Will Eating Less Sugar Help Me Lose Weight
Healthy eating is one of the best things you can do to prevent and control health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer.
But, the most important part of healthy eating is cutting back on sugar. Overall, the evidence that high sugar drinks promote weight gain is consistent and moderately strong. Sugar has been labelled as “deadly,” “addictive, and “toxic” and it is blamed for the rise in global obesity. Excessive unhealthy food and sugar-sweetened soft drink consumption has been linked to weight gain, as it provides a major and unnecessary source of calories with little or no nutritional value.
So, the key is to get rid of the white sweetness in your diet and you’ll free up your body to drop excess pounds.
One study, which focused on the prevalence of weight gain in children who consume sugar-sweetened soft drinks, has shown that a high consumption of high sugar soft drinks predicts increased weight gain.
Another study, published on BMJ.com, proves that sugar intake can have a significant effect on weight over time. The study found that people who ate less sugar lost an average of nearly 2 pounds over a period of 10 weeks while people who increased their sugar intake gained nearly 2 pounds in the same amount of time. These seem like small changes but over time this weight gain can really add up. Over the course of only two years, thats a 20 pound increase in weight.
Use The Help Of Some Allies
way to stop eating refined sugar is to check out what your possible allies are.
We know that going to the supermarket is the most practical and economical option, so you should learn who your allies in the diet are. Among the options you should have on hand to complement your food are:
- fruit purees
- brown sugar
- Brown sugar
The problem is that we get used to very sweet flavors and lose all sense, which can make us overdo it.
The Many Names Of Added Sugar
Its in about three-quarters of all prepackaged foods at the grocery store and has more than 50 names, so it can be hard to keep up. Some of the more common ones are corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, raw sugar, cane sugar, evaporated cane juice, dextrose, agave, brown rice syrup, coconut palm sugar, barley malt syrup, and more. Look for a list of names from a reputable source if you want to be sure of what youre buying.
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Understand The Difference Between ‘naturally
Before you freak out and throw out everything sweet in your kitchen, take a moment to fully understand the official sugar recommendation and the difference between added sugar and naturally-occurring sugar.
- Naturally-occurring sugar: Fruits, veggies, and plain dairy products have naturally-occurring sugar that shouldn’t overly concern you. Because fruits and veggies contain other digestion-slowing nutrients like fiber and healthy fats, your body doesn’t process the sugar as quickly as it would a cookie or a Twix bar. In other words, the sugar in apples and peppers won’t contribute to weight gain and diabetes like a soda will.
- Added sugar: The FDA defines “added sugars” as all sugars that are added during the processing of foods. This includes sugars from syrups, honey, and concentrated fruit or vegetable juices.
To remind you, the official recommendation is to cut back on added sugars, not all sugar. Beginning in January 2020, the Nutrition Facts Panel will have a column dedicated to added sugars, which will make it easy to detect which foods are high in added sugar.
Because some manufacturers will have until January 2021 to add this “added sugar” line, make sure to know how to calculate added sugar on your own. Naturally occurring sugars and added sugar are clumped together under “sugar.” This is particularly confusing when you’re buying things like flavored yogurt, which contain both types of the sweet stuff. So when in doubt, read the ingredients list.
Youll Improve Your Breath And Your Smile
Your sweet tooth is really anything but when it comes to the health of your smile, says Saul Pressner, a dentist in New York City. Sugar is a major cofactor in causing cavities as it interacts with bacteria in your mouth to form the acid that causes decay, he says. Your breath will also improve as sugar feeds the bacteria that cause bad breath. These benefits will be immediate, and will only get better with time, he says. Here are some other things sugar does to your body.
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Cut Back On Sugary Drinks
Most added sugars in the American diet come from sugary drinks sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, sweetened teas, and others .
Additionally, drinks that many people perceive as healthy, such as smoothies and fruit juices, can still contain astounding amounts of added sugar.
For example, 1 cup of cranberry juice cocktail contains more than 7 teaspoons of sugar .
Additionally, your body doesnt recognize calories from drinks in the same way as those from food. Calories from drinks are absorbed quickly, resulting in a rapid increase in your blood sugar level.
Drinks also dont make you feel as full as solid food, so people who consume lots of calories from drinks dont eat less to compensate (
Don’t Rely On Artificially
Though turning to artificial sweeteners may seem like the go-to move when cutting back on the real stuff, don’t be fooled! Splenda, Sweet n’ Low, diet soda and sugar-free candy aren’t any better than the real deal. What’s worse, some research, including a report in Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine and a separate American Journal of Public Health study both found an association between fake sugars and weight gainnot loss.
