Will I Lose Weight on a No-Sugar Diet?
If you’re like most people, you’ve had a lifetime hearing about the benefits of low-fat diets for weight loss. Now the latest trends say that cutting back on sugar may be the secret to staying trim. That might leave you wondering, Will I lose weight if I cut out sugar?
The answer is yes, most likely. Weight loss comes down to calories eaten versus calories burned. If you’re consuming fewer calories than you’re expending, you’ll lose weight. That’s why some studies, like this one, have shown that it doesn’t matter whether you’re on a low-sugar diet or one that contains sugar, as long as you’re cutting calories. And it’s the reason behind recent CICO (Calories In, Calories Out) diet fad.
However, that concept can be a bit misleading. It’s true that ultimately weight loss comes down to cutting calories. Yet many Americans overconsume sugar, meaning that sugar intake is a significant reason why many of use eat too many calories. In fact, a shocking 60 percent of Americans’ caloric intake comes from ultra-processed foods, many of which contain added sugars (often hidden under other names like dextrose or corn syrup).
Meanwhile, the American Heart Association recommends that we limit our added sugar intake to just 6 teaspoons (or 100 calories) for women and 9 teaspoons (or 150 calories) for men. Most of us are eating much, much more than that.
When we focus on reducing sugar, we can replace high-calorie options like cake, bagels and soda with lower-calorie and more nutritious options like vegetables, lean proteins, and other whole foods. Making that switch is almost guaranteed to lead to weight loss.
That’s why more and more health experts and scientists are focusing on low-sugar diets as the solution to America’s obesity epidemic. Reporters like Anahad O’Connor at The New York Times are showing us how the sugar industry has a long history of manipulating research and public opinion in order to downplay the connection between sugar and obesity and other health risks. Authors like Gary Taubes have written books showing that sugar is linked to obesity and that cutting sugars can improve health outcomes.
If you’re looking to improve your health and shed a few pounds along the way, educating yourself about the dangers of added sugar and beginning a low-sugar diet are great places to start.