For as long as humans have lived on Earth, they have been eating foods that taste sweet, such as sugar cane and honey. So, the brain has a conditioned response in reaction to eating something sweet. It is called the Cephalic Phase Insulin Response (CPIR), and it’s responsible for the fat-storing effects of diet beverages, including diet sodas, diet tea, coffee, energy drinks, sports drinks, and flavored waters. This adaptation in humans is a reaction to the ingestion of sweet-tasting foods. The body learned to associate sweet-taste on the tongue with the resulting sugar-energy-load that landed in the stomach.
The brain came to perceive sweet-taste with the need to program the liver to prepare for the arrival of an outside source of high energy – sugar. As the tongue senses something sweet, it programs the brain to set into motion a series of biochemical events. It doesn’t matter if the sweet taste comes from natural honey or from artificial sweeteners.
This biochemical cascade triggers the liver to stop the manufacture of protein and starch from its body-reserves, and to begin to store the glucose-energy that circulates in the blood.
In the case of diet beverages, the sweet taste sets these events into motion. But when no calories actually appear in the stomach, this causes the body to demand real food, with resulting hyper-urges from the liver to overeat, or to drink more of the sweet-tasting liquid, and the cascade repeats itself.
Almost instantly, the body starts producing insulin, the “fat” hormone, which stores sugar in the blood stream, and programs the adipose tissue fat cells (belly fat) to store, store, store.
This Cephalic Phase Insulin Response (CPIR) creates reactive hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), which further triggers strong cravings for more sweet-tasting items, and high glycemic foods.
After the taste buds are activated by a sweet-taste, the urge to ingest food can last from 1 to 2 hours. So, you are hungry for hours, because no real food or calories has satiated the body’s need for energy.
And now, the body is producing insulin for no reason, because the brain has instructed the liver to store instead of burn/release its storage supplies.
The result is fat, fat, fatter – the Cephalic Fat Spiral.