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Sugar Detox Withdrawal Symptoms
Numerous studies have found that added sugars can produce changes in neurochemistry and behavior similar to those of other addictive drugs. When initially cutting out sugar after long-term use, one may experience withdrawal symptoms. Sugar detox symptoms should resolve within a few days, but may include:
Cut Out Simple Carbohydrates
Carbs are an essential part of your diet, and while excess sugar can be a health issue, learning how to cut out sugar is not the same as cutting all carbs.
However, most forms of simple carbs include nothing but refined sugars. Typically, these simple carbs and refined sugar products can be found in the candy, cookie and cracker aisle, all of which you should avoid.
Simple carbs and refined sugars can spike your blood sugar levels as well as insulin in your body, which can cause lethargy and weight gain.
For anyone looking to be healthy with optimal weight loss, this should be a no brainer, and the sooner you cut the simple carbs and refined sugars from your diet, the better.
If you love carbs, add more whole grains to your diet, like brown rice, farro and oats, as well as fresh veggies.
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So What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Eating Sugar
Hard as it may be to stop ordering an ice cold cola with your burger, or keep your fingers from grazing the candy dish at parties, omitting sugar from your diet can have a significant impact on your health. If you’re someone who regularly treats themselves to dessert with a cup of tea after dinner, or tosses a store-bought granola bar in with their lunch every day, Siskind warned there might be a tough transition period at first.
“Studies have shown that there are similar effects as when people get off drugs,” she said. “You may experience exhaustion, headaches, brain fog and irritability. Some people even have gastrointestinal distress.”
Translation: it’s a process.
Tips To Smash Sugar Cravings
Note that you dont have to and may not need to completely avoid sweet foods. Sweet is one of the 5 basic tastes, and some people find that completely avoiding sweet foods intensifies the cravings.Others, however, find sweet foods triggering.
Treat yourself to sugar free treats made with monk fruit or stevia, like this cashew cake batter pudding. Or even a piece of fruit with nut butter. Some people avoid binge behavior by just satisfying cravings for sweets with some dark chocolate or something sweet. This is not true for everyone, however: Some people may experience serious binge reactions if they eat sweet foods.
Here are some tips to keep blood sugar stable and cravings in check:
If you overdid it: The day after a sugar binge, start off with 8 ounces hot water and the juice of 1/2 a lemon to detoxify, and drink green vegetable juices if you have access to alkalize the body sugar is very acidic. Then stick to protein & veggies & plenty of good fats, like avocado, throughout the day to reset yourself.
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Effects Of Sugar Immune System And Immune Activity
A study out of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that about 75 grams of sugar lowers immune system activity by 40% for up to 5 hours after eating. This may sound like a lot of sugar, but a can of soda alone has 40 grams of sugar. There is hidden sugar in more than we think. Even in granola bars, ketchup, salad dressing, and seemingly healthy frozen meals.
This 75 grams of sugar is not all of nothing. If you eat 20 grams of sugar, your immune system will still take a hit. Lets say you eat something sugary for breakfast and then have some more sugar in your lunch 3 hours later, your immune function will be reduced further from the already lower function.
It is very easy to go a whole day, or week for that matter, with your immune system functioning at just a fraction of what it should be.
Ok, so if that wasnt enough to get you to rethink sugar
Enhanced Mood Mental Clarity Focus And Health
Sugar is often a source of reward, when emotions run high or stressful situations occur. Eating sugar as a compulsive reaction to feel better does more damage than good, though.
Sugar only aids in greater mood imbalances, stress, poor eating habits, and feelings of tiredness. The more people give into their sugar addiction, the more troubles they will have with their mental health.
Studies show that 80 percent of people who stopped eating sugar and other unhealthy foods found that their mental health greatly improved. Scientists who studied the group found that patients had decreased depression, anxiety, fewer mood swings, and more mental focus.
Quitting sugar may come with side effects such as sugar headaches, which is the body suffering from sugar withdrawals. Soon after replacing sugary foods with brain foods fish, nuts, leafy greens, and lean meats sugar headaches will disappear.
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Shop On A Full Stomach
It’s true what they say: Out of house, out of mouth. Seems simple enoughuntil you’re actually in the grocery store. To ensure you’ll have the restraint to stop eating sugar, have a small snack before you leave the house. Experts say that when we’re shopping hungry, we’re far more likely to lose sight of our dietary goals and load up on unhealthy, sugar-laden eats.
Focus On Overall Diet Quality
Studies show that improving overall diet quality can help minimize cravings for sugary foods and enhance cravings for healthier foods.
For example, eating fewer foods high in added sugar like ice cream, cake, and cookies and increasing your intake of nutrient-dense foods like beans, vegetables, fish, and whole fruits may help reduce your reliance on added sugar and help you crave healthier foods.
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If Youve Got It Really Bad Here Is Supplemental Support
- 500 mg 1000mg of glutamine really helps some people. Break open the capsules and empty under your tongue, then swallow with water. This does not work for everyone.
