4 Surprising Foods That Cause Weight Gain

1. Enhanced Water

Some of these bottles of “water” are 130 calories each, and every single one of those calories comes from sugar. There are 31 grams of sugar in a bottle of Vitamin Water. That’s 7 and ¾ teaspoons! You might as well be drinking a Coca-Cola (which has only 10 more calories). Ditch both of them and opt for tea instead. Eat This, Not That! sifted through all the scientific data and found there’s plenty of proof that green tea and weight loss go hand in hand.

2. Beef

Cattle are fed antibiotics, not only to keep them from getting diseases in cramped feedlots, but also to help them gain more weight faster (about 3 percent more!). Now, farmers are supposed to stop administering antibiotics long before the animals are slaughtered to prevent lingering weight-gain antibiotic residue, but about 16 percent of samples violate the FDA threshold for “allowable” residues (which, depending on the antibiotic, is around .01 to .5 parts per million).

3. Diet Soda

Artificial sweeteners have been linked to excessive long-term weight gain. Researchers believe that drinking these no-calorie sweeteners confuses our bodies by making us expect calories that aren’t there. The result is what they call “metabolic derangements” like poor insulin response and elevated glucose levels, which can lead to fat storage and a host of illnesses like metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

4. Potato Chips

Okay, so you probably already know that potato chips are fattening and can often hide dangerous trans fats, but what’s surprising is that out of all the foods that can cause you to gain weight—soda, junk food, ice cream—the potato chip is the worst offender. According to a Harvard study, potato chips are the food most strongly associated with weight gain over four years. For healthy alternatives—yes, even for chips— check out our list of Eat This, Not That!-approved good snacks for weight loss.

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