10 “Healthy” Foods That Are Making You Gain Weight

Christian Coulson
Updated: June 14, 2020
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One of the most common phrases I hear is “I’m eating healthy, but not losing weight.” But honestly, I don’t blame people for this.

The food industry does a great job at marketing the one healthy ingredient their product has and completely neglect the other unhealthy ones.

Eating high-calorie “healthy” foods are one of the things preventing people from losing weight.

The following foods are typically labeled as “healthy” foods, but are often loaded with sugars, trans fat, oils, and calories and are not filling at all, which makes them very easy to overeat.

Here are 10 “healthy” foods that are making you gain weight.

1. Fruit Juice

Fruit juice is not a great way of getting your daily servings of “fruits.”

Fresh and frozen fruits have natural sugars and contain fiber, which will slow digestion and keep you full for longer.

Store-bought fruit juices typically have added sugars on top of the natural sugars already in fruits and contain almost no fiber.

For example, one 8 oz glass of orange juice has around 125 calories with ~24 g of sugar and 0.1 g of fiber, while the fruit has only 45 calories with ~9 g of sugar and 2.3 g of fiber.

Another issue with these juices is that people tend to overdrink them. It’s easier to drink 10 squeezed oranges than it is to eat 10 whole oranges.

2. Yogurt

Strawberry yogurt.

Yogurts with no added sugars can be a good option for you as they contain probiotics, which are great for gut health.

Fruit-flavored yogurts, on the other hand, typically contain lots of added sugars. Many people don’t realize this and pick any yogurt they find without reading the nutritional label.

A good option would be to get plain yogurt and add fresh or frozen fruits yourself. Greek yogurt is a great high protein option as well.

Before picking up yogurts or any other “healthy” food, make sure that you read the nutrition labels and not just the marketing front.

3. Granola Bars and Cereals

Usually labeled as a healthy breakfast or snack, granolas can be a sugar bomb inside a package.

Even though they’re made with whole grains and oats, they also contain dried and candied fruit, sugars, GMO, saturated fat, butter, and preservatives.

These ingredients are okay in small portions, but they will not serve the purpose of giving you sustained energy and keeping you full.

1 serving on granola cereal has around 400 calories, and that’s without adding any milk or yogurt.

Starting your day with this alone will most likely spike your blood sugar levels and make them come back down quickly, leaving you tired.

You can look for other great low-carb snacks to help you stay on track with your weight loss goals.

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4. Dried Fruits

Just like fruit juices, dried fruits typically contain lots of added sugars and since they’re small and not filling, it’s very easy to overeat them.

You can try looking for brands like Little Duck Organics that are 100% fruit with no added sugars.

But even then, you should still watch your portions.

5. Protein Bars

Just because it has the word “protein” doesn’t mean it’s healthy. It’s always nice to advertise the protein, but not the large number of carbs from sugars.

These bars are typically packed with fats, carbs, oils, and other uncool stuff.

Opt for protein bars with around 150 calories, like 22 Days Nutrition Organic Protein Bar or Luna Protein. Remember, the game here is to read nutrition labels carefully before buying something.

6. Salad Dressing

Many salad dressings are loaded with artificial flavoring, full-fat cheese, added sugars, and trans fat. Which takes away the whole point of eating salad.

Healthy fats, however, are still needed for your body to absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K. So in order to not miss out on the benefits of fats, you can create your own dressing with olive or coconut oil.

Apple cider vinegar and mustard are other great ingredients I often add to my salads.

Besides being great for flavoring foods, apple cider vinegar may also help you lose weight.

It is a great addition to your plan if you’re looking to lose weight naturally.

7. Creamy Soups

Creamy soup.

Many people think that because something is liquid and not filling, it won’t make you gain weight. We’ve seen throughout this article that that isn’t the case.

Many commercial soups are packed with butter and creams to give it consistency and make them taste better.

There are great recipes you can use to make creamless soups at home. They usually consist of yogurt, white beans, and potatoes.

8. Nuts

Nuts are the snack of choice for many. Even though they have healthy fats, they’re very easy to overeat.

For example, 8 walnuts can provide around 200 calories. And if we are being honest, no one’s eating only 8 walnuts.

So remember to keep an eye on your portions.

9. Fruit Smoothies

I usually recommend smoothies for people trying to gain weight as this is an easy way to get more calories in.

Even though they contain many nutrients and fiber, they can easily add up in extra calories.

A good way to avoid too many calories in a smoothie is to replace some of the fruits with veggies.

For example, you could add a few strawberries with spinach, and celery instead of strawberry with bananas and pineapple.

You could even add a scoop of protein powder or greens powder for even more antioxidants and nutrients.

10. Guacamole

Guacamole in a bowl.

Guacamole is mostly made with avocados and one large avocado has around 325 calories.

It’s very easy to eat more than one avocado once it is smashed and made into guacamole. Plus, other things like chips that we dip into guacamole are not calorie friendly either.

Avocados are a great source of healthy fats but are also easy to overeat, so again, be mindful of your portions.

Do you know of any other “healthy” foods that are making you gain weight? let me know in the comments section below!

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