Are there “healthy” foods that make you gain weight?
You’d be surprised. Just because something is labelled as “healthy” doesn’t automatically mean it’s good for you.
If you’re looking to lose weight but your progress has stopped. Or worse, you’re actually starting to gain weight. But you feel like you’re doing all the right things? That can get really frustrating.
And I’m going to bet that there might be some “healthy” foods that you’re eating every day that aren’t actually so healthy, that’s completely stopping your progress.
Losing weight is hard enough as it is. You don’t want to be sabotaging your weight loss efforts by eating seemingly healthy foods that aren’t actually healthy.
In this video, I’m going to give you 7 “healthy” foods that make you gain weight. So you can make better decisions moving forward and give yourself a fighting chance at losing weight.
7 “Healthy” Foods That Make You Gain Weight
1. “Natural” protein bars
Most protein bars, even the ones with “natural ingredients”, are just glorified Snickers bars.
Yet, everyone knows that you probably shouldn’t eat Snickers bars every day if you want to lose weight.
But somehow, eating a protein bar is okay?
And I want to specifically talk about the sugar content on these “healthy” bars. Remember that at any given time, your body only has 4 grams of sugar.
So when you eat these “natural” protein bars, you’re still ingesting as much as 4 times the amount of sugar that’s supposed to be in your blood.
How does your body react to this?
To deal with this massive blood sugar spike, your brain will send a signal to your pancreas to produce insulin. Which then shifts your body into fat storage mode.
The problem is, these bars are delicious. So the likelihood of you consuming multiple bars throughout the day is pretty high.
Are these “natural” bars better than a generic protein bar swimming in honey and sugar? Sure. A little bit.
Is it helping with your weight loss goals? If you eat it once or twice a week, it should be okay.
If you eat it every day? Absolutely not.
2. Flavoured greek yogurts
I’m going to level with you on this because I love this stuff.
Greek yogurt is a great alternative to candy, cookies, and ice cream. It’s also a great dairy option because it goes through multiple straining processes and the bacterial cultures ferment the lactose.
That’s a good thing because most of the adult population can’t process lactose.
The problem is the serving size. It gets a health halo and people go to town on it.
They start making home made fruit and yogurt parfaits, they start adding granola, honey, etc.
All of a sudden, it turns a seemingly healthy option into a pretty disastrous one.
I personally eat honey flavoured greek yogurt as my dessert once a day. But what I do is I grab a teaspoon and I eat whatever is on it. That’s it.
If you look at an ounce of greek yogurt for example, it has 3 grams of sugar. That’s almost negligible in the grand scheme of things.
Again, greek yogurt isn’t necessary unhealthy. It’s the serving size and what you eat it with that makes it unhealthy.
3. Healthy Foods That Make You Gain Weight: Bananas
This is a big one.
Fruit gets a health halo from a lot of people, and I always get a reaction from people every time I bring up this topic.
Because it’s been ingrained in our heads for 4 decades now, since the US released the first dietary guidelines, which is also the same time when the obesity epidemic started in the US.
It’s been ingrained in our heads that we need eat 2-4 servings of fruit.
But if your goal is weight loss, a banana is one of the worst “healthy” foods that make you gain weight. Because a lot of people tend to go overboard with it.
People eat multiple bananas every day. They use it to make banana bread for example. And I don’t really blame people for eating it because it’s delicious. With the caveat of being labelled as “healthy.”
And one of the biggest arguments people make for it is it has potassium. If that’s all you’re after, an avocado has way more potassium than a banana. Avocado is also a superfood.
Bananas are also used a lot in smoothies to give it that sweet and creamy texture. A full banana for example comes in at 14-15 grams of sugar.
But then when you go to these trendy smoothie places, they’re usually using multiple bananas to make it thick. They also use bananas in those fancy açai bowls.
By far, the biggest drawback to eating fruit all the time is the type of sugar in it called “fructose.” Which your liver can only process.
Unlike glucose which is a simple sugar, fructose causes a low rise in blood sugar levels.
So let’s say for example, you make a protein smoothie because your bro told you that you need it.
You’re getting a double whammy effect of an immediate blood sugar spike from the sugar in the protein powder. Or maybe you’re someone who adds honey or maple syrup. Same thing.
Your body converts that into usable energy in the form of glucose. You get an immediate blood sugar spike from that. But you also get a delayed blood sugar spike from the fructose in the banana.
You basically have elevated blood sugar levels for most of the day until your next meal. And if you have elevated blood sugar levels, you’ll also have elevated insulin levels. And that’s where it gets bad long term.
Because chronically high insulin levels leads to insulin resistance. Which opens you up to all sorts of nasty disease including obesity, type 2 Diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
All you need to know about fructose is it’s extremely lipogenic. Lipogenic means it’s fattening.
Think about how our ancestors ate fruit back in the day. I always go back to this point because we’re still genetically identical to our Paleolithic ancestors.
Back then, they would come across seasonal berries and they would eat it. They ate it to fatten themselves up for winter.
That’s another important point is that fruit back then was only available seasonally. Now, you can get fruit including bananas all year round.
And every time I work with my students and they have a lot of objection about this at first, they all show one constant thing. The less fruit they ate, the more weight they lost.
