Doctor explains why just reducing calories probably won’t help you lose body fat

By Staff 7 Min Read

Dr Robert Lustig, a leading expert in the field of obesity and sugar, has spoken out about why he believes counting calories is not the best way to lose weight

A health expert has explained why shedding those stubborn pounds might be tougher than you think, and it’s not about how many calories you’re eating.

Chatting with Steven Bartlett on his popular podcast, Diary of a CEO, Dr Robert Lustig dished out some surprising truths about insulin resistance being the real culprit behind weight loss struggles. Dr Robert Lustig, a renowned Professor of Paediatric Endocrinology, has made waves with his deep dive into the harmful effects of sugar on our bodies, penning bestsellers like ‘Fat Chance’, ‘Metabolical’, and ‘The Hacking of the American Mind’.

According to Lustig, the sweet stuff is a major hurdle in the battle against the bulge. He boldly labels fructose, a key component of sugar, as “poison” for our system, explaining that it’s processed in the body much like alcohol. He also highlighted the dangers of overindulging in sugar, comparing its harmful impacts to those of alcohol. The NHS guidelines suggest adults should limit their intake of free sugars to no more than 30g daily.

Lustig warns that exceeding these sugar limits can lead to a host of health issues, ranging from metabolic disorders to mental health challenges, and even societal problems, reports Gloucestershire Live. “We also know that if you have high sugar consumption it’s got multiple detrimental effects, such as mental health problems, cognitive decline and early death. We also know it’s the primary driver of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).

“The problem is that sugar is addictive.” He then dropped a bombshell, stating: “If you consume one sugared beverage per day, your risk of diabetes goes up by 29%.” The endocrinologist also shared some other startling statistics during the podcast:

However, he reassured listeners that cutting down on sugar, even without losing weight, can boost metabolic health and brain function. If you’re actively trying to shed pounds and body fat, Lustig argues that counting calories ‘isn’t an efficient method’. He elaborated that how your body reacts to food is more crucial than the number of calories you consume. This is particularly true because, according to him, excessive sugar intake can lead to insulin resistance, which in turn can cause weight gain and make it harder to lose weight.

“Virtually everybody who counts calories loses a little bit of weight and then they plateau and then they get um you know tired of their diet and the weight comes rushing back,” Lustig warned. “90% of people who try to diet through caloric restriction regain and sometimes yo-yo back even higher.”

He continued, explaining that yo-yo dieting is triggered by insulin resistance, not calorie restrictions. The NHS describes insulin as an energy storage hormone in the body. Its main job is to control the rise in blood glucose caused by eating or drinking. It’s also the primary driver of obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.

Lustig cautions that refined carbs and sugar can spike insulin levels, declaring the “best way to lose weight” is by lowering these levels. This can be achieved by eliminating refined carbohydrates and dietary sugar from your diet. The expert asserts that this will enhance your insulin resistance, making weight loss more straightforward.

When it comes to the healthiest grub, the professor recommends anything that’s been grown in the ground or comes from animals that consume food from the ground. He warns that added sugar can make food harmful to your metabolism, even if it’s packed with vitamins and minerals.

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