Why Chewing Gum Might Help You Lose Weight

So much about losing weight can be hard. Let's start with food: suddenly, your favorite snacks are either off-limits — reserved for what diet experts call "special occasions," a term that, unfortunately, does not equal "every day at 3 p.m." — or, you can basically eat a Tic-Tac-sized portion of that cupcake. And then there's exercise. Sure, there are athletes who are trying to lose a few pounds so they can get to the finish line faster or maneuver with more power on the court, and for them, getting in enough cardio and weight training is no biggie. But for the rest of us, it means that we have to propel ourselves from our couches to a torture device known as a treadmill, where we will work to huff and puff the calories away.

But here's one weight-loss tactic that's not hard at all: chewing gum. According to Healthline, popping a stick of sugarless gum in your mouth in between meals could help you feel full and fight off cravings. In fact, another study, published in the medical journal Frontiers in Psychology, found that chewing gum reduced the appetite of people who had been fasting — for 10 hours!

People who chew gum eat fewer calories during the day

When you're jonesing for Doritos and you stick some Trident in your mouth instead, you're going to consume fewer calories...at that moment. But over the course of a day, won't the snack cravings eventually get the better of you? Not necessarily, according to a study conducted by the University of Rhode Island, which compared the calorie intake of people who chewed gum in between breakfast and lunch to subjects who did not. Those who had gum in between meals were less hungry at lunch, eating an average of 68 fewer calories at that meal, which they did not make up for later on in the day (via WebMD).

According to Keri Gans, a registered dietitian and nutritionist, chewing gum may be the perfect dieting hack for people who are taking in excess calories because they snack when bored. "If you're someone who works from home and you find yourself wandering into the kitchen too many times, or if you keep visiting an office kitchen that's packed with snacks, chewing a piece of gum may help," Gans told CNN. "It's putting something in your mouth, it's keeping it busy, it has this great flavor in it, and you might be less likely to reach for food ... or that piece of chocolate on your co-worker's desk."

While popping some gum is fine, just keep in mind, this tactic may not work for everyone, and there are many health factors that play into weight loss, such as sleep, healthy eating habits, and exercise. However, if you're up for trying it, we say go for it.