Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Splend-id Results

I managed to go five full days without any artificial sweeteners at all. And let me tell you, I was careful! I even gave up my favorite Eclipse gum!! I started to have a piece, but then checked the label and immediately threw the piece away. Aspartame is a very common ingredient! I'm thinking that five days is a good amount of time to be able to post a review of my findings.

I do have to say that I did not learn that I was having major issues from ingesting the Splenda and Aspartame. However, I did find that there WERE interesting side effects. During my time of non-sweeteners, there were two things that I definitely noticed which made a lasting impression.

First, I have not been experiencing my usual mid-afternoon crash time. Generally, around 3:00, I am just so sleepy that I have to lie down for just a short time to recharge. I just figured that was my norm and never even considered it could be related to anything in my diet. Now I believe that it is related to the sweeteners, since I frequently have coffee with Splenda in the morning and a diet soda with lunch. Interesting, eh??

And the second, and most noteworthy effect of eliminating the sweeteners, is that I have not been as hungry! I haven't had the urge to snack in the early afternoon (which was a constant with me) or in the later evenings. That's kind of nice!! I get the "munchies" often, and that has not happened on my sweetener fast. Isn't THAT something?? I've actually lost almost a pound over the 5 days without changing my diet in any way AND with eating real sugar...gotta love that!

I guess my conclusion from my experiment is that I DO experience "side effects" from the artificial sweeteners, but nothing that seems detrimental to my health in general. I have decided that I am going to limit the sweeteners, but not go out of my way to avoid them. For instance, I love my 8th Continent Soy Milk. It has less than 2% sucralose in it. I am going to allow myself up to a cup of that every couple of days, which shouldn't have an impact. On the flip side, I am going to stop drinking sweeteners in my coffee. I have learned that 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar is perfect for me, and since it's only 24 calories, why not?? It's definitely going to save me calories in the long run from what I've learned here!

I will miss things like my Fiber One yogurt, but I am going to stop eating products that are heavily-laden with artificial sweeteners. I am sure I will find other things to fill the void that are better for me overall. The jury is still out on my Eclipse Gum. I will probably give it up, but I sure do love the stuff....

I would love to hear anyone's thoughts on the sweetener issue. Have you tried going without it and found similar results? I am glad that I tried this. It was definitely educational and I'm making permanent changes as a result. Change is good. :-)


Sonja said...

This sounds interesting. Maybe I should try this. We tend to use real sugar for most things, but I hadn't thought of the sweeteners being in yogurt and stuff. I like those Fiber One yogurts too.
I like your other blog too. :) Good ideas.

Anonymous said...

I've read that people who use artificial sweeteners lose weight much more slowly when dieting, and are less likely to keep it off. The fact that you experienced less hunger & were able to do without some snacks without suffering seems to bear out that research--I quit artificial sweeteners about 8 years ago, & will never go back--the less chemicals I eat, the healthier I am, is my thinking....:) Shiuvaun

slugmama said...

I developed aspartame poisoning from ingesting large amounts of it over the course of many years...I was a diet dr. pepper addict as well as other foods laced with aspartame. I developed health problems so I went cold turkey. It was like a drug addict going cold turkey. I had similar physical symptoms but I got through it and have been 'clean' for 4 yrs.
Good for you for going aspartame-free for a week. If you want to get it out of your system totally it takes longer(depends on how much you ingested and for how long).

I find it interesting that the thing that society thinks you should drink(diet sodas or other beverages sweetened with artifical sweetners)to lose or maintain weight or the same drinks that contribute to your weight gain &/or inability to lose the weight. The companies make these things to help you be 'healthier' but it's the thing that is making you 'unhealty'.

Beth said...

Bloggy awards for you:

Bree said...

My 11-yo daughter and I are sensitive to aspartame, in fact we get migraines from it. It's so sad that there are only two or three kids of gum that we can chew - Chicklets, Hubba Bubba (and who wants to chew that all the time?) and Bazooka or other 'Halloween' style gum. Artificial sweetners are banned from our house because of the potential outcomes - they're just not good for you.