How Artificial Sweeteners Create Weight Gain & Sugar Cravings

sugar cubes with yes and noWe all know that sugar is a major enemy when it comes to weight loss. Many people trying to shed a few extra pounds struggle to beat their sugar cravings.  Fighting the psychological and physiological desire for sugar can be so difficult that many people turn to artificial sweeteners.

There is a misconception that all artificial sweeteners are a healthy choice because they contain less calories and carbohydrates than natural sugars and can therefore help with weight loss.

The truth is, some artificial sweeteners can be just as detrimental to weight gain as natural sugars.  However, there are some sweeteners can be used alongside Stop-It to beat your sugar cravings and promote weight loss.

The Proliferation of Artificial Sweeteners

Saccharin (commonly known as Sweet N’ Low™) was the first commercially used sugar substitute.  The popularity of saccharin led to the development of other artificial sweeteners that are widely used today.  Some of these that you are probably familiar with include aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet®), sucralose (Splenda®), and neotame.

The chemical composition of these artificial sweeteners makes them much sweeter than the traditional table sugar known as sucrose (disaccharide composed of 50 percent fructose and 50 percent glucose). Saccharin is 300 times sweeter than sucrose, aspartame 200 times sweeter, sucralose 600 times sweeter, and neotame an incredible 7,000 times sweeter than sucrose.

There has been an explosion in the use of these non-nutritive sweeteners within food and beverages as they are far more cost efficient for manufacturers and widely accepted by consumers as a healthy substitute for sucrose.

The Problem with these Artificial Sweeteners

Research is proving that substituting natural sugars for artificial sweeteners does not help with weight loss.  In fact, these synthetic chemicals can promote weight gain and a range of other health issues.  There have been a number of studies that have shown that artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, can encourage people to eat more and put on weight.  These artificial sweeteners are not the answer to beating sugar cravings and losing weight.

Safe Natural Sugar Alternatives

There are some natural sugar substitutes that can be used to assist with weight loss, such as erythritol and stevia.  Erythritol is a natural sugar-alcohol with very few calories.  Unlike some other sugar-alcohols, erythritol doesn’t pose any digestive problems and is immediately excreted by the body.

Stevia belongs to the sunflower family and has been widely used for centuries as a natural sweetener.  Its impact on blood glucose is negligible so when it’s consumed there is no insulin spike which can lead to fat accumulation. Truvia® or Purevia™ are products that combine erythritol and stevia to produce a safe, natural sugar alternative.

How to Use Stop-It & Natural Sugar Alternatives to Your Advantage

Stop-It works to train your brain to associate sugar with a negative experience through naturally blocking sweet taste bud receptors using a herb called Gymnema Sylvestre.  Essentially your brain is being conditioned through a negative feedback response to dislike sugar. However, this new association with sugar takes time to develop and this is where natural sugar alternatives can help.

When you consume a Stop-It lozenge the unpleasant natural taste of Gymnema is masked using peppermint and erythritol.  Erythritol satisfies your craving for something sweet while Gymnema starts to work on your taste buds. Over time your sugar cravings will cease and you’ll find it much easier to eliminate sugar from your diet and lose weight.

While you are working towards beating your sugar addiction with Stop-It and following my 14 day low carb diet plan it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the ingredients list for the foods you eat.  If items contain stevia or erythritol, rather than other commonly used sugars, then they are a much better option.

While they are mildly sweet, they won’t negatively impact your goal of beating sugar cravings. Ribose is another great natural sugar compound sometimes found in low carbohydrate foods that’s excellent for providing your body with energy without negative side effect.

Overcoming sugar addictions and stopping sugar cravings is difficult and often impossible for many people.  Learning what sugars are good for you in small quantities and what sugars to avoid is a great start.  Armed with this knowledge and together with Stop-It and a low carb diet it’s possible to lose weight and win your battle against sugar once and for all.

Robert Carlson, MD, FACS

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