While you may think that switching to artificial, no-calorie sweeteners is an effective means of losing weight, you may not get the results you hoped for. According to the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases, sugar substitutes may actually cause you to gain weight. Caffeine, on the other hand, may increase your metabolism and slightly improve your weight-loss efforts.
While you may be under the impression that by drinking a soft drink with no calories, you can lose weight, you may be sabotaging your weight loss efforts, according to the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Researchers don’t know why replacing artificial sweeteners for sugar leads to weight gain more often than not, but they suspect it’s because you are retraining your taste buds to detect the lack of calories, which you turn around and make up for by eating more food. Some studies even show that consuming artificial sweeteners leads to metabolic disorders that cause an increase in waist size, higher blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
Eating sugar satisfies your hunger so that when you’ve reached a certain level of fullness, you stop eating. When you use artificial sweeteners, you’re not getting that same level of satiety and may keep eating more calories overall trying to relieve your hunger. According to Science Daily, studies indicate that you actually are putting yourself at risk of obesity and a host of obesity-related health problems if you rely on artificial sweeteners to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Caffeine, on the other hand, typically serves dieters well in a variety of ways. According to MayoClinic.com, caffeine is present in a wide range of products from coffee and tea to soft drinks, dietary products and energy drinks. It occurs naturally in cocoa as well. Caffeine works as a temporary appetite suppressant.
While it only works for a short period of time, it may give you enough time to stave off a snack attack. Caffeine also acts as a diuretic and can help to flush excess fluid out of your body. Additionally, it increases your metabolism slightly through thermogenesis, the energy your body creates to digest the caffeine.
While there are no calories in coffee, tea or other calorie-free caffeinated beverages, when you add them to specialty coffee drinks or smoothies made with ice cream and other fatty ingredients, you definitely negate the weight-loss effects you’re shooting for. Rather than losing weight, you’ll add on the pounds with the creams and syrups that make your caffeine and artificial sweetener-laced drinks more palatable and enjoyable.
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