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foxboro1967
Total Posts: 21
Registered on: ‎09-15-2011

Do sugar substitutes cause weight gain (or inability to lose weight)?

I am a '"pre-diabetic" struggling NOT to be full blown diabetic and have been working hard to watch my diet VERY carefully and am walking 3-4 miles a day at least 5 days a week.  Sugar has always been both my best friend and my enemy.  We owned a bakery and I was the cake decorator for 25 years plus working in other bakeries before that and I have always loved baking and loved sugar.  For me giving up sweets was especially hard but I have managed to avoid sugar in 90-95% of my foods but I just can't not have sweetener in my coffee.  I am fine with the splenda in my coffee as well as diet coke but despite all my exercise and watching my diet my scale does not budge below a certain point (perhaps it's stuck...LOL).  I have been hearing that sugar substitutes cause weight gain....are you folks seeing that??  I have tried googling it but the only research I have seen so far is the one about regular  sodas causing the obesity epidemica and I can see that with all the sugar.  Did not see a whole lot about the substitutes causing weight gain but I'm starting to wonder.  I really don't use a lot but do put some in my coffee and tea and also when I bake something sugar-free, which is not often.  I also put it in a teriyaki marinade I make but for some reason, despite all the extra walking I am doing and only eating about 1200 calories my weight is just not budging.  What do all you say about diet sweeteners?

lizzylou
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Registered on: ‎10-31-2009

Re: Do sugar substitutes cause weight gain (or inability to lose weight)?

No, and I don't think most others have either.  You do have to be careful when buying "sugar free" foods though, because a lot of them have higher carbs.  The same goes for so-called "diabetic" and "diabetic friendly" foods!  I never buy anything that says that because it's almost a given that the carbs will be higher.

 

Remember that in controlling BG numbers it's All About the Carbs! 

 

Lizzy

Knowledge is Power!





Here's some useful links, click on the titles


Testing 101
 
 All About Carbs

Resources For The Un-insured and Discount Medicine and Equipment

LizzyLou Videos



Lizzy's Blog
for lots more  


mollythed
Total Posts: 6,083
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Registered on: ‎10-31-2009

Re: Do sugar substitutes cause weight gain (or inability to lose weight)?

Artificial sweeteners like those in saccharine, NutraSweet and Splenda can't cause weight gain by themselves because they just plain don't provide any calories.

 

There are some researchers that are thinking that perhaps people who try to reduce calories by using artificial sweeteners just end up eating more in other ways.  There is even some research looking into the idea that perhaps artificial sweeteners affect the way our bodies do or don't provide insulin. 

 

One thought is that if we have been going with high blood sugar, over 180, for a while, our bodies have been doing there best to get rid of the extra sugar by passing it out through the kidneys, in urine.  If a person starts using meds that increase insulin production, or insulin effectiveness, they may find that the need to eat less, because now, all those spilled calories can go to adding fat instead of being spilled out. 

 

If you are eating just 1200 calories a day, neither of those explanations would fit your situation.  Then, I have to ask, are you being honest with yourself about portion sizes and recording all the calories you eat? 

 

One more possibility is that with less food and a lot of exercise, you may have convinced your body that you are starving, and it may have gone into a starvation mode to, sort of like putting your computer into sleep mode to save energy.  It's possible that eating a little MORE could actually wake your body up and allow you to lose more.

 

I certainly don't claim that this is an exhaustive list of ideas to fit your situation.  It's just what I though of off the top of my head.


"Molly" (aka mollythed)
Type 2 diabetes diagnosed in 1995, now managed with Lantus, Humalog and Metformin; diet and exercise.
My husband and three adult sons also have type 2 diabetes.





Frequent Responder
RunningBuffalo
Total Posts: 896
Registered on: ‎11-04-2009

Re: Do sugar substitutes cause weight gain (or inability to lose weight)?

Foxboro,

 

I'm RB . . nice to "meet" you.  :smileyhappy:

 

Lizzy and Molly have already shared great info ... I have two additional thoughts:

 

1)  Some "sugar free" foods are higher in fat = higher in calories.  (Read those labels!) 

