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Surprising Weight-Gain Culprits

Surprising Weight-Gain Culprits

Looking to slim down? Learn which of your favorite snacks are actually weight-gain culprits.

Emma Stone purposely gained 15 pounds of muscle in three months to play Billy Jean King in the movie Battle of the Sexes. How? She drank high-calorie protein shakes and worked out with a strength trainer for five days a week.

Chances are that if you’ve packed on an extra 15 pounds, it isn’t all muscle—and it snuck up on you. It may be hard to figure out what contributed to the extra weight. Well, here are four hidden weight-boosters that can add pounds with every bite.

  • Processed Meats: Studies show bacon, hot dogs, lunchmeats and even meat-based pasta sauces increase the risk of weight gain and type 2 diabetes. Better choice: Skinless poultry and fish, like salmon.
  • Potato Chips: According to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, potato chips were #1 when it came to foods strongly associated with weight gain over a four-year period. Better choice: Fruits, carrot and celery sticks and nuts.
  • Diet Soda: A study in CMAJ found, “consumption of nonnutritive sweeteners was associated with increases in weight and waist circumference, and higher incidence of obesity, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular events.” Better choice: Water, unsweetened tea and black coffee.
  • Low-Fat Food: Studies done by the Food and Brand Lab found putting low-fat labels on snack foods encourages people to eat up to 50 percent more than they would if the foods didn’t claim to be low-fat. Better choice: Skip highly-processed foods; opt for produce and healthful proteins like quinoa, skinless chicken, beans and salmon.
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