FYI: I don’t believe in using bars as meal replacements. Whether your goal is weight loss/maintenance, eating the same bar everyday:
- gets boring
- won’t stimulate your digestive system properly
- may lead to feelings of hunger later & possibly binging.
Living a healthy lifestyle is about learning to eat intuitively & real food! . Luckily, some bars are made with real food & are great snack options/solutions when running around between meals, exams, work & workouts.
My faves brands are:
- Mid Day Squares
- Simply Protein
- Roo Bar
- Raw Rev Glo Bars
- Elemental Superfood
- Go Macro
A good quality bar:
- keeps you full between meals but isn’t full of BS!
- is refined sugar-free (refined sugar is addictive & causes spikes in blood sugar/energy slumps) & is made with only natural sources of sugar (dates, yacon syrup, brown rice syrup is ok too!). I try my best to eat bars that list the sugar source as at least the 3rd ingredient on the list (if not even further down). Always remember that ingredients are listed in order of quantity in the product so the closer the sugar source to the top of the list, the higher in sugar it is!
Which bar is best? It depends the time of day & purpose.
- is it a pre/post workout snack?
- study snack?
- fuel to hold you over before a late dinner?
If the goal is weight loss, the focus should be protein, healthy fats & fibre to stay satisfied! All my faves are high in protein, but some are higher in fat/sugar. Those lower in fat won’t keep you full as long than those higher in sugar but lower in fat/fibre.
Pre workout, I tend to go for a bar higher in natural sugar & good carbs for an instant burst of energy & post sweat, a bar higher in protein to help with muscle growth & recovery.
We’re all different & some people feel full with higher protein snacks & others with more fat!
Simply Protein bars are lowest in sugar so they’re a good option when you already ate lots of sugar, natural or not! . Mid Day Squares contain hemp & sacha inchi protein, so they’re a perfect balance between healthy fats & protein & keep me the fullest!
They’re the most dense & rich, whereas Simply Protein is lighter in texture & more crisp!
It all boils down to personal choice. All these bars can be part of your weight loss journey so long as you’re using them the right way and not completely substituting all your meals for them!
And always remember: it’s not about caloric value, but about ingredients, nutrients & vitamins the foods provide & their effect on your energy, blood sugar & mood!