Most people, when they notice their waistlines are growing, quickly blame the fat in their diet. They start reducing the fat they eat without considering other factors that might be the true cause of their weight gain. Most of the time, the sugar we eat is the real culprit that sabotages our weight loss efforts and well-being.
Of course, we are already aware that sugar can cause tooth decay, sugar crashes, and diabetes, but most are not aware of the role sugar plays in their weight gain. So, we need to understand what happens in our bodies when we eat sugar if we want to understand why we gain so much weight, especially in our hips and stomach.
How Does Sugar Act in The Body?
Once we eat a food that contains sugar, our body immediately converts it in one of these two ways: it burns it for energy, or it converts it into fat and stores it for future use. If we consume moderate amounts of sugar, our bodies can use the fiber we eat to convert it into energy and very little, if any, sugar is left over to be stored as fat.
But, when we eat too much sugar, our pancreas responds and releases some insulin, the hormone that is designed to deal with excess sugar. Its job is to help regulate the level of sugar in the bloodstream, so it releases more insulin as the level of sugar in the blood rises. In doing so, it lowers blood sugar.
It is insulin that helps us store the sugar as energy, as glycogen in fat cells and the liver. Glycogen is actually triglycerides, the fatty deposits in the blood that the liver creates to repair and build the body’s tissues.
When our liver suddenly receives high amounts of sugar and insulin, it responds by releasing more triglycerides. This release signals the body that it should store fat in our abdomens to use later. So, when we consume large amounts of sugar, it is quickly stored as waistline fat.
Even worse, this process can lead to type 2 diabetes, which is the problem when cells become numb to the insulin and can’t use it effectively. This is called insulin resistance, and it causes the metabolism to stop functioning as it should, and this leads to unwanted weight gain.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that the average American consumer adds about 32 teaspoons of additional sugars to their diet every day. That’s 108 pounds of sugar every year! And it doesn’t even count the carbohydrates that the body converts into sugar or the natural sugars in our food.
So, sugar is the biggest reason your health suffers in so many ways. In particular, it causes obesity, which is the root cause of diabetes, heart disease, and serious orthopedic problems, including knee and hip issues.
But even though it is very hard to cut sugar completely out of our diet, your health care provider can help you find ways to minimize its impact on our lives. So even if you can’t completely eliminate sugar, it is always better to keep trying to eat less. Our bodies will thank us.