How Much Sugar Can I Have On The If It Fits Your Macros Diet
Out of the 150k+ clients, our macro coaches have worked with over the years, the question of How Much Sugar Can I Eat comes up the most.
I personally answer this question in our Accountability Group Coaching calls at more times than I can remember.
One of the big benefits of the If It Fits Your Macros diet, is sustainability. After all, what do you think is easier to adhere to for 5+ months, eating the same boring health food, day in and day out, or eating the foods you love while burning fat at a steady and predictable pace? It doesnt take a rocket scientist to answer that question!
Want that ice cream cone on a hot summers day?
Worries about eating clean, losing weight and all the BS that goes in to getting your dream body?
Weve got you and your macros covered!
All we have to do is work it into your macro plan. There is nothing really off limits with IIFYM and flexible dieting. Which means no matter your food craving tendencies, you can give in and satisfy that urge as long as the macros fit into your daily allotment of fat loss macros.
Now, with this said, is there a limit? How much can you really eat before you see the scale go up?
Common sense will tell you that if you live on nothing but burgers, potato chips, and candy for the rest of the month you arent going to be looking or feeling that great.
But whats the deal with sugar, specifically? How much sugar can you eat while tracking macros or at least counting calories
Should I Stop Eating Sugar To Lose Fat & Drop Weight
Sugar is Poison. Sugar is going to kill you. Sugar makes you fat.
Do these lines sound familiar? From books to TV shows to the Internet, we have heard it all. It seems that extreme messages such as these are what catches peoples attention. Perhaps its the wow-factor, or maybe its the simple idea that cutting out one thing from your diet will help you lose weight.
To be honest, though, cutting out an entire of group of foods is not that simple. And whether you are trying to lose weight or not, its usually not the best idea for your body and mind. There are frankly several more pieces to this nutrition puzzle.
Why Does Weight Gain Matter For Health
Why do we care about how sugar might impact weight gain? Well, it turns out that weight gain, and weight loss, make a huge impact on your health. The risk of diabetes, heart disease, and many forms of cancer increase as your body weight and body fat increase.
For example, your lifetime diabetes risk increases from 7.6% for underweight people to 70.3% for very obese people. Additionally, the lifetime risk of having a cardiovascular event is 21% and 67% higher for overweight and obese people, respectively, compared to people at a healthy weight.
This means that weight gain is a great contributor to many dangerous health risks. Sugar cannot be fully blamed for weight gain, which primarily results from a calorie surplus over long periods of time. However, sugar intake can be one piece of a larger lifestyle that consists of an excessive daily calorie intake.
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Swap Bad Foods For Healthier Options
After you start working more healthy foods in, take a look at the unhealthy foods you eat and see if you can come up with healthier alternatives. Here are a few examples:
- If you typically eat hot dogs a few times a week but also like roasted chicken breast, swap out hot dogs in favor of chicken most of the time.
- Replace ice cream with frozen yogurt or sorbet.
- Replace milkshakes with fruit-and-yogurt smoothies.
- Snack on a handful of nuts or seeds instead of potato chips.
- Try whole-grain toast or cereal instead of pastries.
- Commit to changing your dinner entrée from red meats to fish once or twice a week.
- Opt for beans instead of potatoes in several meals each week.
Hindrance To Weight Loss
One challenge that adults face when it comes to sugar and weight loss is hidden sugar.
Sometimes, it can be a challenge to know how much sugar you consume each day since sugar is added to so many foods that dont seem sweet or that you may think of as healthy .
However, regardless of where the sugar comes from, it can still have a major impact on your weight loss program.
Consider watching what sugar you consume, such as in desserts, and avoid adding any to your coffee or tea.
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Natural Vs Added Sugar
Sugars are carbohydrates, and they’re the body’s preferred source of energy. There are many types of sugars. Fructose and glucose are two simple sugars that are well-known. Sucrose, which is table sugar, consists of equal parts fructose and glucose, making it a disaccharide. Lactose, the sugar that naturally occurs in milk, is made up of equal parts glucose and galactose. When you eat carbohydrates, the body breaks them down into glucose, which is used for energy.
Fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and dairy contain natural sugars. Fructose, glucose and lactose are inherently part of these foods. No processing has been done to add sugar. Sugar also occurs naturally in sugarcane and sugar beets in the form of sucrose. However, these are processed to make white sugar, which can then be added to processed foods or to drinks like coffee, in which cases it’s considered added sugar. High fructose corn syrup is another sugar that can be made from corn. While sucrose is 50% glucose and 50% fructose, HFCS is usually 55% fructose and 45% glucose and is added to many processed foods, making it an added sugar.
