You should try to pass on artificial sweeteners, too. Try to eliminate aspartame and saccharine from your diet. They are nonnutritive. Ask yourself how many pounds you have lost since you started drinking diet sodas. So, are they working? Most likely not. Here’s why.
Recent studies suggest that artificial sweeteners boost insulin by fooling the body into reacting to them like sugar. As you know, this is not good for weight control. The more unused insulin in your bloodstream, the more fat your body stores.
If you are hooked on either aspartame or saccharine, it not only can be detrimental to your health, it also can stall and thwart your weight-loss progress. Give up artificial sweeteners.
Find other beverages to substitute for diet sodas and other beverages sweetened with aspartame or saccharin. These artificial sweeteners can cause weight gain and fat storage. Purified water is an excellent substitute.
Another sugar substitute is called Splenda. We don’t recommend it either because it contains high-glycemic starches as a filler. Stevia is a very sweet herb from South America that is popular as a sweetener and is available in powder form at health-food stores. It’s nonnutritive, but it’s neutral in terms of health and weight loss.
[alert type=”info”]Weighty Warning
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received reports of aspartame being linked to seizures, visual impairment, pancreas inflammation, and high blood pressure, among other disorders. The warning label on saccharine states that consumption is linked to cancer. These artificial sweeteners, as well as monosodium glutamate (MSG), are called “excitotoxins” because they affect the brain in a negative manner.[/alert]
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is considered a flavor enhancer. It actually gives your tongue’s taste bud for protein a false positive indication. The glutamine in MSG is what your taste bud senses and tells you that you are eating protein.
Of course, the MSG fools you. It isn’t protein, but it is added to many foods, especially proteins, to intensify the protein taste and to fool you into sensing that the food has far more protein than it actually has.
Unfortunately, MSG is renowned for causing headaches and other undesirable side effects. Avoid MSG when you can. At Asian restaurants, where MSG usage is common practice, ask for your food to be prepared without MSG. Check food labels for the presence of MSG. It is neutral in terms of actual weight loss, but it certainly doesn’t promote health.
[alert type=”info”]Weighty Warning
Read the labels carefully if you want to avoid mono-sodium glutamate. Look for these other terms for MSG: meat tenderizer, hydrolyzed protein, textured protein, hydrolyzed oat flour, calcium caseinate, sodium caseinate, autolyzed yeast, and yeast extract. MSG is commonly found in fast foods, dairy products, salad dressings, nondairy creamers, sausage and bacon, lunchmeats, canned soups and sauces, cocoa mixes, and veggie burgers.[/alert]
Alcohol isn’t exactly a weight-loss no-no, but we can’t fully endorse it, so we include it here. Including alcohol in your weight-loss plan requires care and forethought. Since alcohol isn’t a protein, fat, or carbohydrate, we don’t classify it as a food. In fact, our wonderful internal food processor and detoxifier, the liver, treats alcohol as a poison.
As for weight loss, well, alcohol is tricky. You need to treat it as a food because alcohol changes your hunger numbers. Alcoholic drinks also contain calories. Your body metabolizes alcohol into sugar. What isn’t used for energy is converted into fat. Be sure to account for it in your total food intake.
Alcohol is an appetite stimulant. It can stimulate you to eat more food than you need (that is, to eat above a 5 on the hunger scale). Alcohol is also a depressant, so it can dull your ability to feel your hunger numbers. This means you could overeat because you couldn’t feel your stomach hunger sensations.
Alcohol affects each person quite differently. We know one woman who lost seven sizes, from a size 22 to a size 8, and still drank a glass of wine with dinner every night. Find out how it affects you. If you suspect that alcohol is interfering with your weight loss, stop consuming it.
[alert type=”info”]Body of Knowledge
Even one glass of an alcoholic beverage can stimulate your appetite and dull your senses enough that you can’t feel your stomach’s hunger numbers. Beer, wine, and all alcoholic beverages stimulate the body to increase excretion of the adrenal hormone cortisol. Cortisol is linked to weight gain in the waist and tummy areas.[/alert]