Can you gain weight from diet?

Did you know that the rates of obesity in society have increased when supermarkets receive products marked with the term low-fat? The problem of obesity has increased due to the misconception of consumers that if the product contains fewer calories, then it can eat more. Consumers’ knowledge derived from product labels and advertising of producers has unfortunately proved to be a big fraud. 

It should be emphasized that dietetic products (light products), ie containing less fat than standard ones, may also contain empty calories. According to the regulations, the manufacturer may put on the label the word light, light or reduced content only if the reduction in the content of the selected product component is at least 30% compared to the traditional product. Do not throw all products into one category – on the shelf shelves there are dietary low-processed products containing a lot of fiber, and therefore more satiating. Their high intake probably does not lead to an increase in body weight, because fiber leaves the feeling of satiety for longer, and thus slightly reduces appetite. It is quite different for some fat-free products that contain artificial sweeteners or refined sugar (it’s difficult to determine what is more unhealthy). 


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They contain little fat, but a lot of salt and sugar 

Sweets, contrary to appearances, may contain a lot of salt. High sugar content is hardly a surprise. Sweet snacks with reduced sugar content can contribute to overeating. Consuming sweets with normal sugar content causes the consumer to feel satiated after eating such a product. Refined sugar does not give such an effect, and at the same time contributes to a rapid increase in the level of sugar in the blood, forcing the pancreas to release more insulin. Long-term persistence of such a state eventually leads to insulin resistance. In contrast to sugars, fats stimulate the secretion of leptin, the satiety hormone and cholecystokinin. They inform the brain that the body does not need more food. 

Unhealthy fat replacements 

Too low fat intake therefore leads to a situation in which the brain receives a satiety signal too late, even though the meal has already provided an adequate or excessive dose of calories. In addition, fats play a large role in giving the products the right flavor and texture. Just compare eating an entire egg to eat scrambled eggs with proteins. By removing fat from the product, the producer must therefore increase the content of carbohydrates, refined sugar, sodium and starch in order to maintain the proper consistency and taste of the product. The caloric value of a low-fat product may therefore be slightly higher than the calorific value of a product with a normal calorie content. 

One of the interesting examples of low-fat products, which are better avoided is fruit yogurt with low fat content. Before you buy it again in a grocery store or supermarket, check how many sugars it contains. The same applies to normal and light mayonnaise. Remember that refined sugar is not the only sweetness added to low-fat products. Instead of refined sugar, producers may add, for example, the glucose-fructose syrup concealed under different names. After eating products containing such ingredients, the level of sugar in the blood and the amount of insulin secreted by the pancreas go up. 

Pay attention to the portions 

It is worth paying attention to the number of eaten portions. To a large extent, fat-free products are sold in larger portions and in larger quantities consumed. Many consumers are under the mistaken belief that if a product contains fewer calories, it can eat more. 

On the other hand, the high sugar content is also of great importance. The rapid increase in the level of sugar in the blood causes the insulin to lower it as rapidly (the pancreas works at full speed). Then the consumer again feels a strong appetite, colloquially called wolf hunger, which consequently leads to the consumption of the same amount of fat or more that would be consumed by eating a portion of a product with a normal fat content. 

For some products, versions with normal fat content and reduced fat content have similar calories. Such products will not allow you to lose weight because the energy balance does not change – it can still be positive for the reasons explained above. 

At present, the boom for low-fat products has slightly decreased, because it turned out that this reduction in sugar consumption is more helpful in slimming than the abandonment of fat intake. 

Choose healthy fats 

Recently, a team of nutrition scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health encouraged avoiding low-fat thinking and terminology, and focused on eliminating trans fats from the diet and introducing healthy fats into the diet. In the light of current knowledge in the field of dietetics, a person needs healthy fats to reduce the level of body fat and prevent disorders of hormonal management. Instead of focusing on looking for fat-free products, it’s better to focus on avoiding unhealthy fats and introducing fat-rich foods necessary for maintaining health into your diet. 

Fats that should not be avoided 

Monounsaturated fatty acids is a category of fats, which include omega-9 acids contained in avocado, olive oil and omega-7 contained in macadamia nut oil and sea buckthorn oil help to control the appetite and reduce the level of unhealthy LDL cholesterol, and at the same time reduce the states inflammatory and take care of a healthy heart. In turn, polyunsaturated fatty acids is a category of fats, which include omega-3 (sea fish, seafood, walnuts, linseed, chia seeds) and omega-6 (unprocessed seeds and nuts, sunflower). The balanced intake of omega-3 and omega-6 acids is very important to take advantage of their pro-health properties. Excess omega-6 fatty acids in the diet can be unhealthy and cause inflammation. The result of deficiency of omega-3 and omega-6 acids in the diet may be allergies, eczema, inflammation, concentration and memory disorders. 

Trans fats – the most unhealthy type of fat 

The most unhealthy type of fat are trans fatty acids, also called hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats. Their main source are, among others, margarine, salty and sweet snacks, confectionery, most highly processed food, popcorn made in the microwave. 

Unfortunately, trans fats can even be found in products advertised as diets, with reduced fat content, because they are created in the food processing. Trans fats cause an increase in LDL cholesterol and a decrease in the level of good HDL cholesterol. There is no established safe level of consumption of these fats, which for the consumer means that he should avoid them at all. 


By answering the question posed in the title, you can gain weight from diet food. The increase in body weight is not dependent on which labels the products are chosen by the consumer. Weight gain is determined by the daily energy balance. If it is positive, the scale indicator gradually moves towards higher values. Choosing diet products does not guarantee weight maintenance, and in some cases may even contribute to the deterioration of blood lipid profile and weight gain, as evidenced by the cases described in this article. 


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