Best Meal Replacement Bars

Some of the best meal replacement bars or protein bars are foods designed to address nutritional deficiencies, much like meal replacement shakes and other supplements. The difference is how a typical meal replacement bar is formulated for a specific function.

The world is always changing and with it, the way we manage our time and health. Nowadays, it’s all too normal to try to milk every minute we can to get more done during the day, and this can sometimes lead to cutting time from eating.

While it’s in everyone’s best interest to not cut through meal time or outright skip them, the circumstances that make us want to skip over at least one meal of the day has become a common theme. This is particularly relevant to those who work in corporate or are always hustling to make a living.

Fortunately, the science of nutrition has progressed enough for us to finally have a meal’s worth of nutrients in a small, convenient package. I am referring to meal replacement bars, or sometimes referred to as simply high protein bars.

A meal replacement bar can be designed to help with weight loss or a specific diet (especially if it’s low calorie), muscle growth, or to simply be a bonafide meal replacement in terms of nutrients.

Regardless of how they’re formulated or how they’re supposed to function, the goal is the same: They want to help you have more time to do what matters to you without cutting daily nutrients.

The demand for these bars are high and there are many bad products out there. To help you pick the best meal replacement bar for your needs, I’ve picked 10 of the best to buy in 2021.

My Top 10 Best Meal Replacement Bars for 2021

Here’s my quick list of the best to buy in the UK from reputable manufacturers. 

1. Myprotein Protein Meal Replacement Bar

Myprotein Meal Replacement Bar

Features and benefits

  • High quality protein
  • 27 vitamins and minerals
  • High fibre
  • Low calorie

This is my absolute favourite. When it comes to the best meal replacement bars, Myprotein stands out as the best one out there.

The people at Myprotein describe their product as high in fibre, protein, and contains 27 vitamins and minerals that can help with your weight loss goals.

Their meal replacement bar has 16 grams of high quality protein, which can also help maintain muscle mass.

You get all those benefits for just 207 calories per bar. Talk about nutrient density!

2. Slimfast Meal Bar

Slimfast Meal Bar

Features and benefits

  • High protein
  • 23 vitamins and minerals
  • High fibre
  • Low calorie

The Slimfast brand has been in the weight loss business for many, many years, and they have come up with some of the most amazing weight loss products. In the protein bar industry, Slimfast brings us their own brand that’s designed to help you lose weight without feeling food-deprived.

Low calorie, but chock full of nutrients and fibre, Slimfast protein bars are definitely a good choice for those who want to get started with protein bars. They also suggest pairing it with their official Slimfast diet plans for best results.

3. FULFIL Vitamin and Protein Bar

FULFIL Vitamin and Protein Bar

Features and benefits

  • High protein
  • Only 214 calories per 55g bar
  • Amazing flavours and variety
  • High fibre
  • Low sugar

FULFIL is one of the most popular brands when it comes to protein bars, and I’m sure about half of the reason is the number of flavours available to customers. They have Chocolate everything!

  • Chocolate Brownie
  • Chocolate Caramel
  • Chocolate Deluxe
  • Chocolate Hazelnut Whip
  • Chocolate Orange
  • Chocolate Peanut & Caramel
  • Chocolate Salted Caramel
  • White Chocolate Cookie Dough
  • Milk Chocolate Mint
  • Chocolate Caramel Cookie Dough

If you’re looking for a great tasting high protein bar that helps with weight loss and nutritious at the same time, FULFIL is a good choice.

4. Atkins Advantage MEAL, Cookies n’ Creme Bar

Atkins Advantage Meal Bar

Features and benefits

  • Low carb
  • Low sugar
  • Keto friendly

Atkins is the name people associate with anything low carb and keto, and with good reason.

Atkins was the one who made the world take a look at low-carb diets into something practical and realistic, far from what people saw was a difficult diet program to follow.

Taking advantage of the name recall, Atkins came out with their own line of meal replacement bar called Atkins Advantage Meal.

True to its name, their product is low carb, low sugar, low in calories, and with good amounts of fibre and protein. This makes it keto-friendly and viable for people who are looking to lose weight or at least some weight loss support.

5. PhD Nutrition High Protein Flapjack Bars

PHD Protein Flapjack

Features and benefits

  • High protein
  • Low sugar
  • Helps in building lean muscle
  • 3 grams of fibre
  • 37 grams of high quality carbohydrates
  • Great as a protein snack

If you’re ever on the lookout for a meal replacement bar that’s not too fancy and great as a post-workout snack, look no further than PhD Protein Flapjack+.

The people behind Protein Flapjack+ describe it as a great tasting snack for any lifter or fitness enthusiast who wants to replenish lost energy stores after a tough workout.

6. USN Trust Crunch Raspberry Cheesecake High Protein, Low-Sugar Protein Bars

USN High Protein Bars

Features and benefits of these bars:

  • Low in calories
  • High protein
  • High fibre
  • Many flavours
  • Low sugar

USN is one of the largest supplement companies in the world, with products spread out across multiple categories and needs. They guarantee that each bar is good for either a guilt-free snack time or as a highly nutritious muscle food.

With over 20 years of experience in the supplement industry, you can trust USN to come up with something functional, portable, and delectable like this product right here.

7. Atkins High Protein Bar, Keto Snack

Atkins High Protein Bars

Features and benefits of the Atkins bar include:

  • Low carbs
  • Low sugar
  • Keto friendly
  • High fibre
  • Low in calories

Atkins back at it with another low-carb, weight loss meal replacement bar. This is the second Atkins weight loss bar in our list.

They describe this replacement bar as ideal for those who are supplementing on a ketogenic diet, and those following the Atkins weight loss program, or for people who simply want a quick snack that won’t add unnecessary calories.

