Does Chewing Gum Help You Lose Weight?

You probably have your favorite flavor when it comes to your gum of choice—you may go classic peppermint, spearmint, cinnamon, or bubble gum. The flavors are endless, but the pleasure of chewing gum doesn’t just stop at which flavor you pick up.

In fact, many people rely on chewing gum for weight loss. Some say it helps them control cravings. For others, it keeps them from eating otherwise calorie-laden junk. But the debate about whether chewing gum is a legit (and healthy) weight loss strategy is more encompassing than a “yes” or “no” answer.

“There is mixed data on whether chewing gum can produce weight loss,” says Danielle Staub, MS, RD, CDN, Clinical Dietitian at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Breaking down the different sides of the debate, let’s look at the evidence that supports—or refutes—whether chewing gum can help you lose weight.

First, the positives: evidence that chewing gum supports weight loss.

“Chewing gum may aid in weight loss by reducing cravings and subsequent calorie intake, increasing energy expenditure and by reducing stress levels,” says Staub.

One of chewing gum’s biggest benefits is its ability to help with behavior modification when it comes to mindless eating.

“For some people, it can be really helpful in weight loss if you struggle with mindless eating. If you gravitate toward pantry-based items that are full of empty calories, then that’s a great time to swap that behavior for a piece of gum,” says Jessica Crandall Snyder, RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist at Vital RD.

Or if you’re a big snacker (who especially craves sweet things), gum can be a no-brainer to cut sugar cravings and simply keep your mouth preoccupied.

“Chewing gum may be a useful tool for someone who constantly feels the need to snack or who frequently engages in emotional eating. It can be used to distract someone from mindlessly eating outside of scheduled eating times and can potentially decrease cravings for sweets,” says Staub.

“For people who tend to eat when they are stressed, chewing a piece of gum could offer a good (calorie-free) solution,” she adds.

RELATED: Get lean for life with this 14-day flat belly plan.

Does chewing gum make you fat or stifle weight loss progress?

But chewing gum to help you lose weight may also come with some negatives.

“According to one study, chewing gum might potentially discourage consumption of fruit and reduce diet quality,” says Staub.

Of course, if you’re skipping meals and hoping that gum will offer some sort of relief from hunger, this is not a healthy weight-loss strategy.

“For some people chewing gum between meals can help to reduce grazing and manage cravings. However, many people benefit from eating planned snacks during the day as a way to stabilize energy and prevent cravings,” says Staub. “We should make sure to not swap out purposeful snacks for a stick of chewing gum as this may derail weight loss efforts in the long run.”

And gum can also mess with your gut.

“For those who have digestive complaints such as bloating or gas, chewing gum might not be the best option. Chewing frequently introduces more air into your GI tract,” says Staub.

While sugar-free gum is also low in calories, the artificial sweeteners found in most are also controversial when it comes to gut health.

“Most gums contain artificial sweeteners which can disturb the gut microbiome, and possibly lead to increased hunger signals and increased fat storage,” says Monica Auslander Moreno, MS, RD, LD/N, nutrition consultant for RSP Nutrition.

If your sugar-free gum contains sugar alcohols as a sweetener, it could also leave your stomach upset.

“Furthermore, sugar-free gum contains sugar alcohols, which can ferment in the GI tract and cause gas, bloating and alteration in bowel movements,” says Staub.

Which gum is the best?

If you’re looking to work on mindful eating between or after meals, stick with mint gum.

“Mint flavored gum has more palate-cleansing properties (that could reduce cravings),” says Crandall Snyder.

While you may want to stay away from those with artificial sweeteners, those with sugar alcohols may still be the best choice depending on your stomach. But if they bloat you, go with a gum that has the least amount of added sugar.

“Sugar-free gum is a good option if you can tolerate sugar alcohols. There are natural gums on the market that have minimal added sugar as well,” says Staub.

Bottom line: “There is nothing inherent, ingredient-wise, in gum that would foster weight loss,” says Auslander Moreno.

However, if you can swap out a “bad” behavior (like mindless or emotional eating) for one that saves you from crushing extra calories or added sugar, chewing gum could have an impact on your weight loss.


” may be good for some, but not for others when it comes to weight loss. It’s important to note that chewing gum on its own is unlikely to result in significant weight loss unless you also work on improving dietary habits and incorporating routine exercise,” says Staub.

