Sugar is probably one of the worst things to eat when trying to maintain a healthy weight.
If you think your sweet tooth is derailing your weight loss goals, you’re probably right. On the other hand, cutting out the sweet stuff completely can help you shed pounds — fast.
This guide from Sweetkick explains why sugar is so bad for weight loss and how cutting out sugar can help reach your goals more quickly.
Can Sugar Lead to Weight Gain?
Sugar is particularly likely to cause weight gain compared to the other foods you eat. From ice cream to fruit juice to things like salad dressing and white bread with added sugars, your sugar consumption may be higher than you think, which can drive weight gain.
Here are five ways sugar can impact your weight:
1. Sugar Is High in Empty Calories
Refined sugar (like white table sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and brown sugar) and even some natural sugars (like agave syrup and maple syrup) contain no vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, or antioxidants, which means they have no nutritional value. These nutrients can help your body function optimally while keeping you full for longer.
On the contrary, the only thing that sugar offers is a quick burst of energy. For this reason, added sugar is said to be mostly empty calories.
Not only is sugar made up of empty calories, but it’s high in them, too. Just one teaspoon of sugar has about 20 calories.
When you consider that the average person eats about 20 teaspoons of sugar per day, the calories can add up pretty quickly. And we know that eating too many calories can stall anyone’s weight loss efforts.
When you cut sugar, you focus more energy on whole foods full of key vitamins and minerals, which can support your overall wellness — and your weight loss efforts.
2. Sugar Spikes Cravings
Sugar has been shown to be as addictive as some hard drugs. It can make someone develop a dependence and experience withdrawal cravings when they don’t get their fix — which is why it’s so hard to quit sugar.
When you eat whole foods, such as an apple, one or two servings are usually enough to satisfy you. But with sugar, there’s no such thing as enough. This is why a high sugar diet causes so many people to overeat — and gain weight.
Cutting sugar or reducing your sugar intake can help you slowly feel less inclined to reach for a sweet treat, thus supporting your weight loss journey.
3. Sugar Can Wreck Your Gut
Eating sugar can throw off the balance in your microbiome, literally feeding “bad” gut bacteria and providing little nourishment for beneficial bacteria.
But healthy gut bacteria play a major role in metabolism, helping your body break down food and put it towards important functions.
This is why skewing your microbiome’s balance of good to bad bacteria in the wrong direction — with the help of sugar — can make it harder for you to lose weight. Plus, it can increase your risk of health problems like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. Your eating habits really do matter.
When you reduce your sugar consumption, you support your gut’s ability to function properly and maintain a balance of healthy bacteria. Your gut is crucial to your overall health, including a healthy weight.
4. Sugar Can Lead to Insulin Resistance
Eating sugar can raise your blood glucose levels. While the occasional treat won’t hugely impact the big picture, eating sugar every day certainly can.
When sugar is present at every meal, the result can be chronically elevated blood sugar — also known as hyperglycemia. Hyperglycemia, in turn, can lead to insulin resistance.
Without diving too deep into the science, insulin is a hormone that helps your body break down food and use it for energy. Insulin also plays a role in how your body stores energy, be it as fat or as glycogen.
When the body becomes resistant to insulin, it doesn’t put energy from food to good use. This can lead to fat storage or high blood sugar levels. The result can be increased body weight, inflammation, and impaired cell function.
That’s not all.
High blood sugar can also interfere with leptin, a hormone that plays a role in our appetites. Leptin sends signals to the brain when we’ve had enough food, which decreases hunger and helps us to stop eating.
But eating too much sugar can also make our bodies resistant to leptin. This can throw off our appetite signals, making us eat much more than we would with whole foods.
Reducing your sugar intake may prevent this from happening or help get you back on track if you’ve already experienced these effects.
5. Sugar Messes With Healthy Eating
We need a healthy diet full of protein, fat, and various beneficial plant compounds for our bodies to function optimally.
But when we’re eating sugar all the time, the last thing we want is a green salad with grilled chicken. Instead, we’ll reach for another sweet fix — one largely devoid of these essential nutrients.
This is a shame because some nutrients have been shown to promote weight loss. For example, protein is thermogenic, meaning the body has to burn extra calories to digest it. Fiber is another great nutrient because it keeps us full for longer, helping us to eat less throughout the day.
And then we have those hundreds of beneficial plant compounds that reduce inflammation in the body (like antioxidants). When they’re missing from our diets, the result is an increase in inflammation, which can speed up weight gain.
Your Plan To Quit Sugar
Hopefully, we’ve convinced you why sugar is so bad for weight loss. But it’s still not an easy habit to quit.
No worries, because Sweetkick’s got your back with an effective plan to quit all types of sweeteners ASAP.
Here’s how we can help:
- Sugar Control Tablets: Our Sugar Control Tablets are made with a plant called Gymnema Sylvestre, which blocks the taste of sugar on your tongue. Take one 30 minutes before each meal and watch the cravings melt away.
- Body Balance Powder: Packed with a special blend of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, our Body Balance Powder can give you a steady energy source — so you don’t have to reach for another sweetened coffee concoction to stay awake.
- Herbal Tea: We get the appeal of finishing each meal with a treat. But doing so can actually train your body to crave sugar after meals. Instead, we recommend reaching for something bitter, like our Herbal Tea. It won’t only quell sugar cravings but also promote healthy digestion after meals.
- Clusters: Snacks are an important part of a balanced diet. Ditch those “healthy” granola bars (which are no better than a candy bar) and reach for our Clusters instead. Made with healthy nuts, seeds, and whole superfoods, you won’t only feel satisfied but get nourished from head to toe.
- MacroShake: Eating on the go isn’t always easy. Your go-to might be a smoothie, but even those made with fruit are high in sugar and lacking in healthy nutrients, like protein. Our Macro Shake is here to solve that problem. A perfect balance of protein, carbs, fiber, prebiotics, and healthy fats, it will keep hang pangs and blood sugar swings at bay.
Want it all? Our Sugar Reset has everything you need to quit sugar in just 14 days.
Saying Goodbye to Sugar
We’re super proud of you for wanting to quit sugar and wanting to improve your overall health and wellness.
And if weight loss is one of your goals, then we can’t think of anything better than saying bye-bye to sugary foods. Sugar is devoid of any nutrients your body actually needs. Plus, it can spike cravings, throw your hormones off-balance, and make it harder to eat nutritious foods.
If you’re convinced about the benefits of quitting sugar, Sweetkick can help. Our products are specially formulated to help you battle cravings and get nourished, while our blog is full of useful information to help you learn about quitting sugar.
You got this!