If you’ve been dieting for any length of time, you’re probably familiar with the latest fad diet craze – meal replacement bars. Everyone from television celebrities to your average fitness instructor is pitching them as the next best thing. And why not? After all, protein meal replacement bars offer people a way to enjoy the protein they get from eating real foods without feeling deprived.
But despite their popularity, meal replacement protein bars can have some downsides. Most are loaded with refined sugars and additives, which make them extremely unhealthy1. In addition, the ingredients are likely to have already been processed, meaning that you’re likely to get plenty of empty calories and nothing nutritious. So what should you do to stay healthy when choosing meal replacement bars?
When shopping for protein bars, it is important to read labels carefully as some brands may contain undesirable ingredients such as soy or gluten. If you cannot find an all-natural bar that contains whole foods without artificial sweeteners, flavors or preservatives then meal replacement proteins may be best for your needs instead of eating something processed which will not provide long-term sustenance.
Why Avoid Meal Replacement Bars
The single biggest problem with meal replacement programs is that so many people eat them, and they become addictive. If you’re an eating enthusiast who has tried and failed to lose weight by following plans designed for long-term dieting, then you know how difficult it can be to resist the pull of convenience and portion control. Going without food can seem like a daunting prospect at first, but once you get into the habit of eating healthy foods and exercising regularly, you’ll find that staying away from meal replacement bars isn’t as hard as it seems.
There’s really nothing wrong with relying on a meal replacement bar to replace part of your nutrition, just make sure that you’re not overdoing it. A small amount of it every few days is not harmful to your health and will keep you from craving unhealthy foods. Meal replacement bars can help you cut calories without having to think about portion control because they have replacements that come in a variety of flavors. Just remember that the calories and other nutrients aren’t separated, so eating several meals is probably more harmful than helpful. Instead of counting calories and obsessing over every meal of your life, try planning a few healthy dinners that you can rely on.
If you’re serious about why to avoid meal replacement bars, you need to be willing to make healthier decisions around the rest of your life. Eating junk food is unhealthy for your body and it can contribute to a number of health problems as well. Don’t allow yourself to fall prey to convenience, because the reward rarely comes around that long. Instead, get healthier and exercise more often. You’ll feel better and you’ll stay healthy.
The ThinkThin Chunky Peanut Butter Bar
If you have been on the hunt for a meal replacement bar to replace your sugar-laden and calorie-loaded cereal, then think twice. This new entrant in the market – the ThinkThin Chunky Peanut Butter Bar is unlike regular peanut butter bars. It does contain high levels of calories and fat, this one has significantly less fat and fewer calories than its sugar and carb counterparts. And, it has none of the empty calories that usually go with the high-sugar and high-carbohydrate versions of these snacks.2 That means that instead of packing on the pounds and feeling deprived, you can simply down a serving of this delicious bar and feel better for the rest of the day.
The good thing about this snack bar is that it does not pack on the pounds and eat up more calories than regular peanut butter. Its ingredients are healthy and the amount of protein is not at all lacking. Despite this, it still has half a gram of sugar per serving, which is far below the average of most meal replacement bars.
However, what makes thinkThin Chunky Peanut Butter Bar appeals to many sugar-crazed consumers is the fact that it only has two grams or about six percent of calories. This makes it very enticing to dieters who want to cut down but do not want to go into immediate weight loss. Its high level of protein and low levels of empty calories make it easy to fit into even casual dieting.3 As for the disadvantage, despite being low on carbs and having very little sugar, it has about three grams of fat and four grams of sugar – about half as much as most bars. On the other hand, it has about a quarter teaspoon each of both protein and fiber, making it the best overall all-around bar.
MuscleTech NitroTech Crunch Bar
If you’re looking for a protein supplement that can give you all the protein you need to keep you energized and feeling great, without the heavy fat and calorie content of most protein bars, the name MuscleTech might ring a bell. This is one of the very few professional athletic bodybuilding/fitness/athletic products available in an athletic nutrition supplement style of product, which can be used as a meal replacement or post-workout supplement to boost muscle growth and repair muscle damage.
