A study conducted at the University of Rhode Island states that chewing gum is effective in reducing calorie intake and improving energy expenditure, thus promoting weight loss. While this study alone (which by the way was funded by Wrigley’s) is by no means 100% factual, chewing gum can help with weight management in a number of ways:
- It prevents boredom eating. If you are used to a higher calorie diet, you may find chewing gum comforting and satiating.
- Chewing gum when you have a sweet craving can prevent you from reaching for a chocolate bar and adding 250kcal to your daily intake.
- Chewing gum while cooking will prevent you from tasting or snacking on the food while you work which can save you from consuming calories you would not normally account for.
- Chewing gum while watching TV or focussing on something else can help prevent ‘mindless’ eating, where you are likely to eat more than you realise.
- Some people find chewing to be stress relieving which can improve mood and prevent emotional eating.
It is important to note:
- While it may only be a small change to your routine, cutting back on a few calories every day does add up in the long run and if you are capable of making one small positive change into a habit, you can focus on another area of your lifestyle – for example, simply taking the stairs instead of riding in the lift every day.
- Chewing too much gum is associated with intestinal issues such as bloating and diarrhoea so don’t overdo it.
- Do not chew gym while you are physically active.
- Do not chew gum as an alternative to healthy snacks or use it as a way to cut an excessive and unhealthy amount of calories from your diet.
Melanson K, Chewing Gum can Reduce Calorie Intake and Increase Energy Expenditure, University of Rhode Island, 2009.