If you’re truly looking to lose weight, popping in a stick of gum simply won’t cut it in the long run.

“Planning ahead meals and snacks can be extremely helpful for people trying to lose weight,” says Staub. “Eating on a regular schedule and avoiding meal skipping is also important for keeping stable energy and reducing cravings during the day, as is drinking plenty of water.”

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Why Does Sugar-Free Gum Cause Gas and Bloating?

Q: Why do I get gas and bloating from sugar-free gum?

Alicia Romano, MS, RD, LDN, Registered Dietitian, Frances Stern Nutrition Center, Tufts Medical Center explains:

A: “The gas and bloating you experience when chewing sugar-free gum is not uncommon. For one thing, we naturally swallow a lot of air while chewing gum—sugar-free or not. Extra air swallowed can mean extra gas. But the main reason for bloating when you chew sugarless gum is the presence of sweeteners called sugar alcohols.

“Sugar alcohols are carbohydrates that are slowly and incompletely absorbed in the body. They are found in a number of sugar-free products, including gum. The most common sugar alcohols you will likely see include xylitol, mannitol, sorbitol, maltitol and erythritol. Fermentation and incomplete digestion of these sweeteners in the large intestine (colon) lead to gas, bloating, cramping, and diarrhea. Everyone’s tolerance is different, and usually gas and bloating happens when you consume large quantities at one time.

“To identify sugar alcohols, review the ingredients and look for anything ending in “ol.” Take an inventory of all sugar-free foods in your diet and identify the sugar alcohols to estimate the total amount you are taking in.

“My suggestion would be to keep track of just how much gum per day you are chewing and perhaps start cutting back. You can also chew sugar-free gums that do not contain sugar alcohols. You do not have to ban these foods from your diet altogether, but it is worthwhile to find your personal threshold—whether that is a few pieces per day to a few pieces per week.”

Feeling self-conscious about your puffed-out belly?

Before you torture yourself with a fad diet and stomach crunches, consider that your “fat” belly may actually just be bloated — and it could be caused by a few common eating and drinking habits.

Take a look at these 10 everyday habits that contribute to belly bloat.

1. You drink through a straw.

Think of it like blowing air into a balloon: every time you suck your beverage through a straw, you’re pumping air into your gut. The process is made even worse when you drink carbonated beverages. Ditch the straw and sip your drink slowly from a glass or a bottle.

2. You chew gum.

Air gets swallowed when you chew gum, which leads to bloat and discomfort.

3. You eat too quickly.

Slow down! Wafting down your food can cause air to get trapped in your tummy, which brings on bloat. Take your time to bite, chew, and enjoy the taste, texture and temperature of your food. This kind of mindful eating might even help you drop a few pounds. When you savor every bite, you may need less to eat.

Related: Are you an (unofficial) speed-eating champ? 4 reasons you need to slow down

4. You don’t move after you eat.

Although you may think you’re multitasking by eating breakfast in the car, lunch at your desk, and dinner in front of the TV, you’re actually being counterproductive because you’re slowing down the digestion process. Get up and move after eating a meal or snack —even if it’s just walking around your office.

Related: Feeling bloated? How to deflate your belly in just one week

5. You eat gassy fruits and veggies.

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The veggies that produce the most gas (and bloat!) are among the healthiest you can choose like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage — all members of the cancer-fighting cruciferous family. Fruits like grapes and melon also bring on gas, but they also provide multiple benefits. Don’t skimp on these foods simply to button your jeans. But do watch portion sizes and try not to eat too many different kinds at once.

Abdominal Pain In A Woman; ID 167919227; PO: today / Image Point Fr

6. You’re not drinking enough water.

Water not only hydrates us when we’re thirsty, but it also plays an essential role in moving foods along in our system. When you don’t drink enough, your body actual retains fluids and causes bloat.

7. You eat artificial sweeteners.

See #2 above.

Certain sweeteners and foods that contain sugar alcohols can cause gas, bloat, and in some cases, diarrhea. Read food labels to see if sugar alcohols are in your food. Look for words that end in the letters “-ol” such as sorbitol, mannitol and xylitol —common ingredients in diet products, gums, and energy bars.

