Remember how, when we were children, when we asked for chewing gum, our mother refused us, saying that it would get stuck in the throat or cause tooth decay? Well, this has given chewing gum a bad reputation among many. Although it has its downsides, there are differing opinions on whether or not chewing gum can help you lose weight.
Health Shots got in touch with nutritionist dr. Rohini Patil, MBBS, to understand whether chewing gum is good for weight loss or not.
Can chewing gum speed up weight loss?
Many people think that chewing gum can help them lose weight. Some say it curbs their food cravings or helps shape their face by tensing up their muscles, while others claim it helps prevent mindless chewing. But what science is behind these beliefs? According to some research, chewing gum may not cause significant weight loss, but it may help you burn a few extra calories.
Here are the weight loss benefits of chewing gum:
1. Increases heart rate
According to Dr. Patila “chewing gum while walking has been shown to increase heart rate and improve calorie burn.” According to a study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science, chewing gum while walking can make people walk faster and use a little more energy, which could help people avoid gaining weight as they age.
2. Reduce your appetite
Chewing gum can reduce hunger or appetite, increase satiety, and encourage you to eat less, which can make you less likely to overeat.
3. Help with cravings
By diverting your attention, chewing gum before and after a meal reduces cravings for snacks or sweets and helps prevent overeating. In fact, a study published in Frontiers in Psychology found that chewing gum can reduce impulsive eating in people of a healthy weight.
4. Reduces calorie intake
Another Louisiana State University study found that chewing gum helped participants reduce their daily caloric intake by 40 fewer calories by helping to control their appetite.
5. Burn calories
A University of Rhode Island study found that people who chewed gum burned more calories (by about 5 percent) than people who didn’t. dr. Patil says, “It can also help you burn a little more calories per day. However, it is not clear whether any of these effects would lead to long-term weight loss.
So don’t think that the pounds will melt away by chewing a few pieces of gum every day. Only following a low-calorie diet and regular physical activity can help you lose weight.
Which chewing gum is the best?
Gummies are usually high in sugar. However, there are also sugar-free chewing gums. Sugar-free gum is best because each piece usually contains less than 5 calories compared to 10 for regular gum. In fact, sugar-free gum is considered a “free food.” American Diabetes Association. But “free” doesn’t mean you can eat unlimited amounts of gum; some artificially sweetened chewing gums can cause weight gain if consumed in excess and have a laxative effect.
Are there any side effects of chewing gum?
Chewing gum has little or no nutritional benefit and should never be used as a substitute for regular meals. Here are its side effects:
- Tooth decay
- Jaw pain
- Stomach problems such as diarrhea
- Some people also experience digestive problems even if they consume sugar-free gums