Finish the following sentence: "Kids, don't have sugar before dinner because ____________!" Did you say because it'll ruin your appetite?
What a great diet tool! Most people get this right, regardless of where they're from on this planet. It's a universal truth, and now I know why.
Sugar does, in fact, kill the appetite. Sometimes, having a small piece of chocolate 20 minutes before eating makes us eat less. Those few calories might actually save thousands! What a tasty delight.
There's a fantastic biological explanation. Sugar, upon entering the mouth, cues digestion because of the sweetness. Saliva begins squirting and digestive juices in the belly begin oozing. A readiness is evoked in preparation to digest and metabolize food.
When sugar is swallowed, it provides energy (approximately 16 calories a teaspoon), which the stomach begins working on. Even though there is no nutrition, it registers as useful because of the calories. It is readily burned as fuel, unless way too much is consumed. Then some gets stored as fat. The stomach does what it has to do and then everything shuts off, since the job is done. Hunger disappears, since the body has something to go on for awhile.
Chocolate is better than pure sugar, and dark chocolate with nuts is probably the best choice. Adding healthy fat and protein to the mix staves off appetite much longer, and the list of benefits from dark chocolate is enough to qualify it as a health food!
Artificial sweetener may actually stimulate the appetite, and increase hunger! How ironic, that the diet product designed to aid weight loss, could make you want to eat more. But how? It seems that like sugar, artificial sweetener cues digestion due to its sweetness. Saliva squirts and digestive juices ooze, but when it's swallowed, nothing registers.
Although it possesses sweetness, it does not have calories, so the stomach doesn't know that what it's waiting for has arrived, and the brain doesnt receive the glucose its waiting for. Therefore, this state of readiness doesn't shut off properly, as it does with sugar. This state of readiness is commonly known as HUNGER. Makes sense, eh? There was some controversy among different studies, but it certainly rings true to me.
Lets face it, there has been a national weight gain in this country, which is correlated with the increased use of artificial sweeteners. Merely correlation, or cause and effect?
Dr. Abby Aronowitz is a psychologist, speaker and coach, who completed work at Columbia University. She holds two masters degrees and a Ph.D. Previously a consultant to Weight Watchers International, Dr. Abby has been featured on WebMD.com and AOL Diet and Fitness. She is a member of the American Psychological Association and Mensa. Information about her book, Your Final Diet, and other products can be found at YourFinalDiet.com.