Think artificial sweeteners are sabotaging your diet? Many people use faux sugar to help them lose weight, but the truth is this no-calorie substitute may actually cause you to pack on the pounds. Talk about a cruel irony. The numbers don’t lie, though. A comprehensive 8 year study reveals that people who used artificial sweeteners saw their body mass index (BMI) increase an astounding 47% more than those who opted out. The reason seems to be that these sweeteners create a discouraging trifecta of diet sabotaging effects. Research has repeatedly proven that these low or no calorie sugar substitutes can stimulate your appetite, boost your carb cravings and encourage fat storage and weight gain. It seems aspartame is the worst culprit, but these undesirable side-effects still apply to other artificial sweeteners, like acesulfame potassium and saccharin.