by Matt Weik
This is a topic I spoke about on social media before and it raised many questions as well as accolades. Fairly often I get asked the question if a certain food, supplement, or drink will make them gain weight. My first reaction is to laugh but then I realize that not everyone understands nutrition or even have an overview of daily caloric intake. For that reason, I want to lay out some things in this short article to answer this question and help you understand that there is not one food item that will make you gain weight in the grand scheme of things.
Will This Protein Bar Make Me Gain Weight?
I can’t tell you how many times someone will show me a protein bar they have been eating and they ask me if it will make them gain weight. You can literally insert any food or supplement into to scenario and my answer would still be the same – NO.
Here’s why my answer is no. Let’s just say your daily calories for maintenance is 2,000. That means if you eat 2,000 calories each day your weight will remain the same. If you eat 2,500 calories each day, you can expect to see the scale going up because you are in a caloric surplus. On the flip side, if you eat 1,500 calories each day you can expect to see some weight loss since you are in a caloric deficit.
If you eat a protein bar (using this as an example) that is 300 calories, that gives you 1,700 calories left for the day (assuming it’s the first thing you consume for the day). So, will that one protein bar make you gain weight? No. It all depends on what you eat for the rest of the day and where your caloric intake falls for the day.
Clearly, we have healthy food options and unhealthy food options and from this subject, even more content can be created. Should you consume healthier options on a daily basis versus unhealthy? Absolutely. And in most cases, the healthy options are lower in calories which allows you to consume more food on a daily basis. If you consume unhealthy food options that are high in fat and sugar it will drive the calories way up and you won’t be able to eat as much to stay within the 2,000-calorie example.
The same can be said about liquid calories. There are people who think about calories from food but totally negate liquid calories coming from the beverages they drink. If you drink a six-pack of soda or a six-pack of beer each day, obviously there will be health consequences of doing so along with the added empty calories that do nothing to help improve your health.
So, in the end, stop looking at things individually and start looking at them as a whole. While not all calories are created equal (I’ve written content surrounding this topic in the past), using moderation will help you not gain weight in the grand scheme of things. Pay attention to what you eat, how much you eat, and where your calories are at the end of the day.