Want to lose weight? Don’t quit ANY food until you read this

Lets look at Wilma and Betty (and Hoda)

Betty quit sugar and lost weight

Betty’s old eating plan consisted of her eating 2500 calories per day.
600 of those calories were from items with sugar in it. By quitting sugar (and not replacing it with anything else) , Betty now eats 1900 calories per day. In Betty’s case this is enough of a calorie deficit to result in weight loss . YAY for Betty.


Betty jumps to the conclusion … “It must be the sugar!!”.
As far as Betty is concerned … Quitting sugar = weight loss.

However, what Betty is not aware of is that eating 600 calories less per day is why she lost weight.  Betty could have done this a number of other ways and still achieved weight loss. She could have kept in a couple of her favourite sweet foods per week if she had planned well.

Betty is so happy and excited that she wants to share this news with everyone. 

Betty’s heart is truly in the right place. She thinks she has found the holy grail to weight loss and she wants others to experience it too.

Personal note –
As a young and inexperienced trainer, I did this too. I lost weight using one technique and I thought it was the holy grail. I then prescribed the same protocol to everyone and anyone. Most lost weight, but not all.

Only now with many years of experience do I know that there are MANY different pathways to the same destination.

Back to Betty and Wilma

Betty’s best friend Wilma see’s Betty’s new body (and is a little bit jealous to be perfectly honest). Wilma takes Betty’s advice and gives up sugar too.

Wilma quits sugar and puts ON weight !!!


Wilma’s old eating plan consisted of her eating 2200 calories per day. Wilma cuts out 500 calories that were from items containing sugar.

So far, so good.

BUT  Wilma adds in more foods (more calories)  from other items that don’t contain any sugar.
Wilma didn’t see any problem with this. –  Betty had already told her that sugar is what causes weight gain.

Wilma quits sugar but ends up eating 2400 calories per day with the extra (non sugar containing) foods she has added into her plan.  Wilma gains weight and wonders how it all went wrong.

Side note –

Wilma felt somewhat deprived because she was missing some of her favourite foods. The extra / other foods she ate were an unconscious attempt to fill that sense of deprivation.

This is exactly what happened to Hoda from the today show.



If you want to lose weight, you need to achieve a calorie deficit. (ie burn more calories than you consume each day or each week).

I encourage reducing calories from your WANTS not your NEEDS. Sugar definitely counts as a WANT food, not a NEED food. It makes perfect sense to cut down (not completely cut out) your sugar intake in order to reduce your calorie intake. However, if you then replace those calories with something else, then weight loss probably wont occur.


Last important notes..

1 ) Even though I use quitting sugar as an example, this post is not really about sugar. It’s about how weight loss “rules” work… and how they don’t.

You could (and should)  feel free to replace the term sugar for any other food item such as wheat, dairy, gluten, carbs, meat etc.  and the information would remain the same.

2 ) This is NOT an excuse for you to reach for the donuts. Most of us could benefit by cutting down on sugar. The World Health Organisation recommends limiting sugar intake to around 25 grams per day. Knowing that it is perfectly fine to fit 25grams of sugar into your day is a VERY different feeling than believing that sugar is evil and that you must quit it completely. I believe that the feeling behind the action is just as important as the action itself (if not more so).

I urge you to read my little rant on hidden sugars HERE.


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