Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Weight Loss Wednesday - How Sweet it is!

It has been a couple weeks since I've blogged about weight loss, which reflects one of my main challenges -- the Busyness of life. I did well on vacation, when I didn't have a multitude of responsibilities to juggle. It is so hard to stay FOCUSED on my diet with everything I have going on. In addition, the Zone Diet requires diligent planning and calculating of ratios to be most effective. So, I have been sputtering! Nevertheless, I have maintained the 3 pounds I lost -- I just haven't continued my downward trend.

One of the changes I have made in the last year or so while trying to lose weight is switching from Sugar to Splenda. Now, I'm wondering if that was such a good idea.

Recently, one of my daughter's good friends from college shared with her how she had gained ten pounds, but after realizing that the only change to her diet had been the addition of Splenda, she cut it out and subsequently lost the ten pounds. So, my daughter, who has mysteriously gained "the freshman fifteen" AFTER graduating from college, has decided to give Splenda the axe.

This makes me wonder if using Splenda is such a good idea?? I carefully avoided all artificial sweeteners for the past twenty-something years, while I was bearing and nursing my children, but now I have all of this weight to lose, and using Splenda seemed to be a splendid way of helping me reach my goals. Then, one day last week, I stumbled upon this post that mentioned some of the problems with Splenda, including weight gain.

Now, I'm not sure what to do. What do you think? Have you experienced any negative side effects from using Splenda? Plain old sugar isn't so good for you either. What's a girl to do??!?? What do you use to add a little sweetness to your life?


Rebecca's Refining said...

I am not a nutritionist, nor have I researched the effects of artificial sweetners, so I can't speak with much credibility or knowledge on the subject. However, I think as with so many other things, moderation is the key. If I am using artificial sweetners (or other "specialty" low sugar/low fat products) as a means to not change my eating habits, then it will probably in the long run not help me to lose weight. If, however, while trying to modify my diet, I chose those products on occasion, instead of the higer calorie/fat counterparts then it is certainly the less "fattening" option.
I use both diet drinks and low-fat, low- sugar "treats", but again, it is not on a daily basis, but for those times I want to have something different or maybe am craving something sweet.
So, that is my personal testimony on this topic. This debate has been going on for years, and probably will continue many more, and I certainly don't claim to have the answers.

Jules said...

Elizabeth, I've cut down on sugar due to some health issues (I still have brown sugar on my porridge but even that I'm going to try to reduce - some day) and decided not to try artificial sweeteners because I wasn't convinced that they didn't carry some health risks. I didn't know about the possibility of causing weight gain though - that defeats the purpose for which a lot of people use them. I have a recipe for cookies and another one for a fruit cake that uses fruit as a sweetener. Neither has sugar - and both are also low in fat (another plus). But other than that, it's just a matter of slowly cutting it out of your diet. And believe it or not, after a while you actually stop craving it. I know this probably hasn't answered your question.

Congrats on keeping those pounds off.

Blessings, Jules

Noel said...

if I stick to proteins and vegetables and fruits I lose weight, but if I start adding in desserts or carbs - I"m a gonner and the weight starts creeping back. We just have way too much food in our society. It makes it hard to get thin and stay thin.

Moms Fighting Fat said...

Good morning! I'm not a nutritionist either but from everything I've read over the years--sweeteners are really horrible for you. It isn't just the chemicals, they can actually make you crave sweets worse than ever which is why "diet" soda is just as bad and even worse than regular.

My husband is very fit but I'm worried about him because he downs almost a gallon of tea a day--with two packs of Sweet-n-Low per glass.

I've done what Jules has done also and used fruit to substitute sugar. You can use applesauce in place of oil even in many recipes.

BTW, I LOVE your blog title! LOL, Might as well save the time from people asking the same repetitive question by providing the answer first. :-)

I'm a home schooling mom of two children and I must give you kudos for doing so with 10 children, that is amazing!

