If you tend to grab a protein bar at your local grocery store, you may be surprised to learn that it has the same nutritional value as a candy bar. What you need is a nutrient-rich, healthy protein bar that helps you trim down without feeling deprived.
Working with a weight loss nutritionist is the best way to get individualized recommendations that meet your unique nutritional needs, but we can help right now with six high-quality protein bar recommendations that rank among the best protein bars for weight loss.
How the Healthiest Protein Bars Help with Weight Loss
The market for protein bars is expected to grow from $4.5 billion in 2021 to more than $7 billion in 2029. That projection reflects the popularity of high-protein bars. Some of the bestsellers in the fitness market are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients that are valuable for anyone aiming for sustainable weight loss. Losing weight can be as simple as eating protein bars, as long as they have healthy, natural ingredients.
Depending on how much weight loss you want to experience, and how much protein you want to consume, protein bars can be one of the best ways to help you reach your goal.
You can use protein bars in a variety of ways, depending on your lifestyle and ideal meal plan. Here are just a few options to consider:
- Keep protein bars on hand to use as a fast meal replacement when you’re too busy to cook. You can keep a meal replacement bar in your bag, office, car, and many other convenient places. A meal replacement bar can help with busy lifestyles, and are available in a variety of flavors, such as chocolate peanut butter, chocolate brownie, peanut butter flavors, and others.
- Use protein bars as high-protein snacks. They’re fast, easy, and require no prep time, refrigeration, or dirty dishes.
Add your favorite protein bars to yogurt, cottage cheese, and other healthy foods to create an easy dessert. There’s no rule that you must enjoy the best protein bars for weight loss in bar form. Break them up, crumble them, or use them as a base for delicious treats.
The Best 5 Protein Bars for Weight Loss
Are you ready to discover six of the best protein bars for weight loss? We included some of the best protein bars that meet a variety of nutritional needs because we know that one protein bar isn’t necessarily the best for everyone. Our selections are all healthy protein bars with natural ingredients that can help you lose weight, help with muscle gain, and even meet nutritional goals like reducing sugar intake or building lean muscle.
Best Vegan Protein Bar: Picky Bars
Picky Bars are among the best vegan protein bars, but they may work for non-vegans as well. The bars are made from sprouted brown rice protein that is minimally processed using low temperatures to maintain the nutritional quality. Picky Bars has the right amount of healthy fats, carbs, and protein from real, whole foods.
They also include grass-fed whey, almond butter, natural flavors, and other ingredients to better help with muscle gain among those who are vegan or are looking for the best paleo protein bar.
- Gluten, soy, GMO, and dairy free
- No unnecessary chemicals or cheap filler ingredients
- Fast-acting carbs
- Long-lasting fats for satiety and recovery support
- Most flavors include some added sugar
Bottom Line: While Picky Bars do contain some added sugar, the amount is low enough to work for many healthy weight loss eating plans. There are a variety of flavor options, and you can save money by purchasing mixed packs of up to 40 bars.
Best Gluten-Free Protein Bar: Evo Hemp Bar
Evo Hemp makes some of the most delicious hemp protein bars, all containing high-quality hemp hearts. Also known as hemp seeds, this protein source also offers essential polyunsaturated fats, fiber, and a variety of minerals and vitamins needed by the body for weight loss and general health. All bars are gluten-free and non-GMO certified.
- Hemp protein is incredibly nutritious
- Smooth texture
- 12 grams of protein per bar in most flavors
- Made in the U.S.A
- Limited flavor options
Bottom Line: Evo Hemp bars are a great option if you’re looking for the best protein bars to use as a dessert. The Lemon Hemp Bars are a fan favorite.
Best Whole Food Protein Bar: RxBar
Some of the best healthy protein bars have the simplest ingredients, and the RxBar has one of the easiest nutritional labels to understand. Each bar is made from whole foods that are minimally processed. You won’t find any artificial ingredients, or as RxBar likes to say, they contain “No B.S.” That stands for “bad stuff.”
