Many people replace sugar with artificial sweeteners in the belief that this will reduce their calorie intake and cause weight loss. It sounds plausible. Several studies, however, have failed to show any positive effect on weight loss by consuming artificial sweeteners instead of plain sugar.
According to scientific studies, artificial sweeteners can increase appetite and maintain cravings for sweet food. And one recent independent study showed that switching drinks with artificial sweeteners to water clearly helped women lose weight:
Study: Avoiding Diet Beverages Helps Women Lose Weight
This could be because the body increases insulin secretion in anticipation that sugar will appear in the blood. When this doesn’t happen, blood sugar drops and hunger increases. Whether this chain of events regularly takes place is somewhat unclear. Something odd happened when I tested Pepsi Max though, and there are well-designed studies showing increased insulin when using artificial sweeteners.
Furthermore, artificial sweeteners can maintain an addiction to sweets and lead to snack cravings. And the long-term effects of consuming artificial sweeteners are unknown.
Studies claiming to show neutral or positive effects of sweeteners are usually funded by the beverage industry.
By the way, Stevia is marketed as a natural alternative to artificial sweeteners. That’s marketing talk. There is nothing natural about a processed super-sweet white powder like Stevia.
If you’re having trouble losing weight I suggest that you completely avoid sweeteners.
As a bonus you’ll soon start to enjoy the natural sweetness of real food, once you’re no longer adapted to the overpowering artificial sweetness of junk food and “diet” sodas.