Have a Terrific Day ~ Sandy

kristilea said...

I too tried to go to Splenda for an alternative to sugar. I do believe it helped me to loose weight, but each individual is different. My neighbor says he bloats up if he uses it...another friend says it raised her blood sugar levels the same as sugar, which means the cravings and dangers are still mother is a nurse and made me promise that I would not it anymore because ALL artificial sugar has been linked to nourilogical problems and in time with more studies, she's sure Splenda will too. I can't take that risk because my mom has MS which is a nourilogical disorder and I have to admit...after a year of using Splenda in coffee, tea and soda, I was getting spells of dizzyness and nausea. I cut out the coffee because I can't drink it without sugar, I cut out the soda, and I now drink unsweetened decaffinated tea. I feel better than I have in a really long time even though my weight hasn't dropped all that much. Sweets and snacks just aren't worth the price we pay physically to eat them. And I am the worlds BIGGEST sweet fan. I can't say it's an easy road, but it's well worth the travel!!!!

Kathy - mom of many said...

Congrats on keeping off the 3 lbs. I know you'd like to keep it going. Have you been to the health conference? My husband went and cut out most carbs and sugars. He lost about 15 lbs. right away. I don't know what they recommend about artificial sweeteners, we use Sucanat or honey for sugar. Xylitol is supposed to be good but the side effect is slight diarrhea. I'll be praying that you find the right thing for you and have more success.

Christie said...

Heather did a research paper on artificial sweeteners when she was in college, and I've stayed away from them since. I really do think that they wreak havoc on our bodies... the only non-calorie sweetener I'll use is Stevia, and only on rare occasions. I'm a big believer in sweetening with natural sugars and staying away from the "white" stuff... so we use raw honey, rapadura, turbinado... they're pretty much interchangable as long as you realize that the end product will taste a little "heartier". I prefer the flavors now!
I'm a big "everything in moderation" person though, so I've found that if I plan a "cheat" (usually one little goody a week), it keeps me from feeling deprived.

Martha said...

I've been so silent about my weight loss (or lack thereof) so I feel you on this one!!

My husband is a low-carb dieter so splenda is a necessity for this household, we haven't experienced any weight gain but then again... we're low-carbing with our splenda intake which explains the weight loss.

Every food (especially sweeteners) impacts every individual differently. I do very well with splenda but it have a different effect on other people. If I were you, I'd study how my body responds to splenda. If there are no changes, then I would stick to it. If there is weight gain, then I would switch to something else.

Hope that helped <3

Lainie said...

Stevia has been a great natural sugar substitue for us. Not for weight loss, but that's due to all the other carbs I eat. I just wanted to reduce the sugar in our sweet tea and kool-aide. It has an aftertaste, but if I use it with sugar or honey, it's not even noticable. It seems expensive, but a little goes a very long way.

Michelle (She Looketh Well) said...

Hi Elizabeth,

Great job on maintaining!

I wish I had time to post about all I have read about these chemicals and others, like MSG and its psuedo-names including the word 'spices'.

They are neuro-toxins and there are medical studies to prove it. Even some well known mainstream doctors are believing this, which is unusual because they are usually the last to latch on to what is really healthy. (Not that we don't need doctors, they just aren't all they are cracked up to be most of the time ;-) (Just my opinion.

I thinkif you can break that sugar craving cycle by eating proteins and veggies and some fruits you won't crave the sweets. I read a post on T-tapp that mentioned how Teresa counceled somone on how to break that cycle.

Also, when you do have sweets, which should be far and few between you could use unrefined sugars. We use organic Rapadura and organic Sucanat. Still 'sugar', just not refined. Also, remember that even your breads and starches are treated like sugar in your body, it sort of doesn't know the difference, best to avoid until the vicous cycle is broken.

Okay, I rambled, I am in a hurry. Hope that helps.

fun said...

My husband and I discovered the paleo diet about 6 months ago and we both have been totally amazed. A good site to check out is

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