Why Diet Foods Make You Gain Weight

Diet Foods and Weight Gain

Let me begin with a confession.

I have been up to 45 pounds overweight several different times in my life. I’m saying this because I don’t want anyone to think I’m one of those genetically gifted people who are just naturally thin.

Before I understood the nature of food and how it affects the human body, I simply assumed my metabolism was slow. Or that my “barrel” shape was just my body type, or that I needed to exercise harder and more often.

I had no idea how wrong I was!

I know now why I was overweight. I also remember how difficult it was to control my weight when eating the wrong foods. I just didn’t KNOW I was eating the wrong foods.

I was doing everything that TV commercials and conventional wisdom had taught me since childhood. I assumed that being thin was about restricting my diet and burning more calories than I was eating.

Wrong again!

I used to have a cabinet full of low-calorie and fat-free foods, a desk drawer full of “all-natural” diet bars, and a freezer full of “healthy” frozen dinners to help me avoid surpassing my caloric limits each day, not realizing these were part of my weight problem.

The following is a list of reasons diet foods are sabotaging your weight loss efforts:

Diet Food Ingredients That Make You Gain Weight.

There are hidden chemicals in diet foods that most certainly contribute to weight gain. They are cleverly disguised, so there’s less of a chance you’ll find out about them.


If it’s processed, canned, comes in a box, bought through a window, or labeled as being low-fat or low-calorie, there’s almost a 100% certainty it will contain MSG.

MSG is listed as yeast extract, glutamic acid, and hydrolyzed protein (among others) and is present whenever you see:

  • Gelatin
  • Soy Protein
  • Protein Isolates
  • Whey Protein
  • Maltodextrin
  • Citric Acid
  • Flavorings (natural or otherwise)
  • Carrageenan
  • Others

MSG makes fake food taste real. If it’s in something you’re eating, it means the product isn’t fresh and has synthetic ingredients. This is how fast-food restaurants make fake turkey, chicken, and beef taste like real meat.

Why MSG Makes You Gain Weight

MSG is a known neurotoxin which means it interferes with the function of your brain and nervous system. Have you ever noticed you’re hungry again an hour after eating Chinese food or that “you can’t eat just one” when it comes to that bag of chips?

That’s because MSG messes with the receptors in your brain to keep you from feeling full. This way, you can keep eating until the bag is empty and you’ll have to buy more.

MSG is also addicting, which is why most foods that come in wrappers, bags, and boxes contain it. What food manufacturer wouldn’t want you to become addicted to their products?

Do you ever wonder how researchers do experiments on obesity using laboratory rats?

They don’t go out and find obese rats. There are none. They have to MAKE them obese, and they do it by giving them MSG. MSG causes insulin levels to spike (in rats and humans), which causes the body (in rats and humans) to store fat.

Natural Flavors

I want to make a special note about natural flavors because they sound so innocent. Using the word “natural” here (which is an unregulated term) makes unsuspecting consumers think that real oranges were used to add orange flavoring to your orange soda, but that’s not the case.

Natural flavors are toxic chemicals synthesized to trick your brain into wanting more of whatever you’re eating. Food manufacturers are stealthily turning you into an addict against your will.

Artificial Sugar

Low-calorie diet foods and drinks are filled with fake sugars that cause insulin levels to spike. Insulin spikes lead to weight gain and an inability to burn fat for energy. 

A study by the University of California at Berkeley reported that people who drank a 20-ounce sports drink every day for a year gained an average of 13 pounds.

Wait a minute! My can of soda says it’s zero calories! How can that be bad?

1. The phrase “zero calories” is a lie. A labeling loophole allows this term to be used even though it isn’t true.

2. Artificial sugars aren’t found in nature, so the body doesn’t produce any enzymes that can metabolize them.

3. When sugar enters the liver, the liver decides whether it should store it, burn it, or turn it into fat. Artificial sugar has been shown to bypass this process and turn directly into fat.

High Fructose Corn Syrup, the most common form of artificial sugar, is the #1 source of calories in the US and has been linked to dozens of diseases, including fatty liver deposits, arterial plaques, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, diabetes, immune system damage, and obesity.

Trans Fats

These are unnatural fats found in almost all diet foods (look for hydrogenated oils).

Researchers have shown that trans fats cause a redistribution of fat cells to the abdomen and lead to an increase in body weight even when dietary calories are controlled.

So all other factors being equal, if two people are eating the same amount of calories, the one consuming trans fats will gain more weight. Or think of it like this:

If two people are eating 1800 calories per day, one eating 1800 calories of lean meat, fish, leafy greens, and fruits and veggies, and the other 1800 calories of diet foods, the one eating the diet foods (even though they’ll be eating much less overall) will store more fat.

The scary part is that the FDA allows the marketing phrase “zero trans fats” to be used even when it isn’t true.

Easy, Effortless Weight Loss

I’ve discovered that having a lean physique really isn’t all that complex. Follow these simple rules, and you’ll lose about 1-2 pounds of body fat per week effortlessly:

  1. Don’t focus on calories. Limit your carbohydrate intake to 50-100 grams per day and ONLY from fruits and vegetables. When you reach your ideal weight, increase it to 100-150.
  2. Focus your diet on protein and healthy fats. Eat lean animal meats, leafy greens, fish, veggies, nuts, seeds, eggs. Eliminate as many sugars and grains as possible.
  3. Graze instead of eating meals. Eat a handful of food at a time whenever you get hungry.

For further reading, see our previous article on Losing Weight Effortlessly.