Actress and TV personality Sherri Shepherd has been posting on Instagram about nixing sugar from her diet, but she recently shared some pretty jaw-dropping information with fans: Ditching the sweet stuff helped her lose more than 25 pounds.
Shepherd made the revelation in an Instagram caption alongside a photo of herself in skinny jeans. “Getting it in!!! Over 260 days #sugarfree … can’t begin to describe how #amazing I feel,” she wrote. “Energy, clarity of thought and mind.”
Shepherd, 51, says she’s gone off of sugar “slowly and steadily” and “since March I’ve come down over 25 pounds.” She added, “This is not a fad — it’s my life that is at stake.”
Twenty-five pounds is a lot. Can added sugar really cause that much excess weight?
“A lot depends on how much sugar someone was eating to start with, as well as calories in and calories out,” New York City-based registered dietitian Jessica Cording tells Yahoo Lifestyle. Added sugar shows up in a lot of different processed foods and snacks, she points out, and ditching those foods along with sugar can make a big difference.
It’s actually a good idea to consider at least cutting back on your sugar intake, Cording says. “I encourage people to keep added sugar to a minimum, regardless of whether you want to lose weight or not,” she says. “Sugar adds flavor (and calories), but there’s no research showing that eating sugar is doing you any favors.”
If you’re interested in completely eliminating added sugar from your diet like Shepherd, there are a few different ways to approach this: cold turkey or gradual weaning. The right choice for you “depends on the person,” Cording says. “There are people who know that they can’t be moderate with sugar. For those, cutting it out completely at once may be better.” But other people may feel more comfortable gradually reducing the amount of sugar in their diet. “That gives your taste buds a chance to adjust,” Cording says.
Overall, if you like sugar but you’re able to be pretty moderate with it, you’re probably OK health-wise to keep on having it. “If it’s falling within the context of your overall calorie needs, and it’s not impacting your health in a negative way, some sugar is OK,” Cording says. “I would rather people be OK with having 10 grams of sugar a day instead of beating themselves up over it.”
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