The Energy Bar and Weight Loss ConundrumDuring your medical weight loss* program, you’ll be encouraged to make changes to your diet and exercise habits. As you learn more about the nutrient values of foods, you’ll likely find it easier to make healthier choices and will start swapping out old favorite snacks for new, healthier options.

As you make changes to your diet as you lose weight, be careful not to fall into some of the most common traps. There are plenty of foods out there that are marketed to the health conscious, but can actually cause more harm than good to your weight loss* efforts.

The truth about energy bars

Wrapped in packaging tailored to health enthusiasts, energy bars are marketed as healthy snacks for those trying to lose weight—and many people don’t think twice about their nutritional value. However, there are some energy bars that have more sugar per serving than some of the most popular candy bars.

So how much sugar do these energy bars actually have? That depends on the type of energy bar you are consuming, but in most cases the answer is a lot.

  • Luna Bars: Marketed as “the whole nutrition bar for women,” Luna Bars come in a variety of fun flavors, like lemon zest and oatmeal raisin. While the bars pack a decent amount of protein, which is great for your muscles, they also have more than 13 grams of sugar each.
  • Cliff Bars: Another popular variety of energy bars, Cliff Bars come in flavors like cookie dough, brownie and carrot cake. While they might not be as fattening as the real versions of those flavors, most Cliff Bars still hold around 25 grams of sugar or more.
  • Balance Bars: The packaging of the popular Balance Bars boasts the 15 grams of protein packed into each bar, but overlooks the 18 grams of sugar that is packed in with it.

To put these sugar doses in perspective, it may help you to realize that the sugar in a serving of Twizzlers is equal to what you’ll get in a Balance Bar, and a standard Hershey’s chocolate bar has less sugar than a Cliff Bar.

Energy bars do have certain benefits. They are loaded with vitamins and minerals to help give you energy for a workout, but if you are not going to the gym, then you may not need all of the energy—or calories—they provide. Talk with your weight loss* doctor about healthy and low-calorie meal replacement options and make sure you pay close attention to the amount of sugar listed on food labels before you indulge.

*Disclaimer: Medical weight loss programs are individualized to meet the specific needs of each patient. Individual results vary.