So you’ve finally cleaned up your diet and even become more active but the scale doesn’t budge? While there are various factors involved you may be eating these surprising foods that can make you fat.
There are numerous things that can hamper weight loss such as lack of sleep, stress, hormonal imbalance and so on. However, it’s not always so complicated. Sometimes it just comes down to the foods you eat. And while some of them may appear harmless, they’re actually not.
10 Surprising foods that can make you fat
There are plenty of surprising foods that can make you fat but the ones listed below are quite common and you still be eating at least some of them.
Prepared salad kits
Technically, a diet-friendly salad should be made from single-ingredient foods and optionally a low-fat, homemade dressing. But making salads takes time and if you’ve chosen the convenient option of buying prepared salad kits you should know they’re not as healthy as they seem.
A lot of these ready-to-go salads contain fatty cheese, high-calorie dressings and croutons full of oil. Some of them could be as calorie-rich as a fast food burger which is probably not what you had in mind when you bought them. There’s no safer way to avoid this than by making your own salads. It might seem like an effort but just like anything else you’ll get better at making them over time, and faster too.
Reduced-fat peanut butter
If you’re trying to avoid eating too much fat, you probably considered reduced-fat peanut butter as a waist-friendlier way to still enjoy one of your favorite foods. However, most low-fat products have other ingredients added to them to make them more flavorful.
Compared to regular peanut butter, the low-fat version has a lot more ingredients, almost the same amount the calories and plenty of added sodium and sugar. As a solution, opt for a natural peanut butter and stick to smaller portions. There’s nothing wrong with peanut butter except when you’re eating too much of it.
Technically, even 100% natural fruit juice can’t be considered a diet-friendly drink because it’s very high in fructose which is still a type of sugar. However, when you see a label that also has the word “drink” or “beverage” it means that just a small part is actual juice.
If you have the guts to also read the label you’ll find a ton of ingredients that are far from natural such as flavorings, added sugar, colorants, and preservatives. The solution would be to avoid fruit juice and juice drinks completely and eat whole fruits instead. This way you will also benefit from their fiber content and get less of a blood sugar spike.
People suffering from celiac disease or gluten intolerance are forced to eat gluten-free foods. Other than that, there’s nothing wrong with gluten itself even though it’s being advertised as an unhealthy ingredient.
Even more, many people consider foods labeled to be “gluten-free” as healthy which is definitely not the case.
The solution? Don’t opt for “gluten-free” foods unless you actually suffer from gluten intolerance or celiac disease. And if such is the case, read the labels and choose wisely just like you would for any other product.
Store-bought fat-free salad dressing
Just like reduced-fat or low-fat foods you can buy from the grocery store have added sugar, artificial flavors, and other unhealthy ingredients, the story is pretty much the same for fat-free products.
If you’re trying to make your own healthy salads it’s best to go all the way and make your own salad dressing as well. It’s super easy to make salad dressings and at least you know exactly what’s in it.
Bottled iced tea
Technically, any kind of tea is much healthier than bottled iced tea. That’s because most bottled drinks are loaded with sugar. When you make your own tea you can keep it unsweetened or add a bit of honey or stevia to make it more flavorful but the calorie count will still be significantly lower compared to the store-bought bottled tea.
Turkey bacon might sound tempting because it has less fat than regular bacon but there’s still a drawback.
It’s loaded with sodium but also other unhealthy food additives. Actually, you might want to consider limiting all types of processed meats in your diet including hot dogs, sausage and bacon, be it turkey bacon or the regular kind.
Even homemade smoothies can be very satiating, but if you’re buying premade ones you might also get some added sugar and flavors in there as well. Even the ones with no added sugar are still rich in calories.
Considering that smoothies are liquid food you might want to opt for the whole ingredients instead. They’ll keep your hunger in check for much longer.
Nonstick cooking spray
Nonstick cooking spray is a processed vegetable oil just like other cooking oils.
It may not be saving you calories. “Each 1-second spray only contains about six calories, but who only spritzes for a second?” Ansel says.
She suggests swapping it for a small amount of olive oil. Yes, it has a few more calories, but you’ll also get heart-healthy polyphenols and more flavor, so you may end up eating less food overall.
Last on our list are sports drinks. A lot of people think that sports drinks are the best way to replenish the electrolytes lost from sweating. I get it, you’re committed to your workouts and you always leave a puddle behind. But the truth is, sports drinks don’t contain just electrolytes, they also contain sugar or artificial sweeteners and other non-natural ingredients it’s best to stay away from.
Unless you’re going through some intense workouts that last for more than 90 minutes it’s best to stick to plain H2O. Those who actually work out for longer periods and at an intense pace should consider coconut water as an excellent and all-natural electrolyte drink.