Aspartame & Weight Loss
Diet products are everywhere. Diet pop, diet gum, diet cookies, diet mints, diet shakes, diet candy, diet meal replacements...the list goes on.
And in most diet products, aspartame is found.
Aspartame goes under the common names of Nutrasweet, Equal and Spoonful. It is also found as a tabletop sweetener for coffee or tea.
Aspartame is used in diet products because it has less calories than sugar and thus the thinking is that by cutting calories using these products, you will lose weight.
But hold on there. If that's the case then why are most North Americans getting heavier?
Obviously many factors contribute to the rising rates of obesity however there have been several doctors, medical researchers and aspartame victims that have started to speak out about the damaging effects of aspartame, including the effects on weight loss.
While it would take forever to cover the growing evidence on the negative effects of aspartame (see the bottom of this article for links to more general aspartame sites), we're going to focus here on the effects that aspartame seems to have on weight loss.
With all of the research piling up, we believe that yes, for some people, aspartame indeed may be hindering their weight loss. Here are the top 3 reasons why.
#1) Aspartame can make you actually crave MORE sugary sweets.
According to the book "Dieting Secrets that the Government Doesn't Want You To Know" by Astrid Lasco, B.Sc. M.Sc.,
"Aspartame is by far the most dangerous substance on the market that is added to foods"
She then goes on to quote several resources including Richard Wurtman, an MIT neuroscientist, whose studies have shown that aspartame makes you crave even more carbohydrates!
According to some experts, this is because the taste of aspartame (which is 180 times sweeter than sugar) in your mouth actually fools your body into thinking that sugar or high glucose carbs are coming it's way.
It then readies itself to receive that high glucose foods...but nothing comes. This then causes your body to crave that sugar or high-calorie carbs that it was expecting to get in the first place.
While this theory has not been proven (to our knowledge), it does make sense.
#2) Aspartame is difficult for your body to break down, which stresses your digestive system and causes it to store more of your food as fat.
This is a theory that seems to be supported by what happens AFTER people give up all aspartame. According to Dr. H.J. Roberts, people getting off aspartame completely lose an average of 15 pounds.
We've read several aspartame forum posts where people have said that after giving up aspartame completely, they lost pounds without changing anything else.
#3) Aspartame fools you into thinking that you can
This is more of a psychological problem involving diet products in gerneral. Diet products still do have calories (even though there are technically less calories than similar non-diet products).
When people consume diet products (including those with aspartame), they tend to think they can keep eating since they are eating diet foods.
Thus it's easy to eat a little more than usual since they think that the diet products have saved them calories. This results in actually more calories consumed and thus weight gain instead of loss.
Those are several reasons why we believe aspartame can actually hinder your weight loss. If you'd like to see for yourself if aspartame is slowing down your weight loss, just try cutting it out for 2-3 months and see if that makes a difference.
Keep in mind the everyone is different and we encourage you to visit the links below to do your own research on the adverse effects of aspartame.
About The Author
Karen Sessions has been in the fitness industry since 1988 and is a certified personal fitness instructor and specialist in performance nutrition. She is a nationally qualified natural female bodybuilder, holding numerous titles in the southern states including two overalls.
Karen has written six e-books on fitness. She also writes articles for several fitness websites, and distributes two monthly newsletters regarding weight loss and female bodybuilding.
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