This product comes in the following flavours:

  • Cappuccino Nut
  • Chocolate Chip Crisp
  • Chocolate Fudge Caramel
  • Chocolate Peanut Caramel

8. Grenade Carb Killa High Protein and Low Carb Bar

Grenade Carb Killa High Protein and Low Carb Bars

Features and benefits you’ll like:

  • High protein
  • Suitable for professional sports
  • High fibre
  • Low in calories

The word “grenade” isn’t exactly the first thing that pops in your head when you think about meal replacement bars, but Grenade sets to blow our minds (heh) with Carb Killa.

Carb Killa is a low sugar, high protein meal replacement snack ideal as a guilt-free snack or something to eat after a tough workout. It comes in the following flavours:

  • Birthday Cake
  • Caramel Chaos
  • Chocolate Chip Salted
  • Cookies and Cream
  • Dark Chocolate Mint
  • Dark Chocolate Raspberry
  • Fudge Brownie
  • Fudged Up
  • Jaffa Quake
  • Peanut Nutter
  • White Chocolate Cookie
  • White Chocolate Salted Peanut

On top of its amazing flavour line-up and nutrient-packed formula, Grenade Carb Killa is also among the few meal replacement bars out there that is certified by the Informed Sport programme.

That means professional athletes have nothing to worry about when they do a random drug test, as none of the ingredients inside this product will get them in trouble. After all, the last thing you want is to be disqualified for a sports game because of a bar you ate the other day.

9. Clif Bar Energy Bars

Clif Energy Bar

Features and benefits of Clif energy bars:

  • Plant-based
  • Rainforest Alliance certified
  • Climate Pledge friendly
  • Low fat
  • Loaded with quality carbs for energy

The first thing I noticed when I saw Clif Bar Energy is the label design. You know a company means business when they make sure the name and product design are in-tune with another.

Other than the great design, I like how the product is highly marketed to those who want to go on adventures, to do thrills no gym can provide.

They describe themselves as “The Ultimate Energy Bar,” and with good reason.

On this list, Clif is the only meal replacement bar that is proud to be high in carbs, because they know their market are people who want to refuel as fast as possible, and carbs are pretty efficient at that.

Clif is also Plant-based and certified to be Climate Pledge-friendly, so buying this product makes you feel good about choosing something that’s more eco-friendly than the usual brands.

10. PowerBar Low Sugar Chocolate Brownie Flavour ProteinPlus Bar

PowerBar ProteinPlus Bars

Features and benefits of Powerbars:

  • Low fat
  • Low carb
  • Low in calories
  • High fibre
  • High protein
  • Low sodium

Last, but not least, is PowerBar ProteinPLus. True to its name, 30% of the entire bar is protein, making it ideal as a post-workout snack. It’s also great for weight loss, as the entire serving is 110 calories, making it the product with the lowest calorie-per-bar.

The ingredients make it suitable for vegetarians, and it’s also aspartame-free.

What do I look for in a high quality meal replacement bar?

The first thing I check when eyeing a meal replacement bar is the ingredients list. Depending on your nutritional needs and sensitivities, some products may contain ingredients that may not be up your alley, specifically when it comes to allergens like nuts and soy.

Nuts and soy also happen to be the most common sources of protein when it comes to protein bars, so be sure to check if the product is free of ingredients you are allergic to.

The second thing to look for is the nutrients. Some people only need a small bar to fill in nutritional gaps, while others may require a really nutrient dense or bulky meal replacement bar. If you’re just buying them as a snack, take a protein bar that comes in the smallest possible calorie or serving size. If you really want to replace a meal, consider eating two small servings or a bar that is packed with protein, fats, and carbs for fuel replenishment.

The last thing you want to watch out for is the brand. When it comes to supplements, you want only the best for your body, and it’s the same with meal replacement bars. Find a good balance between value and quality.

Meal Replacement Bars FAQs

Can you live on meal replacement bars?

No. Nothing can substitute whole foods when it comes to health and wellness. These protein bars are only meant to replace at most ONE meal or at least one snack. They are meant to be a healthier alternative to the usual junk food we keep under our desk.

What are the best snack bars for weight loss?

The best snack bars for weight loss are the ones that are high in fibre, low in calories, low sugar, and highly nutrient-dense. Make sure you wade through the cheap ones and be mindful of the ingredients.
You don’t want to eat something low calorie, but not filling, as that would make you eat more which could result in weight gain.

Can you lose weight just eating protein bars?

Weight loss has become a complicated term that there are just so many types of answers on the best way to lose weight. At the end of the day, weight loss is still largely calories in, calories out. There are far complicated processes in-between, but losing weight is pretty much a calorie game.
Now, can you lose weight just eating protein bars? You can, provided you don’t go over your normal calorie intake.
Meal replacement bars are nutrient dense and are designed to be as filling as possible without promoting excess caloric intake.
If a regular meal is 700 calories, and a replacement bar is 200 calories, you can’t really go over three bars if you want to boost your weight loss efforts.

Are meal replacement bars healthy?

The word healthy is tossed around like a hot potato, but the legally, supplement manufacturers are not allowed to claim their products as healthy. They are allowed to have health claims, but they can’t claim to be healthy, as the term “healthy” depends on so many factors.
Meal replacement bars are no different. They are nutritious and can claim to be good for our health, but in a legal sense, they’re not “healthy” products.
However, the formulation of these products are designed to mimic what a healthy food would be like in terms of nutrients and macros.
Are they as healthy as an actual meal, I don’t think so. Can they be a decent substitute to fill in nutrient gaps an actual meal would? They can be, but it depends on the formula.

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