Chewing Gum and Weight Loss
- February 8, 2022
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We all know that chewing gum has several advantages. It can freshen the breath, help people deal with their cravings, and it also may help them lose weight. But how much does chewing gum actually help us burn calories? Let us look at how chewing gum can be effective in weight loss, according to scientific studies.
Supporting Evidence on the Effects of Chewing Gum on Weight Loss
Some studies suggest that chewing gum between meals reduces hunger levels and cravings. This decreases your calorie intake, causing you to lose weight. A study conducted at Rhode Island University showed that participants who had chewed sugar-free gum for an hour consumed 68 fewer calories during lunch. They also didn’t have the urge to eat more later in the day to compensate for this. Additionally, these patients spent 5% more calories in comparison with people who hadn’t chewed gum.
Chewing gum can help individuals, who are used to snacking all the time, keep their jaw busy without any calorie intake. If you replace a frequent craving for a high-calorie snack with chewing gum on a routine, it can have an even greater impact. Chewing gum is also a great solution for people who eat when they’re stressed, as it has no calories.
In another study that took place at Louisiana State University, 115 men and women were tested. They had to chew sugarless gum for 15 minutes hourly for three hours in the first part of the test. The results were compared to when they hadn’t chewed any gum, and it became evident that their calorie intake had been reduced by 40 calories. This study especially suggested that chewing gum lowered the urge to have sweet snacks as sweet-snack calorie intake had decreased by 60 calories. While most might disagree with the idea of using sugar-containing gum for weight loss, others believe chewing sugar gum can act as a replacement for dessert. Sweet things after meals can signal the finishing of a meal. Therefore, by replacing sweet things such as ice cream with chewing gum, you can cut down on your calorie intake.
Counterevidence on the Effects of Chewing Gum on Weight Loss
However, there are studies that display no signs of weight loss. In one study, conducted in an 8-week period, 47 participants were tested to chew sweetened gum, but none showed cues of any changes in appetite or calorie consumption.
The results of another study showed that not only did chewing gum have no positive impact on weight loss but even reduced the test subjects’ diet quality by diminishing their appetite to consume fruit.
Furthermore, some argue that chewing gum cannot provide you with the calories that you actually need. In fact, these researchers assert that chewing gum may eventually result in more hunger over time, as you’re not giving your body the calories that it’s craving. This causes overeating, the exact opposite result of what someone who wishes to lose weight initially wants.
Risks of Chewing Gum
Bear in mind that chewing too much gum can have detrimental effects on your health. Gums have artificial sweeteners such as sorbitol and xylitol; these sugar alcohols act as laxatives. In addition, chewing too much gum can lead to swallowing too much air. With all that being said, all of this may result in diarrhea, gas, and bloating.
Moreover, do not replace healthy snacks (fruit, for example) with a stick of chewing gum, since this would mess up your diet. Excessive chewing of gums (about 20) can lead to tooth decay, cavities, and even abnormal weight loss.
Which Types of Gum Are Preferable for Weight Loss
There are numerous types of chewing gum. Here we discuss 4 types that may be more effective on weight loss: sugar-free gum, sugar-containing gum, nicotine gum, and caffeine-containing gum.
Sugar-free gum is commonly considered as the better choice for weight loss, compared to sweetened gums. Nevertheless, there is just a 2-calorie difference between sugar-free gums and sugar-containing gums per piece, so the difference in their effect on weight loss may not be profound.
Next, the nicotine that exists in nicotine gums reduces the appetite while increasing metabolism. Although this may sound like a very tempting choice, nicotine is extremely addictive, and it can cause even more health problems for you, instead of solving the ones you already have. Hence, we do not recommend nicotine gums.
In addition, caffeinated gums are also said to impact weight loss by helping the individual burn more fat during both rest and exercise. A systematic review has also indicated a link between less body fat and caffeine consumption.
If you desire to lose weight, chewing gum by itself will not cut it. As evident in this article, there is a lot of controversy surrounding the debate of whether or not chewing gum can play a role in weight loss. Some say it doesn’t, while some say it does. This seems to depend on the individual and may differ from person to person. It is certain that if you want to lose weight, chewing gum should be your second option.
In order to lose weight, you should exercise, drink enough water, and keep a steady, healthy diet. These have always worked and will continue to work as the most reliable methods for losing weight. Chewing gum can only play a small role in losing weight, and even that depends on the person.
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