Question: Can cutting sugar help me lose weight?

Question and AnswerQuestion and Answer

 I have read online that reducing sugar consumption may be the key to weight loss.

Deadly sugar - Skull and Cross Bones
Deadly sugar – Skull and Cross Bones

The answer is yes, not, and maybe. WHAT? Yes, you read my answer correct. It is not a non-answer. It is the correct answer. We will answer this part by part and I will tell you sugar is and is not necessarily the answer.

Why is sugar not the answer?

No single type of food will make you fat or is the cure that magically makes you become thinner. Excess calories make you gain weight and prevent weight loss. It does matter a little what type of calories you eat because protein and fat produce more satiety (feelings of fullness) than sugar or carbohydrates. Then again, fiber is the king of fullness and it is just a big undigestible complex carbohydrate.

Why is sugar the answer?

Sugar contains calories but no nutritive value outside of calories. It is a source of so-called empty calories. Sugar is less likely to promote satiety and if it does it will be shortlived. You will be soon hungrier than ever and reaching for the next sugar fix. Empty calories and ravenous hunger are the last things you want on a diet.

Not all sugars are equal?

Table sugar (sucrose or dextrose) and high-fructose corn syrup (HCFS) evil and promote weight gain when eaten to excess. The problem is that not all sugar is equal. For example, there is no structural difference between the fructose in HFCS and the fructose in fruit, but one leaves you wanting more and the other is filling. This is not magic. Instead, fruits have fiber to keep you full prevent the insulin spikes and crashes that come from other sugars and refined carbohydrates.

The bottom line: Sugar is not the single answer for weight loss, but cutting back on sugar when you trying to lose weight makes sense because sugar is an empty calorie and reducing sugar is an easy way to reduce your calorie intake and maintain satiety. Avoid sugars and carbohydrates may help but cutting them out entirely is probably not the answer for a healthy sustainable diet.

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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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