Here’s the scoop on whether artificial sweeteners help you lose weight

Individuals trying to lose weight often ask whether artificial sweeteners help. It’s a logical question to ask since the purpose of artificially sweetened beverages or food is to reduce total calorie consumption. The fewer calories you consume, the greater your likelihood of shedding some pounds. But what is unclear is whether this really leads to weight loss in those partaking of these foods and beverages containing sugar-free ingredients.

According to research from Germany, unfortunately, there is only weak evidence that no-calorie sweeteners might be beneficial in helping you get healthier and lose excess weight.

Researchers with the study reviewed data from 56 studies involving adults or children

They found little difference between those consuming non-sugar sweeteners and those who were not. 

These results are unsurprising as other studies have also shown the same results. What the public needs to know is no matter how artificial sweeteners are marketed, they are still chemicals or sugar modified from their natural form by processing to function as a purpose for flavor. The flavor does not enhance our health – the aim is to improve food and beverages, making you want to consume more.

However, the Calorie Control Council disputed the findings from this latest research stating that “despite the authors’ claims to the contrary, the highest quality scientific evidence shows that the consumption of low- and no-calorie sweeteners results in reductions in body weight, does not lead to weight gain and does not cause cravings.”

Other behavioral research has demonstrated that some people may consume more calories after knowingly eating artificially sweetened foods. This research has shown that participants who knew they had eaten an artificially sweetened and lower-calorie breakfast cereal were likelier to consume extra calories later in the day than participants who weren’t informed of the type of cereal they had eaten. This study demonstrated that for some people, because they are consuming an artificially sweetened product, they may then tend to overconsume, feeling they ‘saved’ calories from eating a food or beverage with no calories.  

If a person chooses to use artificially sweetened foods and beverages, the impact on weight probably depends on other lifestyle and behavioral factors. These factors would include how much exercise they are regularly doing, whether they are practicing portion control, and their overall dietary habits. 

This same study also pointed out that there is insufficient evidence on the safety of artificial sweeteners, even though they have been approved for human consumption. The concern is that little is still understood of their potential benefits and harms within acceptable daily intakes. To add confusion even more, the researchers stated that the evidence is often limited and conflicted. 

The best bet for most of us is to simply reduce consumption of high-sugar foods and beverages, consuming them only on rare occasions. Drink more water, eat more fruit to satisfy a sweet tooth, practice portion control, and include some form of exercise daily to reap the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle while managing your weight.


Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy.  Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911. 

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