Does Sugar Make You Fat?

Posted on:

Anyone who has tried and tried again to lose weight knows the importance of minimizing sugar in our diets. If you’ve ever uttered the words, “no dessert for me, I’m on a diet,” then you probably want to know if sugar makes you fat.


When it comes to sugar and fat gain there is a lot of misinformation out there and this misguidance doesn’t just relate to weight gain either –  for example, did you know that high sugary diets are also linked to an increased risk of yeast infections ?

Yes, I bet you didn’t know that!

Ok – before we delve into whether or not sugar makes you fat, we must understand that all sugars are not created equal.

If you’ve ever wondered, does sugar make you fat, keep reading to find out the answer!

Counting Your Sugar

If you’re not sure how to translate those grams of sugar into a number that means something to you, let me tell you how. Take the grams of sugar per serving and then divide by four; that is how many teaspoons of sugar your food has.

Wait, how many? Yep that’s right, now you know something those sugary food distributors don’t want you to know!

One teaspoon of sugar has 16 calories, and when it comes to whether or not sugar makes you fat calories are where you want to look.

Weight Gain & Calorie Deficit

Does sugar make you fat? Yes, sugar will make you fat if you get a lot of calories from sugar and you fail to burn more of those calories than you consume. One way to make sure you burn more calories is to engage in regular exercise.

Concerned about getting an infamous beer belly?  Click here to find out of beer makes you fat!

Why Sugar (May) Make You Fat

Let’s be clear on thing; sugar is not a dietary evil void of all nutritional value. In fact our bodies use sugar for survival, particularly with energy. In fact some healthy foods like fruits and vegetables are broken down in the body as sugar.

Ok, moving on.

There are actually a few ways in which sugar can make you fat, that is contribute to the storage of excess fat. First, excess glucose—key word excess—causes your liver to exceed it’s sugar capacity, which means you’re eating too many foods high in sugar. What happens when your liver is packed with sugar (i.e. fuel)? That excess sugar is converted into fat, fatty acids to be specific, and stored as…FAT.

sugar+in+gummy+bears_does+sugar+make+you+fat{Just 10 of these gummy bears has 13 grams of sugar!}

Once that sugar has been converted (by the liver) it travels through your bloodstream and gets stored in the places you tend to store fat, such as the thighs, belly, breasts and hips.

This same process occurs when too many simple carbs (bagels, soda, beer & pretzels, for example). The insulin levels spike when simple carbs are consumed, causing your body to stop burning fat so that the recently consumed sugar can be converted to energy. When your muscles are filled with energy, the excess insulin (sugar) is converted, then stored as fat.

So yes sugar can make you fat, but mostly if your diet contains a lot of high sugar foods.

Let’s take a look at the amount of sugar in a few popular food items;

FOOD SUGAR (in grams) SUGAR (in teaspoons)
Oatmeal 0.4 0.1
Cheerios 1 0.25
Banana 14.4 3.6
Apple 18.9 4.7
Jelly Beans 28 7
Snickers Candy Bar 30 7.5
Pepsi 42 10.5

Let this chart serve as a reminder that you should always monitor the amount of sugar you consume, especially when snacking. If you’re concerned about sugar making you fat, then the nutrition label will be your new best friend!

Like most other things associated with weight loss, sugar consumption is perfectly fine if done in moderation. Moderation however means getting your sugar from healthy sources that will be broken down easily, unlike calories from soda and candy.

Looking for a way to cut down on sugar intake? Read our Eat Stop Eat review to find out if intermittent fasting can help you break your sugar addiction.


  1. It’s a good point you make about the different types of sugars. I knew a girl who was avoiding apples because “sugar is bad for you”. That’s a bit over the top, since there is a big difference between the way your body handles natural sugars (live in fruits and veggies) and processed sugars, like in a candy bar.

    Eat stop eat is a great call, I used it myself and it helped me to drop 40lbs. More importantly it helped to free me from the typical diet of trying to deprive myself.


  2. Michael says:

    thanks for the comnent Mike. Yes, ESE made a big difference for me, just simply realising that I didn’t have to eat every 3 hours. It was a real wake up call to my addiction to eating.

    i loved your post on slim women, if you’d be interested in a doing a guest post swap for our blogs I’d love if you could write a similar article for TFLA.

    if you’re interested, contact me through the contact form or you can get my details from Rusty at FBB.

  3. gav says:

    “Michael-the underwater body”

    Yes – there is a big difference in the way your body handles fructose (fruit sugars)… Most people think because it is ‘natural’ it is better.. But in fact science (recently) has shown that fructose turns into fat faster than glucose, and it also gives the opposite brain response to glucose, which it seems to mean that the body will not understand its ingestion/regulate intake.