20 Sneaky Foods Making You Gain Weight, According to a Dietitian


20 Sneaky Foods Making You Gain Weight, According to a Dietitian

No single food in isolation of everything else you eat will make you gain or lose weight. But often the same barrier stumps so a lot of people when it comes to weight loss and healthier eating: sneaky sources of added sugar or saturated fat lurking throughout the pantry fridge or freezer. 

Most of the time these foods are marketed as healthier options leading you to buy them for their purported benefits but you may have been much more satisfied if you would chosen the real thing instead. Other times they are foods that have replaced the calories coming from one type of nutrient with another. For instance keto snacks swap sugar for high fat coconut oil or butter low fat foods swap fat for added sugar. Read labels carefully anything with a free low or less claim to make sure you are making a choice that works best for you.

My best tip: Prioritize real wholesome foods in their closest to intended state as often as possible the only ingredient in your peanut butter should be peanuts the fewer the ingredients generally the better it is for you. This helps you get super picky about what you are really in the mood to eat while helping you determine what choices will maximize your enjoyment and minimize self sabotage.

Sugary Cereal

Cereals are deceptive for 2 reasons: First a lot  are secret sugar bombs especially if you are not sticking to the suggested serving size. Second because sugary cereals are sometimes low in fiber they can leave you ravenous while lunch is hours away.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil was never the elixir it was touted to be at 117 calories 14 grams total fat and 12 grams saturated fat 60 per cent of the daily value per one tablespoon the bottom line is that having a tablespoon a day is unlikely to harm anyone but there is no data to support coconut oil as a cure all.

Agave Nectar

Your body processes sweeteners like agave nectar, honey, maple syrup evaporated caned juice and corn syrup pretty much the same way as it does plain old white or brown sugar so you should watch how much you eat or drink no matter which type is used like regular sugar, agave syrup contains about 45–60 calories per tablespoon.

Bottled Smoothies and Juices

Fruit smoothies and juices are often just extra sugary versions of a previously good for you foods. Look for blended bevs under eleven grams of sugar a pop to ensure that your snack contains more protein than sweet stuff it will help you stay satisfied and maintain cravings at bay.

Bulletproof Coffee

Bulletproof coffee is a breakfast drink that some fans claim boosts energy boosts focus and makes you feel full. The original version sold by the Bulletproof brand combines two cups coffee two tablespoons grass-fed butter and two tablespoons MCT oil sold as trademarked Brain Octane. If you are following that recipe the coffee will contain 250–500 calories assuming you are not adding collagen protein powder or other mix-ins.

Processed Snack Packs

Eliminate lunchbox meals with processed meat and cheese from your grocery list ASAP. They are filled with sodium and saturated fat and provide little to no fiber. A lot of versions of these processed snack products can set you back 600 milligrams of sodium that's about 30 per cent of your recommended daily amount.

Gluten-Free Packaged Foods

If you're among the 1 per cent of Americans suffering from celiac disease or a diagnosed gluten intolerance gluten free alternatives can serve as amazing substitutes however there is nothing necessarily healthier about gluten free pasta compared to regular pasta. It's likely lower in protein and fiber than its whole wheat alternative. The same goes for breads, cookies and other gluten free products. The calorie counts remain the same but you might eat more of the gluten free one because it appears healthier. So unless you are suffering from celiac disease you are not doing yourself any favors opting for a gluten free version.

Premade Cocktail Mixers

Margarita and bloody mary mixes are top offenders but even healthy sounding options can be total sugar bombs setting you back up to 60 grams per eleven ounce cocktail stick to a clear spirit on the rocks or a glass of wine so you can save the sweets for where they belong at dessert.

Protein Shakes

Protein shakes do have a place in a life like if you're having trouble chewing but most of us add them to our day instead of swapping them in. Most hover between 250-600 calories per 16 ounce serving making them a hearty snack for some and a mini meal for others. Check labels on any protein powder to make sure you are choosing ones with minimal added sugar. And if you are drinking them as post workout fuel you might be better off with a piece of fruit and cheese to tide you over till meal time.

