By: Melissa Mitri, MS, RD

5 best protein bars for weight loss

Image credit to @Jar of Lemons

The best protein bars for weight loss can serve as a convenient and tasty option to help you meet your health goals. But it’s important to choose your protein bar carefully, as some brands are loaded with added sugar, are too high in calories, or contain other unhealthy ingredients. 

Many of my clients eat protein bars when they’re in a pinch, need a portable pre-workout snack, or something to hold them over between meals.

When choosing protein bars for weight loss, look for bars high in protein and fiber, but low in added sugar and calories. It’s also important to scan the ingredient list to make sure it doesn’t contain any questionable additives.

Keep reading for my 5 top best protein bars to lose weight, including vegan and low-carb options.

Top picks:

  1. RX Bar
  2. KIND Protein
  3. 88 Acres (Vegan)
  4. Pure Protein 
  5. Think! High Protein Bar

Criteria for a Healthy Protein Bar

When searching for the best protein bar for weight loss, there are a few criteria you want to look for. While you may not always be able to find something that matches all of these characteristics perfectly, but getting as close to it as possible will yield the best results. 

  1. Has a balance of healthy fats, protein, and fiber to keep you satisfied
  2. Are between 150 to 300 calories
  3. Contain at least 10, and as close to 20 grams of protein per serving as possible
  4. Have 6 grams or less of added sugar
  5. Feature whole foods like nuts, whole grains, and fruit
  6. Use high-quality protein sources like whey protein isolate, pea protein, brown rice protein, or eggs
  7. Contains minimal ingredients
  8. Is free of artificial sweeteners and dyes

The Best Protein Bars to Lose Weight

These are my 5 best protein bars for weight loss.

1. RX Bar

RX Bar
Image Credit @ Wired

My absolute favorite best protein bar for weight loss is RX Bar. This is what I recommend the most often to my clients, primarily because it is one of the most natural bars out there. They contain only natural ingredients, no artificial stuff, and the ingredient list is minimal.

Additionally, they come in various flavors (my favorite is the Chocolate Sea Salt), can be found at most retail stores or online, and meet the criteria for a weight loss-friendly bar.

What I love the most about RX Bars:

  • Contains 12 grams of protein
  • Good source of fiber
  • 100% all-natural ingredients
  • Multiple flavor options

These bars are filling, portable, and can help you meet your weight loss goals. 

Of note they have a more chewy taste than some other bars, which some people love, but it’s not for everyone.

2. KIND Protein

KIND Protein Bar
Image Credit @Shoprite.com

The KIND brand of products is a very reputable brand that sells multiple types of protein bars that vary in flavor, ingredients, and calorie content. The best protein bar for weight loss they offer is their KIND Protein bars. 

They are also vegetarian-friendly and contain plant-based protein made from soy. However, please note they are not considered vegan because they contain nonfat milk powder as an ingredient.

What I love the most about KIND Protein bars:

  • Contain 12 grams of high quality soy protein
  • Good source of fiber
  • Low in added sugar
  • Great taste

These bars are my personal favorite in terms of taste. They also fill me up for a while!

3. 88 Acres (Vegan)

88 Acres Bar
Image Credit @Pop Sugar

If you follow a vegan diet, 88 Acres is a great vegan-friendly protein bar option. One of my client fav’s is the Chocolate Brownie flavor – it definitely satisfies a sweet craving without all the sugar.

88 Acres bars are 100% vegan and contain pumpkin seeds as the protein source. In addition, If you prefer a soft-baked texture rather than crunchy, you might want to give these a try.

What I love the most about 88 Acres bars:

  • Suitable for vegan diets
  • Good source of plant protein 
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Free of palm oil (a potentially harmful oil for your heart)
  • Good source of fiber
  • Low in added sugar

If you’re looking for a vegan protein bar with clean ingredients, 88 acres is a solid choice.

4. Pure Protein 

Pure Protein Bar
Image Credit @Price Cutter

Pure Protein bars have been around for years, and I was first introduced to them when working with bariatric surgery patients in my clinical nutrition days. 

These bars are weight-loss friendly as they are high in protein compared to most, very filling, and are low in sugar. Therefore if you are looking for a weight loss bar with an added protein boost, Pure Protein may be a good choice for you. 

What I love the most about Pure Protein Bars:

  • Contain 20 grams of high-quality whey protein
  • Very low in sugar – good if you’re carb-conscious
  • Very easy to find in stores or online
  • Lower in calories than most

These bars are best if you’re watching your sugar intake and need a higher amount of protein to lead an active lifestyle or to stay full.

If you have a sensitive stomach, please note these bars contain sugar alcohols and a small amount of sucralose (i.e. Splenda® ingredients) in order to keep the total sugar content low. However, these may cause indigestion and stomach upset in a small subset of people that are sensitive.

5. Think! Protein + 150 Calorie 

Think! Protein + 150 Calorie Bar
Image Credit @Bars

Last but not least are the Think! Protein + 150 Calorie bars. The Think! Brand is another weight loss client favorite of mine, with many reporting a natural taste compared to other protein bars. 

In terms of calories, these are one of the lowest calorie protein bars, while still packing a balanced nutritional profile. On top of that, they are rich in protein and fiber, and are free of artificial sweeteners and flavorings.

What I love the most about Think! Protein + 150 Calorie Bars:

  • Concentrated in protein and low in calories
  • Great source of fiber
  • No artificial sweeteners
  • Low in added sugar
  • Taste great

If you’re looking for a protein bar lower on the calorie end that still satisfies, Think! Protein + 150 Calorie bars are a stellar choice.

Bottom Line

While protein bars shouldn’t be an everyday thing, they can be a convenient snack or meal replacement on busy days. The best protein bars for weight loss are ones that are lower in calories and sugar, but high in protein and fiber to fill you up.

There are many protein bars for weight loss out there, but not all are as healthy as they seem. The 5 best protein bars for weight loss on this list meet the criteria for a healthy protein bar that will support your weight loss goals, not hinder them.

Always check the nutrition label to know you’re making the best choice for your needs. Getting in enough protein can help curb hunger, provide fuel for your workouts, and help you lose more weight.

And if you need more easy snack and meal ideas to support you in your weight loss journey  – check out these related posts:

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I choose a protein bar for weight loss?

When choosing a protein bar, look for bars with 150-300 calories, at least 10 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber, and 6 grams or less of added sugar.

2. Is it okay to eat protein bars every day?

Protein bars are a great substitute for a whole-food snack or meal in a pinch, but shouldn’t necessarily be an everyday thing. This is because they are not as satisfying as a whole food, may contain more sugar and additives, and aren’t as nutritionally balanced. A few times a week is week is totally okay though!

3. Are protein bars good for weight loss?

Certain protein bars can support your weight loss goals if they are lower in calories and sugar and contain balanced nutrition to keep you full. They can reduce the need for meal prep, and thus can make it easier to stick to your healthy eating goals.

4. What are the best low-carb protein bars for weight loss?

Pure Protein bars are one of the best low-carb protein bars for weight loss. They are low in calories, high in protein, and only contain 2 grams of sugar per serving.

5. What is the best vegan protein bar?

88 Acres is one of the best vegan protein bars as it is a good source of plant protein, fiber, and is free of artificial ingredients.

+ posts