Artificial sweeteners are the devil and if you consume them, then you are going to gain weight!
Apparently it has something got to do with something, something, insulin spike, something, something which then causes immediate weight gain!
This is a true story that I have heard and especially if he/she is, in fact, overweight and regularly consume these items, then it must be true.
That is surely how it works!
Also, I forgot to mention that I read an article online that stated, drinks and foods with artificial sweeteners are “bad for your health”.
All of that is cool, but is it true?
Well if you observed that all overweight people who consume foods and drinks with artificial sweeteners, and came to the conclusion that they are overweight because they consume these regularly.
Well then surely it must be true and that must be the reason!
Bingo I got it!
Sorry to burst your bubble but that is not how it works.
OBSERVATION does not equal CAUSATION!
Let’s observe me for a minute as an example.
Currently, I consume artificial sweeteners daily and If you could look at me to see that I am not overweight!
Arguable you would say that I am in pretty good shape.
So could we say that by consuming these foods/drinks that you will get in fantastic shape!
Well, yet again, no because it does not simply work like that.
So I am going to dive right into this to see if this is, in fact, true or false.
In research during observational trials, artificial sweeteners have been linked with obesity. So basically, the number of drinks consumed with artificial sweeteners in them was correlated with body weight. But the headlines forgot to mention that observational trials are not meant to establish causality.
Furthermore, human intervention studies suggest that these artificial sweeteners can actually have a positive effect on body weight! For example, if someone consumes 2 litres of Coca Cola per day and suddenly swaps it for a Coke Zero, they are going to reduce their calorie intake which may allow them to lose bodyweight!
In this scenario, they would save 814kcal per day (5,698kcal over the week). That is going to go a long way to help them to lose weight! According to Peters et al. (2003) being severely overweight increases the likelihood of premature death and it also comes with a whole host of health implications.
In my opinion, this is far more dangerous to your health than spending your time worrying about the “negative implications” of artificial sweeteners.
Sylvetsky and Rother (2018) noted that “NNS consumption is associated with higher body weight and metabolic disease in observational studies. In contrast, randomized controlled trials demonstrate that NNSs may support weight loss, particularly when used alongside behavioural weight loss support.
So, do you think it is right to presume that artificial sweeteners are unhealthy and linked to weight gain based on what you now know?
Especially when those who are seen to be overweight are consuming them, I would think not. In a matter of fact, if you took a second to critically think about it, you could possibly come to a conclusion in your head yourself.
Weight loss is deemed to be the most important factor in order to improve one’s health who is overweight.
In order to lose weight, we need to ensure that we consume fewer calories.
Therefore swapping items for sugar-free alternatives could help with that, right?
Which in turn will create a calorie deficit thus allowing weight loss to occur?
So how is it acceptable to put that tag on foods with artificial sweeteners in them to be bad for us?
Especially when it is based on the assumption that overweight people consume them.
Surely you can see now that these people are doing what they can to help elicit weight loss, which is proven to be more beneficial for their health.
So, if you are in a position where you are trying to lose weight, drop body fat, improve body composition, health markers, build muscle and become a healthier version of yourself then it could be a good option to maybe have these to help support your efforts.
It may make it a lot easier to adhere to the plan which is the key fundamental to any successful effort.
During a caloric restriction phase, it can become difficult, as you are tired, hungry and cravings can be pretty high as you strive for progress. Therefore, being able to make your food taste appetizing with minimal calories can be the difference between staying on track and going totally off track (more often than not a binging episode, which is a topic for another day).
My go items to make things a bit easier are:
– Zero calorie drink of some kind (Coke Zero, 7up Free, White Monster Ultra etc).
– Flavour drops are a game-changer for Total Greek Yoghurt.
– Perhaps even a zero calorie syrup for your protein oats or cream of rice.
– Sugar-free squash to add to your water.
Now you might think I am crazy but I have worked with 100s of clients over the past 10 years and I have spent a great amount of time observing behaviours/habits (starting point).
In my opinion, 95% of people come to me because they hate how they look and feel, but they do not realise how out of shape they really are. This comes as an adjunct of living life in cruise control and not being aware of their daily decisions.
Which puts them in a position of being overweight and if we want to play the game of “being unhealthy”, then yes they are at risk of a lot of health implications that come with being overweight.
Furthermore, more often than not the people that are talking about “artificial sweeteners being unhealthy” in this case are more often the ones who:
– are overweight
– consume a lot of high calories processed foods
– perform minimal exercise
– binge drink on multiple occasions per month
– maybe even take social drugs (it is rarely talked about but it is prevalent in every city in the world)
– partake in smoking or even social smoking (when out drinking)
– neglect their sleep
– rely on caffeine to keep them going all-day
– are hyper-stressed all the time
I can go on and on about this topic, so If we really dig deep about what is “bad for your health” then there’s a shortlist of things that are arguably going to be a lot worse for you. So, in that scenario talking about artificial sweeteners is irrelevant, isn’t it?
To wrap things up, if you are trying to improve your health and you need to lose weight to help you achieve this, then swapping out high-calorie items for zero-calorie ones may help you out massively.
You will not gain weight provided you are in a calorie deficit!
Stop taking health advice from someone who is not educated and base all their logic on their own anecdotal experience and bias.
Also, stop reading articles online that have headlines to grab your attention, they do not care about you and all they are after is clicks.
Please share this with someone who could benefit from it.