The fad of artificial sweeteners came as no surprise given that the effects of sugar towards weight gain had been well documented. However, while most of us gladly switched to artificial sweeteners without a second thought, we perhaps forgot to factor in that they too may come with their own bunch of side-effects. Yet, irrespective of the other side-effects, the irony of the matter is that artificial sweeteners are as detrimental towards the weight loss process as sugar itself; in fact, numerous critics would argue that the former is actually more harmful than the latter.
The debate of aspartame vs sugar has gone on for a while now, and there is enough research to suggest that aspartame, the most commonly used artificial sweetening agent, could be linked with serious, in some cases even life threatening, ailments such as leukemia, lymphoma, tumors, etc. However, the bigger concern that we are trying to address today is that it may not even be helping with weight loss. One of the reasons for the same, is that aspartame increases food cravings, especially for carbohydrates. Thus, though the substance itself contains zero calories, you’ll end up putting on weight due to increased consumption of food in other forms.
The problem with artificial sweeteners can be better understood by understanding their working. Essentially, the body’s sugar receptors are activated faster by aspartame; so to say, a smaller quantity of aspartame is required for your receptors to be stimulated, and in turn be fooled into thinking that the substance is sugar. However, this causes your brain to order the body to decrease the glucose levels in your bloodstream (since sugar breaks down into usable energy very fast), which in turn increases your craving for carbohydrates, since they are the basic source of energy for the body, thus causing an artificial increase in appetite.
Besides the induced effects of aspartame, there is also the more practical concern that you are likely to eat other foods with a high calorie content based on the notion that you are already cutting down on calories by replacing sugar from your diet with a zero calorie sweetener. Of course, this not only applies to your diet, but also to your attitude towards working out and other practices that you may adopt to bring about weight loss. Basically, the use of artificial sweeteners is likely to make you work a little less hard than you would have otherwise; even if its effect is only at a subconscious level.
To cut a long story short, if we regard sugar as harmful, we need to realize that its artificial replacement is no God-sent either, and in fact may prove harmful to not only your weight loss regimen, but your health as a whole. The correct way to deal with the weight problem then would be to limit the amount of sugar you take and/or replace it honey whenever possible. The thing we must remember here is that the more artificial a product, the greater is its likely hood to have adverse effects on the body.