"Secrets" of Weight Loss: Part 6: Appetite Stimulants

July 26, 2023

Hands holding beer with food in the background

This is the next in our series of the “Secrets” of Weight Loss. Why do you struggle to resist certain foods? Why are you so hungry at odd times? Why do get the “munchies” when you do not get enough sleep? Why do you continue to gain weight and fat when you only drink “zero calorie” diet soda? Why do you tend to overeat when you have a couple of drinks?

As you have now realized, “secrets” are about factual things that we either do not know about or about which you have been misled by advertising.

Appetite Stimulants

In this newsletter I am going to try to help you understand why you seem to have no willpower at times.

There are 3 powerful appetite stimulants discussed in this newsletter that until now you might not have been aware of. One, chronic exhaustion will ultimately make you obese and diabetic. Two, a couple of drinks with a meal will enable you to unconsciously, with no awareness, eat more food and more of the wrong (fattening) kind of food that you might have intended. Three, “calorie free” diet sodas contain some of the most powerful appetite stimulants: artificial sweeteners.


You have probably experienced getting the “munchies” after a sleep deprived night. Is that just your imagination? Or is something deeper and more powerful going on? In reality, when you get less than an optimal amount of sound sleep, your brain triggers the release of two powerful hormones: insulin and cortisol. As you have learned, there is an inverse relationship between insulin and your blood sugar level. Meaning, the higher your insulin level, the lower your blood sugar. The lower your blood sugar level, the hungrier you are. Lack of sleep is a powerful appetite stimulant. Cortisol is the most powerful stress hormone secreted by your body. Lack of sleep is a major stressor. Cortisol breaks down your lean body mass in an effort to counter act your sleep deprived glucose crash. Cortisol blocks fat burning and facilitates fat storage. Elevated cortisol makes you fat.  

Bottom-line, lack of sleep gives you a powerful appetite for sweet foods, especially simple and processed sugars like breads, candies, cakes, muffins and breakfast cereals. Lack of sleep is a major reason you find that big blue berry muffin and super sweet Starbuck’s coffee irresistible.


Vodka nutrition facts

Why do restaurants want to bring you alcoholic drinks to start off your dinner or keep you waiting while you drink one or two alcoholic drinks before dinner? In addition to increasing your dinner tab, alcohol of any kind lowers your inhibitions. Alcohol destroys your willpower. You are not only less aware, but you also tend to dismiss all your best intentions to stick to your healthy diet. Alcohol relaxes your stomach muscles, so you tend to eat more and not be aware how full you really are.

And you may be familiar with this story. You get home from drinking a few drinks too many, and you dive into takeout pizza or a bowl of pasta, or maybe some old cookies you forgot you had. Pretty much any food you can get your hands on. But the next morning, you are starving even though you wolfed down plenty of food not that long ago. You eat the next morning because your body burns energy to remove the alcohol. And, at the same time, your liver is not creating as much energy for the rest of your body. When you wake up, your body directs you to scarf down as many calories as possible.  

The Hook

In marketing and pop songs, there is something called “a hook.” A hook in a popular song is something about the song that you cannot get it out of your head. You are “hooked.” One of the biggest hooks in the weight-loss world is “zero calories.” You know that it is calories that make you fat, right? So if a food or drink has no calories, it is a dieter’s dream right?

Not so fast. There have been several long-term studies of up to ten years. Half the group drank regular sodas. The other half drank diet sodas. The studies found that nearly all of the obesity / diabetes risk came from the diet sodas.  

Diet Coke nutrition facts

For the diet soft-drink drinkers, the risk of becoming overweight or obese was 36.5% for up to ½ can of diet soda a day. 37.5% for ½ to one can each day. 54.5 % for one to two cans each day. And 57.1% for more than two cans each day. Over a ten-year period, diet soft drink users experienced a 70% greater increase in waist circumference. Frequent users, defined as those people who consumed two or more diet sodas per day, experienced waist circumference increases 500% than non-diet soda users. Waist fat is the most toxic and dangerous fat. Artificial sweeteners are used in literally thousands of products including diet sodas, breakfast cereals, deserts, and a whole range of so-called “sugar-free” products that make you crave more sugar and sweet foods, which contributes to the epidemic of obesity and diabetes.

Artificial sweeteners so stimulate the appetite center in the brain that the person ends up eating 100% to 200% more calories than they need over the next 24 hours. You just can’t stop eating and obsessing about sweet foods.

You begin to see that seemingly innocent behaviors – staying up later than you should, having a glass or two of wine with dinner, and/or drinking a couple of calorie-free diet sodas each day over weeks, months, and years can really add up. Excess body fat creeps onto your body without your awareness. Until one day you get out of the shower and suddenly realize you are fat. And you are of an age when getting off excess weight seems nearly impossible. And you also realize you are not willing to give up your wine with dinner. Because of the societal pressure of the Black Box of Conventional Wisdom and the marketing hooks, you have painted yourself into a corner.

The good news: it is not too late. The bad news: you are going to have to get serious about your health. 

Starting each and every day with a JDD shake is a great first step on the road to a leaner, healthier, more attractive body.

Thank you for listening.


Photo by Elevate