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5 Reasons to Chew Gum – Weight Loss and 4 Other Surprising Benefits


chew gum weight loss

From time to time everyone loves to chew bubble gum.  It’s refreshing, gets rid of bad breath, and is delicious.  Did you know that you can chew gum for weight loss?  Read below for the science on how it can reduce cravings, along with a number of other surprising benefits.Chewing sugar free bubble gum can help with a wide range of benefits – everything from helping to keep you awake to helping you reduce your unhealthy cravings.  Below is a list of the benefits, along with the research that demonstrated the benefit.



Research from the University of Rhode Island and from Louisiana State University both showed that people who chewed gum before lunch consumed fewer calories than non-gum chewers.  Participants in the studies ate an average of 68 fewer calories during lunchtime.

Chewing gum also helped the participants of the study resist fattening treats and resist cravings for unhealthy foods.

Chewing gum can be used to help with weight loss in several instances:

  • It can be used as a replacement for dessert at the end of a meal, when you crave something sweet.
  • It can be chewed before a meal in order to reduce your appetite (like it was done in the study mentioned above).
  • Chew gum between meals if you’re craving a snack

It’s important to note that the gum used in the study was sugar free, mint flavored gum.  Mint is known as an appetite suppressant, and sugar free gum is usually 5 calories or less.  Some sugar loaded gums can have 30 calories or more, which can defeat the purpose of chewing it.



From Appetite 43 on their study of gum and cognitive performance:

“Recent reports suggest that enhancement of memory performance while chewing gum is a fairly robust phenomenon.  The processes underlying the effect are not known, but may involve glucose delivery, context-dependent effects and arousal mechanisms amongst others.  This brief commentary outlines the main findings from these studies and raises some issues regarding interpretation, methodology and future research directions.”



A randomized experiment was done with participants (average age 22 years old) where they were instructed to perform a complex task on separate days both while chewing and not chewing gum.

The baseline measure of the tasks performed was shown to be stressful to perform, with increases in Cortisol levels shown.  The experiment was performed in the morning and evening.

During both levels of stress, the chewing gum condition was associated with significantly better alertness and reduced state anxiety, stress, and Cortisol levels.

Overall performance was also significantly better when the subjects were chewing gum.

The mechanism underlying these effects is unknown, but may involve improved cerebral blood flow and/or effects secondary to performance improvement during gum chewing.



The proposition that chewing gum can improve alertness was investigated via both physiological and self-rated measures. The Pupillographic Sleepiness Test (PST) provided a measure of pupillary unrest (PUI); a physiological index of daytime sleepiness.

Chewing gum reduced the extent of sleepiness as measured by both PUI and self-rated sleepiness.

Specifically, in comparison with sham chewing and no chewing controls, the chewing gum condition significantly limited the increase in pupillary unrest following the 11-minute PST within a darkened laboratory: a finding indicating moderation of the daytime sleepiness increase for the chewing gum condition.

In addition, there was some evidence that chewing gum (relative to the no-chewing condition only) moderated the increase in a self-rated measure of sleepiness (Stanford Sleepiness Scale). However, there was no evidence that chewing gum moderated the decrease in self-rated alertness (Bond-Lader Visual Analogue Mood Scale).

Although the precise mechanism underpinning the effect of chewing gum is unclear, the reduction in daytime sleepiness may be underpinned via heightened cerebral activity following the chewing of gum or the arousing effects of mint flavor.



Chewing stimulates saliva production.  Saliva contains minerals that can repair small cavities and other superficial damage to the teeth.

This only works with sugar free gum.  Gum with sugar in it actually damages the teeth.  Bacteria found in your mouth eat sugar and poop acid that damages your teeth.  Any time you eat something with sugar, try to drink water afterwards and swish it through your teeth before swallowing, as this can get rid of some of the excess sugar that’s remained on your teeth, and will help reduce calories.



Source: “Chewing gum and cognitive performance: a case of a functional food with function but no food?” from Appetite 43 (2004) 215–216

Human Cognitive Neuroscience Unit, Division of Psychology, North Umbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8ST, UK  Received 10 June 2004; revised 15 July 2004; accepted 26 July 2004

Source: “Chewing gum alleviates negative mood and reduces cortisol during acute laboratory psychological stress” from Physiology & Behavior, Volume 97, Issues 3-4, 22 June 2009, Pages 304-312

Source: “The effect of chewing gum on physiological and self-rated measures of alertness and daytime sleepiness” from Physiology & Behavior


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