Honey has been used as food, and even medicine, since ancient times. This food substance offers numerous health benefits and works best as a sugar substitute. However, some people are concerned about its other effects on the body. Can honey make you fat?
Honey can make you fat if you consume too much of it. It is a great alternative to sugar because it has a low glycemic index and offers other health benefits due to its vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. But it has lots of calories, too. Consuming too much honey can lead to weight gain.
If you drizzle honey into your oatmeal or use it in your morning coffee, it does add a certain number of calories to what you eat or drink. But is that amount enough to make you start gaining weight? Let’s learn more about honey and weight loss.
Does Honey increase belly fat?
Before we address whether or not honey increases belly fat, let’s find out how we develop this unsightly stomach roll. Belly fat is the excess fat that can be found in the abdomen area. There are two types, subcutaneous and visceral fat. Of the two, the latter is considered to be more dangerous because it wraps around a person’s organs.
There are many causes why people develop belly fat, and one of these causes is consuming too much sugar. High-sugar foods like candies, muffins, soda, flavored coffee drinks, and cakes are just a few examples of things that people enjoy eating. These examples have extremely high fructose content.
This is what studies are linking to the development of excess belly fat. According to controlled studies, people who were already overweight and were under a weight-maintaining diet program but were still allowed to consume 25% of their caloric requirements in the form of fructose-sweetened drinks showed an increase in belly fat.
However, those who consumed the same number of calories but had their drinks sweetened with honey instead showed no increase in belly fat. Some even experienced a degree of weight loss. Why did this happen?
Experts claim that honey has a lower glycemic index than your usual table sugar. This means it does not cause spikes in the blood sugar level. The quick rise and fall of the sugar level in your blood lead to the feeling of lethargy and hunger.
In short, if you experience more spikes in the blood sugar level, you’d be compelled to eat more often to satisfy the hunger pangs. This would increase your chances of eating more calories than your body needs in a day.
Plus, honey is much sweeter than sugar, so you’d probably consume less honey in sweetening your food or drink than sugar. Fewer teaspoons of consumed honey mean fewer calories.
It is important to note though that honey has slightly more calories than sugar, so it is still best to closely observe how much honey you are adding to your food or beverage.
How many calories are in one teaspoon of honey?
Many articles advise drinking a glass of water with some lemon slices and a teaspoon of honey. Dieticians and writers claim that this is a good step towards losing unwanted belly fat.
However, before you decide to drink this so-called weight-loss elixir, you must understand how many calories it can potentially contain. Based on the numbers from the USDA, a tablespoon of processed honey contains 63.8 calories.
This means that if you are planning on adding a teaspoon of honey to your lemon water, you will be drinking at least 21 calories for every glass. Besides the calories, a teaspoon of honey also contains about six grams each of carbohydrates and sugar.
What does this mean if you want to use honey as a replacement for sugar? A teaspoon of sugar contains 16 calories. If you put two teaspoons of sugar in your tea, then that would mean you are adding about 32 calories to your drink.
If you replace that with just one teaspoon of honey, then you reduce your caloric intake by 11 units. However, if you still add two teaspoons of honey to the drink, this would mean that you are adding a total of 42 calories to it.
Compared to just using sugar, you have added 10 more calories to your tea. This is why in the section above, we warned that watching your intake of honey is still crucial if you want to experience weight loss. Merely substituting honey with sugar is not going to miraculously make you drop the pounds. Although remember that most people would need less honey than sugar to obtain a similar level of sweetness 🙂
What happens if you eat a lot of honey?
Honey may be touted as the best alternative to sugar because it is all-natural and has many beneficial qualities. But, like any other food we consume, if we ingest too much of it, it will be bad for our health.
The first effect is that it will raise the sugar level of your blood. If this happens too often, your blood vessels will be damaged. This condition can lead to more serious health issues like an increase in your risk of suffering from stroke, kidney diseases, nerve problems, vision issues, and heart disease.
The high fructose content of honey can also cause you to experience constipation if you consume too much of it. Bloating and diarrhea are also reported stomach-related issues that people who consume too much honey experienced. While this isn’t as big an issue as a possible heart attack, it is a source of discomfort.
And, of course, eating too much honey can cause you to gain extra weight. As mentioned above, anything that is not consumed in moderation is going to lead to excess calories. This will be stored in the body as fat deposits.
Does lemon honey water reduce belly fat?
Just like what any doctor will tell you, a good thing will still end up hurting you if you take too much of it. The same is true for drinking lemon-infused water with honey.
While it is much better than most sugary drinks, it still contains calories that you have to watch out for if you are already consuming more than what your body uses up. These extra calories will have nowhere else to go but around your abdomen area.
Now, it is a different matter altogether if you use lemon honey water as a replacement for sugary drinks like flavored coffees or soft drinks. This would mean that you will be consuming fewer calories than what you are used to.
And if you cut back by at least 500 calories each day, you will shed a pound a week. Losing weight means you’ll lose fat all over your body. Eventually, you’ll notice that your abdomen area is getting smaller too.
The important thing to remember here is that drinking or eating anything will bring calories into your body. While calories are important so that your body will function properly, an excess of them will be stored and turned into fat.
This fat is not just unsightly, it also comes with a host of health problems. It can lead to problems in different major organs and can also cause minor stomach issues.
If you want to lose weight and get rid of belly fat, you can choose to replace some of the unhealthy fatty or sugary food that you eat with honey and lemon water. The key is not to add to your caloric intake but to decrease it through the substitution of a healthier drink.
If you drink honey lemon water on top of the regular food that you eat and drink. You will experience weight gain. It is not a magic elixir that will melt the fats, particularly in your belly area.