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The Benefits of Chewing Gum

Posted Mar 19 2008 6:03pm 1 Comment
Last week the Diet Blog asked the question “Chewing Gum for Weight Loss?” to which I respond, “Heck yes!”

I currently have a pack of Wrigley Extra in my car, my desk and my backpack. This gum helps me in three key ways:

  1. My body has been trained to have sugar after a meal. I can’t help it right now, when I eat I need to have a dessert or something else sweet. I’m hoping over time that I get over that but for now a piece of gum replaces all the bad stuff I would normally have eaten. I have conditioned my mind to be as happy with a stick of gum as I am a 500 calorie large chocolate chip cookie - and that’s a real good thing.
  2. When I have a piece of gum in my mouth it is much less likely that I will graze or impulse eat. This is because I have to think about getting rid of my gum first, which is an extra step that helps stop the reactive eating.
  3. I have found that when I am in meetings or other group gatherings where food may be offered that I can more easily 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.”

I’m certainly not suggesting that a piece of gum should replace a piece of fruit or any other good for you food, but if you need a little something to get you past tough food situations a piece of gum just may be the ticket.

Comments (1)
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Great thoughts on gum! I recommend sugarless gum to my clients who are trying to resist that urge to eat something when they're not really hungry. The American Dietetic Association (ADA) found other benefits to sugarless gum, including a study published in Appetitie (2002) that showed gum chewing improves the ability to learn, retain and retrieve information. The ADA also mentioned psychiatrists and psychologists say people chew gum to relieve boredom and reduce tension/stress. These are two other reasons we may go for food when we're not really hungry. And of course there's improvement in oral health from sugarless gum chewing, such as reduced plaque and cavities. Happy chewing!

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