You have been learning from childhood that protein is one of the key macronutrients for the body. They assist in metabolism, provide structural support, catalyze chemical reactions, and protect the body against diseases. Remember when doctors were advising you to increase your protein and vitamin intake during Covid-19? Since the introduction of trending diet plans in the market, the concept of protein bars for weight loss has been in the limelight.
We know protein is beneficial for the human body but does it categorically help shed pounds? Or is it simply some online trend that will fade with time? Let’s try discovering the myths and facts about protein bars –
How to use protein bars for weight loss?
The first step to answering whether protein bars are beneficial for your health is – checking out if you have the correct protein bar! By medical standards, the protein bar must have a minimum amount of 8 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber.
Also, check the type of protein it has and whether it suits your dietary goals. Once that is done, now let us discuss how precisely you may use protein bars for weight loss.
1. Curbing hunger pangs – thereby aiding weight loss
As already stated, protein helps in enhancing metabolism levels, thereby strengthening your muscles. Therefore, when you consume a protein bar, it keeps you full and provides a constant and consistent energy source. With the frequency of bites reducing, you will automatically be forced to have full meals at regular hours, ensuring a balanced weight.
2. Supporting your pre or post-workout routine
Using protein bars for weight loss does not just reduce hunger pangs and control your portions but also repairs muscle tissues. For the unversed, when your muscles do not function correctly, the body faces multiple issues, one of which is gaining some unnecessary pounds.
Also, for a pre or post-workout meal, a protein bar is a great alternative vis-a-vis any other meal at that time. Hence, by healing the tissues as well the protein bars aid weight loss.
3. Snacking alternative
Those serious about their weight loss journey often take up fasting (intermittent or whole day) to reach their physical goals. But if you are a beginner, you might have sudden cravings. After a long day of fasting, you need something to open your fast with. In such cases, looking for something sweet or a light snack is automatic.
The mistake most people make is – they go in for sweetmeats or something oily. In place of that, you can have a protein bar. This not only provides the complete energy backup your body needs but also keeps you away from the vagaries of sweetmeats, which will harm your body otherwise.
4. Constant supply of energy
You must have seen athletes snacking on protein bars and shakes in the middle of a game. Well, that’s because – protein bars provide a constant supply of energy without any negative aspect to it. So, you have a busy strenuous day – if not anything else, just snack on a protein bar.
5. Can be a part of your fasting strategy
As mentioned before, on days you are fasting, your body has low energy levels. After a long day of fasting, a protein bar will provide you with the ideal amount of energy your body requires. Hence, you may use protein bars for weight loss in this manner as well.
What is the nutrition level of protein bars?
On a general note, you must choose a protein bar that is high in protein content and low in calories with a balanced fiber. When you are choosing a pre or post-workout protein bar, you must ensure it has at least 20 grams of protein content. If you are looking for some snack time, choose a bar that has 200-250 calories. For those asking about the fiber content, 2-5 grams of fiber per bar is adequate.
Two important ingredients you must check before choosing a bar are – the fat and sugar content. When you are choosing protein bars for weight loss you will have to cut down on these two ingredients (or stick with the basic minimum).
So, ensure that the fat content is within a range of 10-15 grams and the sugar content is below 5 grams. That is not all – the protein bar you choose must not have corn syrup or fructose content.
The source of your protein is also crucial. Some bars may have dairy proteins such as whey protein and yoghurt powder and plant-based proteins such as brown rice, soy, pea, and egg whites. It may also have nuts in the protein powder. If your protein bar follows this chart – that’s the one to grab!
Which are the top 4 in the market?
Let’s start –
1. ProBar Protein Chocolate Brownie
Are you looking for protein bars for weight loss that also help in muscle building? This choco-flavoured protein brownie is gluten-free, non-GMO, and vegan in nature.
Nutrition – Protein – 20 grams, Calories: 260, Added sugars – 12 grams, Fat – 8 grams, Fiber – 8 grams, Total Carbs – 34 grams.
#It has soy content.
