Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Review: fullbar Chocolate Caramel Bar

I've seen one of these fullbars (so "cute" with the all lowercase name) in my mom's cupboard for almost a year, so based on her lack of regard or urgency for eating it, I wasn't exactly excited to try this one out.  Still, being the excellent blogger that I am, I saw fullbars on sale at CVS for $1.25 recently and picked up a couple of varieties.  For my first review, I'll go with the Chocolate Caramel flavor since it was the one I was most anxious to try since I love that flavor combination.  This bar comes in at 1.59 ounces with 160 calories, five grams of protein and five grams of fiber.

Before I hop into the review, I want to do a quick rundown on the design intention of this bar.  First of all, it's a bar designed by an actual bariatric surgeon (Michael A. Snyder, M.D.) to aid in weight loss.  Apparently you are supposed to eat one of these and drink sixteen ounces of water thirty minutes prior to your lunch or dinner and the bar will react to the water in your stomach and make you feel more full that you eat less.  Basically, you are eating a flavored sponge as the bar will "expand" when mixed with the water.  Interesting concept and if it actually works, I could see this becoming huge.

As my product picture shows, there's not a whole lot going on with the design of this bar.  It's got a chocolate base layer topped with a layer of puffed wheat cereal that is bound together with caramel and honey.  When I was a child, my grandma always used to have Golden Crisp cereal in her cupboard (I HATED it) and that's what we would have to grudgingly eat every morning for breakfast when we were at her house.  Being that I couldn't stand that cereal, seeing it basically re-created in this bar gave me a sickening feeling in my stomach before I even bit into the bar.

Thankfully, the similarity to that terrifying cereal had nothing to do with the taste, because I found the actual bar itself to be pretty appetizing.  The bar was predominantly chocolate flavored and the chocolate flavoring (natural flavoring according to the wrapper) was strong, sweet and thick.  If you like chocolate and appreciate thick and sweet chocolates like Hershey's bars, this is right up your alley.  As for the puffed wheat cereal, it isn't all that crunchy.  In fact, it's actually kind of soft, pretty much like the cereal and being that it specifically is puffed wheat cereal, well, I guess I can't be surprised.  The one aspect where this bar failed was in the caramel flavoring...I didn't taste it at all.  I'm not sure if that was because it wasn't there or if the chocolate just overpowered it, but they might as well have called this a chocolate bar.

Now, the real question...did this bar achieve its desired result and did I feel full after eating it?  Well, I can't really say.  I know that I didn't do my usual munching after dinner like I usually do, but I can't directly correlate that to the bar's performance.  I could have just been full in general.  So, I can't definitively say that it worked, but I think it might have made some sort of small effect.  I've got other fullbars to review, so I can explore this "full" phenomenon more in those reviews.

Buy It or Fly By It?  Well, it all depends on how much you are willing to pay to roll the dice on feeling full.  At the regular price (close to $3.00 per bar), I'm not sure this one is worth a purchase.  If you can find it on sale though, it is definitely a BUY IT type of bar.  It had good flavor and may have actually made me feel full and if you can do that at a cheap cost, you are certainly worth a purchase.  I can't wait to explore these bars more "fully" though in the future.



  1. I was approached by fullbar a number of years ago to try out their product when I ran a weight loss blog. I respectfully denied their free offering because it seemed pretty sketchy. I might have to give these a try the next time I want to pretend I am eating healthy.

    1. See if they have the desired effect on you. I've eaten several of these since I wrote this initial review and I'm still not sure if they make me feel more full after eating them or not.

  2. I hope Dr. Snyder isn't acting like water + fiber to feel full isn't a novel idea.

  3. my concern with products like this (as a health coach) is that people are instructed to eat this, and then eat their meal, without any instructions to actually eat less at mealtime. If you add in 160 calories 2-3x per day, you're going to gain weight, definitely not lose it. I know it may seem like common sense to eat a smaller meal after consuming a snack beforehand but unfortunately I'm not sure the average American would pick up on that.

    1. I see your point. All it says is that you are going to feel more full if you eat this and drink enough water. I don't recall it saying that you should eat less, so you are right.

      And I also agree that the average American probably would not pick up on that. We aren't exactly known for being brilliant when it comes to monitoring our health.


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