Photo: Marco Verch
If you’re struggling to lose weight, just remove sugar from your diet. I promise you: you’ll be thinner. Even better if you also skip white flour and other ingredients with a high glycemic index. This should be common knowledge by now, but can’t stress it enough.
If you’re fat and continue eating sugar, you’re choosing to be fat. But I can understand why: sugar is addictive. Not only it tastes good, but it also gives you a dopamine reward. But the cravings will go away after a withdrawal period.
Leave out all added sugar. It’s in everything, so you’ll need to be careful. If you want mayonnaise or salad dressing, you’ll have to do it yourself. Olive oil or vinaigrette is a good alternative.
No juice or fruit smoothies. Personally, I drink just water, coffee and tea (and beer on rare occasions these days).
You should also skip high-sugar fruits that our ancestors did not have: plants that have been artificially bred to contain a lot more sugar than they naturally had. That includes bananas, dates, raisins etc.
“Calorie is a calorie” is thermodynamically correct, but not true when it comes to diet. It’s like saying “it doesn’t matter if you drink booze or beer as long as you get the same amount of alcohol”. Alcohol intake is much easier to regulate with mild beverages. The same applies to energy intake with low-glycemic-index products.
When you eat sugar, it gives you an initial energy boost, but it doesn’t last long. Insulin does its thing and soon you’ll be hungry again. Get your calories from high-quality fats and (optionally) slow carbs instead. Never eat “light” products.
I have two heavy meals a day and sometimes nuts (but no peanuts) for breakfast. That’s about it. I don’t get hangry like I used to and skipping or postponing a meal is not as much of a problem. I hear some hardcore folks even do one meal a day.
I’ve never been exactly fat, but I used to be nearly 10 kg heavier when I did energy drinks, sugary snacks and desserts. I stopped eating sugar (and grains and dairy) altogether 7 years ago because of skin problems, and as a byproduct I’m lean af. Sugar gave me acne and grains (especially wheat) and dairy gave me skin rashes.
I never have to count calories or limit how much I eat. I’m not even doing full paleo or low-carb: I eat rice and sometimes potatoes or sweet potatoes. I just don’t eat sugar, grains or dairy.
As a rule of thumb: If you want to be healthier, don’t eat stuff that your hunter-gatherer ancestors didn’t have. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it.
Listen to what your body says after you eat something. That cheesecake probably feels like a good idea before rather than after eating it. Whereas, a good steak in your stomach (avocado or nuts for vegetarians?) gives you a healthy feeling of satisfaction that lasts.
Don’t look at “official diet recommendations”, look at results.
P.S. I’m speaking from personal experience and observations here. I understand there may be individual differences in metabolism and appetite. Still, I’d like to challenge anyone with a weight problem to leave sugar and other bad carbs out of their diet, and *not* lose weight.