- certain minerals like chromium help arrest sugar cravingsyou can often find them in blood sugar balance blends with other herbs or nutrients to help stop sugar cravings. Examples are gymnema, alpha lipoic acid, and even cinnamon. Body Ecology Ancient Minerals is awesome.
- Try this crave arrest to help balance brain chemicals that can cause cravings.
- Have a cup of green tea. It may sound preposterous, but we sometimes mistake hunger or craving cues for thirst, and the minerals in green tea give you a boost. Minerals in general also help stop sugar cravings. Drink lots of green juicesvery high in minerals!
- Have a protein snack using suggestions above. As I mentioned, when blood sugar is low, you actually need protein, not sugar.
Stick to dark chocolate it has health benefitsor truffles over hard candy, and bring treats that dont contain refined sugars to parties. Its ok to treat yourself every once in a while, and I often recommend sugar busting snacks in the afternoon, like coconut butter or coconut oil melted with almond butter and a bit of honey that can satisfy a craving. Remember that indulging in too much sugar every day will only make sugar cravings worse, so save the treats for parties and special occasions.
So Why Do I Crave Sweets
So why do we crave sugar if its bad for us? When we eat sugar, dopamine levels surge. Dopamine is associated with the pleasure and reward center in our brains. These dopamine bursts helped us survive over the course of history they drive us toward things like food, water, and sex, all of which keep the human race going.
The problem is, this dopamine response occurs whether you eat a banana or a candy bar. Our primate brains cant tell the difference.
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Not All Natural Sugars Are Equally Good
Though natural sugars are generally considered more beneficial than refined sugars, this doesnt hold true in all cases.
Natural sugars can also be processed in a way that removes virtually all of their fiber and a good portion of their other nutrients. Smoothies and juices are good examples of this.
In their whole form, fruits offer chewing resistance and are loaded with water and fiber.
Blending or juicing them breaks down or removes almost all of their fiber, as well as any chewing resistance, meaning you likely require a larger portion to feel satisfied (
Natural sugars found in smoothies and juices wont be as beneficial as those found in whole foods. Maple syrup and honey are typically viewed as sources of natural sugars but should only be consumed in moderation.
Dont Deprive All The Time
As for allowing myself some unhealthy things, Basbaum actually approves. Denying yourself doesnt last for people, she says. I like to use the 80/20 rule. So, 80% of the time youre eating the way you should cooking at home, packing lunches, fresh foods, lean meats. The other 20% of the time you eat the two donuts, the big thing of popcorn. You can live your life, stay healthy, and still have treats, she assures.
Basbaum doesnt recommend this approach to everybody, though. Some people might be too strict or take advantage of it, she says. She does prefer people to follow this rule over an extreme.
My big takeaway from this sugar season has been that, the more I focus on eating real food and not fake food, the easier it gets. Candy and yes, the fudge, makes my body tired. Its just not worth it.
But, as Basbaum warns, a total denial isnt a sustainable idea. So, if some chocolate shows up on Valentines Day, I wont turn it down
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Stock Up On Fresh Fruit
So what should you buy instead of all those sweet snacks? Nature’s candy, of course, is naturally free of all added sugars. In fact, dietitians say that eating fresh fruit is one of the healthiest ways to satisfy a sweet craving. To ensure your fruity nosh leaves you full and satisfied, pair it with protein and healthy fats, such as nuts or nut butter , keeping you fuller for longer. Examples of fruit snack pairings include:
- raspberries and low-fat plain yogurt
- banana and peanut butter on whole-grain toast
- apple and low-fat cheddar cheese
- tangerine and cashews
Why Cut Out Sugar
Reducing sugar intake may improve a persons health.
Many adults eat much more sugar than the authorities recommend.The National Institutes of Health , for example, estimate that adults in the United States get around 15% of their calories from added sugars alone. This sugar intake does not even include natural sugars, such as those in products such as fruit and milk.
Excessive sugar consumption has links to several harmful health conditions, including:
- nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
- dental plaque and cavities
Reducing the amount of sugar in the diet can help a person reduce their risk of these health conditions.
Replacing high sugar foods with healthful options can help a person get all of their essential vitamins and minerals without the added calories. It may also help them lose weight, if necessary.
Here are eight simple tips a person can use to help cut sugar from their diet:
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Increase Your Dietary Fiber Intake
Eating high fiber foods may help you stave off hunger and cravings. They take longer to digest, causing you to feel fuller for longer.
High fiber foods also contribute to healthy blood sugar regulation. Keeping your blood sugar levels stable may help prevent cravings.
Aim for high fiber vegetables, beans, and legumes.
Pairing high protein and high fiber foods is best for healthy blood sugar control. Examples include mixing high fiber veggies like broccoli into your eggs or spooning some pumpkin seeds over your oatmeal.