Are you a constant snacker? The calories in those “little snacks” can quickly add up to excess pounds, particularly if you choose high carb treats as your snack food of choice. If you’re having problems getting your snacking tendency under control, there may be a simple solution – buy a pack of gum. According to a new study, chewing gum can not only reduce the frequency of snacking, but it can also play an important role in a healthy weight loss program.
Chewing gum for weight loss: The study
This study which was presented at the annual meeting of the Experimental Biology group showed that chewing gum for weight loss can have a variety of powerful benefits. A group of one hundred and fifteen men and women who were allowed to chew sugar-free gum before being offered unlimited snacks reported reduced feelings of hunger and less desire for high carbohydrate snacks and other sugary foods than those who didn’t chew gum. They also consumed significantly fewer total snack calories as well as carbohydrate calories after chewing sugar-free chewing gum. The participants also reported feeling more energetic in the hours after chewing the gum.
Why does chewing gum for weight loss have benefits?
Although the exact mechanism by which chewing gum decreases appetite and the desire for high carbohydrate snacks isn’t clear, the sweet taste could trick the body into thinking it consumed carbs when it actually didn’t. This may be a positive when it comes to controlling appetite, but could also be a negative since some studies have shown that artificial sweeteners can actually stimulate the desire for more carbs. It’s also possible that in certain people snacking is a strategy to reduce stress which can lead to mindless eating. Previous studies have shown that chewing gum helps to relieve stress and anxiety. Although the mechanism by which chewing gum for weight loss works isn’t known, previous studies have shown similar results.
Are there risks associated with chewing gum for weight loss?
One area of concern when it comes to chewing gum for weight loss is the type of sugar-free sweetener used. Some gums are sweetened with sorbitol, a sweetener that’s not absorbed by the body. Excessive use of sorbitol can cause significant diarrhea and severe weight loss and should be used only in limited quantities. The amount of sorbitol necessary to bring about diarrhea varies from person to person. If you chew sorbitol gum and find you’re experiencing diarrhea, discontinue it immediately.
The bottom line?
Chewing on gum for weight loss may help to minimize excessive snacking, at least according to this most recent study. Like any other weight control strategy, it’s best used in moderation.