Do Artificial Sweeteners Make You Crave More Sugar?

Scientists gave study participants a zero-calorie artificially sweetened beverage for 52 weeks, and you might be surprised what it did to their...

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Today’s Health Upgrade

  • Monday motivation

  • Do artificial sweeteners make you crave more sugar?

  • Workout of the week

Arnold’s Podcast

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Monday Motivation

When was the last time you put something off because of fear?

We all have big dreams, goals, and visions. But too many people find reasons not to pursue them because of what it might mean to fall short of their goals.

So, I want you to think about how to start removing your obstacles and going all-in on what you want to accomplish.

I talk all the time about the importance of a vision. But it’s also important to confront the obstacles that stand in your way. Because when you do, you’ll find that you can surpass even your own expectations.

Two months ago, I challenged Daniel and Adam to prep with me while I prepare for the new season of FUBAR. 

Daniel set a goal to get in the best shape ever for his 40th birthday. Last Friday, he turned 40, and his results were fantastic!

I wanted to let Daniel share some of what he learned with all of you. He wrote a post outlining all of his lessons in The Pump app. If you’re not a member of the app, you can join and start your 7-day free trial today. Or, listen to how he approached the obstacles in his way. Because, as he points out, we all face obstacles. And how we approach those obstacles aren’t discussed enough. The diet plan and workouts gave him the tools he needed, but his mindset made his vision a reality.  

This is 40. 

I achieved my goal to become the leanest I’ve ever been. And I did this with The Pump. I didn’t use any resources that aren’t available to every one of you in the app. I used the exact same workouts and diet we share, so it was a chance to lead by example and show you that the resources you have as a member of this village work.

If you take one lesson from this, it’s this: Even though we all start from a different place, we all have that one thing in common.

It doesn’t matter who you are. There will be obstacles.

But the beautiful thing about life is that we get to decide whether we will be defined by our obstacles or whether we will find our way to keep moving forward. We all have the power to define ourselves by finding our own way past them. That path isn’t always easy to spot, and a lot of people give up without looking too hard.

Instead of talking about how great I feel today or Arnold pointing out my chest striations or telling you more about how the FUBAR meal plan is the easiest way I’ve ever cut fat, I want to talk to you about how I saw my obstacles. Because whether you have your last 5 pounds of fat to lose or 100 pounds or you want to gain 20 pounds of muscle, that’s the one thing we will all have in common.

There will be obstacles.

The first one wasn’t really an obstacle to me, but everybody else seemed to think it was: age. I know there are people here much older than me. But I cannot tell you how many times I have heard, “Just wait until you hit 40.” 

I heard it before I was in this shape -- I was just a normal, fit guy. A lot of you call me the regular guy of the three of The Pump founders, and I love that. But people still went out of their way to let me know it would all fall apart soon.

Maybe I’m a weirdo, but I love when people say these things to me. I never correct them, get upset, or come back to tell them when I prove them wrong. I just store it as my fuel.

I heard the same thing 2 years ago when our daughter was on the way: “Just wait until you’re a dad, you won’t have time for those workouts.”

I’d laugh along while I thought, “Yeah, just wait.”

It was the same with my age. Every time people told me there was some magic breakdown coming, it drove me. And I’ll be honest: 40 isn’t old. This one ended up being more fuel than obstacle.

Now, my travel? That was an obstacle. Working for Arnold, I get to travel to amazing places and go to fantastic restaurants.

I traveled to Toronto for a week. I traveled to New York and Miami — both for a day. I had to find my way around airport food (I remain confused that airports seem to be 100% opposed to selling any fruit, but I made it through with protein shakes and jerky).

The second day of this challenge, Arnold took me to one of the best Italian places in LA for a work lunch. Everyone enjoyed the flatbread from the pizza oven, except for me. Everyone ordered pasta, except for me (shrimp and arugula salad). Being tempted that quickly ended up not being an obstacle at all. It was a gift. 

I got my first rep of saying no, and that rep helped build up my mental strength for all the “no”s that would come. I also sent a message to everyone on our team that they couldn’t break me. And that’s important.  One thing I know about doing challenges like this is that everybody thinks it is fun to peer pressure you to meet them at their level.

It made me stronger every time I stayed committed to the diet plan, and it made the peer pressure weaker. By the last few weeks, nobody ever tried. I can’t blame them. It isn’t fun to lose over and over.

I also have a very busy work schedule. Besides being a co-founder here and working with Adam and Arnold to keep constant content coming while answering your customer service tickets, I’m also Arnold’s chief of staff, comms director, and speechwriter. There were environmental speeches to write. There were entertainment projects to manage. Our non-profits, from the after-school programs to the Schwarzenegger Institute at USC to our environmental charity in Austria, all require my attention.

There were days when I got so busy that I didn’t stop to eat until 3 or 4. Once, I went straight to dinner. But the diet plan calls for 3-4 meals! 

Well, that’s why Adam says you can move bullets between meals. I would just make sure that I had every protein serving for the day, even if it meant I had a protein shake with a double scoop of protein right before dinner and a serving of Greek yogurt and frozen fruit right after.

