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Sugar, Friend or Foe – How It Affects Fat Loss and Fitness

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a spoon of sugar on a table

How does sugar affect fat loss and fitness? Sugar is a controversial nutrient. It is a simple, fast-acting carbohydrate. Carbohydrates are made of carbon and water molecules. All nutrients are made of molecule chains like a group of basketballs connected by a chain.

Sugar has three to six molecules in its chain. In comparison, some fats have 36 molecules or higher. The amount of sugar molecules means that your body can break them down and use them for energy immediately.

Your body is not a machine. The human body loses energy when transferring food to energy. Just because a food has 200 calories does not mean your body can convert all 200 calories to energy. Some people are more efficient and consistent than others at converting food to energy (easy weight gainers)—the more complex the food, the more energy is lost during transfer.

Since sugar has the least amount of molecules, it transfers more energy to your body than other types of food. The nature of sugar and how your body responds to it determines if sugar is a friend or foe.

Is sugar your friend when it comes to your fitness and fat?

Sugar is a form of energy. Energy, when consumed, is anabolic. Sugar is needed to workout and build muscles. As long as sugar is consumed around an exercise, then it can help build muscles. Because of sugars’ addictive and explosive nature, it must be consumed in moderation. Healthy sugars come from fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables come with a variety of nutrients and fiber.

It does not take a lot of sugar to get the job done. So how much sugar do you need to build muscle without getting fat? Nature knows best. A strawberry has 1 gram of sugar. An orange has 9 grams of sugar. A banana has 14 grams of sugar. There is no hard-fast rule about how much sugar you can eat for muscle growth or fat loss. But it would be best if you tried to stay in the range you can get from natural sources like fruits and vegetables.

A good rule of thumb is to imagine an animal in the jungle who must search for his food. While you searched for your food, you are hunted by other predators. When you find the food, you must hurry, collect the food, and then find a safe place to eat it.

The amount of food you gather and carry would be about the size of your hand. The amount of sugar you should eat should be about the size of your hand. When eating fruits and vegetables, eat about two hand fulls, once or twice a day. Your hand, when closed into a fist, is the size of your stomach. A smaller person has a smaller hand and requires less sugar.

How is sugar a foe when it comes to your fitness and fat loss?

Sugar is not only a source of energy, but it is also a biological chemical. Sugar is highly addictive. It is more addictive than cocaine. Anyone trying to get a six-pack should eat less than 10 grams of sugar a day. That means some foods like bananas must be cut in half and eating over two days. Most older people with six-packs do not eat fruit.

If you want to be lean and partially see your six-pack, then eat less than 20 grams of sugar a day. To maintain weight, most men consume around 36 grams of sugar a day, and most women, to maintain weight, eat about 24 grams of sugar a day. If you want exact numbers, track how much sugar you eat each day. You will find that there is a correlation between your calories, sugar, and weight.

In conclusion, sugar has many possibilities – some negative and positive.

Sugar causes weight gain because it is energy, and it is addictive. As energy, it causes you to move and store fat. Because it is addictive, it causes you to crave more sugar and to eat more. Scientific research studies found that people who eat artificial sugars eat more calories and make more unhealthy food choices.

Sugar is a friend when it comes from a healthy source like fruits and vegetables and eaten before or after exercise. Sugar is a foe when it is artificial, and it is eaten for pleasure. While food should be pleasurable, it is recommended that it is not your only source of fun. When starting a fat loss or muscle gain journey, besides talking with your doctor, you should also sit down and make a list of everything that provides you with pleasure. After you complete the list, make it a habit to perform two or three things on your pleasure list every day because food, especially sugar, cannot be your only or primary source of pleasure. 

 

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