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Is sugar making you Fatter?

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Is sugar making you fat? 

The short answer is no.  It is not sugar itself that is going to cause you to retain or even add body fat.  

First we need to understand how a carbohydrate is processed in the body.  Every carbohydrate that is not fibrous is going to be broken down into a sugar.  Each carb is 4 calories per gram.  Your body does not care if it is from naturally sourced honey or from a coke.  

Any weight gained from eating too much sugar is going to be a function of consuming more calories than you are taking in.  Caloric restriction is the most important factor when it comes to weight loss outside of consistent adherence to diet.

The area that your diet is most likely to get you in trouble as it relates to sugar is with sugary beverages.  These beverages are very energy dense and are not particularly filling.  

In addition to accurate tracking of carbs in any form hitting adequate protein numbers is one of the biggest keys to being satiated and maintaining lean body mass when in caloric deficit 

 

When I consume sugar why is the scale going up?  The most likely answer comes from tracking incorrectly.  You are no longer in a caloric deficit. 

What about inflammation?  When controlled for calories sugar has no greater impact on inflammation than a ketogenic diet or other style diet.  The impact of inflammation is likely as it comes from excess calories consumed rather than sugar driving inflammation.

Advice surrounding sugar:

1. Ensure that you’re not exceeding an energy balance by consuming too many calories.

2. Prioritize protein 

Hitting your protein number is the second most important factor in your diet especially while in caloric deficit.  Keeping protein high (1.0-1.5 grams per lb of lean mass) during a cutting phase will preserve more lean mass than strictly cutting calories across the board. 

3. Drink more water

Getting the recommended volume of water is going to leave little room for consuming sugary beverages.  Most male clients should be getting 1.5-2.5 gallons of water per day. 

4. Consume your sugar with fiber- Eat fruit  that contain fiber.  Suggestions include apples, bananas, mangoes,  or strawberries

I personally consume a fair amount of sugar each day but manage to keep my weight under control through Jiu Jitsu, lifting, and accurate tracking of macronutrients.  

Balancing these factors out will allow you to have some sugar in your diet along with feeling satiated for longer.  Also, having enough carbs to perform on the mats is going to produce better outcomes than being depleted.  

 

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