Bar None

Have you been down the nutritional bar aisle at your grocery store aisle lately? It’s insane. There are literally hundreds of options. Whole Foods has an entire aisle dedicated to them, and even Target has enough to make your eyes cross. New brands are popping up every day it seems, and you can buy a bar to fit just about any  craving from salty and sweet to dark chocolaty to fruity crumble. High fiber, high protein, enhanced with vitamins and minerals, organic, gluten-free…the options are mind boggling.

So why am I telling you something that you probably already know? Well because I’ve recently been gnawing on four bars that I think stand out from the pack. All have less than 250 calories and have some sort of staying-in-the-tummy power, which is essential for a good snack!

“Full” of It
Ever wish you could have a little something before dinner that would keep you from eating too much at meal time and be a convenient little something. Dinner salads and cups of soup are awesome, but not totally portable. Luckily, the smart folks at FullBar got my back.

About 30 minutes before your meal, you’re supposed to drink a large glass of water and eat a FullBar. According to the manufacturer, the bars expand in your stomach and help control your hunger at meal time. I tried the Cocoa Chip and Carmel Apple Crisp flavors, and both were tasty—not overly sweet like some bars are—and all flavors clocked in at less than 200 cals. Now, I can’t completely say that they bars made me eat much less than normal, but they were definitely good in that they helped me make dinner without tasting more than was absolutely necessary (a bad habit of mine). And if bars aren’t your thing, the company also makes these cool water add-ins that are supposed to curb hunger, too.

Get Customized
I can get picky with my bars. For example, I may like the taste of one bar but don’t like that it is sans protein. Or, I like the fiber content of another bar, but it’s just too sweet. And then I go off in a daydream of creating the perfect bar, only to be shaken awake by my husband who wonders why I’m standing in the kitchen, staring at my lunch bag with a look of dazed glee on my face. Thankfully, my daydreams are now a reality. With YouBars, you can design and name your perfect bar. You can choose just about any flavor combo and nutrient and then name it after yourself, a loved one or something really creative like “Great Date with Chocolate” (one of the YouBars pictured above that I received as a tasty sample from the company). I’ll warn ya, the bars are pricey at $2.99 a bar, but they make an awesome gift for someone else, or yourself. Plus, they taste really freakin’ good.

Not Just for Hiking
As an avid hiker, I’ve been a fan of Clif Bars for years. These bars, while a little higher on the calorie side (in the 220-260 range), are super tasty and fill you up for at least a few hours, helping me avoid crankiness when I have to work late and the only food option is behind vending-machine glass. In a pinch, when I can’t squeeze in a full lunch, I’ll even eat a Clif Bar with a piece of fruit to help me get by. Just about every flavor is good, but lately I’ve been obsessed with the chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin varieties. They taste just like a cookie but with protein and fiber!

And, for those who are looking for Clif Bar tastiness in a smaller and less caloric format, check out these Clif Minis. Could they be any cuter?!
Larabars have taken the blogging and nutrition world by storm. They are, hands down, probably the best-tasting bars I’ve ever had because they taste almost exactly like what they say they do. Cherry Pie is ah-mazing, as are peanut butter cookie and chocolate-coconut chew. I wish they had a little bit more protein (most contain about 5 grams), but for organic tastiness with only 200 to 220 calories per bar, I’ll live with it. In fact, if they weren’t so darn expensive, I might live off of them.

Now these have been my faves of late, but I know there are TONS more options. Tell us your faves in the comments! —Jenn


FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!


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  1. Miz says:

    I cant do the bars as one leads to toooo many. With the ones Ihave had anyway.
    Havent tried the Fullbar.
    The youbar? my box was gone over the course of a three day weekend.


  2. Moonlight Dancer says:

    I love Larabars. I keep them in my desk at work in case I forget breakfast in a hurry one day. My favorite is Lemon, Cherry Pie and the Banana Bread.

  3. Christina says:

    I’m with you on the Cherry Pie Larabars! Coconut Creme Pie is pretty good too. I love the short ingredient list!

  4. FitFoodie says:

    I love the Larabars & Clif…yum! The Clif minis are a great find, and I kike to snack on one with a piece of fruit or some yogurt.