 

2)  This OT, but it caught my attention:    You wrote "I am a '"pre-diabetic" struggling NOT to be full blown diabetic  . . . "   

Foxboro, IMHO there is no such thing as "pre-diabetic".   We either are Diabetic, or we're not.

What are your Fasting glucose readings?  A1C?   Do you check your sugars pre & post meal?

How are you managing your Pre Diabetes? 

We're here to help and encourage you if you want to share.

 

I think it's wonderful you're wanting to manage your sugars!   You are wayy ahead of the game!!!  

 

Welcome!

 

RB

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Spookiesmom
Total Posts: 1,453
Registered on: ‎02-17-2010

Re: Do sugar substitutes cause weight gain (or inability to lose weight)?

What Molly said! And RB. A lot of us feel "pre dabetic" is like being "a little pregnant".
Barb T2 Omni Pod since 1-09
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maplesyrup
Total Posts: 4,364
Registered on: ‎11-14-2009

Re: Do sugar substitutes cause weight gain (or inability to lose weight)?

Good for you Foxboro for working hard at managing your blood sugars while you are still diagnosed as "pre" And I do agree with the others that you are only a little bit diabetic.

 

The good news for you is that you are way ahead of the game because you are starting control now and you will be far less likely to have any complications if you keep up good choices of food and exercise as much as you can.

 

Re the sugar substitutes, I really don't think that they add weight at all. As Molly said they have no calories.

 

I use them in my morning coffee and occasionally choose foods that contain a small amount. I have not gained weight since I started that about 6 years ago. (haven't lost any either)

 

Dianne

Dianne

Diagnosed as type 2 in 2005 with an A1c of 9.1

Started with metformin and a low dose of an ARB for blood pressure. Added a sulfonylurea (a med that helps my pancreas produce my own insulin) Also a low dose of Crestor to lower my cholesterol.
After 7 years I could no longer tolerate metformin so am doing my best to keep control with a max dose of the sulfonylurea and lots of walking, some swimming.
alan_s
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Registered on: ‎10-30-2009

Re: Do sugar substitutes cause weight gain (or inability to lose weight)?




foxboro1967 wrote:

I am a '"pre-diabetic" struggling NOT to be full blown diabetic and have been working hard to watch my diet VERY carefully and am walking 3-4 miles a day at least 5 days a week.  Sugar has always been both my best friend and my enemy.  We owned a bakery and I was the cake decorator for 25 years plus working in other bakeries before that and I have always loved baking and loved sugar.  For me giving up sweets was especially hard but I have managed to avoid sugar in 90-95% of my foods but I just can't not have sweetener in my coffee.  I am fine with the splenda in my coffee as well as diet coke but despite all my exercise and watching my diet my scale does not budge below a certain point (perhaps it's stuck...LOL).  I have been hearing that sugar substitutes cause weight gain....are you folks seeing that??  I have tried googling it but the only research I have seen so far is the one about regular  sodas causing the obesity epidemica and I can see that with all the sugar.  Did not see a whole lot about the substitutes causing weight gain but I'm starting to wonder.  I really don't use a lot but do put some in my coffee and tea and also when I bake something sugar-free, which is not often.  I also put it in a teriyaki marinade I make but for some reason, despite all the extra walking I am doing and only eating about 1200 calories my weight is just not budging.  What do all you say about diet sweeteners?



 

Occasionally a paper will come out claiming that there is a correlation between various sweeteners or diet coke and weight gain. When I look at those papers in detail they never prove the point because they don't have any proof to go from correlation to causation. They rarely take into account the foods that are eaten together with the diet soda

 

To counter other aspects of the various stories you will read on sweeteners I wrote this: Aspartame

 

I have had a weight problem all my adult life, but I did not start using sweeteners until after I was diagnosed. They helped, rather than hindered, my weight loss but the most effective parts of my dietary changes to assist weight loss were cutting carbs and reducing BG spikes.

 

I lost most of my excess weight in the first couple of months after diagnosis with a simple diet I designed myself, but I also hit plateaus a few times. I was stuck on one for over a month when I first discovered Jennifer's Test, Test, Test advice; that got me off that final plateau and down to my target weight. After nine years it is sometimes hard to maintain the motivation, so occasionally I add a kilo or two. Usually that disappears when I travel and re-appears when I spend too long sitting here at the computer.

