I often have arguments/debates/talks with people about sugar. I find all angles really interesting; from the trainers and coaches who write in their social media that sugar is the devil, to trainers and coaches who write in their blogs they will let you eat more cake than ever and still get you lean (TBH anyone who promises that worries me already, but that’s another discussion).
My viewpoint, as with everything, is to meet in the middle. Sugar doesn’t make you fat, over-consumption of sugar does. I don’t believe sugar is a drug, you don’t see crime rates increase due to sugar addiction. I believe it tastes pretty damn good, but I am yet to be convinced it’s “addictive” in
the true meaning of the word (people tend not to miss work/events because they are high on sugar).
When I diet, I eat 45g of skittles every day. One of my friends, also in the fitness industry was outraged. He said I should be embarrassed that I was eating sugar and questioned my professional standing that I tell my clients they can too. I see his point, as extreme as it is. But his facts are flawed,
really flawed. Sugar is energy. A very dense, nutrient low, calorie high source of energy. But it is energy. If I just ate 45g of skittles a day would I get fat? I am banking my whole understanding of nutrition on the fact that the answer is no. Sugar does NOT make you fat. It will contribute, and it could be the highest contributor of all. BUT, it is not the reason. The underlying reason is you are eating too many calories. Sugar helps you get there really quickly, but you can gain body fat from a range of different foods without sugar in.
It may be a good idea to cut out sugar until you understand nutrition, but to cut it out forever is going to lead to more psychological issues with food than you (may) already have. I am yet to see an extreme in health and fitness be relevant, yet I see them come up more and more. We are getting fatter and fatter, and someone somewhere is making more and more money from extremes. We have to do better to educate ourselves, and understand our own cravings before we make sweeping statements.
This isn’t the green light to go and eat 45g of skittles a day, for the average SEDENTARY office worker: you would almost certainly put on body fat. But you don’t have to give up everything, because I can almost guarantee you, if you do you won’t be achieving a healthy lifestyle for long.
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