Granola Bars

Some are better than others but my biggest gripe with breakfast bars is their promise of being satisfying. With too little protein, fiber and fat too much simply won't fill you up. Look for ones that provide at least four grams each of protein and fiber, and less than six grams of added sugar per serving. The first ingredient should be an actual food for instance almonds, dates, apples and skip ones that contain a protein isolate. Plan on adding nuts, nut butter, hard-boiled-eggs or unsweetened low fat latte to your breakfast as well.

Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce can be a healthy low calorie cooking addition but it's another one where label reading is key" said London. A lot of tomato sauce brands contain added sugar and tons of sodium that basically adds up to unnecessary calories and bloating.


Carob is often touted as a healthier alternative to chocolate but in fact it contains the same number of calories 150 per 1-ounce serving and it lacks the health benefits linked to modest chocolate intake including lowering your risk of obesity and heart disease. The only various is that carob is caffeine free that can be beneficial if you're sensitive to the stimulant but if you are trying to lose weight you will want to limit your intake of both carob and chocolate.

Non-Dairy Cheese

This is another example where you might assume the alternative version has fewer calories than the original but it doesn’t. Vegan cheese still has about 100 calories per ounce just like the regular kind and it's loaded with fake ingredients like starch, xanthan gum and protein isolates. In addition you are losing the protein-rich benefit of the real deal: String cheese has one grams of protein whereas a serving of vegan cheese contains about one gram so you won’t even feel as full from each serving.

Matcha and Chai Tea Lattes

Not only does a sweetened tea latte contain almost triple the sugar found in a regular coffee latte but a 16-ounce chai has up to double the amount in an entire bag of Peanut M&M's my advice for a go-to order? Have a small cappuccino with whole milk or low-fat milk. Then flavor with cinnamon nutmeg, powdered cocoa or vanilla powder without worrying about added sweetener.

Keto and Paleo Products

Both keto and paleo snacks often come loaded with saturated fat, and while they may contain less sugar than other alternatives they are also much lower in fiber than nutritious 100 per cent whole grain or veggie, legume or fruit-based options.

Yogurt Parfaits

If you are on the run grab the plate from the cold case instead the cheese will fill you up with protein and some fat while the fruit offers a little bonus fiber steer clear of those parfaits though. They are usually veritable sugar bombs from pre-sweetened yogurt with an average cup containing a whopping 60 grams of sugar that's more than the recommended amount for an entire day.

Processed Meat Substitutes

Plant based protein that's used to create something new and therefore highly processed is susceptible to being loaded with sodium and saturated fat. For instance the Impossible Burger contains about about 16 per cent of your recommended daily value for sodium compared to just 4 per cent in plain beef plus two more grams of saturated fat from the added coconut oil despite a similar number of calories.

Sodium-Filled Snacks

Sodium-filled foods can lead to increased thirst a sign we often confuse with hunger. Additionally salty snacks can be pretty protein and fiber-less that can quickly add calories without adding much by way of nutritional value. Drink 16 ounces of H2O before you start snacking and choose 100 per cent whole grain versions where possible to help you truly determine the distinction between hunger and thirst.

CBD Food and Drinks

Products with CBD often contain ingredients that will make anything taste better such as added sugar, sodium and saturated fat-filled oils. There currently are not any dosage guidelines or guarantees that a product even contains as much CBD as it says it does. Another factor to consider: Your body can use only a fraction less than 20 per cent of the CBD it digests.

Salad With Dressing on the Side

Listen up guys: no more ordering dressing on the side asking for burgers without the bun or missing out on experiences because you are saving calories. When we restrict items like these we often wind up overdoing it later on in our day. Eating real food and sharing meals should be joyful, fulfilling and enriching so know that it’s okay to go for it if that’s what you are actually in the mood for.




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