How nice to know that you can manage your weight and still enjoy a sweet taste.
Researchers found that dieters who drank diet sodas lost more weight than dieters told to drink only water.[i] In separate research, scientists found that individuals successful at both weight loss and weight loss maintenance consumed more soft drinks sweetened with low- or no-calorie sweeteners than the general population.[ii] But don’t think that simply drinking diet beverages or replacing some sugar with sucralose or other nonnutritive sweeteners will magically melt away the pounds. You’ve got to make smart choices.
Enhance the flavors of naturally healthful foods.
Swap out sugar for sucralose and other nonnutritive sweeteners in smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal and other recipes for fruits, vegetables and whole grains. This way you can sweeten them to your taste and benefit from a host of health-boosting foods, explains Claudia Shwide-Slavin, MS, RD, BC-ADM, CDE, co-author of The Ultimate Guide to Sugars and Sweeteners.
Don’t justify desserts.
It’s smart to save 150 or so calories by drinking a diet drink, but that’s no excuse to have it with a slice of cheesecake or other high-calorie dessert. Limit desserts and other nutrient-poor foods to just now and then, and keep your portions small.
Don’t assume sugar-free means low calorie.
Depending on what you’re buying, sugar-free grocery items may or may not be low in calories. Always read the Nutrition Facts panel on foods labels, urges Shwide-Slavin. Be sure to check the serving size first because every other nutrition facts number relates to the serving size.
Remember that a little here and a little there add up to something bigger.
When adding a tablespoon of sugar or honey to a dish, you consume an extra 45 – 60 calories. That may not sound like much until you tally the extra calories over a week or a month. It may not sound like much to omit a tablespoon of added sugar either, but imagine the calorie savings long term. Now it seems like a smart idea to trim those added sugars.
Successful weight management takes determination, creativity, energy and tons of hard work. It’s good to know that sugar substitutes can help.
Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, FAND is a registered dietitian nutritionist and diabetes educator in SE Virginia and a paid contributor to Sucralose.org. Through speaking, writing and coaching individuals, she helps empower people to live healthier, happier lives. Jill is the author of three books including Diabetes Weight Loss – Week by Week and 21 Things You Need to Know about Diabetes and Your Heart (http://www.jillweisenberger.com/books/).