Two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese, and most want to lose weight. Although fad diets and pills promise easy quick fixes, a sensible meal plan and regular exercise are the only certain ways to lose weight. Cutting sugar may also be a useful action. The average American consumes 150 pounds of sugar, which is loaded with empty calories and contains no nutrients, each year.
How Sugar Causes Weight Gain
Sugar is quickly converted into energy and is released into the bloodstream. This triggers the pancreas to produce insulin, which causes a blood sugar crash a short time later. While the pancreas is producing insulin, it cannot produce glucagon, a hormone that stimulates the body to burn fat.
Sources of Sugar
To cut sugar from your diet, you have to become aware of how much sugar you're consuming. Soda is an obvious source of empty calories from sugar for many people. But even if you do not drink soda, sugar is present in many other common foods, including condiments, salad dressings, bread and cereal. Sugar also has many names on ingredient lists, including fructose, sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup, maltrose and dextrose.
Although cutting sugar may help you lose weight, your overall diet matters, too. Cut 500 to 1,000 calories a day to lose up to 2 pounds a week. Depending on your diet, it may be possible to cut 500 to 1,000 calories just by eliminating sugar; however, you may also have to cut other sources of calories as well. Reduce portion sizes, avoid second helpings and cut out unnecessary snacking.
Exercise is another essential component of weight loss and should be combined with a healthy diet, even if you quit sugar consumption. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes at least five times per week. Choose moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercises, such as brisk walking, jogging, swimming or dancing. Include strength training, such as lifting weights, twice a week.
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.