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Truth About Artificial Sweeteners and Weight Gain
We know that sugar is not good for us and has bad side effects on our health. This is one of the reasons artificial sugar was invented. It's not real sugar and it still makes things sweet AND zero calories.... sounds too good to be true! Well, it is. Adding sweeteners is not a healthy choice either!
"Diet" Foods with Artificial Sweetners
Many foods that are advertised as "diet" are filled with these fake sugars. This is how they get the food to be sweet and low calorie. One of the most commonly consumed "diet" items is diet coke. However, just because it is low or zero calorie does not mean it's going to help you lose weight. There is a lot of controversy over the use of artificial sweeteners and their effect on mood, body, appetite, and weight.
Artificial Sweeteners and Appetite
When we eat sugar it releases feel good chemicals inside of our brain that are associated with the "food-reward" pathway in the brain. This pathway is associated with helping us realize that we are eating and determine when we are full. Calories from sugar food activate this center of the brain and causes us to feel satisfied after eating.
One problem with artificial sweeteners is that they provide a sweet taste but since they contain no calories this part of the brain doesn't respond. This is why some researchers believe that this incomplete activation of the food reward pathway is linked with a increased appetite and cravings for sugary food.
Some also believe that artificial sweeteners can have a effect on future sugar cravings. If you think about this logically, it does make sense. If you make a habit of eating foods high in salt your body will start to crave salty foods more often. If you eat high fat food regularly then you will being to crave more food that is high in fat. Well, the same principal can be applied to sugar. The more of it you eat, the more of it you will crave.
Related: How to Start a Sugar Free Diet
Artificial Sweeteners and Weight Gain
Now the real question is can artificial sweeteners make you gain weight. So far we've learned that artificial sugar can cause the brain to misinterpret hunger and full feelings which can cause us to eat more. We also learned that it can cause us to crave sugar foods the more we eat it. So far these two factors alone will help to steer you towards eating habits that WILL cause you gain weight if acted on.
There have been many studies and most have come to same conclusion: artificial sweeteners can lead to weight gain! This study focused on artificial sweeteners being used in beverages (Like "Diet" Sodas!!) and tracked the BMI of study participants over the years and discovered that artificial sweeteners almost doubled their risk of obesity!
The best option when it comes to sugar and artificial sweeteners is to avoid both when ever possible. This might sound impossible at first but it can be easier than you might think. Cutting sugar out of your diet and going on a sugar "detox" is super easy and simple with the 21 Day Sugar Detox. I would recommend completely cutting out sugar from your diet or at the very least do the 21 Day Sugar Detox once or twice a year. You'll be amazed at the health benefits you'll get and the weight you'll lose!