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Daily sugar intake amounts while aiming at weight loss or recomp?

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  • Daily sugar intake amounts while aiming at weight loss or recomp?

    Maybe this is bit of a loaded question because we are all different (genetics, goals, etc.), but I'd like to know (from those that track it)....

    How many grams of sugar are you consuming each day? We can either look at added sugar (ie. sugary drinks, etc.) OR just total sugar (its in nearly everything). Again, I'm more interested in hearing from people that are trying to lose weight or aiming at recomposition.

    I'll start...

    I'm 36 y/o Male, 245 lbs, 6'1" and roughly 30-35% bodyfat. I have a significant amount of fat to lose. I've been tracking nutrition for 6 weeks and have lost 13 pounds so far as well as almost 3 inches off of my waistline. My sugar intake ranges from ~20g to ~80g daily, and averages somewhere around 60g daily for the entire six weeks. I've posted days with almost none, and days in the mid-100's (particularly on the day I made Chinese food at home....honey garlic chicken....ha!).

    My weakness is adding a little bit of sugar to unsweetened tea. I don't even like my tea THAT sweet, but the sugar really adds up after having 2 or 3 or 4 cups (my daily caffeine choice). I recently bought some Stevia. It's okay, but I almost feel like going cold turkey is going to work better for me (to eliminate added sugar). I guess reaching for that when I do want something sweet will give me another compliance tool. Hopefully the cravings go away soon.

    My GOAL is to essentially eliminate all added sugars (ie. like in my tea), and keep total sugar below 40g per day (which is an arbitrary number, FYI).

    To anyone having trouble with this...keep at it! I'm far from perfect, but have still managed to keep losing weight steadily over the past 6 weeks just by improving my overall picture of nutrition.
    Last edited by fevzay; 04-11-2018, 12:58 PM.

  • #2
    It sounds like you are very sugar-phobic. When I was cutting I was getting about 150-200 grams even though I rarely have candy/desserts/sweet beverages. Was that an ideal amount? Probably not, but I stuck to my macros and lost weight fine. I have to admit that I barely hit 25g of fibre per day though and now that I am bulking I am finally hitting the recommendation of 35g per day by eating around 500 carbs.

    40g per day would be an extremely low number for me. Just looking at random days from my log, one time I had 63g in one meal alone in which I had roast beef, milk, carrots and an apple.

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    • #3
      Here's Dr. Mike Israetel's principles of diet nutrition, as each rung goes down it is less and less important. You literally could recomp just fine by only paying attention to #1 and ignoring everything else. If you want to super optimize everything and cut down to bodybuilder like leanness you could do all 5, but it's really not necessary.

      Principle #1: Calories in vs calories out.
      Principle #2: Macros
      Principle #3: Micro-Nutrients
      Principle #4: Nutrient Timing
      Principle #5: Supplements

      So provided your total calories are where you want them to be, and you are within your macro budget for carbs (if you count macros), whether those carbs are sugar or complex carb really makes little difference. We are more in #3 kind of area, where if you have oats for instance you are going to get more micro nutrients compared to white sugar. Now, if you're diabetic or pre-diabetic it would probably be best to avoid white sugar for health reasons. Anecdotally, when trying to lose weight it's easier to do so with complex carbs over simple sugars as they fill you up more and for longer. But if your only concern is just body composition, you're willing to trade off some solid food for sugar calories, and your total calories keep you in the desired deficit, then I personally wouldn't worry too much about it. You could even put those iced teas with sugar pre and post workout to gain little nutrient timing (#4) benefit.
      Last edited by PWard; 04-11-2018, 06:52 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by neandrewthal View Post
        It sounds like you are very sugar-phobic. When I was cutting I was getting about 150-200 grams even though I rarely have candy/desserts/sweet beverages. Was that an ideal amount? Probably not, but I stuck to my macros and lost weight fine. I have to admit that I barely hit 25g of fibre per day though and now that I am bulking I am finally hitting the recommendation of 35g per day by eating around 500 carbs.

        40g per day would be an extremely low number for me. Just looking at random days from my log, one time I had 63g in one meal alone in which I had roast beef, milk, carrots and an apple.
        Thanks for the response! I appreciate it.

        Yes, I kind of do look at sugar differently now. I have had high triglycerides my whole adulthood, and would probably be working towards fatty liver disease if I don't stay on the corrected path I'm on now. My limited understanding is that sugar (fructose, at least) is almost completely metabolized in the liver (not everywhere like other foods), so I think I'm most likely a worse than average responder to sugar. My suspicion anyway.

