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deni's avatar

Would cutting sugar out of my diet help me lose these stubborn 15 pounds?

Asked by deni (22355 points ) February 5th, 2012

Okay this is kinda like 5 questions rolled into one. I will try to be brief. The root of the issue is that I have a plate and screws on the outer edge of my right foot, that causes quite a bit of pain and general discomfort for me every day. (I’m getting it out next winter) Because of that, getting cardio into my workout is pretty difficult. I don’t love running in the first place, but I feel great when I do it, so I try anyhow. But, after two cardio workouts in a 2–3 day span, my foot is just killing me. I love tennis, but it’s the absolute worst on my foot, with all the pivoting. Jumping rope which I’m also very found of is a silent killer too. Basically anything that involves feet.

So, it sucks. I really enjoy working out with weights and that doesn’t affect my foot so I still do that regularly, but I have these problem 15 pounds that for years I’ve been trying to get off, and can’t. Mostly on my stomach and ass. I am pretty sure a consistent cardio routine would burn that fat off, and that is my only issue. I just can’t figure out how to do that in this situation.

I eat really healthy 90% of the time. I never drink pop and I don’t eat fast food or processed/prepared foods, I buy mostly organic and I cook a lot from scratch….,but I LOVE baking and I have a super bad sweet tooth and I think that combined with my inability to do cardio is what is making it so hard for me to lose these few pounds. So, I eat a lot of sugar, and I acknowledge that it makes me feel like shit, but I love it so much I can’t stop. But I really want to try to. I know I’d feel so much better, and probably have a lot more energy.

I guess I’m just wondering if anyone has experience with cutting out sugar, and how it affects you, and if I would lose weight…or if anyone has any suggestions of cardio I could do without hurting my foot, I would REALLY love to hear them!!! Thanks!

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35 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

This is not a direct answer to your title question, but I was wondering if you might be able to try bicycling or swimming? Either one is an excellent form of cardio exercise. Perhaps that could help?

Sunny2's avatar

Cutting out sugar couldn’t hurt. Cutting out fats might be even better. Or sugar and fats. Worth a try.

judochop's avatar

Yes, cutting out sugar will help. Also cutting out carbs after 5pm helps.

Brian1946's avatar

How much fiber do you consume?

I suggest maxing out on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

creative1's avatar

Why not try swimming laps in a pool, I love going to the Y and doing an hour of laps. It makes for a great cardio workout with out the impact running and other things have on your legs and feet.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It would certainly help. Sure wouldn’t hurt.

wilma's avatar

To me sugar is like crack.
I am addicted and no matter how hard I try I can’t seem to go a whole day without caving in and stuffing some in my mouth.
I feel like I need sugar rehab or something.
I would agree with the swimming for great cardio and low impact.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I tried this back in 2007 after my mom’s diabetes scare and it took 12lbs off me the first month, nothing the 2nd month but by the 3rd month, the weight went down again. It was great because it seemed like bloat left my face I hadn’t even noticed before. You’ll be kind of cranky for a few months but the upside is you’ll crave fewer carbs and less salt which is more good stuff.

janbb's avatar

Any calories you cut will help you lose weight.

wilma's avatar

@Neizvestnaya how did you get over that “gotta have it” sugar need.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I know you asked @Neizvestnaya, but I did it. It’s the same as with any addiction. Just keep walking away. I quit sugar 24 years ago when I gained about 30 pounds for no reason. I cut out sugar and fat. It was a little hard then, but now, I HATE sugar in my tea or cereal. I can’t stand regular pops either. To me it’s like drinking straight syrup.

But I’m not above a brownie or a donut now and again! But man…one overloads me, totally. But…I walk away from those pretty easily too if I need or want to.

Pandora's avatar

You said most of your weight is in the middle. So I have to wonder if maybe your family tends to be shaped rounder in the mid section. Some people can totally get very light weight and still retain weight around their mid section.
I would say, cut down on fat and white sugar, (sugars from fruits help with better workouts) and do crunches and stretches. If you want fat to be burned from your mid section than you need to build muscles to at least tone up loose muscles surrounding the fat.
The more muscles you build the more fat you will burn. You may not loose all 15 lbs because muscles weigh heavier than fat. Don’t try to fit into the medias idea of fit but rather fit into your idea of fit.

wundayatta's avatar

Yes, cut out the sugar as much as you can. This includes fruit juice. No pop, you already know. But no sugar water of any kind. No juice. No nothing. Just water.

