Tag Archives: artificial sweetener

Just eat real food. Really.

Image courtesy of Suat Eman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Suat Eman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It can be really tempting to get really dialed in on carbs and figure things are great.  I mean, it’s a low carb diet, my carbs are low, so things are good… right?  But then you step on the scale and it hasn’t moved.  Or worse, it’s gone up!  You remember that sometimes the scale is a big fat jerk, so you check your measurements… oh no, they haven’t moved either.  The detective work begins!

You’re not fat-phobic, so you know that the issue isn’t that you’ve taken out the carbs but forgotten to replace them with fat.  That, as we know, is a good way to want to chew off your own arm.  Fat promotes satiety and is your fuel.  Good, we can check that off the list in our diet forensics for the day.  You’re eating above-ground vegetables just like you should, because they are full of essential nutrients and it’s weird but even though you hated them before you’ve really developed a love for them.  You’re only eating fruit occasionally, because while fruit has some great nutrients too, it’s still nature’s candy, and you know that candy and sugar is something that is limited and should only be enjoyed rarely.  The same nutrients that are in fruits can be found in vegetables.  You do love having berries, but those are very low in sugar.

Really, the only other thing worth mentioning that you’re eating is some Atkins bars and sugar free candy, but those aren’t worth mentioning because they don’t have carbs in them, right?  Wrong!  Oh, man, I get so mad at this.  Not at anyone who has eaten them or bought them, but at companies that still mark products containing sugar alcohols as have zero net carbs (or don’t count the sugar alcohols as carbs).  Here’s the issue.  A lot of sugar alcohols, especially ones that end in “-itol” (and ESPECIALLY ones containing maltitol) get processed by your body at least partially as sugar.  That means that even though Atkins or any other company marked that they’d have zero effect on your blood sugar, they do.  That also means they are going to drive your hunger.  If you go check out any low carb message board, you will see many people stall their weight loss or gain weight by eating those bars.  Not only that, but “-itol” sugar alcohols are really rough on your gut.  The only thing I’d recommend saving them for is if you get really constipated.  They’ll clear the plumbing really quick!

It’s not just the “-itol” sugar alcohols that raise blood sugar.  Aspartame, sucralose (splenda), truvia (Erythritol/rebiana blend), and even stevia can cause a Pavlovian like insulin response in your body.  So, even though there may not be any actual sugar in it, your body still responses like it was sugar in a lot of people.  It will cause a blood sugar drop, causing you to get hungry.  So then you eat more.

Also, that “measures cup for cup like sugar” sweetener?  That’s mostly not even mostly your favorite artificial sweetener.  Check the label.  The first ingredient is maltodextrin.  Maltodextrin gets metabolised as a sugar.  Awesome, right?

So the bottom line out of all of this is: just eat REAL food.  Seriously.  Don’t be afraid of real food like meat, veggies, cheese, eggs, and other amazing things like that.  Just don’t eat frankenfood like Atkins candy bars, “nutritional shakes”, diet soda, and watch the pounds drop.

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One size does not fit all

Our shirts come in different sizes.  So do our shoes, our hats, our pants.  There are different medication dosages depending on height and weight.  We have classes for students were are both learning disabled as well as gifted in addition to the regular classes.

Why do nutritionists keep trying to fit everyone into the same box?

I’ve been to a nutritionist twice in my life.  Neither were in the same office, but I had an identical experience.  They presented me with a printout of a low-fat, 1200-1500 calorie diet to follow.  They had the sheets printed before they’d even heard my weight struggles or heard my history.  It is the same printout they give to all their patients regardless of their current height or weight or metabolic state.

For me personally, I know that LCHF works great.  I can trust my appetite to not be “just the carbs talking”, I get true satisfaction from my food, I feel incredibly energetic and awake, I’m losing weight very steadily despite eating bacon every day and eating what some would find an alarming amount of cheese, and I’m HAPPY.  My experience on a low fat diet is this: I had to count every single solitary calorie, a lot of days I was hungry and would be sitting very antsy waiting for my next food (reminded me of an addict, which I was!), and I felt mood swingy.  I was still losing weight on low fat but it was a lot of work.  LCHF is almost effortless and is a joy.  I get excited talking about it.  That’s why I created this blog, I’ve shared my joy of losing so much that I wanted to have a central forum.

Now, I can only speak for myself.  There are people out there that have different bodies than me.  Some are happier on paleo, some are happier on low fat, some are happier eating vegan, some are happier living off of bugs and bark.  You have to find what diet works for your body and makes you happy.

Even within a predefined diet, you need to find what works for your body and makes you happy. I was discussing this with my sister who also does LCHF.  We talked about artificial sweeteners.  Now, some people can eat artificial sweeteners all day and it never seems to affect their blood sugar, never kicks them out of ketosis.  Some people have any artificial sweetener and it spikes their blood sugar.  For a lot of people, it depends on the kind of sweetener and how much.  It is trial and error to find out what your body can handle.  Or, of course, you can skip them altogether.  Here’s why all this talk about the way we process artificial sweeteners is important: a lot of prepackaged low carb foods list sugar alcohols as “zero net carbs” but your body may not treat them as such.  That label is trying to make you One Size Fits All, and you may suffer because of it!  You may think you did so good today because you only ate 20 carbs but that innocent “zero carb” meal bar really added another 20 carbs to your day.  That may be enough to kick you out of ketosis.

If you are losing weight on a low fat diet and you’re happy and don’t want to eat low carb, that’s totally fine.  That may be what your body wants.  But if you struggle on low fat, or just never seem to be able to lose any weight no matter how hard you try, stop trying to fit into the nutritionist’s One Size Fits All printout.  Play around with your diet.  And if you have the unfortunate experience of having a doctor who has a problem with low carb, it may be time to get a second opinion.  (Or lie!  They probably won’t be able to tell!)

Happy eating, and be well!

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