Meet sugar: 

What is sugar

The carbohydrate that every molecule in your body hates to hell and back and which hinders fat loss. That’s according to brainless low-carb zealots. 

But what does the science say? Well, this study indeed linked sugar intake with weight gain:

the study that found sugar resulted in weight gain

The problem with such studies is that the weight gain happens due not to sugar per se, but to an increase in calories consumed. Meaning, participants in these studies were told to increase their sugar consumption on a background of their typical caloric intake.

More calories → Caloric surplus → Weight gain → Butt cheeks expanding. That’s rather obvious, right?

But what would happen if you were to, say, remove one avocado from your diet (~220 calories) and replace that with sugar worth the same 220 calories?

Well, Lowndes et al. investigated exactly that. Here’s what they did: 

The study that shown no weight gain when sugar was consumed within a calorie maintenance level

Wanna guess what happened? Nothing happened. Participants gained no weight in 10 weeks.

Why? Because they ate at calorie maintenance and it’s physiologically impossible to gain weight unless you consistently consume more calories than you burn (here’s the proof).

The researchers concluded that:

The conclusion of the study on sugar and weight gain

Now… Can You Eat Sugar and Lose Weight?

What about eating sugar and losing weight? Would shoving your face with sugar inhibit fat loss? Yeah… Nah. It wouldn’t.

Surwit et al. answered this quite convincingly. Here’s what they did: 

Surwit et al. study that found that you can eat sugar and lose weight as long calorie deficit is applied

Even though one group consumed ~11 grams of sugar per day and the other ~118 grams… both groups still lost the same amount of weight and body fat.

And this happens in every study in which calorie deficit is applied and it’s matched between the groups:

Surwit et al. study that found that you can eat sugar and lose weight as long calorie deficit is applied. Conclusion

And if you’re about to say “But hey, sugar raises insulin and it inhibits fat loss”, please know that you’re wrong. If you think you’re correct, DM me on Instagram. But don’t expect any kind of reply. 

Now, let me clarify: I’m not advocating for going sugar-crazy until you’re urinating sugar juice. Sugar stuffed foods such as these…

Sugar rich foods

should make up 10-20% of your diet because they’re low in nutrients, high in calories, and low in food volume. All of which don’t contribute much to health, satiety, and hunger control.

You might also say “But, Egis, sugar is TOXIC because it’s easy to overeat.”

Listen, if sugar was the only driver for overeating, you would just open a jar of sugar and eat it. Or you would rub maple syrup on a stick all over your face.

We overeat certain foods because of the combination of sugar, fat, and/or salt, texture, etc. That’s when foods become hyper-palatable. That’s when we overdose on them swearing to ourselves we won’t eat that much ever again:

Why sugar isn't the only determinant for overeating and gaining weight

Again, I’m not saying that sugar should be your regular brekky, lunch, and dinner. What I’m saying is:

It’s okay to eat fruits. It’s okay to eat chocolate. And it’s okay to enjoy ice cream. IT’S OKAY

It’s okay as long as nutrient-dense, whole foods make up most (80-90%) of your diet, and foods that are less nutrient-dense (such as sugary foods) make up a much smaller portion of your diet—10-20%.

When you look through the straw sugar is an easy target to blame. But it’s the TOTALITY of the diet that matters most for weight loss. And health.

If you tell yourself sugar or any other food is off-limits, it’ll probably backfire. How long can you keep it off-limits? Sooner or later you will overeat or binge on it (you have been there, don’t you?) 

So, ask yourself: Do I REALLY need to avoid ALL sugary foods? Even if it’s a fruit? Even if I control my calories? Even if most of my diet is healthy? 

I think the answer is clear. Now go eat the goddamn apple. Or ice cream. Both are allowed.

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