The Scary Downside Of Meal Replacement Bars No One Tells You About, According To A Registered Dietitian

There are countless fads in diet culture that promise easy weight loss and claim to get you the body of your dreams with little to no effort. Meal replacement bars are one of those foods that seem to offer enough protein and carbs to fuel your day without having to cook a meal, making it easy to save calories to hit the deficit needed for weight loss. weight. But if meal replacement bars for weight loss seem too good to be true, maybe that’s just because they are. We spoke with dietician Trista Best to clear up the truth about this diet hack so you won’t be surprised at the effects that can come from putting too much pressure on them.

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They are highly processed

Although meal replacement bars can work as a quick and effective snack when you’re in a hurry and need a nutrient boost, if you rely on these bars to fuel your entire day, you’re actually charging your body. with processed ingredients. which can block weight loss and even lead to weight gain over time if consumed in excess. “The problem arises when we rely on meal replacement bars as part of our diet,” says Best. “Meal replacement bars are a food product, which means they are highly processed and often lack certain nutrients or contain more calories, fat and sugar than necessary.”

Artificial sugar is one of the main causes of weight gain, and to fill these bars with adequate flavor, they are often loaded with such ingredients. Not only that, but while they can be a good source of protein, meal replacement bars generally don’t provide as complete a source of nutrients as whole, natural foods. “When we rely on these bars rather than actual food, we increase the risk of missing out on some essential nutrients that a well-balanced meal would provide,” Best notes. “Meal replacement bars are often high in calories but don’t keep you as full as a traditional meal because they are smaller and quickly processed by the body.”

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If you make a habit of swapping whole meals for replacement bars, you’ll likely feel hungrier because these processed foods don’t fill you up enough, leading to increased food intake throughout the day. “You’re likely to eat another snack or meal soon after replacing a meal with a bar, which can quickly lead to overconsumption of calories,” Best warns. To avoid this mistake, only eat these bars when you are short on time or need a quick energy boost, as they are not a sufficient source of calories to sustain you throughout the day.

As with all other foods, there is a place in your balanced diet for meal replacement bars as a nutrient-dense snack. However, if you actually use them to replace meals that would otherwise include the vitamins and minerals that can come from vegetables and fruits, you may experience a hunger spike and find that these heavily processed foods are not a long-term solution. to see weight loss results. Eating a balanced diet with a mix of whole grains, proteins and healthy fats in combination with daily exercise will provide your body with the best results, and while protein bars can help with this, they shouldn’t become the cornerstone of your diet. eating habits.

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