Chewing gum: an easy tool for weight management
Chewing on a piece of sugarless gum can help cleanse the mouth of bacteria,
satisfy a sweet tooth, and reduce the urge to
eat. Keep a pack of sugarless gum
handy. It may help reduce cravings and control appetite.
A new study in UK found that chewing gum before an afternoon
snack can help reduce hunger, diminish cravings and control appetite among
individuals who limit their overall
calorie intake, media reported Thursday(23
In the 60-person study, participants aged 18 to 54 were asked to consume a
sweet and salty afternoon snack after chewing a sweetened gum or not chewing
gum. Hunger, appetite and cravings were rated immediately after lunch, and then
Chewing gum significantly reduced caloric intake by 25 calories and
specifically reduced sweet snack intake by 39 calories; salty snacks were
decreased by 11 calories.
Hunger and desire to eat were significantly suppressed by chewing gum at one,
two and three hour intervals after lunch.
In a similar study among individuals not actively trying to manage their
weight, chewing gum reduced snack intake by average of 36 calories.
Data combined from both studies found that chewing gum reduced intake of the
sweet snack in particular by an average of 47 calories.
Nutritionists say that even small changes in calories can have
an impact in the long term.
How does Chewing Gum Help
Chewing gum helps in three key ways:
Most of our bodies have been trained to have
after a meal. A piece of gum helps in replacing all the high calorie bad
stuff one would normally have eaten. One can be happy with a stick of gum
instead of a 500 calorie large chocolate chip cookie - and that’s a real good
If you have a piece of gum in your mouth it is much less
likely that you will graze or impulse eat. You will have to get rid of your
gum first, which is an extra step that helps stop the reactive eating.
Besides it has been found that when people are in
meetings or other group gatherings where food may be offered people tend
eat. Well, it is easy to decline by saying “no thanks, I just
put in a fresh piece of gum.” That seems like an easier excuse than “no
thanks, I am a big fat slob who really shouldn’t eat that doughnut.”
Now, this does not mean that a piece of gum should replace a piece of fruit
or any other good food for you, but if you need a little something to get you
past tough food situations a piece of gum just may be the ticket.
The next time you have the urge to reach into the cookie jar, try a piece of
gum instead for a zero-calorie treat.