The brain is no dummy, and it knows when you try to pass off fake sweets as the real thing. As a result, dumping sugar from your diet and sprinkling on the no-calorie sweeteners may actually cause you to consume more calories in the long run, according to findings published in The Journal of Physiology and reported by

For the study, researchers from the Yale University School of Medicine measured various behaviors and brain responses among a group of mice that consumed either sugar or several artificial sweeteners. Scientists found that the rodents quickly lost interest in the sweet stand-ins and favored real sugar when they were given a choice between the two, especially when they were hungry and their blood sugar levels dropped.

Researchers believed this could be because when the body metabolizes sugar, levels of the hormone dopamine rise and contribute to feelings of satisfaction, which in turn send signals to the brain that your energy needs are being met. (When the body breaks down the fake sugars, your brain senses that the substitutes don’t contain the right amount of calories.)

These findings support previous studies that found fake sugar fans often splurged on high-calorie snacks later on in the day.

For dieters to stay on track, scientists suggested that instead of cutting out sugar entirely, those who want to lose weight should compromise by combining artificial sweeteners with a little bit of the real stuff so the body won’t feel deprived.

In addition, you could try some all-natural sweetening substitutes that pack all the taste of sugar without the drawbacks of the artificial stuff. Click here to read more.