Honey, maple syrup and agave are natural sugars-they come from plants-but when added to foods, they are considered added sugar. Sugar can also be processed and added to foods under various names including invert sugar, corn syrup, dextrose, evaporated cane juice, molasses, brown sugar, brown rice syrup and more .
Be Mindful Of Sugar Substitutes
Avoiding sugar is something that adults on diets aim to do, and many switch to artificial sweeteners as an alternative.
While they may be calorie-free, artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes can be up to 600 times sweeter than regular sugar, which means your brain thinks you are consuming enormous amounts of sugar at one time.
This strategy often leads to you having intense sugar cravings throughout the day.
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Things That Knock You Out Of Ketosis
As I’ve gone over in the previous section, the main factor that will knock you out of ketosis is the over-consumption of carbohydrates . Two significant factors help influence how many carbs it takes to knock you out of ketosis:
Meaning, the more muscle and more active you are, the more carbohydrates you can generally eat while staying in ketosis. For most individuals, between 20 and 50 grams of net carbs works to establish and remain in ketosis.
However, I’ve known athletes and very active individuals who can eat upwards of ~150 grams of carbohydrates and still stay in ketosis.
Your Current Level Of Activity
Working a sedentary job is a common culprit for weight gain. Add to this factors such as a long commute, or a busy, irregular lifestyle and you may be at the lowest level of physical activity.
A sedentary lifestyle can cause many other health problems besides weight gain. It can be a leading risk factor for diabetes, heart disease, anxiety, and depression.
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How Much Sugar Can I Consume
One of the many myths of flexible dieting is that you can eat anything you want doughnuts, candy, or cake as long as you hit your ratio. While this is true to some degree, its not a useful calorie allotment. If you use 50 percent of your carbohydrates on doughnuts, you leave little room for nutrient-rich carbs such as brown rice.
What makes the macros diet different is that you can consume sugar without the guilty feeling of indulging in a simple pleasure. The key is moderation. Consuming 80 to 100 grams of sugar, including natural sugars such as fruit, is perfectly acceptable. When in doubt, apply a rule of 85 percent natural sugars to 15 percent processed sugars. In this range, you can still achieve your goals without sacrificing a treat here or there.
Reduce Or Eliminate Sweetened Drinks
In America, sugar-sweetened beverages, like soda, fruit drinks, alcoholic beverages and sports drinks, are the primary sources of added sugar. And studies show that consumption of these drinks is directly related to weight gain.
Studies also show that swapping at least 2 servings per day of sugar-sweetened beverages for water can significantly help with weight or fat loss. Plus, sugary drinks are less filling than whole foods with natural sugars like fruit, and therefore can lead to intake of more calories throughout the day.
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How To Eat Bread And Still Lose Weight
Bread lovers, rejoice!
You can eat breadand still lose weight!
If youve ever gone on a diet, you know bread is usually on the list of foods you shouldnt even think about eating. Thats because bread is generally perceived as fattening.
But if youre like me, you dont want to give up bread in order to be thin. I love to have a toasted slice topped with half a mashed avocado and a bit of garlic salt. So yummy! I eat that almost every day with either breakfast or lunch.
So whats the trick to eating bread and not gaining weight?
You simply have to know which breads are best for weight loss. After all, not all breads are created equal. Research shows that refined, white-flour breads are associated with weight gain and belly fatbut whole grain breads can actually help with weight loss.
Ill recommend specific breads for you to try, but before I do, here are some general guidelines that can be helpful for you, since different stores carry different brands.
How To Eat Sugar And Still Lose Fat
Some say that any time you eat sugar, you are flipping a switch that tells your body to store fat.
Diet books tell you to avoid it at all costs.
Newspaper headlines claim that its more addictive than cocaine.
But is sugar really as bad as everyone says it is? Can you eat sugar and still lose weight?
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Eating Too Much Protein
There’s this thought that overeating protein will result in the protein magically turning into sugar and spiking your insulin. While marginally true, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Throughout the day, your body is converting non-carbohydrate substrates into glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis. This process is happening continuously, even daily, and while on a ketogenic diet.
Gluconeogenesis is a demand-driven process. Meaning it only occurs when the body needs glucose. While the brain can run efficiently on ketones, it will always require a small portion of glucose to function.
It’s almost impossible for the average person to overeat protein where it would prevent them from entering a state of ketosis.
In fact, you can eat a diet void of carbohydrates and fat while consuming nothing but protein, such as a protein-sparing modified fast, and enter a state of ketosis.
When it comes to protein, it’s better to eat too much than too little.
How I Lost 50 Poundswhile Eating Cookies Every Single Day
What this man can tell you about his surprising diet may help you lose weight and keep it off for good
At my heaviest, I weighed 205 pounds. That may not seem too big, but it is when youre 5-foot 6-inches tall. My body fat percentage was between 40 and 45, and I was obese. It wasnt a good look.