#The available flavours include – Mint Chocolate, Peanut Butter Chocolate, and Coffee Crunch, to name a few
2. Aloha Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
For all searching for the addition of protein to their plant-based diet, this choco-chip cookie dough is vegan and organic in nature. The available flavours include – Chocolate Espresso, Vanilla Almond Crunch, and Pumpkin Spice, to name a few.
Protein – 14 grams, Calories: 230, Added sugars – 5 grams, Fat – 10 grams, Fiber – 10 grams, Total Carbs – 25 grams.
#It has inconsistent texture across the flavors
3. Go Macro Sunflower Butter + Chocolate
If you have a sensitive stomach, you will require FODMAP-friendly products. Additionally, it is vegan, non-GMO, nut-free, and gluten-free.
Protein – 10 grams, Calories: 270, Added sugars – 11 grams, Fat – 9 grams, Fiber – 3 grams, Total Carbs – 38 grams.
#The available flavours are – Almond Butter+Banana, Maple Sea Salt, Cashew Butter + Blueberry, and Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter, to name a few.
4. No Cow Chunky Peanut Butter
Lastly comes the perfect protein bars for weight loss from the house of No Cow. Using alternatives to sugar such as stevia, sugar alcohols, and monk fruit, this bar is high in both fiber and protein content.
Nutrition – Protein – 21 grams, Calories: 190, Added sugars – 0 grams, Fat – 4 grams, Fiber – 17 grams, Total Carbs – 26 grams.
#It has a noticeable chalky aftertaste
#The available flavours are – Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Lemon Meringue, Pumpkin Pie, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
How to make your own protein bar?
When you are on a weight-shedding journey, you might not want to have any outside food, even if it is protein bars for weight loss. You can always make yours at home! Here, we will share a no-bake protein bar recipe.
- Milk (1/2 cup) – You may use the usual milk or choose almond or coconut milk
- Whey protein powder (unflavored) (1 cup)
- Uncooked whole-rolled oats (2 cups)
- Maple syrup/Honey ( 1/2 cup) – Take some extra amount, just in case
- Peanut butter (1 cup)
- Optional add-ins – cinnamon (1 teaspoon), dried blueberries, chopped dates, choco chips
How to make –
- Take a pot and mix honey/maple syrup, peanut butter, and milk. Put it over low heat and stir the ingredients. Blend the ingredients well, and once it is warm enough, remove it from the flame.
- Now add oats and protein powder to this blend. You may choose to add cinnamon powder (or any other add-in of your choice). Stir it well. If required, add a little more maple syrup/honey. While you are stirring it, if you still find the blend to be thick, just add some more milk to the same.
- As mentioned – the mixture is ready. Now take an 8×8 pan and lightly grease it. Put this mixture onto the pan and press it as per your desired thickness. Before you press it, either wet your hands or grease them lightly.
- When the bar completely cools down, you must cut it into small bars or pieces as per your choice. You may drizzle some chocolate pieces over it (if you are on a weight-loss journey, we would not recommend the same). Wanting to hold up long? Freeze it!
What you must note –
When you are measuring protein powder, take the standard US cup for measuring. Also, you may choose chocolate or vanilla flavour, but we would prefer unflavoured powder with no/minimal aftertaste. If you want to make it nut and dairy-free, you could use sunflower butter in place of nuts and coconut or almond milk in place of the usual.
You must be cautious.
Have you gained clarity about the benefits of protein bars for weight loss? If your physical health is normal, and you are not medically prohibited, you may consume them as per recommendation.
However, protein is not beneficial for everyone. As much as it may enhance your weight loss strategy, people suffering from Phenylketonuria (an inherited disease), Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, cystic fibrosis, and other neurodegenerative diseases must not consume protein.
Also, if you have some inherent condition, allergies, or protein misfolding, you must avoid consuming it. So, please check your condition before you decide to indulge in protein bars.
As we conclude the myths and facts about protein bars for weight loss, we do hope you have clarity about their weight loss usage, which kind of bar to choose, their nutrition profile, and details of a ‘home-cooked’ protein bar. If you still have any queries, you can always leave your query below. For those wanting to know more, you can always visit this website.