You see them in convenience stores, in candy stores or groceries. You often use them to perhaps reduce tension, improve oral health, and ward off cravings or fight off sleepiness. Have you guessed what it is?
It’s your regular chewing gum. It comes in different variants and flavors, from minty to fruity sweet to the sugar-free kind.
Chewing gum may seem like an innocent, harmless habit. But it becomes problematic when people use it for weight loss. Because contrary to popular belief, chewing gum may actually contribute to weight gain. Chewing gum is not a healthy appetite suppressant.
A study published in the April issue of Eating Behaviors journal suggest that while chewing gum may help satisfy your sweet tooth without the excessive calories, it makes you more likely to eat junk food.
Why Quit the Chewing Gum Habit
Aside from potentially sabotaging your weight loss plan, here are 3 more reasons to quit the chewing gum habit now.
It spurs up stomach acid production.
Not only are you chewing empty calories, you are also making your stomach produce more acid, which only makes you hungrier and your appetite even harder to handle. And if you do not act on this, you are putting yourself in the path to having stomach ulcers.
It can give you IBS.
Chewing gum can give you IBS or irritable bowel syndrome. Swallowing air on a regular basis gives you a bloat that is worse than water retention, thus making you look fat as well. Aside from that, gum has artificial sugars, which can contribute to tooth decay and in some cases, diarrhea.
You might eat less nutritious food.
A University of Rhode Island study suggests that chewing gum can reduce calorie intake. It tricks you into thinking you are full. But taking mint-flavored gum does that and more: it limits your consumption of vegetables and fruits, according to a Time article. It is believed that the mint gum gives off an aftertaste, which makes these two healthy food groups taste bitter.
So if you are trying to lose weight and already cutting out food groups, chewing mint gum further sets you up for failure by making you not appreciate what’s actually good for you.
What to Do Instead of Chewing Gum for Weight Loss
When it comes to weight loss, ditch the gum and do these instead:
- Do portion control. Diets don’t work because people seem to think they have to give up food to be finally free of the pounds, but on the contrary, they just have to eat less of everything. Instead of two servings of rice or several slices of meat, try to portion it less.
- Do substitutions. When it comes to weight loss, it all boils down to doing the best at every given moment. For example, you love chocolates. Instead of reaching out to a fatty chocolate bar with caramel and nuts, why not go for a 60% dark chocolate variety. It provides you with the same satisfaction from a milk chocolate plus you get the full benefits of the cacao as it is more concentrated. Instead of sweetened tea, boil some green tea and then add ice. It’s your iced tea, but with more health benefits! Or, try Fat-Burning Juice Recipes.
- Weight loss is a two-prong process. Diet and exercise will always go together to provide you with a holistic way of dealing with the fat and keeping it off for good. Too busy to exercise? Don’t worry, there are super quick <link> 8-minute exercises that you can do at home.<link>
The next time you find yourself reaching for another piece of gum, stop. Remember that there are healthier ways to overcome food cravings. There are healthier and safer ways to lose weight.