I can guarantee that you’ve heard negativity surrounding sugar, particularly when you’re trying to lose weight, but without any reason to this rhyme, you’ll have most likely ignored it. Today then I want to discuss exactly why sugar is stopping you from losing weight, and believe me there is a lot more than meets the eye!
I want to focus on 3 main reasons why sugar is holding you back from losing weight:
- Empty Calories
- Excess Sugar is Converted to Fat
- Spike Your Energy Supplies
Firstly, I want to address the obvious, in that added sugar boosts your calories and has very minimal nutritional benefit to you, which is where the term “empty calorie” comes from. Added sugars (like sucrose and high fructose corn syrup) contain a whole bunch of calories with NO essential nutrients. More specifically, there are no proteins, essential fats, vitamins or minerals in sugar… just pure energy.
You might now be thinking that these added sugars are great to supply your body with energy for workouts and you wouldn’t be wrong. However, the amount of these added sugars you consume in, for example, a single energy drink is much more than you will need, so you should be very careful when using this approach. Instead, I would recommend using natural sources of sugar such as fruit or natural honey.
Excess Sugar is Converted to Fat
The negative effects that sugar has on your potential for losing weight doesn’t stop at just calorie management. In order to understand this next point, you need to understand what it is made of.
Before sugar enters the bloodstream from the digestive tract, it is broken down into two simple sugars… glucose and fructose.
- Glucose is found in every living cell on the planet. If we don’t get it from the diet, our bodies produce it.
- Fructose is different. Our bodies do not produce it in any significant amount and there is no physiological need for it.
The thing with fructose is that it can only be metabolized by the liver in small amounts. This is not a problem, therefore, if we only eat a little bit (such as from fruit) because the fructose will be turned into glycogen and stored in the liver until we need it . However, if the liver is full of glycogen (much more common), eating a lot of fructose overloads the liver, forcing it to turn the fructose into fat.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Keep in mind that all of this does NOT apply to fruit. It is almost impossible to overeat fructose by eating fruit.
Spike Your Energy Supplies
When you consume sugar, the level of the fat-producing hormone known as insulin is increased. This short-term spike in your blood sugar levels gives you an initial boost of energy, but when the glucose is used up, a process that occurs surprising quickly, you are left feeling very hungry. Of course, for someone trying to lose weight, the feeling of being hungry is definitely not a desirable one, especially because you are probably trying to limit the amount of calories you’re consuming.
It’s obvious to see exactly why sugar intake should be minimised whenever you’re trying to lose weight for both the physical and psychological reason. So, next time you go to drink a can of Coke or eat some sweets, think about the effects this will have on you reaching your goal.
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