I gave up artificial sweeteners. Guess what? Life got sweeter.
For me, this is a big change. I used to add two packets of Splenda to my morning coffee. I used to drink four or five Diet Cokes a day. Yogurt or ice cream or cookies laced with aspartame? Yes. Often.
And then, about four weeks ago, on a whim, I eliminated all artificial sweeteners from my diet. No tapering off. No hemming and hawing. I just decided I didn’t need Equal, Splenda, or Sweet n’ Low any more.
A month later:
– The world tastes sweeter. Foods that never tasted sweet before — breads, green vegetables, unsweetened coffee — have a subtle, textured sweetness. And really sweet things — wedges of fruit or a homemade cookie — have an over-the-top hallucinogenic sweetness. Now that my palette isn’t being muted by a stream of fake sugar, I can taste reality again.
– My weight continues to drop. Don’t misunderstand me: I gained a lot of weight because I was making very bad choices. Eating fried appetizers and cheesy nachos and pizza every day has consequences. That said: I do think the constant over-sweetening of my food kept me primed to crave more sweets. Now, without cravings, making better choices at mealtime is easier.
– My wallet’s fatter. I had a three to five dollar a day Coke Zero habit. That’s $15.00 to $25.00 a week. That’s $780 to $1300 per year. Yikes.
– I think faster and feel better. After losing thirty pounds, it’s no surprise that I breathe easier, have more energy, and have lower blood pressure. But I’m also aware of a change in my brain. I think faster. I see connections more quickly. Instead of being on the tip of my tongue, words come easily. I don’t understand how artificial sweeteners were gumming up the works … but I’m confident they were.
I feel younger, faster, fitter, and smarter than I have in more than fifteen years. A lot of my improvement has to do with losing 13% of my body weight. I’m convinced, though, that giving up artificial sweeteners has changed my life (and my health) for the better.