8. You overdo the fiber.

Most Americans don’t get enough fiber, but those troubled by belly bloat may be taking in too much. Introduce fiber slowly to reap its benefits without the bloat.

Related: 11 foods that make you feel better — an hour later

9. You go too heavy on salty foods.

Salt acts like a magnet to water so go easy on foods that are naturally high in salt like pickles, olives, and capers. Read labels of highly processed foods to check sodium content. Our new Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests that we try to limit sodium intake to around 2,300 mg/day. Keep in mind, one teaspoon of salt has around 2,300 mg. of sodium. (Still salting food before you taste it? Time to kick the habit!)

10. You eat a lot of frozen yogurt.

Although this treat could be low in calories in a small serving, some people order the pail size! When yogurt spins around in that soft-serve machine air gets incorporated into it —and then into your gut! (I always thought that a great topping for frozen dessert should be crumbled up antacids!)

The bottom line

Foods that cause bloating in one person may not do the same in someone else, says Dr. Erica Sonnenburg, researcher at Stanford University School of Medicine and co-author of “The Good Gut: Taking Control of Your Weight, Your Mood, and Your Long Term Health.”

“It’s best to listen to your body and try different types of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and beans to see how these foods make you feel, and if you feel good, then keep going, adding more over time.”

“It’s important to remember that gas production is normal and in fact, is a sign that your gut bacteria are hard at work,”says Sonnenburg.

Related:Nice abs! 10 foods for a flatter stomach

Meanwhile, a steamy mug of peppermint, chamomile, or ginger tea has been known to reduce bloat and simultaneously soothe your belly.

Like these tips? Share them with your friends on Pinterest!

For more from Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN go to Better Than Dieting.

When the midday munchies strike, the battle between a bag of pretzels and a stick of gum begins. And if you want to lose weight, you probably opt for the gum, relegating the pretzels to the snacking corner of shame.

But will keeping your mouth busy with something that has little-to-no calories really help you shed pounds?

It depends. First off, chewing gum can be very helpful when used as a behavioral tool, says Susan Bowerman, R.D., director of worldwide nutrition, education, and training at Herbalife.

For example, if you’re a stress eater, reaching for gum instead of pretzels when you’re on deadline can calm your nerves without the extra calories. Bowerman says that the simple act of chewing is calming for some people. (Hit the reset button—and burn fat like crazy with The Body Clock Diet!)

Similarly, if you crave something sweet after finishing a meal, popping gum rather than spooning dessert can cut your calorie count. Plus, she says, the post-meal gum will start to act as a “signal” over time that you don’t need to eat anymore.

RELATED: 6 Reasons You Haven’t Been Able to Get Rid of Your Belly Fat

But while the idea of swapping a snack or dessert for a piece of sugar-free gum sounds easy enough, artificially sweetened gum might actually lead to consuming more calories later in the day, says Lisa DeFazio, R.D. The artificial sweeteners in the gum, such as aspartame, taste sweet to your taste buds, so your body starts preparing for an intake of carbohydrates and calories. But because the gum has no calories, nothing ends up going into your stomach and you’re left craving sugar, she says. On the other hand, chewing gum with actual sugar and more calories raises your blood sugar a bit and might lead to less cravings later, DeFazio says. But chewing on a block of Bubblicious Bubble Gum with roughly six grams of sugar per serving is not a great idea for your waistline (or your teeth), so chew at your own risk.

Another con: Chewing artificially-sweetened gum can upset your gastrointestinal track, leading to bloating, gas, and diarrhea. While these symptoms don’t directly affect weight loss, they can definitely make it harder to reach your goal weight by making you feel uncomfortable and sick.

RELATED: 6 Bedtime Habits That Will Help You Lose Weight

So before choosing gum the next time you’re faced with a midday snacking dilemma, ask yourself whether you’re actually hungry, just bored, or stressed.

If you’re hungry, then you shouldn’t turn to gum. Instead, DeFazio recommends reaching for a balanced snack, such as an apple and peanut butter or carrots and hummus. Both of these combinations include ample protein and fiber to keep you full and are crunchy to satisfy that need to chew.

See some of the craziest diets people have tried to lose weight.

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If you’re bored or stressed, well, it looks like the choice is yours. Bowerman says chewing gum can help calm your nerves and keep you from stress-eating extra cals. But if you find that sugar-free gum leaves you wanting more sugar or upsets your stomach, try drinking seltzer with a splash of juice to satisfy your sweet tooth instead, says Defazio. When you’re tempted to stress eat, take a break by going for a walk or closing your eyes for a moment and listening to music.

Elizabeth Bacharach Elizabeth Bacharach is the Assistant Editor at Women’s Health where she writes and edits content about mental and physical health, food and nutrition, sexual health, and lifestyle trends across and the print magazine.

Chewing gum is a loyal friend; always there, lurking at the bottom of your bag in times of need (during a date after a particularly garlicky dish, for example). And it’s not as if you swallow it, so it can’t be that bad for you, right?

Actually, those little sticks of gum – when you think about how frequently you chew on them – mask a whole load of calories you never knew you were putting in your body. In fact, after finding out quite how many it is in the long run you might consider chewing on a mint leaf to eradicate bad breath in future.

Each piece of sugar-free gum ranges between 2 and 5 calories, which doesn’t sound like a lot on its own. But you don’t just have one, usually, and the folks over at Metro have calculated that based on having two pieces of gum every day for a year, you’re racking up anywhere between 1,344 and 3,360 calories annually – just on gum.

Yeah, a lot more than you’d think.


If you’ve got more of a sweet tooth and prefer the full-sugar variety, you can add on an extra 5 calories, making each little piece between 7 and 10 calories a pop.

There is a saving grace, though: depending on how long you chew for, you could be burning off the calories you’re taking in. According to the Mayo clinic you’d burn 11 calories chewing for an hour, so if you keep the gum moving in your mouth for anything between 15 minutes and half an hour for sugar-free, and half an hour to an hour for full sugar, you’re almost in minus calories. That’ll make you chew for longer, won’t it?

And then there’s the calories burned walking to the shop to get the gum in the first place…

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Catriona Harvey-Jenner Digital Features Editor Cat is Cosmopolitan UK’s features editor covering women’s issues, health and current affairs.

7 Myths About The 3 Day Diet

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How would you like to lose 10 pounds in just three days?

Sign me up, right?

Well, the creators and supporters of the 3 day diet have been enticing people with this claim so much that it’s been generating tons of popularity on social media sites like Facebook and Pinterest.

I can see why, who wouldn’t want to try something that advertises those results?

But you guys know me, I’m Mr. Skeptical. You’ll need to show me the research before I believe extraordinary claims like that.

So I did a little research myself to see what the 3 day diet is all about.

What is the 3 Day Diet?

There are several variations on the 3 day diet out there, but they all promise to help you lose 10 pounds each week for a cumulative total of 30 pounds every month.

Whoa, those are some serious numbers.

Healthy weight loss goals should be focused on losing about one to two pounds every week by following a careful diet and exercising regularly.

So who created this seemingly amazing plan that promises you’ll lose five times that amount?

Some people believe the creation of the 3 day diet came from word-of-mouth and junk mail. In the 1980s, it became known as the Fax Diet because “offices everywhere were inundated with anonymous faxes touting this ‘miracle diet’”.

The 3 day diet also goes by names such as the ice cream diet, the Military, Army, or Navy diet, and the Mayo Clinic, American Heart Association, or Cleveland Clinic diet. All of these institutions firmly deny being associated with the diet and do not endorse its usage, which sets off a big red flag for me.

If I created a successful weight loss plan, I would definitely want the credit…unless it didn’t work. And if these health conscious institutions don’t want to be associated with the diet, maybe there’s a reason.

After some careful scrutinizing, I discovered 7 myths about the 3 day diet that I think you should know about too.

1. The Food is Healthy and Nutritious

While some meals on extreme diets like the Master Cleanse only let you drink a lemon water based concoction, and others make you only drink fruit juice or meal replacement shakes, the 3 day diet includes inexpensive ingredients and easy to follow meals to specifically eat during breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Sorry, you’re not allowed any snacks though, not even healthy ones.

According to the Military Diet, you’ll be eating lean protein like tuna, healthy eggs, fruits like banana and grapefruit, and whole grain toast. I can get on board with that.