One last thing about fruit. The fruit that’s available today looks nothing like the fruit that our ancestors ate back in the day.
You’re eating something that’s genetically modified to be sweeter and bigger. You’re eating a genetically modified version of it. A strawberry for example at your local grocery store looks nothing like how it looked back then.
How could that possibly be good for you?
4. Dried fruit
This is basically everything I mentioned from my last point.
But made worse because the fruit has now gone through some sort of processing.
Remember, there are no bad foods. Only processed ones.
Let’s keep using bananas. Bananas, which is already not the greatest “healthy” food, gets deep fried and gets sugar added to it for more flavour to make banana chips.
Same thing with actual dried fruit like dried mangos. One full mango comes in at a whopping 46 grams of sugar, and most people eat the whole thing.
That is the same amount of sugar as what’s in a tall Caramel Crappy Frappy from Starbucks.
And that’s fresh mango. When we look at dried mangoes, the sugar content goes through the roof.
In just one cup of dried unsweetened mangoes, as if unsweetened means anything at this point, comes in at about 74 grams of sugar. That’s more than two snickers bars.
Still don’t believe that fruit is fattening?
Now I’m not saying all fruits are bad by the way. But if your goals is fat loss, you need to think of fruit more as an occasional treat.
And if you still insist on eating it, eat seasonal fruit.
5. Vegetable chips
Vegetables chips are another perfect example of “healthy” foods that make you gain weight.
It gets a health halo from a lot of people. Because hey, you’re eating vegetables!
They’re usually made out of roots and tubers. The bags contain these crispy rainbow thinly sliced goodness of sweet potatoes, beets, parsnips and the likes and is often branded as a “healthier” alternative.
The problem is, veggie chips are no better than potato chips.
Why? Because it still goes through the same processing as potato chips. It’s still deep fried in highly inflammatory and highly processed vegetable seed oil like sunflower, corn, or canola oil.
It’s literally no different. Except you’re paying a premium for it. Don’t believe me? Just compare the nutrition facts of a bag of potato chips and a bag of veggie chips. They’re basically identical.
Again, the argument here is that you’re eating vegetables! You’re eating natural food. Do you know what other root vegetable makes for a delicious chip? A potato.
Yet a potato chip gets a bad rap and a vegetable chip gets a health halo.
Listen, there are no meaningful benefits to veggie chips over potato chips. As long as it’s deep fried in highly inflammatory seed oil, it ain’t good for you.
6. Low calorie ice cream
This is the greatest thing if you’re someone who just counts calories.
Because here you are, presented with a “healthier” version of this delicious creamy dessert. BUT, it’s low in calories.
So you eat it. You eat it every day.
And that’s problem number one. It encourages overeating because this is kind of like diet soda where it’s zero calories. So you basically drink it like water.
Same thing with low calorie ice cream. You go from eating ice cream every so often to now having this low calorie option. So you eat it every day because hey, it fits your macros.
The problem is, a lot of these low calorie ice cream alternatives are highly processed dairy. They’re also sweetened with sugar substitutes like erythritol or other zero calorie artificial sweeteners.
All you need to know about artificial sweeteners is it’s directly linked to obesity because it destroys your gut microbiome.
Low calorie ice cream also doesn’t taste nearly as good as the real deal. And, do you know anybody who eats low calorie ice cream that got to their optimal weight? No.
If anything, it’s hindering your weight loss progress because of the negative effects of artificial sweeteners that I just mentioned.
7. Any food with the word “Protein” added to it
This is almost laughable every time I see this.
You get a lot of these donut shops opening upand they sell a vegan chocolate drizzled peanut butter filled protein donut.
And people devour this stuff as if it’s the greatest thing in the world. Just because it has the word “protein” attached to it.
Let’s dissect this monstrosity quickly. Attaching the word “vegan” doesn’t really mean a whole lot. And you should already know how I feel about veganism if you’ve been following my YouTube channel. It’s not good for you.
A spoonful of sugar is also “vegan.” It doesn’t mean that it’s healthy.
I also love peanut butter and chocolate as a treat. But I categorize those things as exactly that. A treat. I know I shouldn’t be eating it all the time.
But for some reason, as long as you attach the word “protein” to it, you can have it. It’s healthy. It’s good for you. Here, why don’t you eat another one!
It’s the same thing with protein pancakes, protein banana bread, or whatever dessert concoction you have with the word “protein” attached to it.
At the end of the day, just call a spade a spade.
Just because it has the word “protein” attached to it, doesn’t mean that it’s automatically healthy for you. Because again, once it gets that health halo, the chances of overeating goes up exponentially.
The poison is in the dose.
And that’s the point I’ve been trying to make.
A.) Just because it’s labelled as “healthy” doesn’t mean that it actually is. Deductive reasoning still needs to come into play. These healthy foods that make you gain weight will wreak havoc to your health if you eat too much of it.
B) Just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean that you can go to town on it. Sensible eating, also known as common sense, still needs to come into play.
Now tell me, which one of these “healthy” foods that I mentioned surprised you? Let me know in the comments below.
As always, if this was helpful, share it with a friend who could benefit from it as well!
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