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Blog Sugar for losing Weight ?



Sugar for losing Weight ?

  • by David O' Connor
  • October 24, 2017

Sugar is one HOT debated topic today,

So much so people completely avoid it as if it’s some sort of Zombie Plague that if you eat it you’ll instantly pile on the weight.

Then again I don’t blame you for believing all of it, as I once stupidly did – which is the main reason why I’ve used the headline for this article, so you’ll read it and hopefully I can ‘open’ your mind a bit more rather than forcing you to believe something I say, which is what most media outlets do when it comes to Health & Diet stuff.

You’re shown it everywhere, articles, the news, documentaries, books etc. ‘Cut sugar and lose weight’ blah blah,

But like everything, I want to make this super easy for you to understand, I’ll aim to keep this as short as I can to get my viewpoint across, but as I always say, remember the context ?

If you’re hell-bent on believing sugar is the root of all evil then maybe you should just exit this page now, but we’ll see how it goes…

Because once you understand the ‘Whys’ you can formulate your own conclusions and ‘Hows’ to hopefully avoid being some anti-sugar ninja after all ?

Firstly, What Is Sugar?

Yes, to get to the ‘Whys’ you need to go through this stuff first – but if you want to skip this boring ? and go to the next heading, by all means, do.

See Sugar is a Carbohydrate which is the bodies main Source of Fuel. (Breads, Pasta, Potatoes, Chocolate, Vegetables etc.)

When you eat Carbohydrates they’re broken down into Glucose (Sugar that’s used by your Cells for Energy).

You can then further break this down into;

– Monosaccharides: Mono meaning ‘one’ & saccharides meaning ‘sugar’ (Or in English, Simple Sugars)
– Disaccharides: Meaning ‘2’ linked together.
– Polysaccharides: Then Poly meaning many simple sugars linked together.

Anyhow there’s some science out of the way it’s the ‘Monosaccharides’ that we most commonly refer to;

– Glucose – Blood sugar
– Fructose – Fruit sugar
– Galactose – Milk sugar
– Sucrose – Disaccharide (2) of glucose & fructose

So in simple terms, Sugar = Carbohydrate, and the funny thing is, both chemically & Nutritionally they’re both the same.

Because even though we have ‘different types’, they are broken down into Glucose for use by the cells of your body;

I.E: Fructose is converted by the liver into glucose before releasing it into the blood.

So if you knock a plate full of spuds, a banana or an ice-cream – at the end of the process they will end up as glucose which I’ve talked about HERE before.

So Sugar = Carbohydrate.

Obviously, the Nutrient composition of certain types of ‘sugar-containing foods’ are different, which I’ve spoken about in the blog above (Fibre, Micronutrients etc.)

Hence why when someone says they’ve ‘cut out sugar’ but end up replacing sugar in their porridge for the best Manuka honey around that cost them €17 in a health food shop, guess what.

There replacing sugar……. with sugar 🙂

It doesn’t matter if it comes from table sugar or the healthiest bees on earth, It’s STILL sugar…

Which I might add, I think Manuka honey is another complete FAD but that’s a topic for another day ?


  1. As people that research this stuff would say, it scores very low on the Satiety Index which basically means how FULL you FEEL. I.E: It doesn’t really ‘fill you up all that much’. 
  2. It’s sweet and tasty so it’s damn easy to eat. (Palatability is the fancy word for that here) Hence why people add sugar/honey etc. to teas/coffee/porridge etc. So here, it’s very easy to OVEREAT on it.
  3. It’s not really all that good, ’empty calories’ can be an easy way to describe sugar in general.
  4. It’s not the best for your teeth either. Actually, this is the only thing I regret from all the chocolate I eat ?
  5. People think that sugar magically makes you fat. It doesn’t, a Calorie Surplus does.


