Artificial Sweeteners and Your Appetite

This post is for you if you regularly consume artificially sweetened foods and beverages!

For many of you this time between Thanksgiving and Christmas means major anxiety about staying on track with your health goals.  It often brings up fears of losing willpower around sugary temptations and constant stress about weight gain.  And if you’re a diet soda junkie it means slurping down these beverages in an attempt to satisfy cravings and tame your appetite– but could this habit be doing more harm than you realize?

I want to help you feel good about yourself and your life.   I want you to have a healthy relationship with food and eating.  It’s really tough to do this with artificial sweeteners interfering with the natural rhythms of your appetite.

If you have been relying on diet products in hopes of losing weight or controlling your hunger and you have not noticed any positive results– you have to question why you continue to use them.

Be open to the concept that they may be making it even harder for you to lose weight.

Thanks to clever marketing, so many people believe that consuming artificially sweetened beverages or foods will help with appetite control and weight loss.  Hmmmm….yet since their introduction into our food supply and despite millions of people eating and drinking them, obesity is more out of control than ever.

These fake foods fuel the ridiculous myth that to lose weight you must eat as few calories as possible and you must try to suppress your appetite, like it’s a bad thing.  It’s not.  Your appetite is there for a reason and until you make friends with it you’re not going to be at peace.  You respect your body’s urge to breathe, sleep and urinate, right?  You should pay attention to your hunger as well.

Ask yourself this:  Have sugar-free products helped me?  If so, excuse me and end of discussion.  Who am I to tell you something doesn’t work for you when it has?  BUT I am going with what I’ve noticed in everyone I’ve met so far and I have yet to meet someone who has achieved and maintained a healthy body weight through diet products.

What if you got them out of your system and let your body reset itself through nutrition from real foods?  If you’re regularly putting fake sweeteners in your body you can bet that your appetite is confused about this ingestion of sweetness without the accompaniment of expected energy (calories).  You can’t trick your body.  Instead you’re only encouraging your sweet cravings to haunt you.

I want you to consider testing out a new approach:

Get artificial sweeteners out of your diet in order to rebalance and regulate your appetite.

I love a good n=1 experiment.  It’s the best way to see how a change will work for you!  Cut out all artificial sweeteners for one month and see what you notice.  What I like about self-experimentation is the idea that you can look at it as a trial period for something new where you can always go back to your old habit if you want to.  You won’t know what will happen unless you try.

I’m not saying to replace artificially sweetened products with those containing corn syrup and white sugar either.  The idea is to learn to not need to taste intense sweetness in everything you eat and drink.

Check out some of this information:

Why Artificial Sweeteners Can Increase Appetite

  • “After chronic exposure to a diet that contained the artificial sweetener sucralose, we saw that animals began eating a lot more,” said lead researcher Associate Professor Greg Neely from the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Science.
  • “These findings further reinforce the idea that ‘sugar-free’ varieties of processed food and drink may not be as inert as we anticipated. Artificial sweeteners can actually change how animals perceive the sweetness of their food, with a discrepancy between sweetness and energy levels prompting an increase in caloric consumption,” Professor Herzog said.

 

Gain Weight While “Going Diet?  ”  Artificial Sweeteners and the Neurobiology of Sugar Cravings

  • But do artificial sweeteners actually help reduce weight?  Surprisingly, epidemiologic data suggest the contrary. Several large scale prospective cohort studies found positive correlation between artificial sweetener use and weight gain.

  • Preload experiments generally have found that sweet taste, whether delivered by sugar or artificial sweeteners, enhanced human appetite. Aspartame-sweetened water, but not aspartame capsule, increased subjective appetite rating in normal weight adult males.

Artificial Sweeteners Produce the Counterintuitive Effect of Inducing Metabolic Derangements

  • Taken together, data from these recent studies suggest a link between consumption of ASB (artificially sweetened beverages) and a variety of negative health outcomes, including increased risk of being overweight and obesity, T2D, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular events, especially in adults.

 

If you’re diabetic and thinking artificial sweeteners are helpful, you may want to reconsider that:

Artificial Sweetener May Do More Than Sweeten: It Can Affect How the Body Reacts to Glucose

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

All science aside, simply based on my observations alone, the fake stuff doesn’t help anyone lose weight or improve their health in any way.  Looking around, who do you see drinking Diet Coke and eating sugar-free Jello?  And I don’t mean the models in the advertisements who are there to make you think they look that way because they use artificial sweeteners.  In real life you’ll notice that it is typically those struggling with their weight who consume these artificial products.

Having a healthy relationship with food isn’t about eating and drinking artificially made food-like substances that taste disgusting.  If something doesn’t work and is likely causing more harm than good, it’s time for a change.  A healthy relationship with food has to involve real foods that provide nourishment.

If you’re looking to rediscover and honor your true appetite, come see me and I will help you get rid of these fake foods and into eating the real foods that your metabolism will thrive on.  You don’t need diet products; you need to get back in touch with your natural appetite instead of battling with it.

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2 Responses to Artificial Sweeteners and Your Appetite

  1. Ann says:

    Real food for thought. Your suggestions are always balanced, helpful and they are never phony sounding. N=1 sounds challenging in this case. Probably worth a try given that I was helping myself to x-large serving of diet cola when I opened this email.

  2. Corinne says:

    Coincidence or a sign? 🙂
    If completely cutting out diet soda sounds too daunting start with reducing what you currently drink. You can always wean yourself off of it gradually. If you really want to do something you can do it!

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