thinkThin bars are meal replacement snacks that are both sugar- and gluten-free. The company promises no sugar, but we were surprised to find out that each bar contains 20 grams of carbs — over 200 calories! A high caloric intake could be fine for users who exercise, but regular dieters might have trouble keeping their weight down.
Our research team examined the science and side effects to see if thinkThin bars help with weight loss. To reach the bottom line, we compared these meal replacements could provide “deliciously natural nutrition” as they claim.
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The History of thinkThin Bars
Lisanne Falsetto founded thinkThin in 1999, with the stated aim of providing nutritious food that supports wellness. They use only natural ingredients in their products and follow three simple mantras: pack it with protein, add zero sugar, and have no gluten. For almost two decades, they have grown their product range to more than a dozen product categories.
Now, who wouldn’t want to be in the same company as a celebrity superstar just by eating Think! nutrition bars?
Scroll below for one of the best products we’ve seen over the last year.
Where to Buy?
Where to Buy thinkThin Bars
With sales of almost $100M annually, thinkThin enjoys national distribution through retailers, including:
Then you have six other categories which are slightly different from the usual thinkThin power bars, but equally delicious: protein cakes, protein bites, protein and fiber oatmeal, probiotics powder, smoothie mixes and an entire category dedicated to vegan products.
Each of these categories has at least 4 to 5 products some categories have more, so you can pick and choose throughout the year without getting bored with the same flavor. If you are still not satisfied with all of these choices, you can also find some special categories:
There is now a new 150 calorie Think! Protein+ Bar available on their official website.
Michelle Kessler, CEO of thinkThin, explained the rationale behind the different product categories and plans for more categories in the future.
Describing ThinkThin nutrition bars, she said, “We like to think we are the oasis in the rainbow of confusion with a presence that tends to stand out in a very crowded, busy, colorful shelf.”
While developing new products or upgrading existing product lines, thinkThin tries to tread the middle path between regular tastes and niche tastes, so that it can cater to both categories of customers.
They have put together a team dedicated solely to watching trends in the healthy food space, and accordingly experimenting with newer flavors or product lines to keep up with the evolving tastes of the ever-discerning customer. This team takes less than a year to zero in on a new product line or flavor, to get it ready to go to market.
Think! bars are healthy food options loaded with benefits, the makers claim.
This is a food group that gives us energy for regular as well as heavy physical activity and is also the star in the thinkThin lineup of ingredients. Every bar promises 20 grams or more of proteins. This amount of protein kick starts the day with a much-needed spike in energy levels, prevention of fatigue and maintenance of energy levels.
Gluten, mostly found in grains, has been found to have numerous harmful effects on our body, like inflammation of the gut, intestinal permeability, celiac disease, autoimmunity, etc. All thinkThin products are gluten-free.
They do have a word of caution on their website about their oatmeal products because the oats could have come into contact with some levels of residual wheat.
The fiber in our diet has several benefits. It is a natural appetite-curbing agent and helps avoid those hunger pangs. Therefore, it is a natural way to keep tabs on your weight. thinkThin has a whole category of products with high fiber, and some of their products in the other categories also have high fiber content.
According to ChooseMyPlate, there is a host of benefits associated with the intake of whole grains. Reduced risk of controlling constipation, weight control are just some benefits which we all get; additionally, it is good for pregnant women. The oatmeal products benefits.
thinkThin Bar Ingredients
All thinkThin products are certified gluten–free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization. The thinkThin nutrition bars use natural ingredients, and each product has a detailed list of ingredients used.
The primary ingredient, protein, shows the following sources: pea protein, brown rice protein, and pumpkin protein. All the other ingredients listed are organic and do not contain any synthetic additives. A few examples are:
Maltitol (substitute for sugar)
thinkThink Side Effects
Some side effects may include:
Food allergens like peanuts, milk, and eggs
Higher calories than comparable protein brands
Classic protein taste does not work for everyone
Do thinkThin Bars Work?
Regarding giving healthy proteins in a gluten-free product, ThinkThin protein bars nutrition facts seem all right. However, we were curious to investigate the no-sugar claim and also the extent of carbs in thinkThin bars.
Of the many products they have, we checked a few and found that each bar has over 20 grams of carbohydrates and more than 200 calories. Both of these seem to be slightly on the higher side, even though we are promised zero sugar.
Maltitol, a hypocaloric sweetener, is the ingredient used by thinkThin to replace sugar, and we also wanted to check if maltitol has any other adverse outcomes.
The same study concluded that if maltitol in bakery products replaces sucrose, the caloric content is reduced substantially.
According to The Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, it seems that the ‘too good to be true’ statements of naysayers regarding the zero sugar claim of thinkThin might be unjustified after all, since it appears to be supported by scientific studies that the ingredient used to replace sugar does not have any adverse effects.
So does thinkThin work? In terms of their stated objective of thinking thin, it seems to be stretching it a bit with 200 plus calories in each bar.
