Protein helps the body feel satiated longer, hence the need to include in diets as required by nutrition experts. An article published in the American Journal of Clinician Nutrition showed that these benefits are evident if you take 25-30 grams in every meal. 

Additionally, protein intake should be spread throughout the day to help build muscles effectively instead of including it in one meal. Muscle building aids in metabolism as it requires more energy than fat. As such, some people have incorporated protein bars in their diets to aid in weight loss; but are they as effective as people claim?

How Protein Bars Aid in Weight Loss

As highlighted in the text above, protein bars have up to 200 calories hence the need to eat the bars as a meal replacement or as part of a small meal instead of taking it as a snack. Eating a protein bar every day after taking the regular meals may add lots of calories to your body, especially if you are losing weight. However, if you are taking the bar as a replacement plan, the usual 200 calories may not be enough for a meal. You should consider supplementing it with other protein-rich foods such as low-fat plain yogurt. You may also include a protein smoothie to increase the calorie content to 300-400. People who use the protein bar as a post-workout meal should ensure it fits their calorie allowance. Protein bars only provide a convenient way of taking proteins, otherwise, a whole-food meal with the right amount of calories and proteins should also aid in weight loss.

What you should Look for When Buying a Protein Bar

Protein bars differ in nutritional value based on brands. Some bars are designed for people looking to lose weight while others are marketed for those who want to gain weight. Thus, when buying a protein bar, look for one with 200 calories, 3 grams of fiber, and 10 grams of protein. Most bars made for nutrition have 2 grams of saturated fat and 10 grams of sugar. People looking to lose weight and wear running belt for women, however, should limit the intake of added sugars to 25 grams a day.

Buy a bar that contains real food ingredients in lieu of highly processed ingredients. Be sure to avoid protein bars that have soy protein, chicory root, and partially hydrogenated oil. Chicory root and soy protein are cheap ways to increase the amount of protein, but they are not healthy ingredients. Partially hydrogenated oils, on the other hand, contain unhealthy trans fats. Other highly-processed ingredients to avoid include artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols like xylitol, erythritol, and mannitol.

Clearly, the use protein bars aids in weight loss. In fact, a research published in the nutritional journal in 2013 featuring obese and overweight participants reported significant weight loss in those taking high-protein meal replacements compared to those who relied on a low-calorie diet. However, for effective weight loss, strength training exercises should be performed along with protein bars. Experts advise on a combination of 300 minutes of strength-training and cardio exercises.