First of all, the protein that you’ll be getting with your meal replacement bars from MuscleTech is not nearly enough calories for an effective workout or diet. Many athletes combine protein bars with a healthy diet to ensure they’re getting all the calories and nutrients needed to fuel their exercise routines and muscle repair. While a protein bar from the gym is perfectly fine as a post-workout meal replacement or after-workout snack to boost your energy levels, the best sources of protein for your diet are real foods like meat, chicken, fish, and eggs.4 These kinds of protein sources provide your body with all the protein it needs to build new muscle and repair your previous damaged cells.
Also, while protein is absolutely essential for muscle repair, the majority of protein bars in the marketplace today don’t provide you with enough protein to do any good. Most protein bars have little to no protein content, which makes them difficult to consume if you’re trying to build muscles, or just improve your health. A protein bar that offers plenty of protein will help you reach your goals without having to count calories, or worrying about fat grams.5
MusclePharm Combat Crunch Bars
There are many reasons why you should avoid MusclePharm Combat Crunch Bars. For example, if you are a bodybuilder or someone who is interested in supplementing your workout then this is the wrong product for you. But if you have just started a new exercise program and are still quite skeptical of supplements then you should consider this one.
The flavor in these protein bars is much like the original product, which may be disappointing to many consumers. The flavor of this product comes from a combination of different natural flavors like banana, chocolate, and cream.
This bar doesn’t have a great texture, and it doesn’t taste all that good, but it does have a decent crunch. This bar might even be better than the original because of the unique ingredient list. Instead of including things like whey protein, casein, egg, etc., it includes things like banana, vanilla, peanut butter, and a mix of other healthy ingredients.6 Since it has a low-calorie count (5 grams for each serving), it will help those who are looking for a low-calorie diet or are on a low-carb diet. The only way you will know if this bar will work for you though, is by trying it.
Atkins Meal Bars
People do not like change. If you go on one diet plan for long enough, you will come to think that it is the only way to lose weight. But this is not true and there are alternatives to losing weight with the Atkins diet such as eating a healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein-rich foods. Although you will still need to watch your diet, avoiding the Atkins Meal replacement protein bars can be an easy way to start.
If you want to lose weight, one of the best things you can do is to replace your normal meal replacement bars with healthy alternatives. The reason why to avoid them is that they contain more refined sugar, which does not contribute to your overall weight loss, but certain refined sugars found in candy bars are even worse for you.7 When you want to reduce weight, you do not want to add any extra calories to your diet. You also do not want to put all the effort into reducing your weight only to gain it back later. The last thing you want is to gain back all the weight you lost from having a bar or two. Instead of reaching your weight loss goal, you may end up gaining back all the weight you had lost.
For this reason, you should consider making healthy choices when choosing your meal replacement protein bars. You can easily find great options by doing some online research. Atkins Meal replacement bars are not the only healthy choice you have for snacks.8 There are many different types of them that will give you the nutrition you need while not including any of the unhealthy ingredients found in other types of bars.
Think! Products / 2021
Amazon / 2021
GymBean / 2021
Atkins.com / 2021
1 “Food additives – WHO | World Health Organization.” 31 Jan. 2018, https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/food-additives Accessed 10 May. 2021.
2 “9 Signs Your Blood Sugar Is Out of Control | Everyday Health.” 22 Aug. 2019, https://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/type-2-diabetes-management/blood-sugar-uncontrolled-pictures/ Accessed 10 May. 2021.
3 “High-Protein Diet for Weight Loss, Foods With Protein – WebMD.” 16 Nov. 2020, https://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/high-protein-diet-weight-loss Accessed 10 May. 2021
4 “27 Foods That Can Give You More Energy – Healthline.” 19 Aug. 2020, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/energy-boosting-foods Accessed 10 May. 2021.
5 “Protein: Why Your Body Needs It – WebMD.” https://www.webmd.com/diet/benefits-protein Accessed 10 May. 2021.
6 “What are the different types of protein, and what’s the difference?.” 27 Aug. 2019, https://www.cancercenter.com/community/blog/2016/08/natural-vs-refined-sugars-what-is-the-difference Accessed 10 May. 2021.
7 “What’s the Difference between Natural and Refined Sugars? | CTCA.” 9 Aug. 2016, https://www.cancercenter.com/community/blog/2016/08/natural-vs-refined-sugars-what-is-the-difference Accessed 10 May. 2021.
8 “Atkins: Low Carb Diet Program and Weight Loss Plan.” https://www.atkins.com/ Accessed 10 May. 2021.