Artificial sweeteners such as sucralose interact with receptors on your tongue, which in turn give your brain a signal that you're consuming something sweet. But your body doesn't know if what you've ingested is calorie-free or not; it just prepares for the oncoming arrival of sugar.
With artificial sweeteners, your body never really gets the sugar it thinks is coming and this trick to your appetite only leaves you wanting more. This is where the evidence that may link artificial sweeteners to weight gain stems from.
We've all heard the advice to lose weight: choose diet soda, pick low calorie foods, and low carb drinks. Although, artificial sweeteners are not necessarily bad, there have been many studies with contradicting results. There's honestly no one answer that shows artificial sweetener's effect on metabolism.
Some studies show that artificial sweeteners don't cause weight gain while others have shown that people who use artificial sweeteners are more likely to be overweight and have many of the diseases caused by metabolism dysfunction.
Insulin drives your appetite. Whether you're having real sugar or not, you're brain can't tell. It reacts the same either way. Your cells want to eat carbs and sugars, but because you have metabolism dysfunction, any extra glucose gets stored as fat.
Trying to trick your body doesn't work! It just continues the cycle. Reaching for artificial sweeteners causes you to still be hungry because the receptors won't stop sending those signals until they're fulfilled. Meaning, you eat more carbs and sugars and pack on the pounds in the process.
The most significant source of artificial sweeteners in the American diet comes from diet beverages. Often times these diet beverages are consumed in place of meals or snacks. My advice is to skip the diet sodas as they do not contain any nutritional value, and eat real food instead. Your bistroMD meals, all containing adequate protein and the right mix of healthful carbohydrates and fats won't trick your metabolism but work with it instead.
Try Infused Water
It is a great alternative to diet sodas and is much better for you! You can pick your favorite fruit combinations (ex. Pineapple cucumber or lemon-lime); for a different taste than plain water.
That's not to say we're not sticklers about avoiding artificial sweeteners altogether. Some protein products (ex. Protein bars) are a quick and convenient way to eat lean protein. We just suggest keeping it to a minimum to make sure you get the best results possible.
Click below for one of Dr. Cederquist's favorite recipes!
"I put my food on a real plate. I get more excited seeing it all laid out."
Sam, 32 from IL
40 pounds lighter