For a person who spends hours working out at a gym, they would work fine, but for a regular person who is grabbing one of these bars just because he doesn’t have time for a proper meal, the calories and carbohydrates in these bars might start adding up, as per some of the users who wrote thinkThin bars reviews.
However, let us delve a little deeper to see if energy bars or protein bars like thinkThin work. The intake of these bars is effective only when we keep the following in mind:
Watch the amount of fat in the bars, within 10 grams is best.
Too much fiber could be a problem, so 3-5 grams should be the limit.
Especially for people with a regular lifestyle, the calorie count of a bar is significant. So unless you are an athlete, an ideal bar should have less than 200 calories.
A person looking to replace meals with Think! bars for weight loss must ensure that there are enough proteins in the bar, and on that count, thinkThin scores very well indeed, and is packed with proteins.
The need for constant meal replacements is a myth, so we should ensure that we keep eating some real food alongside thinkThin. Even juice or a salad or some fruits would do.
thinkThin Product Warnings
Since several customers nowadays prefer to go vegan and even avoid dairy products, thinkThin has informed the users that their products are manufactured using shared facilities.
Those facilities might also be used to manufacture other products containing peanuts, nut meats, soy, milk and egg products.
This is a fair warning from the company, although we think it won’t make too much of a difference to the product or its ingredients.
What Users Are Saying
“I have been eating Quest Bars for a year and needed something new. I tried these Think Thin bars and they are WAY better than Quest bars. They have a coating over the whole bar and they are much softer than Quest bars. Now I eat these every day. Lemon is my favorite so far but the chocolate ones are amazing as well.”
“There isn’t anything wrong with these other than that I didn’t like the taste. I was looking for a non-protein tasting protein bar and these were not it. Unfortunately I won’t be ordering these again – But at least my husband will eat them so they won’t go to waste.”
“This flavor is really gross. I’ve had the chocolate peanut butter and that flavor is really good. But this one is just nasty.”
The Bottom Line on thinkThin Bars
What are our final thoughts on Think Thin protein bars? We like the longevity in the market and the positive feedback we saw online. But, we have reservations about the bars as they relate to weight-loss. The high-calorie count could be a detriment to dieters, and the sometimes-intense abdominal discomfort associated with that much protein and maltitol may discourage someone from trying to trim down.
If you are trying to lose a few pounds or get a little bit more trim, you should probably look for a product that has proven effects.
Among the best products we’ve seen this year is one called Noom. The program comes with one-on-one support via human coaching, expert resources, tools, and articles, personalized meal plans and more. Then there’s the fact that clinical research shows Noom just works.
Also, the company behind Noom is so confident in their weight-loss app, that they’re offering Dietspotlight readers a free trial.
Possible thinkThin Bars side effects, according to customer comments, include upset stomach, flatulence (gas), nausea, bloating, diarrhea and abdominal pains, as shown in some user reviews.
What is in thinkThin Bars?
The thinkThin Bars ingredients are soy protein isolate, whey protein isolate, calcium caseinate, brown rice syrup, chicory fiber, sugar, chocolate, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, vanilla, glycerin, almonds, alkalized cocoa, sunflower oil, tapioca starch, natural flavors, lecithin, sea salt, vitamin and mineral blend.
What is the active ingredient in thinkThin Bars?
The active ingredient in thinkThin Bars is protein.
Do Think Thin work?
Since these bars are low in calories, they could help with weight-loss when consumed in place of high-calorie meals and snacks. On the other hand, there is no solid clinical research that proves thinkThin Bars help you lose weight or ignite fat loss.
How much does a box thinkThin Bars cost?
A box of thinkThin Bars costs $17.90 for a 10-pack.
You should eat thinkThin Bars in place of meals, as low-calorie snacks or prior to exercise.
Who makes thinkThin Bars?
The makers of Think Thin is thinkThin LLC.
Are all thinkThin Bars sugar-free?
No, not all thinkThin Bars are sugar-free. Protein Nut Bars, Lean Protein & Fiber Bars and High Protein & Fiber Bars contain sugar.
Are thinkThin Bars certified as low-glycemic foods?
Only the thinkThin High Protein Bars are certified as low-glycemic foods.
Do thinkThin Bars contain any GMOs?
The Thin Protein and Fiber Bars are made without GMOs.
Are all THINK THIN bars gluten free?
Yes. in fact, All of the THINK THIN BARS are gluten-free for those on a diet.
Do think thin bars have artificial sweetener?
ThinkThin uses Maltitol, a hypocaloric sweetener in their products. No artificial sweeteners are used.
Which protein bars are best for weight loss?
Each bar has over 20 grams of carbohydrates and more than 200 calories. Both of these seem to be slightly on the higher side, so ideally they would not be recommended for weight loss.
What are the ingredients in think thin bars?
Some of the ingredients in thinkThin Bars include Chocolate coating,Vegetable glycerin,Alkalized cocoa,Cocoa butter,Organic dextrose,Organic vanilla,Sunflower oil,Tree nuts and Maltitol (substitute for sugar)
How many calories are in a think thin bar?
Each bar has over 20 grams of carbohydrates and more than 200 calories