 

A tip for your coffee. Try replacing your sweetener and creamer with a few teaspoons of real cream.

Cheers, Alan, Type 2, d&e metformin 2000mg, Australia.
Everything in Moderation - Except Laughter.
There is nothing I could eat I like more than my eyes.
Type 2 Diabetes - A Personal Journey(latest: Catering For Different Tastes When Cooking)
Born Under a Wandering Star (Latest: Budapest, Hungary)
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foxboro1967
Total Posts: 21
Registered on: ‎09-15-2011

Re: Do sugar substitutes cause weight gain (or inability to lose weight)?

Thank you all for your very quick responses!  I guess I should explain where I am at and why I am calling myself "pre-diabetic".  That is the term my doctor and others in the medical field are calling it these days when you are getting morning blood sugars of 100-125.  I have been told by my Doctor for the last 2-3 years or so that I am in this situation.  For the last several months I have been seriously watching my BG myself with a drug store purchased meter and mine have often been 101-110.  I know many of you will find this low but I am fighting to get this back down to below 100 and get myself out of this diagnosis.   Diabetes does run in my family, a couple of my Aunts had it and my Dad died from  Liver Cancer possibly caused by Rezulin taken to control his diabetes.  After being a witness to that kind of death I will do whatever I can to prevent that from happening to me.  I am 61, about 40 lb overweight and STUCK at this weight since about March.  Most of what I am eating is home-cooked foods and not pre-packaged.  I do sometimes eat yogurts that are ready to eat but sometimes even do my own up in a food processor using fresh fruits and greek yogurt.  I read labels carefully.  I am watching the portions but only recently have I started to do that.  I am also now writing down every thing I am eating and carefully recording calories and carbs.  I just started doing that early last week.  Will welcome suggestions that I may be missing. 

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robl303
Total Posts: 55
Registered on: ‎09-05-2011

Re: Do sugar substitutes cause weight gain (or inability to lose weight)?

There was a study that came out a couple of months ago (I can't find a link to it, if I do I'll post it) that had a rather interesting sub-finding that actually grabbed the headlines.  In what was considered a pretty significant surprise finding there popped up a statistical link between obesity and diet soda even after factoring out the effects of diet and exercise and other factors. At the time the study was published no explanations or guesses were offered and further research is pending.

 

There are two prevalent theories at the moment of what is happening.  The first is that while our tongue can't distinguish between real or artificial sweeteners, our brains can and real sweetener will trigger that part of the brain that tells us we're satisfied while an artificial sweetener does not.  So you could end up eating more than planned trying to get satisfied.

 

The other theory is close to the first but that the artificial sweeteners have a more direct effect on that part of the brain that triggers satisfaction.  In this theory the speculation is that there is a chemical reaction from the artificial sweetener that is numbing the receptors the brain that triggers satisfaction.  Again you end up eating more than planned trying to get satisfied.

 

Its all theory right now and no one seemed to have a good explanation of the sub-finding.  It just really surprised the study authors.

 

Robert

 

 

Diagnosed   8/10/11
Fasting glucose at diagnosis 199
10/10/11 Fasting 109
1/10/12 Fasting 99
8/2/12 Fasting 95
Diagnosis A1C - 9
10/10/11 A1C - 6.7
1/10/12 A1C - 5.9
8/2/12 A1C - 5.4
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gphxgphx
Total Posts: 838
Registered on: ‎03-24-2011

Re: Do sugar substitutes cause weight gain (or inability to lose weight)?

[ Edited ]

My answer is 'it depends'. Sugar free drink powders and sodas work just fine for me. However, bulk sweeteners used for baking and recipes can be extremely hazardous. A big container of Stevia I bought turned out to be dextrin with a little Stevia added. In other words the majority of the product was a form of sugar. Dr. Bernstein says, because artificial sweeteners are so much sweeter people tend to overuse them so manufacturers think they're doing us a favor bulking it up to a similar dosage with sugar. Whether your favorite sweetener is erythritol, Stevia, Sucralose, or something else, there are pure forms out there but read the label each and every time to be sure. You don't want to do what I did and find out you've been adding Stevia flavored sugar to your breakfast flaxseed porridge for months. :smileysad: