Ask TamiTami Lyon, MPH, RD is a registered dietitian that has been helping people with nutrition and weight control for 25 years. Send a question to Tami about healthy eating, weight loss, or using MealEnders. A few questions will be selected each week to be answered and featured below.


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Tami Lyon, MPH, RD
Chief Nutrition Officer, MealEnders

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Every year around Halloween, I buy candy for trick-or-treaters. Between digging into my stash before Halloween, sneaking pieces while I’m handing it out, and finishing the leftovers for days afterwards, I end up eating so much candy myself. How can I stop myself?

Before Halloween when you’re getting candy for trick-or-treaters, buy candy that you personally aren’t a fan of––if you are crazy about chocolate, buy candy corn or sour candies instead, and vice versa––to cut out the risk of you munching on the treats as you give them out to kids who come by. Don’t be distracted by the attractive “buy three bags, get the fourth free” deals at the grocery store. Even more, do a last-minute candy run so there’s a limited selection to pick from plus a potential lack of discounts, so you won’t be tempted to buy extra bags that will end up as leftovers in your kitchen. Buying just what you need is a power decision because this single decision will keep you from having to make multiple (perhaps even hundreds depending on how much candy you have in your possession) of decisions in the future about ‘should I have a piece of candy, or shouldn’t I?’

Want to take all of the risk out of reaching into the candy bowl? Skip the candy entirely and opt for non-food items such as small toys or stickers to give out to trick-or-treaters instead.

Is there fake sugar in MealEnders? And by fake sugar I mean anything other than real sugar?

There are no artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols, or sugar substitutes in MealEnders. The product is sweetened with sugar (standard, 100% sucrose derived from sugarcane), as well as corn syrup (not the high-fructose kind). It can be confusing to determine what type of sweetener is “good” or “bad” when selecting packaged products. In this case, having real sugar in the product makes sense. Each lozenge is only 2 grams of sugar and 15 calories, which is a bargain compared to the hundreds of calories you could be avoiding by using it.

Since MealEnders are intended to first satisfy and then end food cravings, using artificial sweeteners might have been detrimental to the product’s effectiveness for some people. For starters, tastes vary, and there is a segment of the population for whom artificial sweeteners just don’t taste as good as sugar. In addition, some studies have shown that artificial sweeteners don’t have the same physiological effects of stimulating the reward systems of the brain that natural sugars have, though more research needs to be done in this area.

Are MealEnders safe for someone on high blood pressure and cholesterol lowering medication? I want to try them, but don’t want any interaction with medication.

It would be best to address this concern with your physician before giving MealEnders a try since we are not in a place to offer medical advice to you. However, it’s important to note that MealEnders are not considered a weight loss pill or supplement and instead are regulated as a food product by the FDA. They don’t contain added herbs, stimulants, caffeine, ma huang, or other similar ingredients commonly found in weight loss products.

MealEnders are made from high-quality, food-based ingredients. For example, the Chocolate Mint version contains French vanilla, semisweet and dark chocolate, corn syrup, sugar, and cocoa powder. The unique Actissert (active dessert) blend, which provides the cooling and tingling effect, is made of a proprietary blend of natural and artificial flavors. All of these are ingredients that you find in your everyday foods.

So I really won’t want to eat the whole sack?

Candies, mints, and other confections or snacks are designed to stimulate the reward center of our brain and have nothing in them to help you put the brakes on. Imagine you’re looking at a bag of M&MS. Your mind may say, “I can have just a few and then stop,” but your taste buds are probably saying, “ha, that’s not going to happen!”; sound familiar?

MealEnders, on the other hand, were designed by food scientists to engage the taste buds in the opposite way. Each MealEnder creates a sensory experience that clears the palate and helps stop the process of eating to allow adequate time for natural satiety systems to work. It starts with a little taste of the sweet to signal the end of a meal, like a dessert, and follows with a tingling, cooling palate cleanse from the lozenge core.

Unlike many candies, a MealEnder lasts in your mouth for up to 8 minutes and may leave a noticeable tingly feeling for up to an additional 5-10 minutes to get you through the “overeating zone,” when extra consumption after a meal often takes place. If it weren’t for that inner core, then you probably would want to eat the whole bag (really, the outer layer is delicious). However, MealEnders are not a conventional candy. Having just one, or perhaps two lozenges will help you address your craving and practice more mindful eating, stopping you from eating the whole bag.

I’ve tried every diet and exercise plan out there, but I’m not seeing any lasting results. The amount of time and attention these tricky plans require to correctly follow them isn’t reflecting in my long-term weight loss. What am I doing wrong?

There are many things to think about when creating a weight loss plan, but some of the most important things to think about are: Is what I’m doing sustainable? And do I have realistic expectations? Many individuals can modify their dietary and exercise habits for a short period of time, but sustained weight loss requires realistic life-style changes that don’t fizzle out after a couple of months. Very aggressive dietary and exercise goals may result in rapid weight loss, but can be difficult to sustain for more than a few weeks or months.

When putting a plan together, be sure to incorporate both diet and exercise goals. Reducing your calorie intake by modifying your food choices, portion sizes and eating patterns is the most effective way to shed pounds. Regular activity not only expends calories, it helps maintain muscle mass, improve mood and manage stress. The impact of exercise on one’s weight varies from person to person and increasing your activity level without modifying your food intake may not be enough to meet your weight loss goals.

Try focusing on seeing changes in your body instead of on the scale. Make sure you are eating a healthy balanced diet that offers enough nutrition to support this lifestyle change. If you are trying to form a diet habit that you can’t see yourself maintaining for the next twenty years, odds are it won’t support your healthy lifestyle change.

At this point if you are still frustrated, maybe it would be best to visit a nutritionist or doctor and get a professional assessment to help guide you on a sustainable and realistic path that will lead to a lifestyle change.

PLEASE NOTE: THE ANSWERS CONTAINED IN THE “ASK TAMI” SECTION ARE FOR GENERAL INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY AND ARE NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR A CONSULTATION WITH A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL. We answer questions in general terms only, to give you information that may be used as a starting point. These answers are not a substitute for personalized professional advice.

*Individual Results May Vary