Also, don’t expect a fast reaction. In fact, you don’t want to change quickly—not if you want to keep it off. Rather, you must do this for the long haul. No juice and no sugar for a year. Wun day at a time, of course. But the weight will come off slowly, assuming you don’t replace the sugar calories with some other calories.

My body is always tricking me, and when I cut off juice, I picked up on cheese and other things, without even thinking about it. Sigh.

marinelife's avatar

Consider water aerobics and swimming as part of your workout.

Cutting out sugar can only be a good thing.

Male's avatar

No sugar, and lower the fat intake. Exercise.

I know everyone says it, but exercise and diet are truly all you need to drop weight. If you can stick to doing those two, it’ll happen.

auhsojsa's avatar

I mean cut out candy and stuff, but sugars from fruits are fine. It’s high sodium that’s the trouble. Or both…

wundayatta's avatar

My doctor told me sugars are sugars. Cut out as much as possible. They aren’t ok because they are in fruit. If you must have fruit, he said, eat it; don’t drink fruit juice. That’s because fruit juice is concentrated sugar. Think of how many oranges go into a cup of orange juice. Try to keep the sugary stuff to a minimum.

The main thing is to reduce calories and increase exercise. It really doesn’t matter so much where the calories come from, although I assume one prefers “full” calories to empty ones, whatever they are. Maybe that means cut out the calories that have no additional benefit. Like omega fatty acids are good for you, so you should cut out other fats and empty calories first.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@wilma: It’s not ideal but I upped my caffiene intake to make it through the first two months, mostly instant black tea in teabags during the day and french press coffee in the morning.

deni's avatar

I’ve heard that the “no sugar” anger rage lasts 3 days, and then you’re over the hump. Is that true? Anyone? Experience? I ate one cookie today but that was it in the sugar department. Whats the deal with sugar in beer? Is there sugar in beer? If so I actually am doing horribly.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@deni….I’ve found that if I eat sugar in a day I tend to crave it more soon after that in the same day. However, the scum on my teeth and the lead in my stomach usually dissuade me from following through! I don’t want it the next day though.

mattbrowne's avatar

No.

It’s all about calorie intake versus calorie use.

Getting most calories out of sugar is not a good idea, because you get hungry too soon. Therefore you need lots of fiber, water, healthy fats, protein and complex carbs such as lentils.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@mattbrowne What do you mean “No”? If she cut sugar out of her diet and didn’t replace those calories with anything else, she’d lose some weight. Maybe not 15 pounds—depends on how much sugar she eats—but she’d lose some.

deni's avatar

Over the past four days the only sugar I have had in total is 2 cookies 2 different days! I’m really impressed by myself, since I usually eat sugar when I’m bored, of if I have a craving, or….oh, every other time of the day too. I really don’t crave it either, but I am eating a ton of fruit which is probably why. Blood oranges are REALLY in season right now.

I also have been working out every day, and in general I do not feel the same sluggishness and fatigue that I had been feeling daily before. So its going well!!!!!!!!!!

I think being heartbroken is also natures greatest motivator to get in shape….so….yay optimism

wilma's avatar

@deni I don’t want to be heartbroken, but I could use some motivation.
@Neizvestnaya did it take you two months to get over the sugar craving? Or were you over that hump before two months?

mattbrowne's avatar

@Dutchess_III

Well, no means no here. No, cutting sugar out of a diet does not necessarily help lose pounds. No, eating fat-free yogurt does not necessarily help lose pounds. And so forth.

The problem here is that people are looking for simple solutions. And for some problems there are only complex solutions, not simple solutions. Einstein once said that everything should be as simple as it can be, but not simpler.

Scurvy was at one time common among sailors. There is a simple solution. They need to carry food with plenty of vitamin C.

Losing weight unfortunately is not a simple problem. For this reason there are far more than 1000 different types of diets. If it were that simple there would only be a 5 or 10. Their effectiveness proved by hundreds of scientific studies. The best ideas always win. For weight loss there is great idea yet.

