Chewing on a piece of sugarless gum can help cleanse the mouth of bacteria, satisfy a sweet tooth, and reduce the urge to eat. Keep a pack of sugarless gum handy. It may help reduce cravings and control appetite.
A new study in UK found that chewing gum before an afternoon snack can help reduce hunger, diminish cravings and control appetite among individuals who limit their overall calorie intake, media reported Thursday(23 Oct 2007)
In the 60-person study, participants aged 18 to 54 were asked to consume a sweet and salty afternoon snack after chewing a sweetened gum or not chewing gum. Hunger, appetite and cravings were rated immediately after lunch, and then hourly.
- Chewing gum significantly reduced caloric intake by 25 calories and specifically reduced sweet snack intake by 39 calories; salty snacks were decreased by 11 calories.
- Hunger and desire to eat were significantly suppressed by chewing gum at one, two and three hour intervals after lunch.
- Participants reported that chewing gum improved their mood by reducing anxiety and stress, and increasing contentment and relaxation.
- In a similar study among individuals not actively trying to manage their weight, chewing gum reduced snack intake by average of 36 calories.
- Data combined from both studies found that chewing gum reduced intake of the sweet snack in particular by an average of 47 calories.
Nutritionists say that even small changes in calories can have an impact in the long term.
How does Chewing Gum Help
Chewing gum helps in three key ways:
- Most of our bodies have been trained to have sugar after a meal. A piece of gum helps in replacing all the high calorie bad stuff one would normally have eaten. One can be happy with a stick of gum instead of a 500 calorie large chocolate chip cookie – and that’s a real good thing.
- If you have a piece of gum in your mouth it is much less likely that you will graze or impulse eat. You will have to get rid of your gum first, which is an extra step that helps stop the reactive eating.
- Besides it has been found that when people are in meetings or other group gatherings where food may be offered people tend to over eat. Well, it is easy to decline by saying “no thanks, I just put in a fresh piece of gum.” That seems like an easier excuse than “no thanks, I am a big fat slob who really shouldn’t eat that doughnut.”
Now, this does not mean that a piece of gum should replace a piece of fruit or any other good food for you, but if you need a little something to get you past tough food situations a piece of gum just may be the ticket.
The next time you have the urge to reach into the cookie jar, try a piece of gum instead for a zero-calorie treat.