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West Palm Beach, USA – April 12, 2011: Product shot of three different brands of zero calorie sweeteners: Sweet N Low in pink, Equal in blue, and Splenda in yellow. Each brand is an artificial sweetener used as a sugar substitute.

To cut calories yet keep the sweet taste, non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS) are a staple of some people’s diets. But the effect of NNS on weight loss still isn’t fully understood. Some studies pointing to a bit of weight loss, while others show a neutral effect or even weight gain. The effect is probably dependent on the specific person using the sweetener.
There is correlation between artificial sweeteners enhancing appetite[1][2] and increasing hunger[3]. This tends to increase food consumption[2][4][5] and lead to weight gain. We have known this since the 1980s. There are also connections between artificial sweetener intake and increased risk for metabolic syndrome [6][7][8][9]. But it could be correlational evidence. Those using the largest amounts of NNS may simply have a predisposition for overeating and weight gain.
Another school of thought is that sweet taste, in the absence of calories, is causing people to eat more food elsewhere in their diet. But how would this work? Researchers hypothesized that the physiological response to sweet taste may be coupled to the energy content of food. Disrupting this balance could wreak havoc on appetite control and energy homeostasis.[10] Although a promising idea that seemed to be consistent with evidence in animal models,[11][12][13] lack of any known mechanism kept the concept at the theoretical stage.
The connection between NNS and appetite has remained a mystery, until Wang et. al published a potential breakthrough in the Journal Cell Metabolism. (See issue 23 of ERD for a detailed analysis of this study)

Although they lack the calories of sugar, the impact of non-nutritive sweeteners on body weight isn’t understood. A recent study looked at the specific mechanisms that might play a role.

Delving into appetite mechanisms, using fruit flies

To examine the connection between NNS and weight gain, fruit flies were the go-to model. While this may seem to have questionable relevance to humans, fruit flies have some big advantages as an experimental model. They are easy to genetically manipulate, have short life-cycles, and are cheap to keep in the lab. Moreover, they have systems that sense the sweetness and caloric content of food. They also have some of the same insulin signaling and taste-reward pathways that are present in humans.[14]
The flies were fed a sucralose-sweetened diet for 5 days. This caused an increase in food intake. It returned to normal only after removal of sucralose from the diet. Sucralose also increased the sensitivity of these flies to sweet taste. This again was a reversible effect. To rule out the possibility that it was some property of sucralose, and not sweet taste in general that was causing this effect, the researchers used L-glucose, another non-caloric agent that tastes sweet to flies. L-glucose had the same effect as sucralose. This confirmed that sweet taste in and of itself was leading to increased food consumption. The sucralose-fed mice also exhibited impaired glucose homeostasis. They were also hyperactive and had fragmented sleep. These effects have been reported in humans in connection with aspartame, another NNS.[15]

Fruit flies fed sucralose showed a variety of negative effects, including increased food intake and altered glucose homeostasis.

Having demonstrated that sucralose increases appetite in the flies, a key question remained. Was the effect of sucralose on the flies due to sweet taste itself? Or due to an imbalance between sweet taste and the actual energy content of food?
To answer this question, experiments compared sucralose head-to head with regular table sugar (sucrose). Sucralose increased food intake. Sucrose, which also tasted sweet to the flies but contained calories, decreased food intake. This suggested that sucralose increased food intake by creating an imbalance between sweetness and calorie content. If this were the case, supplementing the sucralose fed flies with an additional agent that has calories, but no sweet taste, might restore the balance of sweetness vs. energy content. Thus negating the increase in appetite. This is precisely what happened. Researchers gave the sucralose group sorbitol. This is a sugar alcohol that contains calories but does not taste sweet to fruit flies.

Taken together, these results pointed to a conclusion. That decoupling sweet taste from energy intake increased appetite and food consumption. But what was the mechanism? The researchers found an answer through an extra series of experiments. They found that long-term ingestion of sucralose-sweetened food activated the enzyme AMPK in the neuronal system. This caused certain cells to produce NPF, a neuropeptide that promotes hunger. This same signaling pathway was activated by fasting. Indicating that the consumption of synthetically sweetened food created a sweet taste vs. energy imbalance. This mimicked the effects of fasting on the brain.
Experiments in mice mirrored results in the flies. 7 days of sucralose consumption in mice significantly increased food intake. This means that from flies to mammals, decoupling sweet taste from the energy content of food can induce a neuronal fasting response. This conspires to increase appetite and food consumption.

Experiments in flies and mice showed that sucralose can increase food intake, through creating an imbalance between sweet taste and energy intake.

So … is it time to sound the alarm on artificial sweeteners?

Evidence from the Wang et al study suggests that creating an imbalance between sweet taste and calorie influx is bad. It could weaken the ability of sweet taste to be perceived as energy intake. Instead triggering a contradictory fasting response that increases appetite.

In other words, it’s like “The Boy who Cried Wolf”. Chronic intake of non-nutritive sweeteners could create a bad situation. Where the brain no longer ‘believes’ that a sweet taste is connected to an influx of energy. If this occurs in humans, it raises a dire possibility. That those using lots of artificial sweeteners could be at risk for unintended weight gain.

This idea is in line with the earlier published studies connecting NNS intake to increased appetite and weight gain in humans. But it is a hard one to prove. The mechanism uncovered by Wang et al has yet to be validated in human subjects. The fact that this novel ‘neuronal fasting pathway’ that integrates hunger, sweetness, and the nutritional content of food is intact from fruit flies to mammals does suggest that it may be time to wave the caution flag where NNS are concerned (after all, humans are mammals!). It is important to emphasize, though, that human studies on NNS and appetite regulation have reported mixed results[16]. This suggests that some individuals may be more affected than others (if at all). And at this point we can only speculate. A Splenda or two in your daily coffee probably is not an issue. But we need to take a closer look at the effects of chronic, high-level NNS intake in certain populations. Especially those that may be more predisposed to obesity or metabolic dysfunction.

