Does the Fullbar™ Really Fill You Up?

The “Fullbar™” is popping up more and more in retailers, and you may have seen it in places like CVS and Bed Bath and Beyond.  If you have seen one of the eye catching displays, you may have wondered “does this bar really work?”  Well, I’ll give you my opionion…

To start, let’s go over what the Fullbar™ is for those who haven’t seen the ads yet.  The Fullbar™ is a cereal bar that was developed by a bariatric surgeon (a doctor who does gastric bypass surgery), to help people “feel full and satisfied” so they eat less food throughout the day.  He recommends eating the bar 30 minutes before meals with an 8-oz glass and that this will cause you to “eat less and be completely satisfied”.    Sounds great, right?  Eat a chocolate, peanut butter or cinnamon flavored cereal bar and lose weight.  Sign me up….or maybe I should take a closer look first.

What’s the magic ingredient that makes this work?  Well, let’s look at the first few ingredients on the label because that’s what there is the most of in the product.  The first four ingredients in the Chocolate Fullbar™ are “Brown Rice Syrup, Puffed Wheat, Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips and Honey”.  Brown rice syrup and honey are really just sweeteners…our body responds to them in the same way it responds to sugar.  So really, this product is mostly made of sugar, puffed wheat, chocolate and more sugar.  Hmm…it’s not sounding so healthy anymore.

Let’s take a look at the nutrition facts compared to other chocolate cereal bars:

Fullbar™ South Beach Fiber One Kashi TLC
Calories 160 140 140 120
Fat gm 3 5 4 2
Total Carbs 31 15 29 24
Fiber 4 3 9 4
Sugar 13 7 10 8
Protein 4 10 2 5

The one thing that jumps out at me is that this product has more sugars than any of the other bars listed above, and it doesn’t have more fiber or protein than most of the other bars.  (Fiber and protein are two things that help to keep people feeling fuller longer).

The best part about the Fullbar™ program isn’t the bar, it’s the program.  Eating a snack and having an 8-oz glass of water 30 minutes before meals will help take the edge off of hunger and curb your appetite.  It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to send a signal to your brain that you have eaten.  If you’re not starving when you start the meal, it can help to control portions and prevent overeating.

Probably the best part of this program is that they recommend assessing your hunger level before during and after meals.  Being mindful of portions and listening to your body’s cues for hunger is always helpful when trying to manage weight.  Many times we eat more than we need because we get overly hungry, eat too quickly, and don’t listen to our body’s hunger cues.

Bottom line is this…there is nothing magical about the full bar.  If you have a glass of water with any snack 30 minutes before a meal and pay attention to your body’s hunger cues, you will most likely eat less and lose weight.  So the advice he gives is good, but the product itself is not so special.  So save your money and instead try some other healthy snacks that are not so high in sugar.  Click here for other healthy snack ideas.