        Don't get me wrong. I'm never going to completely give up sugar. I just feel like I have to look at it differently for now. I have a long, long way to go still unfortunately. At some point in the future, I will play around with different amounts.
        Last edited by fevzay; 04-13-2018, 12:31 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by PWard View Post
          Here's Dr. Mike Israetel's principles of diet nutrition, as each rung goes down it is less and less important. You literally could recomp just fine by only paying attention to #1 and ignoring everything else. If you want to super optimize everything and cut down to bodybuilder like leanness you could do all 5, but it's really not necessary.

          Principle #1: Calories in vs calories out.
          Principle #2: Macros
          Principle #3: Micro-Nutrients
          Principle #4: Nutrient Timing
          Principle #5: Supplements

          So provided your total calories are where you want them to be, and you are within your macro budget for carbs (if you count macros), whether those carbs are sugar or complex carb really makes little difference. We are more in #3 kind of area, where if you have oats for instance you are going to get more micro nutrients compared to white sugar. Now, if you're diabetic or pre-diabetic it would probably be best to avoid white sugar for health reasons. Anecdotally, when trying to lose weight it's easier to do so with complex carbs over simple sugars as they fill you up more and for longer. But if your only concern is just body composition, you're willing to trade off some solid food for sugar calories, and your total calories keep you in the desired deficit, then I personally wouldn't worry too much about it. You could even put those iced teas with sugar pre and post workout to gain little nutrient timing (#4) benefit.
          Thanks for the response!

          Those make perfect sense to me; however, I do fear that I'm in or near the pre-diabetic range. I also have super high triglycerides, and suspect any or all refined foods aren't the best choice for someone like me (for now, at least).

          Additionally, I'm SO far off from being even in the normal bodyfat range (I'll say 15-20%) that I feel like I have to restrict further than most. I'd guess I'm in the 30-35% range even after a good start of losing 12-13 lbs in 7-8 weeks. I'm 6'1" 245 with a 43-44" waist (down from 46"). I'd guess that I need to lose somewhere between 35-45 lbs still to get my waistline in the normal range. Don't get me wrong, I'd love it if I could get a 34" waist at 210 but I don't carry that much muscle on me (my suspicion based on size of arms, legs, etc.). Re-comping later will for sure be my next stop. I'd love to go from 200 lbs @ 34" waist to 210+ lbs @ 34" waist later on if possible. 34" is somewhat arbitrary, but you get my point.

          Comment


          • neandrewthal
            neandrewthal commented
            Editing a comment
            I am the same height and same lean mass as you (that is if you are 35% bf, if you are 30% then you have more than me) with a 36" waist at 200 lbs. My goal is to get a 33" waist after a couple bulks and mini cuts, at around 195-200lb and then go up from there if I can. 33" is a very non-arbitrary number for me because I stuck a measuring tape in my belly button to see how thick the fat is then calculated how much circumference I need to lose to drop that much diameter

          • fevzay
            fevzay commented
            Editing a comment
            36" at 200 lbs makes sense to me as far as a guess. After that, yeah, recomping to 34" at 200-210 would be even better.

            GoalzZz...

        • #6
          I don't track my sugar explicitly nor do I have clients do so. We track carbs and those need to be at the appropriate number for your goals. Sweet drinks are a very high costs/low return food choice for most people, especially someone losing weight. I'd make it a goal to cut out caloric drinks like you have listed while you are losing weight.

          Congrats on your progress so far! It's awesome to see!

          Comment


          • #7
            Originally posted by Leah Lutz View Post
            I don't track my sugar explicitly nor do I have clients do so. We track carbs and those need to be at the appropriate number for your goals. Sweet drinks are a very high costs/low return food choice for most people, especially someone losing weight. I'd make it a goal to cut out caloric drinks like you have listed while you are losing weight.

            Congrats on your progress so far! It's awesome to see!
            Thank you, Leah! I'm quite happy with my progress so far.

            I'm definitely not out to vilify sugar. It really is in just about everything we eat. To your point, I agree that someone in my position should do everything they can to cut sugary drinks out either for good, or at least down to being a small or infrequent occurrence. On some level, I think it is necessary to kill my last bit of denial about what I can and can't do. Or at least owning up to worse than average genetics/response to it. Ha!
            Last edited by fevzay; 04-13-2018, 12:59 PM.

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