There were days when I had to shorten my workouts. I was repeating the Foundation Continued during this challenge, and sometimes those workouts took an hour I didn’t have. I shortened them by combining sets into supersets. I was able to complete a few workouts in 30 minutes by just going through the overview, then combining exercises in a way that worked to speed things up. So if a workout started with 4 straight sets of bench and then 4 straight sets of chin ups, those became a superset. When the next two exercises were incline bench and bent over row in straight sets? Yep, another superset. Then the super set of dumbbell curl and triceps extension got the final ab exercise added to it to make it a giant set.

Was this ideal? No. Should you do it every time you work out? No. But I would rather do my workout faster than the way it is written than do half of my workout.

There were days when I did my training at 4 AM because I knew with my schedule it wouldn’t get done otherwise. When I was traveling, that was easy. Nobody is in hotel gyms that early.

At home, that meant I couldn’t clang weights around because at our old house, my gym was under my daughter’s room. Instead of barbell squats and front squats, I had to do higher rep squats with a kettlebell — working until I found those hard reps you know about from First Set Mindset, and then single leg squats with no weight.

And there is another, really important, amazingly cute obstacle: part of my time crunch comes from being a dad of an almost 2 year old. I am hardcore about my work. But I’m really hardcore about spending time with my daughter. She wakes up at 7 and we have basically an hour and a half with her for playing and reading and breakfast before we work. Then she’s home at 5 and we have two hours with her for dinner and reading and hide and seek and bath time before she sleeps. I’m not wasting any of those minutes, and unless I’m traveling, there is no work or fitness in those windows.

I make up for this by working from 5-7 am and 7-8 pm almost every day (you know this if you have ever submitted a customer service ticket). That lets me stay on top of the things that matter most - without sacrificing any of them.

Moving, parenting, working, traveling, not having equipment, injury -- they’re all legitimate obstacles, but I didn’t take any of them too seriously.

This is where I have to give credit to the guy who started all of this, the guy who inspires all of us.

Arnold says over and over and over again that when you can see your vision, when you know why you’re doing the work and making the sacrifices, everything is easier.

That’s a wise man. He’s right.

I had my vision(s). Nothing was going to stop me.

Every choice was a rep. And every time I made the choice — to finish my workout, despite it not being ideal, to eat the spinach instead of the pasta — I became stronger.

By the end, I said “yes” to so many different imperfect training situations and “no” to so many different delicious treats; it was the easier choice.

I did the reps. I built my willpower muscle.

The obstacles were just tests, but since I knew the end result, they were easy to pass.

The vision became a reality. That mountain is climbed, and it’s time to move on to the next peak.

Today, my new vision as a slightly older and wiser 40-year-old is to inspire all of you.

Think about what your vision means to you. Think about every obstacle standing in the way. 

Are you going to let those speed bumps and blocks and walls write your story? Or are you going to put your own pen to paper and start writing your way?

The choice is yours.

From The Village: Do Artificial Sweeteners Make You Crave More Sugar?

Q: I saw that artificial sweeteners might be a way to help me lose fat, but I’m confused. I thought they made you crave more sugar and eat more calories. Which is it?

You’re not alone in your confusion. Many people believe that the taste of sweetness increases the desire for more sugary foods. 

And yet, research suggests that artificial sweeteners do not increase your hunger or the desire to eat more sugar-filled foods. 

To test the theory, scientists randomly assigned about 500 people to either drink “non-nutritive sweetened beverages” (AKA diet drinks) or water. The diet drink group had at least two beverages daily for 52 weeks. 

Both groups lost similar body fat and overall weight, but the diet drink group lost more (7.5 kg vs 6.1 kg in the water group). And, maybe more interestingly, both groups decreased the amount of sugar they consumed and had lower levels of hunger.

In other words, despite having artificial sweeteners every day for a year, there was no change in the consumption of other sugar-filled foods.

Many people are skeptical about artificial sweeteners because they are not considered natural. So, if you want to avoid those foods, do what works for you. However, study after study continues to suggest that not only do they help support weight loss, but they can also be a tool that helps you embrace other healthy behaviors. 

Workout of the Week

This full-body workout gives you a taste of the challenge of doing just a few exercises at maximum intensity. This plan is a time-based workout to help you push hard, even if you don’t have hours in the gym. Set a timer for 20 minutes and follow the plan until the time is up.

Perform this full-body workout at least three days a week, resting at least a day between sessions. So you might lift weights on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Perform one set of each exercise in the order listed without any rest. Once you finish one set of each move, immediately move to the next. If you can, don’t let go of the barbell until you complete all four exercises. Then rest for three minutes, and repeat until time is up.

  1. Barbell or dumbbell deadlift: 6 reps

  2. Barbell or dumbbell clean: 6 reps

  3. Barbell or dumbbell front squat: 6 reps

  4. Barbell or dumbbell push press: 6 reps

Give it a try, and let us know what you think!

Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Editors-in-chief: Adam Bornstein and Daniel Ketchell