Did you know the artificial sweeteners in your favorite sweets or soda may be causing you to eat more later?
First, I want to say that both Jamey and I have become students of Metabolic Effect. Why? Well, because their research and guidance has changed our bodies and our lives.
We now understand how exercise and nutrition affects the body. Instead of blindly following a plan we found in a magazine or were sold by some pyramid scheme, we can use the science we’ve learned from Jade Teta and his team to sculpt our bodies with exercise and alter the way we eat to better suit our goals. Today, I want to talk about trigger foods.
I’ve read Jade’s first book, “The Metabolic Effect Diet,” a handful of times. This week, I’m rereading, “Lose Weight Here,” (don’t let the title fool/deter you—it’s not that kind of book). I’m to the part about trigger foods. A trigger food is a food that causes you to eat more later or eat something you wouldn’t normally eat. You may not realize it that you’re craving that giant bowl of pasta at night because you had a doughnut in the morning, for example. Gluten is a huge trigger food for me. Going gluten-free not only helps control my thyroid issues, but also my cravings.
Jade uses artificial sweeteners as one example in “Lose Weight Here.” Now, I was never a soda-drinker, but Jamey was. (I haven’t seen him drink soda in a couple of years now.) Anyway, before he changed his lifestyle, he loved to drink Diet Coke. And he thought it was better for him because, “Hey, it’s Diet Coke—no sugar.”
But, of course, it’s full of artificial sweetener. And it turns out artificial sweeteners can be huge trigger foods. Why?
Well it has to do with the cephalic phase insulin response. (Did I sound smart there?) There’s a great passage about what this is in “Lose Weight Here”:
“…the body tastes something sweet, so it expects to find sugar in the bloodstream soon after it gets a taste. As a result, it releases insulin. But when the sugar does not come, the released insulin can end up lowering blood sugar instead. That may then cause the brain to increase hunger and cravings, as it perceives a low blood sugar threat.”
This threat leads to uncontrollable and “insatiable” hunger and cravings later on for some people. Yikes.
Note: I said for some people. Our bodies are all different, so it may not affect everyone the same way. However, you won’t know how it affects you if you aren’t paying attention.
If you’re trying to change your body, artificial sweeteners (and trigger foods) may be an overlooked flaw in your nutrition.
How to Fix It
If you want to learn how artificial sweeteners affect you, decide to go without whatever artificially sweetened food/beverage you usually have for a few days. Try to pay attention to your hunger and cravings those days. Then add it back in. Pay attention to your hunger and cravings. See if it makes a difference.
And, hey, sorry even natural no-calorie sweeteners, such as Stevia, have this affect, so tread lightly.
A reminder that you don’t have to cut diet soda out of your life if you find it is a trigger food for you. You now know how it affects you, so you can make a better decision about when you have it. And maybe make it a “once in a while” treat instead of with every meal, right?