- Available in many local stores
- Simple, real food ingredients
- Egg white protein is used for every flavor option
- A variety of sweet flavors available
- Limited variety in nutrients, since all bars share a few similar ingredients
Bottom Line: RxBars have their ingredients printed on the package of each individual bar. You never have to guess if a flavor will fit into your nutritional plan or appeal to your taste buds.
Best Low-Carb Protein Bar: Keto Bars
If you’re looking for a keto-friendly protein bar or just want to keep your carbohydrate intake as low as possible, you can’t go wrong with Keto Bars. They’re designed for the low-carb lifestyle and include no sugar, artificial sweeteners, soy, or dairy. What they do include is a big dose of healthy fats in every bar.
- Up to 21 grams of healthy fat per bar
- As low as 3 grams net carbs per bar
- Flavor sampler pack available online
- Limited flavor options
Bottom Line: The high-fat, low-carb ingredients in these low-carb protein bars will give you energy without making you tired later. Keto Bars are also gluten-free and vegan.
Best High-Protein Bar: No Cow
No Cow plant-protein bars we designed for people with an intolerance for whey protein. If selecting a bar with grass-fed whey doesn’t do it for your body, you may enjoy the low sugar and carb content of these dairy-free protein bars.
Reasons We Love
- As little as 1 gram of sugar per bar
- Wide variety of flavor options
- Certified gluten-free, non-GMO, and kosher
- Some flavors include artificial sweeteners
Bottom Line: Take advantage of the free trial pack offered through the No Cow website. Just pay $0.99 for shipping and receive your first delivery of the Sweet Tooth Combo Pack free. Cancel the automatic subscription within two weeks if you don’t want to continue receiving protein bars by mail.
Best Weight Loss Protein Bars: Zing Bars
If you just want a great protein bar for weight loss support, give Zing Bars a try. They’re made with a blend of almond and rice proteins, and each flavor has a different texture. These are some of the best protein bars for losing weight because they have a good amount of protein and enough fiber to keep you feeling full between meals.
- No artificial ingredients
- Gluten, GMO, dairy, and soy free
- Keto-friendly and dark chocolate-covered protein bars available
- A little higher in price than many competing protein bars
Bottom Line: Textures range from chewy and soft to crunchy and dense. Check each flavor to make sure you get the right texture for your taste buds.
How Top Nutrition Coaching Can Help
Losing weight is a personal journey that needs a plan made just for you based on a number of unique factors. What helps one person lose weight rapidly may lead to nothing but weight gain, stomach discomfort, and other setbacks for someone else.
Working with a weight loss nutritionist from Top Nutrition Coaching allows you to follow the right nutritional guidelines from day one, saving you time and perhaps a few disappointments. Our compassionate dietitians take the time to understand everything from your current health condition to lifestyle demands that may get in your way when losing weight. They make a plan just for you and keep making changes to it as needed to keep the results coming.
The first step is to take our nutrition quiz to get matched with your ideal weight loss dietitian.
Whether you choose a paleo protein bar, low-carb protein bar, plant-based protein bar, or just a great protein bar with delicious flavors, pay careful attention to the nutritional profile. The amount of protein is important, but you may also need to watch your sugar intake, boost your consumption of healthy fats, or limit how many calories you consume for snacks. When you select the best protein bar for weight loss, your favorite protein bars will support your weight loss goals while tasting delicious.
Frequently Asked Questions About Weight Loss Protein Bars
Are protein bars good for losing weight?
Protein bars can help you lose weight when used responsibly. You don’t want to treat them like you would a candy bar. Use our recommendations above or work with a skilled weight loss dietitian to find the best-tasting protein bar for your nutritional needs. There are so many protein bar options, including whey protein bars, low-carb protein bars, low-sugar protein bars, and plant-based protein bars.
Is a protein bar a good meal replacement?
Protein bars can make good meal replacements if they contain whole food ingredients without a lot of added sugar and other filler ingredients. That doesn’t mean that you have to go with bland, tough protein bars that taste horrible. You can now find a great-tasting protein bar that meets your nutritional needs, but you may need to look beyond your local supermarket.
Are protein bars good every day?
You can eat protein bars every day as long as you select the healthiest protein bars that fit any nutritional guidelines you’re following. Look for whole food ingredients, little to no added sugar, and high-quality protein sources.