Id always been a big kid, but then two things happened that helped me pack on even more pounds. First, I became a successful online entrepreneur.
Because I could work from anywhere, I decided to become a digital nomad and move to Argentina.
While there, I really took to the food, especially the ice cream, which you can have delivered right to your door. Thats dangerous.
The second thing that happened is that I tore my right ACL, and I couldnt walk much. The combination of eating too much and moving too little left me tipping the scales.
Related: 6 Guys Share How Exercise Screwed Up Thier BodiesSo You Can Learn From Their Mistakes When I moved back to Toronto in my late 20s, the combination of getting older, being overweight, and living a generally unhealthy lifestyle was taking a toll on my health. I felt like I was in a 70-year-olds body. One day, Id had enough, and I made a commitment to finally get in shape.
Today, I weigh 150 pounds and my body fat percentage sits around 12 percent .
Howd I do it? With a little exercise, smart eating, and cookies. Lots and lots of cookies.
Heres how it worked.
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Wait No Counting Calories
When I tell my patients they dont have to count calories to lose weight, they look at me like Im crazy. But, Dr. Muenzer, they say, every diet Ive tried includes counting calories.
Yes, I respond, and if those calorie-counting programs worked, you wouldnt be asking me for help now.
This is a light bulb moment for my patients. While calorie intake is an important component of healthy weight maintenance, weve learned that its the types of food you eat to get those calories that is most important. Refined sugars and white flours make you hungrier and cause you to eat more calories.
Carbs Are Not The Enemy
In todays world, we are surrounded by foods that contain highly processed carbs, which makes it challenging at times to identify healthy options. But the answer isnt necessarily to swear off carbs altogether because they are an essential part of our diets. They provide fuel for our bodies and contain fiber, which helps you digest foods. The trick is to eat more whole carbohydrates, such as vegetables, beans, potatoes and whole grains. Eat refined carbs less frequently, including white bread, pastries, pastas, sugary soft drinks, pizza and other fast foods.
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Here Is How This Works Out:
Our average female client is 54 170 lbs, and goes to the gym or does yoga 2-3 times per week.Someone like this might be at 180 grams of carbs per day to burn fat .
Yet, out of 180 grams of carbs, we might create a goal for this client of around 25-55 grams per day, give or take.
If they go over? No big deal as long as they are able to hit their macros for the day .
Now, if you are very active and are adding foods that contain a bit of sugar immediately post-exercise, you may be able to go slightly higher, provided all your other macros are in check. As long as our example client hits her macros on a day to day basis, she is going to burn fat at a steady and predictable pace.
This is part of the reason why so many people come to us, asking for help with their macros. They know that we have the perfect formula for IIFYM fat loss. We have worked with thousands of clients and have amazing success getting them in shape.
Lesson #: Sugar Is Added To Everything
Over the 10 days, I became very comfortable with a nutrition label and the numerous different terms for hidden sugar. Every single meal, snack, and drink had to be carefully vetted to ensure it met the requirements. The amount of sugar in sauces and dressings surprised me. I bring salads to work almost every day for lunch, and two tablespoons of dressing alone could have 15 grams of sugar. Makes you think twice about adding a little extra! But I was pleasantly surprised to learn prepared hummus doesn’t contain added sugar, and when mixed with plain Greek yogurt, it’s a great substitute for dressing.
I did avoid takeout and restaurants for the 10 days because it’s nearly impossible to know if sugar is added to dishes. But I’ll fully admit this isn’t a sustainable goal 10 days was definitely my max. I missed Indian food takeout! To avoid added sugar when eating out, “be very careful about sauces and dressings, including anything ketchup or BBQ based,” advises Spano. She suggests asking for sauces and dressing to be served on the side so you control the amount. And choose oil and vinegar for salads instead of heavy sauces to avoid even more sugar.
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How Protein Can Keep You From Ketosis
Insulin is known as a blood sugar lowering-hormone. However, not only carbs but also protein increases insulin levels. The hormone helps to shuffle sugar and amino acids into cells.
Since high insulin levels can prevent ketosis, you should try to limit insulin release.
Even though protein does not nearly cause the same insulin spike as high glycemic carbs do, too much can make ketosis less stable.
This is why carb restriction shouldnt be your only focus on the ketogenic diet. To achieve ketosis efficiently, eat the right amount of protein and limit your carbohydrate consumption. Dont just do one or the other.
In general, you should aim to get around 25% of your calories from protein. If youre active or restricting calories for fat loss, then it is best to increase your protein intake. To find out the exact amount of protein you should eat, use our keto calculator.