    But I tried the Fullbar and did not like it…it was really dry and a little bland. Maybe I had the wrong flavor?

  5. Sagan says:

    Thanks for the great bar review! Not a bar person but I’d still be interested in trying all of these once. I’ve only ever tried a couple luna bars and a couple lara bars but they were good stuff.

  6. tfh says:

    I’ve been keeping away from the bars in an effort to save money– homemade trail mix seems to be a cheaper snack. That said, when I really want a treat, I have a Kind bar. Not a lot of protein, but so tasty!

  7. kjl says:

    I’m a Zone bar addict. I’ve eaten one at my desk for breakfast for about the last 7 years. They’re a little sweet, but they have lots of protein and tons of nutrients. There are too many great flavors to even mention!

    (WV: ENEROOTY–rootin’ tootin’ amounts of energy?)

  8. Rebecca says:

    I always get the peanut butter Balance bars. They do a good job of filling me up without the weird “protein bar taste” that I don’t like. They’re also a life saver on long flights with questionable food.

  9. Suzanne says:

    I have the wrapper from that same Chocolate Chip Clif bar sitting on my desk as I’m typing right now! It’s so tasty! I’m also obsessed with the white chocolate macadamia nut and peanut toffee buzz flavors. My favorite Larabar as of late is the pecan pie flavor! It’s so tasty. The new Luna cookies (basically a bar, right?) are great, too! I love the peanut butter one!

  10. Andrea says:

    mmm, snickers


  11. JavaChick says:

    I’m not normally a fan of these types of things, but I do love the LaraBars. They taste good, they are portable and there is nothing scary in the ingredient list. Good stuff!

  12. Jody, Fit at 51 says:

    I prefer bars when I have them with more protein in them. That YOUBAR looks interesting since you make up the nutritionals yourself. I usually want a bar when I am on the go & need that protein too. I prefer not too many carbs in the bar like ones with less than 30 grams. I have to compromise since the make up of many are not ideal but I do like the Zone fruit ones for breakfast & I like the Think Thin protein bars as well.

  13. Chic Runner says:

    I like the youbars too, but they are so expensive! I wish I could be able to buy them more often. 🙂

  14. jess says:

    a healthy body and mind starts with a clean home… visit http://citrusfresh.com for carpet cleaning and water damage restoration services

  15. Heather says:

    I’ve become a fan of the Odwalla bars – the chocolate peanut tastes like a candy bar! Dr. Weil also has some bars put out by Nature’s Path that are really great.

  16. Tish says:

    GIRL how i love nosh blogs! so can you only get larabars from amazon?!

    where else sisters?

  17. Jenn says:

    Tish: Whole Foods, baby!!!

  18. FullBar says:

    Thanks for the review and comments from everyone! If you have any questions on FullBar, visit us on Facebook or Twitter:

    Twitter: @FullBar
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fullbar/55124879069

  19. Cody says:

    I want to try the YouBars. I could recreate one of my favorite granola bars from the days before everything including candy bits.

    My absolute favorite bar is the Clif Mojo in peanut butter and jelly. I haven’t seen it (or any of my other go-to bars) since the great peanutbutter scare…

  20. Lori says:

    I tried so many bars when I worked in gyms, many with some not-so-nice things like ephedra when it was allowed.

    Now, I don’t eat them often, but when I do it comes down to ingredients for me. The fewer and more natural the better. Right now I like Larabars and CliffNectar bars. I’m with you on the price though. They can add up quick so I usually only pick a couple up for travel or in a snack emergency. 🙂

  21. Kelsey says:

    I like Powerbar Nut Naturals. The Fruit & Nuts flavor is really yummy. Most powerbars taste a little off to me (chalky), but these are amazing! 200 cal, 10g protein, and no weird artificial taste. yum 🙂

  22. Maureen says:

    Quest bars! My favorite is Apple Pie, I have one as a mid day snack every day,. They are a bit expensive, I get them by the case at Drugstore.com.

  23. Sunni says:

    I don’t understand the whole “all natural” fuss about Larabars. They’re high in calories, fat, sugars… what a farce. So are Clif Bars. For a woman, you’re better off with Clif’s Luna Bar for women. This is hands down the best tasting and better nutritionally for women.