Before you go any further it’s time to remind you of the Laws of thermodynamics ~ because what happens whether you gain, maintain or lose weight is down to ENERGY BALANCE

  • If you’re in an Energy Surplus (Eating more than you expand in Energy) you’ll gain weight.
  • If you’re in an Energy Deficit (Expanding more energy than you’re taking in) you’ll lose weight.
  • If you’re in an Energy Balance, you’ll maintain your weight.

That’s, in a super basic nutshell how your body weight works. You’re not a special unicorn that cannot lose weight, you’re just not in a Caloric Deficit. 

So at the end of the day when you cut out sugar, what you’re really doing is cutting out;

– Potatoes.
– Pasta.
– Ice Cream.
– Chocolate.
– Buns/Cakes etc.
– Oats.
– Fruit.
– Any Sauces/Jams/Relish etc.
– Starchy Vegetables – Carrots/Parsnips etc.
– Breads.
– (Enter Any Sugar/Carb based food here)

And will you lose weight by doing that?

Probably yeah because you’ve cut out 70% of what you eat on a daily basis! (You’ve cut your calories and now you’re in an energy deficit)

See, when you look at this from the bigger picture you realise that this ‘sugar’ acts the same way in your body as ANY carbohydrate. The main difference here being how ‘healthy’ or Nutrient dense is that Sugar source compared to another.

I’m NOT saying go out and start knocking back ice-cream and sweets after sweets, but the fact is, the body processes them the same.

So…..What’s the Problem?

Like most things in the Health & Fitness industry it ‘gives’ you ONE THING to blame for this Obesity Epidemic that’s going on (and if you didn’t know, Ireland is getting WORSE) or Just ‘not dropping bodyfat’ in general, along with Gluten and the usual fads you hear floating around today – which of course is total Bull, there’s no such thing as ‘one thing’ that has caused all this.

Like limiting beliefs that people place on themselves like ‘I can’t do X, Y or Z because I’m too un-fit’, it’s the same with Sugar…

They’re simply not true (1), but rather a story you’re telling yourself based on creating ASSUMPTIONS without investigating the facts and reality first. Or just believing that one person at work that thinks they know everything when it comes to diet ?

In this case, it’s the Assumption that Sugar is one evil bollox. But in the grand scheme of things, it’s not.


As coaches, research (science) is stuff we keep on top of as the week’s progress because it’s advancing every day. But it’s boring & not many people bother their arse to read it. But we do. This is something the people that scare-monger you about sugar forget to tell you.

And a lot of the recent research that’s come out around Sugar all say the same overriding principles;

  • Sugar itself does not cause weight gain. UNLESS you’re in an Energy Surplus. (2,3)
  • That’s it really. I don’t need to keep yapping on here.

So when you see stuff like the picture below, a lot of it is biased and not backed by actual science, but again, the public doesn’t know this so it’s easy to ‘fall for’ the whole; sugar is bad malarky.

The Real Problems…

If you restrict anything in life you automatically WANT IT more.

Think of a child when told they can’t have something… 

I believe a lot of this comes back to the whole psychology aspect of food and the linked factors to this too – Environment, Emotional eating, Mindless eating, strongly held beliefs etc.

Because the #1 Problem with Sugar is that is damn feckin’ easy to OVER-consume with the hyperpalatable foods absolutely EVERYWHERE today, which again I’ve gone through a lot here in the past, too.

(Photo courtesy of dunkindonuts.com)

Which more times than not results in an excess of calories which is the driving factor of weight gain, period. I know I’m repeating myself here, but when it comes to this stuff, I need to ?

Restriction 101:

– Restrict Foods you love (Sugar).

– Go 7-14 Days or even 30+ Days great, lose some weight, feel better (because you’re eating mostly Real Food) and then BAM! Disaster happens

– You fall off this ‘imaginary wagon’ that was never there in the first place.

– BINGE LIKE THE WOLF OF WALL STREET. (But on Sugary stuff mainly, not cocaine)

– Be highly pissed off at yourself and maybe start the process all over again.

– Repeat for the rest of your Life.

