Weight Loss Support - artificial sweetners

View Full Version : artificial sweetners

10-01-2009, 02:25 PM
i know they aren't good for you in general, i know. but i keep seeing stuff about how they make it harder to lose weight, and i'm confused as to why.

is it because they cause cravings for other sweet things?


do they do something biochemically to your body that makes it harder to lose weight?



anyone know anything about this, or have any research on it? :?:

Beach Patrol
10-01-2009, 02:32 PM
JMPO but I think artificial sweetners shouldn't be used to "lose weight" - I think they should be used for people who cannot have real sugar due to certain diseases & such.

But like I said, that's JMPO.

Of course, I don't believe that A.S. can make one "not lose weight" - just as I don't believe that a person would lose weight simply because they switched from real sugar to A.S. (and again, JMPO.)

10-01-2009, 03:15 PM
My understanding of it is that the human body evolved to recognize and process the sugar molecule (and to send out cascades of "satiety" signals when you've had enough). The artificial sweetener, even if derived chemically from sugar, doesn't fit the receptors and won't trigger the signals.

That being said ... a lot of us are here because those signals aren't working right as it is, so what's the lesser evil? :shrug: I like to think that the design for us is good, and that what the planet supplies us to eat is far superior to anything that can be created in a laboratory/factory. Weird, science-made molecules maybe just get stored (as fat) until our overloaded systems can figure out what to do with them.

My reference for where I get this kooky idea is a book called Ultrametabolism by Dr. Mark Hyman - his claim to fame is "nutrigenomics" and the study of how what we eat affects our genes. It's a very good, approachable read.

10-01-2009, 03:25 PM
From what I've heard and even experienced is artificial sweeteners can trigger cravings. I generally try to avoid most sweeteners, artificial and 'natural'.

10-01-2009, 03:29 PM
I generally try to avoid most sweeteners, artificial and 'natural'.

thanks for the responses. i think this may be the only way to avoid the entire situation. :)

10-01-2009, 04:50 PM
It doesn't bring on cravings for me (even if it did, it would still be up to me to decide whether or not I give into those cravings). I don't grab the chips out of "habit" along with the occasional diet soda I drink. And I'm pretty much assuming that there's nothing bio-chemical going on in me to cause me to NOT lose weight, since I've lost 165 pounds and kept it off for 2+ years - all the while using artificial sweetners.

I don't think it's the healthiest thing I could put in my mouth, but luckily just about everything else I do put in my mouth is. And using it helped to free me up to shed the weight and I am no longer morbidly obese, which is first and foremost what had to be done.

That being said, I would love to one day eventually cut it out completely, but not because of weight reasons. Because of I'm pretty certain there's got to be some long term ramifications of consuming it......

10-01-2009, 08:02 PM
I have no problems at all with AS...any of them. I have those I prefer for a specific use such as baking or in my tea.

I have to agree with robin...for those in whom it might cause cravings, it's up to them to not give in.

Just my .02.

10-01-2009, 10:34 PM
I use it in my ice tea and that is what has assisted me in giving up regular coke. So cravings no cravings bad molecules fat holding whatever. It is surely the lesser of two evils for me.

10-01-2009, 10:42 PM
I use Stevia in my tea, and I bake with Splenda. I use both sparingly.

It has worked well for me, with no cravings or side-effects.

10-01-2009, 11:00 PM
There are some risks as far as i can tell. You may want to look into a sweetener made with stevia which is made from a very sweet herb. http://www.truthaboutabs.com/artificial-sweeteners-natural-stevia.html you can find some information about sweetners here.

10-02-2009, 04:50 AM
I've read it can make you bloated and crave other sweets. I use it sparingly... and often I try and go without... as in, I don't keep any on hand or at home. And, I most definitely don't consume any white or brown sugar unless I have the hiccups, like yesterday when a spoon full of sugar got rid of them.

I try and limit AS to these treats:
Sugar free gum
diet coke/pepsi
non-fat sugar free vanilla latte

10-02-2009, 08:58 AM
Many years ago, I used to take equal, then I switched to splenda. Since I started on my WL journey I slowly cut out stuff that weren't good for me. So, right before summer, I switched to raw sugar. I've been A.S. free for a while.

I do have a terrible sweet tooth and it did not make a difference whether I was on A.S. or real sugar. My weight gain has nothing to do with A.S. but purely me eating more than I should and not moving enough. My WL has been slow and steady and I didn't cut out A.S. until this summer.

Having said that, I do agree with ICUwishing that A.S. do mess up with the receptors.

Edited to add - I forgot to mention...First thing we cut out from our home was HFCS. We've been HFCS free for over a year now.

10-02-2009, 09:15 AM
I can only speak about my experience with the stuff. I switched to diet soda and artificial sweeteners in my coffee in the hope that it would help me lose weight. Before doing so I was overweight with a bingeing problem. I considered myself a meat-and-potatoes eater with very little cravings for sweets - I generally denied desserts and hardly thought about them.

Once I made the switch to A.S. I slowly started craving desserts and indulged. I went from 1 equal in my coffee to 2. I didn't even realize I had started developing a sweet tooth. The weight started packing on.

When I quit A.S. in all forms my body went beserk. I was dreaming of donuts, I was baking cakes, I was eating chocolate candies all day long... these are all things I never struggled with before, althoughout my previous weight gains. It took a very long time to become adjusted again but I feel more clearheaded and more in control now and my sugar cravings went back to being sporadic and normal again like they used to be.

So that's the story. I switched to A.S. and gained weight... I stopped A.S. and I gained even more weight.... I truly blame all the chemical depencies my body has on sugar and A.S. If it wasn't for those 2 chemicals plus high-fructose corn syrup I would've been a much healthier person to begin with.... actually America would be a much healthier nation as well.

Salt, sugar, high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners are the enemy!

10-02-2009, 12:47 PM
This is one of those things where there's no one-size-fits-all answers. For some of us, artificial sweeteners trigger our pancreases to release insulin, and when you are carb-sensitive, can cause your body to respond as though you'd ingested actual sugar. Bloating, cravings, inability to lose weight.

For others, the only caution is, some of these artificial sweeteners contains some really nasty stuff. Google 'aspartame' and 'Rumsfeld' if you want to know more.

Personally, I stay far far far away from them. The last time I lost a lot of weight, I had the maximum amount of artificial sweetener allowed by Dr. Atkins. I lost weight OK, but still had a roll around the middle. This time, no sweeteners, and my waist is the smallest thing on my body. My waist measurement is about 36.5, which is insane considering my weight and size otherwise. I attribute this to virtually no artificial sweeteners in my diet.

It's an individual thing. Track how your body reacts and adjust accordingly.