Perhaps you’ve read recently where artificial sweeteners do not assist in weight loss. I have found this to be the case in my own weight loss issues. The more powdered artificial sweeteners I use, the harder it is for me to lose weight. I struggled with how my Equal sweetened coffee could raise my blood sugar by 15 points if it was metabolically “inert” as any non-caloric sweetener should be. Here is the answer (as I see it): Powdered sweeteners are bulked with maltdextrose, which any way you slice or dice it, is a sugar. The argument for using maltdextrose is that it isn’t enough to matter. That really depends on who you are. It makes NO difference to my husband, who piles on the powdered version of Sweet’n Low in everything he tends to use sugar on. He is normal weight with no history of diabetes. His body does not over-react to sugar – unlike mine. I, on the other hand, am 7 years into my diabetes diagnoses and even after almost 3 years of being “normal” weight, I still have diabetes. I am not affected by drinking diet soda or Crystal Lite. I just can’t put packets of anything in my drinks or food and not experience a jump in my blood sugar.
In my particular case, I overreact to carbs. I put out entirely too much insulin in response to carbohydrates. I can eat 1200 calories a day, which is enough for most adults to at least have a modest calorie deficit, and if the macro nutrients are mostly simpler carbs, I will gain weight unless my energy output is twice that. I have been measuring this for over 3 years and all my weight loss success can be tied to eating less food and mostly low carb.
How do I get around this maltdextrose thing? I buy liquid or small tablet versions of sweeteners. Equal does not have a liquid version of its product, but it does have little tablets. Sucralose, stevia, and saccharin all have liquid and/or tablet versions. The caveat is that none of these versions deliver the same sweetness as the powder varieties. If you like things sweet, you will have to adjust your palate or what you use to sweeten. I personally use a mix of liquid stevia and liquid saccharin (less bitter) along with training my palate to prefer less sweet things.
I have also started limiting the amount of sweeteners I consume. I don’t do this because I believe they are harmful. I do this because I believe eating or drinking lots of sweet tasting things fosters a preference for sweets over other tastes, which makes me crave them.
As usual, your mileage may vary. You might not be struggling with weight due to powdered sweeteners. However, if you are truly eating low calorie and low carb and are experiencing stalls and unaccounted for gains, and powdered sweeteners are part of your diet, it’s worth exploring.