The Irony: Artificial Sweeteners and Weight Gain?
Artificial sweeteners are often consumed by those trying to lose weight. These would include things such as Splenda, NutraSweet, and Sweet N’ Low.
Multiple studies have shown weight loss with the use of artificial sweeteners.However, multiple studies have also shown an association between artificial sweeteners and weight gain- quite the irony.
Studies have shown that after consuming real sugar, participants consumed less food than after consuming artificial sweeteners. Basically what happens is a disconnection between a sweet taste and calories, which leads to overeating as compensation.
When you get that sugar craving, you try to feed it with something sweet. But you don’t want to consume sugar because it’s unhealthy, and you consume an artificial sweetener instead. When you do that, your food reward pathways in the brain are not as highly activated as they would be if you were to eat regular sugar. Because you did not satisfy your craving you will continue to need that food reward, causing you to eat more.
That’s why “diet” sodas may not work either.
There does not seem to be a general consensus on artificial sweeteners in the literature, however the theory behind them and weight gain is intriguing. I would stay away from them just in case.