There have been several studies on both sides of this debate. On the pro gum side, studies show that chewing gum can help reduce your daily calorie consumption by as much as 50 calories a day.
Chewing gum when you’re most likely to snack on unhealthy foods can act as a deterrent. For example, when the mid-afternoon lull hits we tend to crave a sweet or salty snack. Instead of hustling to the nearest vending machine for a treat, a piece of gum may just ward off your cravings.
However, on the other side of the debate, studies have shown that although gum chewers may eat fewer meals or snacks, they tend to consume more when they do eat. The larger meals counteracted any benefit they received from eating fewer meals.
This side of the debate also warns about the negative effects sugar-free gum can have on your health like bloating, jaw muscle imbalances, overproduction of stomach acid and dental erosion.
Although I believe chewing sugar-free gum can help deter you from mindless eating, I believe you can get the same results in other, less controversial and healthier, ways.
Here are 3 ways to cut back on calories and lose weight without chewing gum:
Consume More Water: When the urge hits for an unhealthy snack, grab a big glass of water. Tell yourself you can have the snack after you finish the entire glass of water. You may be surprised to find that you no longer feel hungry or have the same cravings.
Keep Healthy Snacks at Hand: Keep healthy snacks with you at all times. Snacking isn’t necessarily bad for the scale, it’s what you snack on that can affect your weight positively or negatively.
Drink Herbal Tea. I find a warm cup of tea works just as well at curbing my snacking as chewing gum and herbal tea is not only good for you, but also has zero calories!
If you do choose to chew sugar-free gum as a means of controlling your appetite and aiding your weight loss, don’t go overboard. Keep your gum chewing to one or two pieces a day.
Do you use sugar-free gum as a weight loss tool? Does it work for you? What do you do to help reduce calories, cut unhealthy snacking and eliminate mindless eating?