Hey urban Girls! This article will provide you with in-depth information on sugar, how it affects your health, cause weight gain and help you live a sugar-free lifestyle.
Table of contents
- What is obesity
- Does added sugar cause weight gain
- How added sugar causes weight gain
- How to quit sugar
What is obesity
Obesity is the main reason for all the disease that kills thousands of people every month. Obesity is when your body mass index (BMI) is 30 or higher. According to NIH, more than 35% of U.S adults are obese and more than 34% are overweight.
Obesity is spreading rapidly and tons of people are getting victim to it.
Obesity is an epidemic!
Due to more technological advancement, people these days are getting lazy and inactive as everything can be accessed by your cell phone. You can order food while sitting in your couch within minutes.
If you are suffering from obesity or want to lose weight, it’s very important for you to take some action right now!
Does added sugar cause weight gain?
Your weight is directly related to your sugar consumption. Sugar present in fruits and other natural foods are not harmful if consumed in moderate amount. In fact, consuming fruit every day is very beneficial for your health. The main culprit here is added sugar or refined sugar.
The average person eats a whopping 20 teaspoon of sugar every day which is much higher than the recommendation of 6 teaspoons per day. Consuming a diet which is high in sugar can be a contributing factor in weight gain.
Let us now understand in what ways added sugar is fattening you.
How added sugar causes weight gain
1. Raises your blood sugar levels
No doubt sugary foods are very tasty but consuming it frequently can harm your body. Daily consumption of a large amount of added sugar leads to an elevation in blood sugar levels.
Elevated blood sugar leads to weight gain.
2. Higher empty calories
Sugar has a high amount of calories with very few nutrients. So, consuming excess sugar can increase your weight. Your body needs vitamins, minerals, protein and other nutrients in order to function optimally. Added sugars lack nutrients but are high in calories so they are referred to as empty calories.
Avoid taking added sugar regularly as it can cause weight gain.
3. Prevents you from feeling fuller
Foods and beverages that are loaded with added sugar are very low in protein. Protein is the nutrient which promotes the feeling of fullness. You should consume low calorie with a high-protein diet because protein makes you feel fuller.
Protein is an essential micro nutrient which slows down your digestion and keep the blood sugar levels stable.
4. More food cravings
Foods rich in sugar can significantly increase Ghrelin, a hunger promoting hormone while decreasing the levels of peptide YY.
Studies have shown that fructose can affect your appetite as it impacts that part of your brain which is responsible for functions like appetite regulation, metabolism, calories burned etc.
We usually consume calorie-rich foods like pizza, burger etc with a sugary drink so ultimately consuming sugar leads to high-calorie intake and encourages overeating.
High intake of added sugars regularly can increase your weight and is linked to obesity and diabetes.
Now, as we know how added sugar can cause weight gain, let’s look at how to quit eating sugar.
How to quit sugar
1. Start by setting small goals
Whenever you try to achieve something you have to stay focused and dedicated. It will be hard at first as your body will crave for sugary food. Starting out by setting small goals and achieving it can significantly increase your chances of success.
Start by setting a weekly challenge and slowly increase the number of days as you progress. This way it will be easier for you to keep track of your progress and help you stay motivated.
Don’t quit sugar immediately as you may feel fatigued, headaches. It’s better if you gradually decrease the consumption of sugar, your body will adjust to the process and you won’t have to face the above symptoms.
2. Increase protein consumption
Protein is the most filling nutrient. It helps to slow down the digestion process and keeps the blood sugar level stable. Protein makes you feel fuller so you consume less calorie when you follow a protein-rich diet.
It reduces the level of hormone which drives your appetite. So consuming more protein will help you beat sugar cravings.
3. Get rid of sugar from your home
The sugar which is added in coffee, tea and other items are basically the refined sugar. This type of sugar is easily absorbed by the body and its regular consumption can cause a spike in blood glucose levels. The very first step is to get rid of refined sugars. Sugars that you need to get rid of are:
- White sugar
- Brown sugar
- Corn syrup
- Granulated sugar
- Go for the real sources of sugar
4. Use natural sweetener
Instead of the above refined sugars, it’s better to go for the natural sources of sugar. Consuming moderate amount of sugar is actually beneficial for you as it provides us with energy. There are many healthy alternatives to added sugar such as:
Honey is the most popular natural sugar. It contains beneficial antioxidant which lowers the risk of disease. Honey also contains vitamins B6, iron, zinc, calcium, potassium and many other vitamins and minerals.
Stevia is the healthiest natural sweetener that contains zero calories. It lowers the blood sugar level and helps fight diabetes. Studies have shown that Stevia lower blood pressure and insulin levels.
- Coconut sugar
Coconut sugar is another natural sweetener which is packed with minerals like iron, zinc, calcium, potassium, phosphorous. Coconut has low glycemic load but rich in antioxidants and because of these properties its popularity is increasing.
- Maple syrup
Maple syrup contains minerals like iron, zinc, potassium, calcium and manganese and 22 different types of antioxidants. The glycemic load is slightly lower than the white sugar so you should consume it moderately.
Molasses contains fewer minerals and vitamins but are higher in antioxidants than any other natural sugar mentioned above. It’s made from boiling down sugar cane juice.
5. Give up on sugary drinks and foods
Cut those food with dense added sugar from your diet. Foods high in sugar contains little to no nutrients but add lots of calories without satisfying your cravings. One can of carbonated drink contains as much as nine teaspoon of sugar which is more than the daily limit.
Simple sugars are absorbed by the body easily so go for the complex carbohydrates that are found in foods such as whole grains, beans and vegetables. They are absorbed slowly and provides energy for a longer duration of time.
6. Add healthy fats on your diet
Foods such as avocados, nuts, fish contain healthy fats which are very beneficial for your health. It helps fight heart disease, cholesterol and blood sugar. It also keeps your digestive system healthy. Healthy digestive system is also linked to weight loss.
Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are called good fats because these fats can help to:
- Lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Lower bad LDL cholesterol levels and increase good HDL.
- Prevent abnormal heart rhythms.
- Lower blood pressure.
7. Keep track of what you eat
Keeping track of what food you eat throughout the day can help you a lot. Keep note of the foods you are eating with its calories and amount of added sugar. There are many apps which can help you calculate the nutrition information of the foods.
Keeping track will increase your chances of success and you will be able to achieve your weight loss goals too.
8. Stay hydrated
Being thirsty can increase your sugar craving so keep your body hydrated every time. A normal human being should drink at least eight glasses of water per day. Water helps your body to function properly and also keeps your skin healthy and glowing. Detox water helps your body to get rid of toxins, increase your energy and also promotes weight loss.
You feel more fresh and your thinking ability increases when your body is hydrated.
9. Include your friends
Involving your friends and close ones can help you in quitting sugar as you’ll stay motivated and help each other to achieve the goal. You can also create a challenge and see who can stay without sugar for a longer period of time or even quit permanently. Talking to each other about your progression can help you to successfully quit sugar.
The bottom line
Quitting sugar has tons of health benefits as sugar is linked to obesity, heart disease and weight gain. Quit sugar now and rock your body and roll your health.
Comment down your thoughts in the comment section. We’d love to hear from you!
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