Chewing gum can, in theory, help you to stay trim. Backed up by research, chewing gum elevates your metabolic rate. It also allows your mouth to stay fresh and enjoy different flavors, which can be especially useful when you are dieting. There are several considerations, however, that make gum chewing not the best weight loss or weight maintenance strategy.
Research on Gum Chewing and Metabolism
Chewing sugar-free gum has its advantages. Besides keeping your breath fresh, it raises your metabolic rate. Research into gum chewers has shown that chewing sugar-free gum 100 times each minute can elevate your metabolism enough to burn 70 calories per hour. This is a 20% rise in metabolism.
What is important to understand about this research is that chewing gum 100 times each minute is a pretty rapid pace of chewing. You may not be able to do this or even want to do this when you are working or socializing. So, chewing gum in and of itself is not really a practical weight loss strategy.
Additionally, in need of further research is whether or not it is actually healthy for you to chew gum constantly. When you chew gum, you swallow air and also give your stomach the indication that food is coming. This prevents your organs from getting much needed rest. Although it is not like eating food, it is still constant anticipation and unrest for your organs and jaws.
Chewing Gum to Stay Trim
If your goal is to use gum chewing as a strategy for weight loss, be sure to allow downtime for your mouth and body. If you have a sweet tooth and are in the habit of eating desserts after each meal, try chewing sugar-free gum instead of eating high-calorie foods. Choose your favorite flavor and see if chewing gum for an hour will relieve your urge to eat dessert.
Also, when you are chewing gum, you may be less inclined to snack constantly or eat when you are not hungry. When people offer you food, you may be more likely to turn food down unless you have a quick way of discarding your gum.
Even though studies have shown the rise in metabolism, unless you are chewing at high speeds and at every moment of the day, this will not really translate into significant weight loss across a year's time. Even if you chew gum 24 hours per day at the recommended speed based on the research, you will still only lose about 10 pounds in a year. Not only is constant gum chewing impractical because of the need for sleep and other daily tasks, there are other strategies, such as exercise and calorie reduction, that will help you to meet your weight loss goals faster.
Enjoy sugar-free gum as a way to freshen your breath, as a substitute for sweets after each meal and to replace excessive snacking.