"Light" foods can make you eat more

You know Doritos aren"t healthy. You know you shouldn"t be eating them, and I hope you"re not.

But how about a "baked" Dorito?

I'm sure you can figure out that a baked Dorito is still junk food. But while you might not fall for that little scam, millions of other Americans have -- and new research shows how making the switch to "diet," "light," and "healthy" versions of popular junk foods hasn"t helped people to lose weight.

In fact, you might even GAIN weight!

That's right, my friend. These "diet" foods don't even deliver on the promise baked right into their low-fat, reduced-calorie names. They WON'T help you to cut back on food... WON'T help you eat better... and WON'T help you to lose weight.

In fact, the new study finds that people who switch to "diet" versions of their favorite foods eventually end up eating MORE than they did before they made that change!

Just one year after switching to "diet" and "light" versions of foods, dieters end up stocking up on foods that contain 13 percent MORE calories in total, according to the study in the International Journal of Research in Marketing.

Even worse, many don't actually replace their "unhealthy" foods with the "light" versions but ultimately start eating both.

It"s a recipe for a diet disaster.

The researchers looked at the habits from a marketing standpoint and believe there"s a certain psychological element to it. Guilt over eating junk food often limits how much of it we eat... but "diet" foods often ease that guilt.

If folks think it"s healthy, they might justify eating twice as many "baked" Doritos than they would regular ones.

I'm sure that plays a role here, but the study misses another part of the problem -- and that's how all of the chemicals, preservatives, and refined carbs in processed foods can do strange things inside your body.

The empty carbs used even in "light" versions of food can cause blood sugar levels to spike and crash, leading to more hunger later on... and more eating and overeating.

The chemicals and preservatives can also cause deep cravings, in some cases making you addicted to junk in a very real way.

And because the artificial sweeteners used in "diet" soft drinks are hundreds of times sweeter than sugar and come with no calories, they can change how your brain perceives sweets.

Eventually, your brain "learns" that sweets come with no calories, so it stops sending out the signal to stop eating after sweets, even when they DO contain real sugar and plenty of calories.

That's one reason studies have shown that folks who switch to diet soft drinks can gain weight instead of losing it.

You don't need a study to know what you have to do about this. don't fall for marketing stunts. Avoid packaged and processed foods no matter what claims are on the labels.