over consume excess calories.
Protein preserves muscle during weight loss
When people are trying to lose weight, what they are actually trying to lose is fat mass. But, if weight loss is not approached in the correct way, people may actually lose muscle mass rather than fat.
Protein helps the body preserve muscle mass when the body is in a calorie deficit. Keeping muscle intact, the body will break down fat stores to use for energy. This is what you want because that is fat loss!
Grab and Go Snacks
Protein bars can be great to take on the go with you. If you are out and about and all of a sudden feeling hungry for a snack, it is easy to just snack on the go with your protein bar. This can help you avoid reaching for a less healthful option that may be simpler if you did not plan ahead.
Beware of extra sugar
Unfortunately it is not uncommon to find a large amount of added sugars in some protein or energy bars. Manufacturers add extra sugars to help improve the taste of the bars. But some bars can have greater than 20 grams of sugar in just one serving which is more than some candy bars!
When choosing a protein bar, try to find one that has less than 10 grams of sugar
How to incorporate a protein bar into your meal plan
Incorporating a protein bar into your meal plan can be simple! A protein bar that is a good balance of protein and carbohydrates and fiber can be an excellent choice for a breakfast or snack.
Potential pitfalls for protein bars
Most people can enjoy the benefits of protein bars with no adverse effects. However, people that have been told to limit their protein intake because of kidney disease, liver disease, or any other ailment should be mindful of all their protein sources.
All in all, protein bars are a good choice for weight loss – whether it be as a breakfast or meal replacement or as a snack. Typically, they can be a great balance of protein and healthy carbs which can help you feel full. And, due to their high protein content they can help to preserve muscle mass when trying to lose weight in a calorie deficit.
If you are on a weight loss journey, be sure to check out how you can lose weight without counting calories!