Sugar exists naturally in foods such as milk, fruits, vegetables, cheese, and grains. These foods are rich in nutrients that nourish our bodies.
But there is also added sugar, which is often found in processed and prepackaged foods such as bread, cakes, candies, cookies, soda, ice cream, yogurt, etc.
Eating too much of these sugars has been shown to contribute to all kinds of health issues, including diabetes, dental problems, heart disease, excess weight gain, and even cancer. It's important to cut out sugar from your diet, but is it key to weight loss? Let's find out:
Effects of Excess Sugar Intake on Weight
The rate of obesity is rising worldwide due to the high consumption of sugar-sweetened foods, especially beverages and wheat products.
These foods are high in calories but low in nutrition value, unlike whole foods with natural sugar. You gain 1 pound for every 3,500 calories you take in.
This results in high insulin levels that cause abdominal fat and reduces the rate of metabolism. Other than gaining weight, this can cause health problems, as mentioned earlier.
Scientifically, when you consume a lot of refined sugar, your body goes into overdrive, producing insulin and absorbing glucose into the body's cells. This prompts the body to store fat for future use, which results in weight gain.
Processed snacks contain a form of simple sugar called fructose. Once fructose enters the body, the liver metabolizes it and converts it into fats that are absorbed into the blood cells. The blood cells then grow bigger, making the body produce more leptin.
This is the body hormone that informs you when you have had enough food and regulates hunger. After a while, your body becomes resistant to the hormone, leaving you with the desire to eat more and more food.
Resultingly, your body weight will shoot up with time. Processed foods also lack natural fiber responsible for a full-stomach feeling.
How to Cut On Sugar
Sugary foods are sweet, and it is normal to experience cravings when you switch to the no sugar diet. Sugar can also be addictive to some people, meaning giving it up can be very difficult.
To avoid sending your body into shock due to the sudden change, start by taking low-sugar foods before graduating to the no sugar diet. Be sure to replace the eliminated foods with naturally sweet foods.
Most of the foods loaded with refined sugar are carbohydrates. Therefore, reducing your daily carbohydrate intake and eating more proteins and fat can help reduce sugar intake.
This will help in weight loss since no excess fats are being stored, and your body is responsive to leptin as required. You can still get carbs from natural foods such as grains.
These have natural sugars, which are less harmful to your health. Other simple ways to help cut down on sugar intake are: avoiding sugar-loaded desserts, cutting-back on sugar-filled drinks, and considering natural sweeteners like maple syrup and honey.
You could also eat whole foods, avoid sauces that contain lots of sugar like ketchup, check for sugar in canned foods, and don't keep sugar or sugary foods in the house.
Eating less sugar isn't all about avoiding sweet foods, though. It's also essential to read labels as sugar can be a hidden ingredient in unlikely foods like healthy breakfast cereals as well as the so-called healthy snacks. Food companies use several other names to refer to added sugar, so watch out for that too.
Cutting sugar increases the rate of metabolism in the body, allowing you to lose weight much easier. Be sure to supplement this with exercise for faster and better results.