For most of us, our quests for weight loss have proven to be a serious struggle. The word diet is enough to give you shivers down your spine, as you contemplate removing every foodie pleasure from your life just to shed some pounds! But crash diets lead to chronic cravings and tend to be more of a quick fix than a long-term solution. Replacing sugar, rather than removing it from your diet, could be the key to winning at weight loss – without the misery!
Curbing Your Calorie Intake
“What’s the secret to weight loss?” is a question I am asked more than any other. My answer is always the same – eat less and move more. There’s no miracle potion or hidden formula to help you lose weight. In theory, it’s quite simple – you need to make sure that your energy expenditure is greater than your calorie intake. When you do this, your body is forced to use its own supply of fuel – fat stored on the body, aka your wobbly bits – as a source of energy. Hey presto, your extra weight will begin to shrink!
There’s only one problem: sugar consumption contributes significantly to our daily calorie intake, making it near-impossible to maintain an overall calorie deficit and encouraging ever-expanding waistlines.
When we put our body into a calorie deficit its only natural that we seek high energy foods in order to close the calorie gap. In short, our bodies are designed to prevent weight loss in order to increase chances of survival. Foods with a sugary taste signal to our brains that we are about to consume something high-energy, which drives sugar cravings.
The downside to this is that most of us are at far greater risk of being overweight than underweight! Our evolved mechanism for making sure we get enough food is completely oblivious to the problem of surplus sugar intake!
Sugar Replacements for Weight Loss
The theory that sugar replacements promote weight loss has been confirmed in randomised controlled trails – the gold standard of research. Swapping out sugar for sweeteners can help you to curb your cravings and satisfy your taste buds whilst avoiding weight gain. Here’s how replacing sugar with sweeteners can help you reach your weight loss goals.
- Ditch the Empty Calories - Sugar is a non-nutrient – it has no other nutritional value than providing calories. Refined sugar is added to foods in much higher quantities than you’d find with naturally occurring sugars, to artificially sweeten the end product. Whilst this is tantalising to our taste buds, it is heavily contributing to our daily intake of calories, pushing us over the edge and into the weight gain zone. If the key to losing weight is creating a calorie deficit, the first thing you’re going to want to do is eliminate sugar from your diet altogether.
- Abolish your Addiction – Using sugar replacements as part of a calorie-restricted diet can help you make the switch to sugar-free without suffering withdrawal. Whilst this may sound dramatic, sugar addiction is a serious problem for some. When we eat sugar it increases dopamine levels in the brain – the same way that taking drugs and alcohol does. If you eat sugar frequently, going without will cause your body to crave the next sugar ‘high’. In a modern society with hidden sugar everywhere, going cold-turkey is no joke. Using sugar replacements is an effective strategy for reducing added sugar in the diet, which plays hand in hand with weight loss.
- Fill the Sugar Void with Healthier Alternatives – Switching to sugar-free will remove almost all processed and junk food from your diet. This will encourage you to eat more nutritious foods which contain health-boosting vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Eating natural, real food and swerving sugar altogether will help provide slow-release energy that leaves you feeling fuller for longer for a weight loss double whammy!
Not all Sugar Replacements are Created Equal
The health and fitness industry is huge and with more and more of us choosing to go sugar-free, there are hundreds of sugar replacements to choose from. The vast majority of these are artificial, not so good for you and leave a bitter taste in the mouth.
Some studies have found that artificial sweeteners actually contribute to weight gain by training the brain to have a preference for extremely sweet foods. Synthetic sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharin and sucralose can be up to 1000 times as sweet as sugar. The knock-on effect of this is that our perception of the sweet flavour is dimmed – causing a craving for increasingly sweet foods.
Some health-conscious foodies choose to sweeten their food with honey, agave syrup or molasses. Whilst these are all naturally occurring, they’re still high in free sugars – which cause blood sugar levels to spike and contribute to the insulin resistance we see with Type 2 Diabetes. Not to mention their high calorie content and daunting dental impact.
NKD Living Sugar Replacements: The Natural Choice
Where artificial sweeteners and real food sugar substitutes have failed, natural sweeteners provide a solution to keeping your sugar-free journey as sweet as can be. Our range of natural sugar replacements provide everything you love about sugar without any of the undesirables. That means you can enjoy the taste, versatility and satisfaction, without suffering the guilt or consequences to your health.
NKD Living’s Erythritol sugar replacement is a sugar alcohol found naturally in plants and fruits. Erythritol is a 100% natural ingredient providing a sweet taste without affecting your blood sugar levels or contributing to calorie intake. It provides 70% of the sweetness you’d get from regular sugar and unlike artificial sweeteners, won’t leave you longing for sweeter foods or cause a bitter after taste. What’s more, our sugar replacements do wonders for your teeth - with evidence to suggest Erythritol even prevents bad morning breath and plaque build-up!
Author: Stephanie Masterman @Nutrinoggin
- Ishikawa, M., Miyashita, M., Kawashima, Y., Nakamura, T., Saitou, N. and Modderman, J. (1996). Effects of Oral Administration of Erythritol on Patients with Diabetes. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, 24(2), pp.S303-S308.
- Keller, A. and Bucher Della Torre, S. (2015). Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Obesity among Children and Adolescents: A Review of Systematic Literature Reviews. Childhood Obesity, 11(4), pp.338-346.
- Rada, P., Avena, N. and Hoebel, B. (2005). Daily bingeing on sugar repeatedly releases dopamine in the accumbens shell. Neuroscience, 134(3), pp.737-744.
- Tetzloff, W., Dauchy, F., Medimagh, S., Carr, D. and Bär, A. (1996). Tolerance to Subchronic, High-Dose Ingestion of Erythritol in Human Volunteers. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, 24(2), pp.S286-S295.
- Stice, E., Spoor, S., Bohon, C., Veldhuizen, M. and Small, D. (2008). Relation of reward from food intake and anticipated food intake to obesity: A functional magnetic resonance imaging study. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 117(4), pp.924-935.