To all my Splenda, Equal, and Sweet N’ Low lovers,
As a freshman in college I tried to avoid the Freshman 15 at all costs, and immediately replaced my foods with the diet and sugar free versions. I hoped this method would allow me to prevent weight gain. However, after noticing an increase in my weight I conducted a bit more research to learn the most effective way to maintain a healthy weight. The results were shocking. Artificial sweeteners do not work the way many people believe they do. Today’s post explains my thoughts about the use of artificial sweeteners. Let me just start by saying it straight up, artificial sweeteners to not aid weight loss; rather, they cause weight gain. Now I know many of you are seeking an easy and quick step to begin your weight loss process. However, the six artificial sweeteners approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), aspartame, acesulfame potassium, saccharine, sucralose, neotame, and advantame contain chemically manufactured molecules and are much, much sweeter than sugar. How much sweeter you ask? Artificial sweeteners contain a sweetness factor anywhere from 200 to 20,000 times greater than sugar (FDA).
What’s the point of artificial sweetener use?
The idea is that the low or zero calories in the sweeteners allow one to continue to consume extremely sweet foods while still losing weight. Artificial sweeteners seem too good to be true and, honestly, they are. Due to the of the lack of calories in the artificial sweeteners, your body does not get as many daily calories necessary to function properly. The calorie cutting sounds good at first. You think to yourself, “maybe if I don’t eat as many calories I’ll lose weight.” However, your body reacts to weight loss like it’s starving, so in return, your metabolism slows. And trust me, I tried to eat only carrots for every meal hoping I would lose weight. At first, I thought it worked because I finally had a defined jawline. I was so excited! But, after about four days I noticed that I gained the weight back. Bummer I know, but bottom line is calorie cutting does not work. Not to mention how unhealthy it is for you!
Show Me the Evidence
To prove artificial sweetener’s inability to aid weight loss I gathered a few articles from scientists, doctors, and professors. Scientist Susan Swithers from Purdue University conducted a study on rats to test whether artificial sweeteners help weight loss control efforts. Swithers and her Partner, Dr. Davidson, fed one group of rats yogurt sweetened with table sugar containing about 15 calories per teaspoon and a second group of rats yogurt sweetened with zero-calorie saccharine. They found that the rats that consumed the zero-calorie sweetener, consumed more calories, gained more weight, put on more body fat, and didn’t make up for it by cutting back later. Anthony L. Komaroff, a physician and professor at Harvard Medical School, responds to his Ask Dr. K Forum and claims that artificial sweeteners may only be beneficial short term to aid weight loss. He explains that the high sweetness factors of the artificial sweeteners cause your body to find natural, less sweet foods like fruits and vegetables less appealing. Finally, Ph.D and science researcher Barry Popkin, explains that many people use artificial sweeteners as an excuse to eat whatever they want which causes them to gain weight.
Don’t worry, here are the articles so you can see yourselves!
Ways to Start Now
- Cut high sugar foods
- Cut high sugar foods and replace them with a more naturally sweet alternative like fruit, coconut sugar, honey etc.
- Skip the soda
- Both diet soda and regular soda are linked to many health risks. A regular 16 fl oz bottle of Coke contains 52 grams of sugar. The high sugar content leads to immediate fat storage within the body. Replace sodas with water, and add fruits for a more flavorful alternative.
- Ditch the “diet” anything
- Diet foods contain chemicals such as alternative sweeteners that give them the “diet” label. Hopefully now that you’ve made it this far into my post you know why alternative sweeteners aren’t a good option.
Eating foods with natural sweetness isn’t bad! Here are some sweet treat recipes to help you jumpstart your new lifestyle:
Giving Credit Where Credit is Due: