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Sugar Addiction & Weightloss

August 8, 2019
If you’re trying to lose weight by focusing on counting calories, Dr. Elizabeth Dovec, medical director of the GBMC Comprehensive Obesity Management Program has one word for you—stop. “Restricting calories can increase your glucose cravings, leading you to eat more rather than less. That’s why I tell patients not to count calories. All calories are not created equal, so focus on the nutritional quality of the calories.”

Dr. Dovec shared her insights about weight loss and sugar addiction, noting that the increase in the number of people in the U.S. who are obese is closely tied to the increase in the amount of sugar we’re eating. She explained that on average, Americans consume 73 grams of sugar each day, with 25% of us consuming more than 150 grams a day and that amount increases each year. “By 2040, 95% of Americans will be obese if we don’t change our behavior,” she warned. “Sugar is eight times more addictive than crack cocaine, so the habit can be tough to break.”

A big part of the issue is that people don’t realize how much sugar they’re consuming and where it’s hidden in their food. It’s not just in sweets and soda, there’s a significant amount of sugar in catsup, pasta, white and whole wheat bread, bagels, and more.

The problem is the more sugar you consume, the more of it that’s stored as fat cells. In fact, eating too much sugar is the leading cause of fatty liver disease, which can lead to liver failure and the need for a liver transplant.

Dr. Dovec shared how weight loss surgery and other strategies can help you kick your sugar addiction, lose weight, and lead a healthier weight. “One of the most important things is to know your ‘why’,” she said. “Why do you want to lose weight? We all have a why that motivates us, whether it’s better health, a long life with our family, or self-esteem. Find your why and you’ll be better able to stay on a path to weight loss.”
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