Cutting sugar can be a good idea or not. The attitude should not be, hey, I banned sugar, so I’ve already done the most important thing. Losing weight will work. Well, wait a minute…

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes, losing weight is a “simple” matter of taking in only enough calories to sustain you at the weight you want to be. The thing about sugar, though, is they are very high, and very useless calories. Cutting out sugar alone won’t do what she wants, but it’s a good move anyway.

mattbrowne's avatar

Sorry, it’s not simple actually doing it. If it were it would put a lot of authors and magazines out of business.

Cutting sugar can be a good move if people are totally aware of the fact that it’s takes a lot more than just cut sugar to succeed. Otherwise the attempt can actually be counterproductive and disappointing. And I’ve noticed too much focus on merely cutting sugar and cutting fat.

Losing weight and keeping it on a lower level is tough. Maybe it can be best compared to learning a foreign language. It can be done. Absolutely. But it takes more than learning 100 words. It takes more than cutting sugar. That’s my point.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@mattbrowne It depends on how many calories per day of sugar she eats. Without realizing it, people can easily consume 500+ of empty calorie sugars per day. That would be a fairly substantial calorie cut if she quite eating sugar and did not replace those calories with something else.

When I was about 26 I managed to pack on 40 extra pounds. I changed my eating habits, began counting calories (I have everything memorized. To this day I add up the caloric intake of my meals for no reason…just from habit) cut out sugar, red meat and junk food, fried foods, cut waaay back on fat (butter was the biggest culprit) replaced many things (like what I put on my baked potato) with salsa, and I lost those 40 pounds and never looked back. It can be “that simple.” The steps are simple. Breaking the habit is something else. I imagine it would be hard, like quitting smoking is hard. The STEPS it takes to quit are easy though. Just keep walking away.

deni's avatar

@mattbrowne I never assumed that solely cutting out sugar was enough. Though yeah, many people wanna do ONE thing and see changes, but no, that’s not my mindset.

@Dutchess_III I started using this website where you enter everything you eat and it tells you where you are on all the key nutrients and whatnot that you’re supposed to get every day. I did it originally just to see what nutrients I’m missing (for example I had a hunch I was low in iron…..and I am, every day.) but now, I don’t wanna have to enter “one box of DOTS” or “four cookies” so aside from obvious reasons why I’m not eating them anymore, that’s a good motivator as well. I don’t want to see 500 calories of sugar added to my list every day, because there is nothing beneficial there, just empty like you said.

Anyhow, yeah, that combined with the tae bo, and I feel like I am almost see a difference already. :)

Dutchess_III's avatar

Cool! Just.. memorize calories until it becomes second nature. Round them up to the nearest 100. For example, one egg has about 70 calories, but round it up to 100. Much easier to keep track of because ALL food rounds up to 100 or 200 or 300 calories. Except lettuce. Don’t have to count that at all! : )

mattbrowne's avatar

I’m glad to hear that, @deni !

Cutting sugar is like learning to count from 1 to 100 in a foreign language. It’s useful, but in order to be able to learn a foreign language you need to know about nouns, verbs and adjectives, and how to create whole meaningful sentences.

So a better question would be:

How can I lose weight and keep it at a lower level for at least the next 10 years?

deni's avatar

@mattbrowne But sugar is my biggest vice. I don’t really do anything else bad diet wise, I eat a ton of fruits and vegetables, and I exercise regularly, so sugar was really the only thing I had been ignoring doing something about. :)

Dutchess_III's avatar

@deni Well…eat just a bite of chocolate, not the whole bar. Keep just small bits around, not large chunks. If you don’t have it, you can’t eat it!

mattbrowne's avatar

@deni – Most fruits contain glucose and fructose and sucrose. Same molecules as in your pies and cakes. Some fruit are high in sugar content, for example bananas. Usually this isn’t a problem because it’s hard to eat too many fruits without getting sick. A different story is fruit juice, even 100% fruit juice. It’s possible to gain weight even from natural juice. But you mentioned baking. Sugar is only one problem here, because flour is basically sugar in long molecular chains. So your vice seems to include flour as well.

Stevia has just been released for sale in Germany this year. I don’t have any experience with it yet, but it seems worth looking into. Since you love to bake here are some recipes

http://www.sugarfreestevia.net/sugar-free-cake-recipes.html

So you’d still get the calories from the flour, but not the sugar.

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