Why Sugar Creates Havoc with Your Body
If you discover your waistline is getting bigger, you might be quick to blame the fat in your diet and start cutting back on that without considering other possible reasons. The problem probably is the sugar in your diet; everyone knows that sugar often leads to diabetes, tooth decay, and sugar crashes. However, many people don’t realize that consuming too much sugar will also sabotage any efforts to lose belly fat.
Of course, if you eat sweets all the time, you will gain weight. But this sugar will land on your hips and stomach, which is why it’s important to understand its effects on your body.
How Does Sugar Act in the Body?
Your body uses sugar in one of two ways. It either burns it for energy or converts it to fat and stores it, often in your stomach and hips. Sugar eaten in moderate amounts is easy for your body to convert into energy without leaving any to turn to fat.
When you overeat sugar, the pancreas notices the overload and releases insulin, a hormone that helps regulate the sugar levels in your bloodstream. If there is too much sugar in the blood, the pancreas keeps releasing more insulin until the levels return to normal.
Insulin stores this excess sugar as glycogen in fat cells and glucose (energy) in the liver. Glycogen, also called triglycerides, are deposits of fat in the blood that the liver creates to repair and build body tissues. The liver reacts to high amounts of sugar and insulin by producing more triglycerides.
An increase in triglycerides is a signal to your body that it needs to store more abdominal fat for later use, which is how you gain belly fat from sugar, particularly fructose. Even worse, if your body is consistently producing high amounts of insulin to combat the sugars you’re eating, your cells lose their ability to use the insulin.
This condition, called insulin resistance, often results in type 2 diabetes. If you become insulin-resistant, your metabolism stops functioning correctly, which will result in even more weight gain.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, most Americans take in about 32 teaspoons of sugars every day. That doesn’t include the carbohydrates that convert to sugar, or the natural sugar in many foods.
Sugar Fuels Obesity Epidemic
It is nearly impossible to cut sugar out of your diet entirely because so many foods contain carbohydrates that convert to sugar. Choose foods that have the smallest amount of added sugar, and eat whole foods instead of juices because the fiber helps break down the sugars more efficiently.
Eliminate table sugar, drink water instead of soda and eat processed foods sparingly. Doing so can help minimize the effects sugar has on your waistline.