People overeat and gain weight for many reasons. One major cause is eating too many calories.
That being said, certain foods are more problematic than others, including processed foods high in added fat, sugar, and salt.
Here's a list of 10 foods that are highly fattening.
Sugary soda may just be the most fattening thing you can put into your body.
Sugar-sweetened drinks don't provide essential nutrients and add many empty calories to your diet (
One study found that people who drank soda on top of their normal diet consumed 17% more calories. Over time, this could easily lead to significant weight gain (
SUMMARY Sugary soda adds no essential nutrients to your diet, just empty calories. People who drink soda are much more likely to gain weight.
Coffee can be a very healthy beverage.
However, coffee sweetened with added sugar or syrup can contain as much sugar as a can of Coke.
SUMMARY Coffee drinks sweetened with syrups or sugars are very high in calories. Regularly drinking them could contribute to weight gain.
Most commercially made ice cream is full of sugar and fat. Since it's often eaten as a dessert, ice cream can add a lot of extra calories to your meal.
If you enjoy ice cream, it's probably best as an occasional treat.
To choose a healthier ice cream, look for one with less than 15 grams of sugar per serving. Also, make sure to watch your portion sizes.
SUMMARY Most ice creams are high in sugar and fat, adding a lot of extra calories to your meal.
Pizzas are usually very tasty but high in fat, refined carbs, and calories.
Some of the most popular varieties are also made with large amounts of cheese and processed meat.
Processed meats are meats that have been cured, salted, or smoked.
However, not all pizza is created equal.
SUMMARY Commercially prepared pizza can be loaded with calories and processed meats. Try choosing pizza made with healthier ingredients or make your own at home.
Cookies and doughnuts contain high amounts of sugar, refined flour, and added fats.
They can be extremely high in calories. To keep your weight in check, you should limit your intake.
When cravings strike, go for a small, single serving, not a giant cookie or a whole pack of little ones.
Also, an average medium-sized doughnut may contain over 200 calories. Some glazed varieties pack more than 300 calories.
For optimal health and weight, doughnuts should be avoided as much as possible.
SUMMARY Cookies and doughnuts are high-calorie, high-sugar foods. If you choose to eat them, keep your portions small.
French fries are a popular choice of snack or side, particularly when eating out.
However, the average serving (5 ounces or 139 grams) typically contains about 427 calories, making them a high-calorie food.
What’s more, they often accompany other junk foods and are commonly eaten with high-sugar sauces like ketchup.
Like French fries, potato chips are very high in fat, refined carbs, and salt.
They have also been associated with weight gain in observational studies. One study even found them to be the food most likely to cause weight gain (
Boiling or baking potatoes is much healthier.
SUMMARY French fries and potato chips are very high in added fats, refined carbs, and salt. Studies link both foods to weight gain.
Moderate amounts of peanut butter can be healthy.
This is particularly true if it's only made with wholesome ingredients like roasted and ground peanuts and a little salt.
Peanut butter is also extremely high in calories and very easy for some people to overeat.
If you can limit your intake, including peanut butter in your diet shouldn't be a problem. However, if you struggle to control your portions, then you may need to avoid it.
SUMMARY Most commercially made peanut butter contains added sugars and fats. It can easily make you gain weight if eaten in excess.
Still, most commercially produced milk and white chocolate varieties are loaded with added sugar and fat.
Like other junk foods, they're very easy to overeat.
SUMMARY Unlike dark chocolate, milk and white chocolate varieties contain a lot of added sugar. Plus, chocolate is highly palatable and very easy to overeat.
Fruit juice is often seen as a healthy choice.
SUMMARY Fruit juice is high in sugar. Drinking excessive amounts has been linked to an increased risk of obesity.
Not all processed foods are unhealthy, but many have been manufactured to look and taste like real food though they bear little nutritional resemblance to homemade meals (
Therefore, it's important to read the food label.
Reducing your intake of processed foods could help you avoid unnecessary calories and improve the quality of your diet.
SUMMARY Reducing processed foods high in added fat, sugar, and salt can improve the quality of your diet and help prevent weight gain.
People gain weight because they eat more calories than they burn.
It should be noted that no single food on this list will make you fat if enjoyed occasionally, as part of a balanced diet.
However, regular and excessive consumption of these foods will likely make you gain weight over time.