Then Comes the ‘addiction-like’ side of it:

Whether this is ‘true’ or not, the term addiction-like depends on how YOU coin the term really but the fact is;

We’ve experienced many clients restrict sugar early on, only to binge madly later. So the key word here, as much as you don’t want to hear it, is Moderation.

If you impose restrictions on yourself for ANY food, you’re already setting yourself up for disaster. If you can control your INTAKES and still incorporate some sugary foods that you love, then go for it.

Of course, if this is what suits you – I’m not saying you have too.

All I know is if anyone takes away my Mocha’s or the daft bowls of Oats I make up with dark/white Chocolate from me they’ve another thing coming.

Yes I do have weird taste buds… Time for a guessing Game — GO! #oats

A photo posted by David O’ Connor (@thedocfitness) on

Because remember, it’s total calorie intake that’ll be the end determining factor. Saying that, although the research looks into this Psychological Component, “There is no support from the human literature for the hypothesis that sucrose may be physically addictive or that addiction to sugar plays a role in eating disorders.” (4)

BUT – Sugar may have addiction-like symptoms resulting in a host of emotions/feelings towards food & sugar in particular. It does trigger the same areas that light up our reward or pleasure systems the same as Sex, Drugs & Rock N’ Roll.

So like anything, view the above how you want – If you have a MASSIVE intake of sugar and can’t keep your mind off it, substituting in more nutrient dense real foods conclusive to your goals is a step in the right direction.

So, sUGAR TO Lose Weight & Tone Up?

Like I started off this article – I wanted to show you the Why’s behind it all and formulate your own thinking behind it first if you bothered to read this far ?

I’ve left a LOT out here in the hope of getting across the ‘basics’ too you so hopefully you can see the bigger picture with this all. Like everything and anything, you need to find what works for YOU, what’s realistic for YOU and your Lifestyle.

But don’t be going around preaching to everyone how you’re off Sugar and it’s the best diet in the world. I’m afraid there’s no such thing.

Only the ‘diet’ that works for you & the one you can stick to.

And the whole sugar thing?

As long as Total Calorie intake (You are in an energy deficit to lose weight) is kept under control and moderation is taken into account, you’ll be fine 🙂

I.E: If 70-80% of your day consists or Real, Nutritious and Healthy foods – you’re on a winner. The rest? That’s up to you and it’s what we teach and preach here daily. 

We view chocolate as BEING PART of a healthy diet.


– Sugar is NOT the root of all evil.

– If it suits you and works for you there’s NO reason to eliminate sugar from your diet.

– Enjoy the little things in life because it’s too damn short for NOT having some of the stuff you love ?

Plus, if you don’t agree with or love this blog, let us know in the comments below or share it with a friend too that would benefit from reading this, the more this get’s shared the better.


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  1. Moronga, Te. L, Mallard, S & Mann, J. (2013) ‘Dietary sugars and body weight: systematic review and meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials and cohort studies.’ BMJ 2013;346:e7492: http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.e7492
  2. Saris et. al. (2000) ‘Randomized controlled trial of changes in dietary carbohydrate/fat ratio and simple vs complex carbohydrates on body weight and blood lipids: the CARMEN study. The Carbohydrate Ratio Management in European National diets.’ Int. Journal Obesity Related Metabolic Disorders. 2000 Oct;24(10):1310-8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11093293
  3. West JA, de Looy AE. (2001), ‘Weight loss in overweight subjects following low-sucrose or sucrose-containing diets.’ Int. Journal Obesity Related Metabolic Disorders 2001 Aug;25(8):1122-8. 
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11477496Benton, D. (2010) ‘The plausibility of sugar addiction and its role in obesity and eating disorders.’ European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20056521



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David O' Connor
CEO | Head Coach
David's passion lies in coaching you through the easiest path to losing weight, toning up & getting back the confidence that's been hiding for a while. Head Coach & Head of Nutrition at Doc Fitness, if you don't find him there, he's probably training, sipping coffee writing Nutrition articles or playing Hurling for Ballinderreen.