Do you recall how, whenever we asked for gum as children, our mother would refuse us, saying that it would get stuck in the throat or cause cavities? Well, due to this, gum has had a bad rap for many. While it has its cons, there are varying thoughts on whether or not chewing gum can help in weight loss.
Health Shots got in touch with nutritionist Dr Rohini Patil, MBBS, to understand if chewing gum is good for weight loss or not.
Can chewing gum speed up your weight loss?
Many people think that chewing gum can help them lose weight. Some say it keeps their cravings at bay or helps shape their face by toning their muscles, while some claim it helps them avoid mindless munching. But what’s the science behind these beliefs? According to some research, chewing gum may not result in considerable weight loss, but it may help you burn a few additional calories.
Here are weight loss benefits of chewing gum:
1. Increases heart rate
According to Dr Patil, “Chewing gum while walking has been demonstrated to boost heart rate and improve calorie burn.” According to a study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science, chewing gum while walking can stimulate people to walk more quickly and exert a little more energy, which could assist people avoid gaining weight as they age.
2. Reduce appetite
Chewing gum may decrease hunger or appetite, heighten feelings of fullness, and encourage you to eat less, which may make binge eating less likely.
Also, read: Weight loss can result in saggy skin, but it can be prevented! Here’s how
3. Help with cravings
By diverting your attention, chewing a piece of gum before and after a meal will reduce the desire to go for snacks or sweet treats and help you avoid overeating. In fact, a study published in Frontiers in Psychology indicated that chewing gum may decrease impulsive eating in people of healthy weight.
4. Cuts calorie intake
Another Louisiana State University study discovered that chewing gum helped participants reduce their daily calorie consumption to 40 less calories by helping to control their appetite.
5. Burn calories
A University of Rhode Island study found that people who chewed gum burn more calories (by around 5 percent) than people who did not. Dr Patil says, “It may also help you burn slightly more calories per day. However, it’s unclear whether any of these effects would result in long-term weight loss.”
Also, read: 7 ways to boost your metabolism for speedy weight loss
Therefore, don’t think that chewing a few pieces of gum each day will melt off the pounds. Only when you follow a low-calorie diet and engage in regular physical activity can help you lose weight.
Which gum is best?
Gums usually have a lot of sugar in them. However, there are sugar free gums too. A sugar free gum is best because each piece typically contains fewer than 5 calories as opposed to 10 for regular gum. In fact, sugar free gum is regarded as a “free food” by The American Diabetes Association. But “free” doesn’t mean you can eat unlimited amounts of gum; some artificially sweetened gum 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 benefits, so it should never be used as a substitute for regular meals. Here are its side effects:
- Tooth decay
- Jaw pain
- Stomach issues like diarrhoea
- Some people also face digestive issues even with sugar free gums