Hidden Weight Gain Traps


be surprised!

So you’ve been eating well, hitting the gym and watching what you put in the grocery basket — but either the scales are lying or you’re still piling on the kilos. How can that be?

While it’s easy to spot the calories in fried foods and soft drinks, many of us don’t pay nearly as much attention to the less obvious culprits. Here are a few unusual suspects that might be sabotaging your weight loss goal…

Fruit juice

Fruit juice may seem like a healthier alternative to soft drink, but it’s still packed full of sugar. A glass of OJ contains about 4.5 teaspoons of sugar, which is almost the equivalent amount in four Tim Tam biscuits. There is also very little dietary fibre in the juice, so you are much better off eating fresh fruit and quenching your thirst with water.


Sure, tofu may be the poster child of health food, but how often do you actually eat the stuff in its plain form? Most tofu dishes served in restaurants are deep-fried, which means the once-healthy morsels are coated with saturated fat, sodium and other flavouring agents — making them delicious, but fattening at the same time.

Lack of sleep

Many people overlook sleep as a factor that affects their weight, but the truth is, inadequate rest can mess with our appetite-regulating hormones and slow down our metabolism, making us susceptible to weight gain.

Too much stress

Stress puts your body into a fight-or-flight mode, causing the release of a hormone known as cortisol, which affects your blood sugar level. Excess cortisol in the bloodstream has been linked to increased abdominal fat. Studies also show that long-term chronic stress can trigger comfort-eating.

Diet drinks

Soft drinks are fine as long as they are “diet” ones, right? Well, recent research has found that artificial sweeteners found in these zero calorie drinks may in fact lower your metabolism — indirectly causing weight gain. They also inhibit the hormone leptin, which is responsible for regulating your appetite.

Sushi rolls

While healthy at first glance, white rice sushi rolls are full of simple carbohydrates and could contain kilojoule-packed ingredients such as mayo and fried or tempura-battered filling. For example, a tempura prawn roll can have up to 2130 kilojoules (508 calories) and 20g of fat. Next time, opt for brown rice sushi with a fresh fish or vegie filling for a healthier lunch.

Your morning coffee

We are not suggesting you have to give up your caffeine fix, but it’s worth cutting back on the milk and sugar you have with it. A Starbucks Grande Latte contains 925 kilojoules (220 calories) and 11g of fat, which adds up if you have more than a cuppa a day. Even a skim milk large Latte from Gloria Jeans will add 127 calories to your day, and that’s without any sugar!

Low-fat salad dressing

It’s sad but true: most things marketed as “low fat” are full of sugar or artificial sweeteners. And in the case of “lite” salad dressings, it also means fewer fat-soluble nutrients from the vegies will be absorbed by the body. Solution? Swap the pre-packaged dressing with olive oil (a source of good fat) in combination with your favourite vinegar instead.

Dried fruit

Turns out not all fruits are equal when it comes to the calorie stakes. Dried fruit may sound harmless enough, but because it is much denser and often contains added sugar in its dehydrated form, they often contain more calories per cup than their fresh counterparts. Best to eat the actual fruit and get all the nutritional value in the way Mother Nature intended it to be eaten.


It may appear wholesome but few of us realise granola is loaded with things that are bad for our waistline. The dried fruit, sugar, and oil that makes it crisp and yummy can add up to 1680 kilojoules (401 calories) and 15g of fat per cup — not so healthy after all.


So What’s the overall Solution?

Keep it Natural! Where possible, stick to freshly grown, raw and unprocessed foods. Avoid artificial sweeteners and “low fat” foods. Read labels and be aware of what you are actually eating.  Don’t believe the marketing hype surrounding a product that is so-called “diet” food. It has probably been overly processed and will generally offer very little nutritional value.

Remember, marshmallows are 99% fat free! Would you call them healthy?!?





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