Decoupling sweet taste from the usual increase in calories, if it occurs with NNS use, may undermine the ability of some to control food intake. NNS-induced increases in appetite could go unnoticed, leading to unexplained weight gain over time.

Thanks to the good folks over at for this article. Here is a link to the original article that appeared there: 

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Want To Lose Fat? Here’s What To Do

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Want To Lose Fat? Here’s What To Do

lose fat by doing this

To lose fat eat more food… that’s what…

but, but….

No ifs, ands, or buts about it…

Because you MUST eat more on occasion in order to lose fat effectively.

Consequently, sticking to the same low-calorie diet (below maintenance) is a sure-fire recipe for disaster.

Don’t trust me on this? I don’t care…

Because you can do the same doggone thing you’ve been doing with mediocre results, and you’ll never achieve the shape you’ve always wanted.


You can simply trust…

Because here’s the prescription if you do (trust that is…):

1. Eat ONLY unprocessed foods (the only thing you can eat from a can or box is raw oatmeal and canned tuna or sardines (Wild Planet brand is the best) or wild salmon)
2. Add healthy fats to almost all your meals. i.e., olive oil, flax oil, UDO’s choice blended oil
3. Eat large amounts of vegetables of the following: broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, onions, celery, green beans, cabbage, sauerkraut,
4. Eat small amounts of fruit such as apples, pineapple, pears, cherries, strawberries
5. Spices: turmeric, black pepper, Aztec or Himalayan salt

Here’s one of my go-to meals:

1. Heat skillet on high temp
2. Add 3 tablespoons of virgin olive oil
3. Add 1-2 teaspoons of Turmeric
4. Add a couple of shakes of black pepper (the black pepper helps your body absorb the beneficial effects of Turmeric by over 100%).
5. Add vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, etc) to the heated oil. CAUTION: DO NOT LET THE OLIVE OIL GET TOO HOT AS THE BENEFICIAL PROPERTIES GET REMOVED WITH HIGH HEAT.
6. Cover and stir occasionally.
7. Transfer all to a bowl including remaining olive oil in the pan.
8. Open up either a can of Wild Planet tuna or sardines and add it to the bowl of vegetables (don’t throw away the liquid with these as they are full of Omega 3’s).


You can even eat this meal for breakfast. Trust me, it beats the carb-laden breakfast you’ve likely been eating and wondering why you haven’t been making any progress.

This could be a meal you have several times per day with no problem. Substitute the tuna or sardines for bison, or grass-fed beef, or salmon.


After a hard workout you should consume a much higher carbohydrate meal with starchier carbs such as oatmeal and sweet potatoes within an hour of that hard workout. Have two meals like this before you go to bed (if you work out in the afternoon or early evening).

Once every 7 – 10 days have an entire day where you eat a lot of carbohydrates (and small amounts of protein and fat). Swap this day the next time with a day where you eat a lot of protein and fat (and little to no carbohydrates). The protein and fat should come from (ideally) grass-fed beef, Irish butter (Kerry Gold Brand) and olive oil.

That’s the prescription.

In order to have a life, time the high carbohydrate or fat day on a day when you’re going out with friends or your significant other.

Say goodbye to your fat…

You’re welcome

Here’s an email I got the other day that I thought instructive for everyone…

“Hey Harry,
Do you know were I could find more recipes that fit your diet?”

Here was my answer….

Here’s the problem with “recipes”, and I’ll be super honest here… most of them are not good. What I mean is this, if you want the real deal information about really getting in shape, you have to eat what the body requires for it do to so. If you start getting too creative with recipes it’s almost a sure-fire recipe (pun intended) for disaster.

Recipes tend to make food taste “too” good, and if something tastes too good, you’ll tend to overeat it. It’s the human condition. WE JUST CANNOT HELP THIS. Example: you portion out your food created with this great-tasting recipe, and after you eat it you think, “man, that was really, really tasty! I want more!” So, ‘just this time’ you eat more (than you should have). See the problem here?

In order to lose fat for good, save the “tasty” food for the days I recommend you eat almost anything you want. You’ll get plenty of those days too, once every 4 days to start, and then as you get fitter once every 3, or even 2 days once your bodyfat gets much lower.

Don’t worry so much about getting fancy on the days where you are eating the healthy food… just eat the healthy food. This means meat, and vegetables. I eat the veggies almost raw, by buying frozen vegetables, then when ready to eat them I place them under hot running water and “heat” them that way. For the salads, I prepare them exactly as I talk about in the manual you have.

You can get as fancy as you want on the condiments, even going a little higher fat on some of them for your veggies or salads.

For example, for my salad, I’ll mix up a tablespoon of either olive oil (but usually a tablespoon of Udo’s Choice blended oil) along with salt, pepper, red pepper, cumin, curry powder, a couple of tablespoons of Greek Yogurt (the high fat kind – don’t be afraid here please – it’s not fat you have to worry about on the days your carbs are supposed to be low, it’s the carbs), then mix it all up and toss the salad with this dressing (I even use this dressing on the veggies sometimes).

I personally like a little kick with my dressing and this provides it. But you can get creative yourself and design one that suits you. Let me know if you do as I’d like to share it with others (that goes with anyone reading this too – please chime in with your recipes and I’ll give you a thumbs up or a thumbs down, in my opinion).

Remember, just keep the carbs low and you should be fine.

…till next time…


P.S. Wanna get in shape? Want me to personally help you?  Get My Program (along with my coaching)… simple as that!

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My Interview with Bill Phillips after Winning the Body For Life Contest