Not only can it freshen your breath, chewing gum has a multitude of benefits, such as overcoming cravings and even improving memory and concentration. However, did you know that it could help you to lose weight too?
According to studies, chewing gum has shown that it can help to control cravings, manage hunger, and promote weight loss. This is why many people rely on chewing gum for weight loss, as it helps some individuals to stop snacking during the day – something that is proven to pile on the pounds.
How can chewing gum help you lose weight?
Studies on chewing gum have concluded that chewing gum suppresses appetite – most notably the desire for sweet treats – and reduces snacking, thus showing that there is a link between chewing gum and weight loss. One study found that those who chewed gum consumed about 40 fewer calories at the next eating occasion and did not compensate by eating more later in the day.
Therefore, this is why some people suggest the best way to deal with food cravings is by chewing gum. Instead of turning to unhealthy foods and snacking, deal with them by chewing gum and to see if the craving passes. More often than not, this is the case as your mind is distracted by something else, or being mindful of the craving -acknowledging it, rather than acting on it.
By making this small change to your lifestyle, as well as eating more fruit, vegetables and being active (such as taking the stairs instead of the lift or escalator), you could easily cut around 50-100 calories per day.
But if you choose to do this, it’s best to use sugar-free chewing gum as there are around 5 calories in chewing gum pieces (such as Chewsy Gum), whereas regular gum contains around 10 calories. Diet plan courses (such as Weight Watchers) consider sugar-free gum a “free food” due to the lack of calories present.
However, it’s worth noting that chewing gum is not the be-all-end-all of your weight-loss success. While it might help you prevent snacking and cut down on sugary snacks, it could also trigger more cravings and overeating later in the day, but this is entirely dependent on each person’s eating personality.
Despite this, does chewing gum make you hungry?
Depending on the individual, chewing gum can make some people hungrier and prone to snacking. A study found that instead of suppressing appetite, it tends to induce people to eat more junk food like cookies, crisps, and sweets.
In fact, some researchers found that the menthol that gives a minty flavour in chewing gum can result in some people avoiding their all-important fruits and vegetables, because it makes it “taste funny”.
Photo credit: ifong / Shutterstock
Don’t just rely on chewing gum to help you lose weight, as this can have detrimental effects on your health. Instead, think of chewing gum as a tool in your weight loss journey, that can help you to manage your hunger when you are craving sugary foods. But, don’t forget to eat nutritious snacks, have a balanced diet and get your all-important five-a-day, as well as regular exercise – after all, this is what really helps when losing weight.
But the bottom line is, a reduced-calorie diet and regular exercise are tried-and-tested lifestyle changes that will help you lose weight and keep it off (with or without chewing gum). Chewing gum is just an added benefit that works successfully for some people in their weight loss journey.
Feature image credit: qingqing / Shutterstock