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Eating Low Carb and Still Gaining Weight? This Could Be Why.

Here's the one thing you've probably never thought about.
FACT CHECKED BY Kiersten Hickman

So you decided to cut carbs to lose weight, however, you're finding that the exact opposite is actually occurring. The question is, how?

There are several reasons why you could be gaining weight, even as you're actively removing carbs from your diet. First of all, there are several types of low-carb diets including the keto diet, low-carb paleo diet, and the Atkins diet. However, you may also just be following a basic low-carb diet where you limit your consumption to between 50 and 100 grams of carbs per day. For perspective, someone who eats 2,000 calories a day may consume anywhere between 225 and 325 grams of carbs per day.

While a simple, low-carb diet isn't as restrictive as some others, it's possible that it may not be an effective way for you to shed pounds, especially if you're eating too much of another food in an attempt to fill that void of calories. More specifically, you could be gaining weight while cutting back on carbs because you're eating too many nuts. (Related: 15 Underrated Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work).

Wait, why shouldn't I eat a lot of nuts if I want to lose weight?

Nuts are a highly nutritious, very low-carb snack—don't get us wrong there. You should feel good about eating them. As is the case with any food that's rich in healthy fats and calories, though, you should refrain from eating too many of them. Nuts are calorically dense, yet you can eat a lot of them not feel exactly full. See how it's easy to overindulge on the macadamia nuts or roasted cashews?

For example, one ounce of macadamia nuts clocks in at 200 calories, 21 grams of total fat (about 32% of the daily value or DV), and 3.4 grams of saturated fat (about 17% of the DV). However, the nut is also very low in carbs with just about 4 grams in a one-ounce serving. Even if you don't eat a lot of nuts, you may eat large quantities of nut butter and not even know it. For example, just two tablespoons of Smucker's Natural peanut butter contains 190 calories, 16 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, and 7 grams of carbs.

Bottom line: Eating too many nuts could lead to weight gain, largely because you could put yourself at risk of consuming more calories than you normally would, even when you were eating a high-carb diet. Remember, the key to weight loss is to have a deficit in calories.

For more, check out Losing Weight Is Not the Same As Fat Loss, Doctor Says.

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Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the news editor of <Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and drink coverage, and breaking down the science behind the latest health studies and information. Read more
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