2 Weeks Without Artificial Sweeteners or Sugar Alcohols

Today marks two weeks of having no artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols in my diet. It really did get easier day after day. Although my little experiment was some what hindered by my few days on antibiotics, I still feel there are legitimate results to report. Below are the things I experienced.

  • Better sleep at night.
  • More energy during the day.
  • Not hungry at all in between meal times.
  • Less headaches.
  • No cravings for sweet stuff after day 3.
  • Better concentration.
  • Slight weight loss.
  • Less gas and bloating.

For the first two nights, I fell asleep really early, which is very unusual for me. By night three, I was back to my normal sleep routine but was able to wake up easier in the morning. During the day, I felt more energized and also didn’t feel hungry in between meals. Some mornings I wouldn’t even eat breakfast because I just wasn’t hungry. The first 3 days, I still craved something sweet, especially after a meal. After day three, the sweet cravings were completely gone. I even made it through Valentine’s Day without cravings. My mother in-law brought over several different types of sugar free chocolates. She knows I don’t eat sugar but didn’t know about my two week ban of artificial sweetener and sugar alcohols. Normally I would have been so excited to try new kinds of sugar free chocolate that I would eat a couple right away. Instead, I thanked her, and once she left, I put them away in the cabinet and forgot they were even there.

I also experienced significantly less headaches. I always have sinus problems so there’s no way I’d go two weeks without a single headache, but I didn’t get a headache daily like I normally do. Instead, I had one or two a week. In addition, my concentration was better. Typically I have serious problems concentrating for long periods of time. Usually I’m constantly getting up every hour or so to get a snack or find a piece of gum, so I’m thinking the increase in concentration is due to less distractions by food. I was what I would call an obsessive gum chewer. I used to be a smoker, and I believe chewing gum took the place of smoking. Without the sweet cravings, I don’t seem to have the urge to chew gum. I’ve lost about 4lbs over the past two weeks. I’m not eating as much, and I’m eating more vegetables. I’ve found it’s a lot easier to keep my daily carb count low when you eliminate artificially sweetened things. Many of the snacks I used to enjoy had about 5-10 carbs per serving. Finally, I’ve experienced less gas and bloating. Most people know that artificial sweeteners and most certainly sugar alcohols can cause gas and bloating. However, I wasn’t aware of the extent–mostly the bloating. Even though I’ve only lost 4lbs, my stomach looks like I lost more because all of the bloating is gone.

In conclusion, I can definately say I was addicted to artificial sweeteners/sugar alcohols, and I feel much healthier not having them in my diet. I wish I could say it fixed the irritation (by iritation I mean feeling like a yeast infection is coming on) I felt after my period, but I had to take antibiotics for a UTI. The irritation could have been from the antibiotics. I plan to stick with the ban on artificial sweeteners/sugar alcohols for as long as I can because I feel much better. I’m sure I won’t ban them for life, but they will definately not be a part of my diet on a daily basis like they were before. I’ll give you an update on my results after my next period. One more thing I wanted to mention was the amount of money I saved on groceries. My grocery bill was on average $20 cheaper a week without all the prepackaged snacks and ingredients to make my own artificially sweetened snacks.


Day 4 No Artificial Sweetener

Today marks day four of not having any artificial sweetener. It seems to become easier the longer I go. I feel good, and I’ve noticed some weight loss, even though I’m not trying to loose. I haven’t had a single headache since I made this change in my diet. I also find I don’t snack as much as I did when I was having artificial sweetener. Yesterday I was out of town doing some shopping at one of those stores where you buy things in bulk. I was getting a tiny bit hungry and I thought, “oh, I’ll just get a big box of those low carb chocolaty bars and snack on one of those on the way home”. Then I remembered they contain artificial sweetener. I was almost thankful because I know it would have been a miracle for me to make it the long drive home and only eat one of those delicious bars. The thought of snacking completely erased my mind after I realized I couldn’t buy them. I waited until dinner, when I was actually hungry, to eat. My meals so far have looked like this:

Tuesday

Breakfast – Wasn’t hungry, so I drank 2 large glasses of lemon water

Lunch – 8 chicken wings, side salad (lettuce, onions cucumbers) with Ranch dressing, a couple of pieces of beef jerky, tall glass of water, club soda

Dinner- Handful of cashews, big salad (lettuce, tomatoes, cauliflower, alfalfa, sunflower seeds, cheese, chopped hard boiled eggs) with Thousand Island dressing, 2 large glasses of water

Wednesday

Breakfast – 4 long stalks of celery, 2 large glasses of water, cup of coffee black

Lunch – 12 meatballs covered in cheese, club soda

Dinner – 12 chicken wings with Ranch dressing, 3 club sodas

Thursday

Breakfast – Wasn’t Hungry, drank 1 club soda

Lunch – Large grilled shrimp and spinach salad salad with hot bacon dressing, 8 small pieces of beef jerky, 1 large glass of water, 1 small glass of water

Dinner- Big salad (lettuce, alfalfa, cheese, tomatoes, chopped hard boiled eggs, sunflower seeds) with Thousand Island dressing, cup of cashews, 1 club soda, small glass of water

I also wanted to add that in addition to the artificial sweeteners I listed in my last entry (aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose), I am also avoiding sugar alcohols, which can come in the following forms: sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, erythritol, isomalt, lactitol, hydrogenated starch, hydrolysates, maltitol. They’re not exactly classified as artificial sweeteners, but they are said to have some effect on those prone to yeast infections and urinary tract infections. Sugar alcohols are different from artificial sweeteners because sugar alcohols are not calorie free and they contain carbohydrates. Therefor sugar alcohols can have some effect on blood sugar levels. I thought it would be wise to avoid those as well because many of the snacks I feel I have become addicted to contain sugar alcohols.