Can Chewing Gum Help With Weight Loss?

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Gum — with its minty freshness and zingy flavors — seems like it could help with weight loss. It’s a welcome distraction from both hunger pangs and mindless snacking. Furthermore, some studies suggest chewing gum may help you stick to your eating plan by dialing down cravings and lowering calories from snacks.

Of course, like most other slim-down elixirs (See: apple cider vinegar, celery juice or cleanses), the research on gum’s effects on weight loss is still sparse — and shows mixed results.

Can Chewing Gum Help You Lose Weight?

In some scenarios, chewing gum can help with weight loss. Sometimes I recommend my weight-loss clients chew mint-flavored gum directly after meals or when they can clearly identify they are just bored and want to turn to food as an oral pacifier. The minty flavor can be enough to deter the desire for sweet foods and the constant chewing can be enough to alleviate boredom.

Chewing gum can be more like a bandage, though. The true questions you need to ask yourself are: Why do you desire something sweet after meals? Or, why are you bored? affirms Liz Wyosnick, RD.

Chewing gum as an attempt to lose weight is often just a mask for hunger. If someone is trying to satisfy a desire for food by having gum instead, it’s only a matter of time until things backfire. When we restrict our food intake it can lead to overeating, so this strategy of covering up hunger with chewing gum will not lead to long-term and sustainable changes in weight, says Michelle Pillepich, RD, MPH

Are There Any Risks For Weight Loss?

Chewing gum can stimulate the digestive process by tricking your brain into thinking it’s receiving food. This may lead to more food cravings later. It’s like getting the engine well oiled without any gas — the body eventually wants the fuel it is now primed to handle. Thus, it could be detrimental to weight loss in the long-term. Liz Wyosnick, RD

Hunger is your body’s desire for food, and while chewing gum might make you feel like you’re eating something in the moment, it’s not actually giving you the calories and nutrients your body needs. The next time you do eat, you might be more likely to overeat (or reach for what you wanted in the first place) to make up for the calories you’re missing. Michelle Pillepich, RD, MPH

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