Why Excess Sugar Leads to Weight Gain and Belly Fat

Looking for ways to improve your diet and lose weight? Here's a quick and not so easy way to do it--cut out sugary foods and drinks. You will be much healthier and leaner with much less dangerous belly fat.

One of the biggest culprits is probably sugary sodas. Face it, sodas taste great or they wouldn't sell. Nutritionists believe sodas (and sugary drinks) are like liquid poison. They are right! The double jeopardy is that sugary drinks and sodas add tons of calories without making you feel full (empty calories). You just want more and more often. Your body stores excess sugar in your fat cells.

According to government data, sweetened soft drinks add about 10 percent of the calories in the typical American's diet.

Dr. David Ludwig, a Harvard endocrinologist, who is widely cited by obesity researchers, says that sweetened drinks are the only specific food that clinical research has directly linked to weight gain. "Highly concentrated starches and sugars promote overeating, and the granddaddy of them all is sugar-sweetened beverages," said Ludwig, who runs the Optimal Weight for Life Program at Children's Hospital in Boston.

The increase in soda consumption mirrors this nation's obesity epidemic. At the midpoint of the 20th century, Americans drank four times as much milk as sodas. Today, this trend is almost totally reversed, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In the past 30 years, the national obesity rate has more than doubled, and among teenagers, more than tripled, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On a gut level, we already knew this information about sweetened drinks. But, it helps for us to read it and "digest it." Start today by replacing sugary foods and drinks with water and unsweetened drinks, like tea.

Some people drink as many as 6 sodas a day! Imagine the calories that could be cut and the relief your kidneys will feel when you cut out the sugary drinks.

The primary cause of weight gain for most of us is that we love food too much. Don't blame your weight gain on your "slow metabolism." A slow or sluggish metabolism is not the major cause of weight gain.

Absent some medical reason, a caloric imbalance is the cause of weight gain (consuming more calories than you burn in a day). You cannot consistently maintain caloric surpluses day to day and lose weight/burn fat.

Even though you don't need to strictly count calories, you need to have a good idea of how much and what you are eating.

If you want to speed up your metabolism and burn more calories and fat, exercise regularly (strength training and interval cardio exercise) and move more during the day (like walking). Also, eat right and often. Eating small meals every 3-4 hours will keep your metabolism humming and will keep your body from shifting to "starvation mode" (storing fat).

Get your FREE DOWNLOAD, "Fat Burning Foods, Spices and Meals," and start eating better, burning fat, losing weight and building the lean body you want and need!

Mark Dilworth, BA, PES


About Mark

Hi, I'm Mark Dilworth, Nutritionist, Dietary Strategies Specialist, Nutrition for Metabolic Health Specialist and Lifestyle Weight Management Specialist. Since 2006, I have helped thousands of clients and readers make lifestyle habit changes which includes body transformation and ideal body weight.