But wait a second…

On day two you’re supposed to eat two hot dogs for dinner. And then eat vanilla ice cream for dessert. Those are two very options I wouldn’t expect to find in a short-term diet.

Here, have a look:

BREAKFAST 1/2 grapefruit1 slice of toast2 tablespoons of peanut butter 1 cup coffee or tea (with caffeine) 1 egg 1 slice of toast 1/2 banana 1 cup coffee or tea (with caffeine) 5 saltine crackers 1 slice of cheddar cheese 1 small apple 1 cup coffee or tea (with caffeine)
LUNCH 1/2 cup of tuna 1 slice of toast 1 cup coffee or tea (with caffeine) 1 cup of cottage cheese 1 hard boiled egg 5 saltine crackers 1 hard boiled egg (or cooked however you like)1 slice of toast
DINNER 3 ounces of any type of meat 1 cup of green beans 1/2 banana 1 small apple 1 cup of vanilla ice cream 2 hot dogs (without bun)1 cup of broccoli 1/2 cup of carrots 1/2 banana 1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream 1 cup of tuna 1/2 banana 1 cup of vanilla ice cream

Where’s the logic in this type of eating exactly?

Not only does dinner on day two sound way off base, but take a look at dinner on day three: tuna, banana, and ice cream, anyone? That combination makes me want to gag just thinking about it.

So as you can see, this meal plan is less than ideal.

Contrary to what you may think, you don’t have to limit yourself to tuna, eggs, and crackers to lose weight! You can lose weight and be healthy by eating an abundance of good-for-you food.

My big issue here is that the 3 day diet doesn’t set you up for long-term success. It’s entirely unsustainable and does nothing to teach you good long-term habits.

Bottom line: you’re never learning how to eat healthy food when you follow a diet like this. Your body becomes so used to being on an up-and-down, yo-yo diet cycle instead of thriving on a complete, stable way of eating.

2. It’s Only Dieting for Three Days

The 3 day diet is actually a misnomer because in reality you’re actually on a 7 day diet for the entire month. Let me explain.

You’re supposed to follow the strictly regimented diet for three days, that part’s true. But then you’re also given four days ‘off’.

No, these are not cheat days, not at all. Instead, you have to make sure to eat a low carb diet complete with lean protein and veggies.

Except when you’re on the 3 day diet, you have zero cheat days. I don’t know about you, but even though I follow a healthy diet, I need to allow a little wiggle room for the occasional pizza night or date night at a butter-loving French restaurant.

And what are you supposed to do after the month is over?

Chances are, you’ll revert back to your old habits.

3. You Don’t Have to Count Calories

The 3 day diet ‘experts’ say you don’t have to count calories when following the meal plans they give you.

But that’s not exactly true.

If you follow the serving sizes and foods listed, without substituting, you may have a general idea of the calories you consume. If you hate tuna and want to switch that out, you need to figure out an equivalent tradeoff and count calories, carbs, and proteins to make sure your swap is the same.

Your four days off also need to be accounted for. Since these aren’t cheat days, you need to pay attention to the calories you consume so you know you’ll stay in line with the typical calorie range the 3 day diet adheres to, which will net you between 800-1,000 calories a day.

And that leads me to my next issue with this diet plan.

The minimum estimated daily amount of calories are 1,200 for women and about 2,200 for men. While that will cause rapid weight loss, it can also lead to extreme fatigue, hunger, and mood problems.

4. It’s Healthy to Lose 10 Pounds in 3 Days

For most people, it takes at least a month to safely lose 10 pounds, not a week.

Generally, the more weight you have to lose, the easier and quicker you’ll be able to do it. If you’re straddling the high end of the BMI scale towards obesity, cutting out harmful fast food and severely cutting your calories will definitely let you drop pounds.

However, losing such a large amount of weight so quickly usually has a habit of creeping back on even quicker. When you actually work hard to achieve long-term results through a steady, healthy diet with exercise, you’re going to keep the weight off longer and it won’t be just water weight.

5. You’re Losing More Than Just Water Weight

Yo-yo dieters are often faced with the exciting feeling of losing lots of weight in a very short amount of time.

Psychologically, this motivates people and causes them to want to continue with their fad diet-of-the-moment, until reality sets in and they crave more variety in their food choices or stop their diet completely.

Then the weight slowly comes right back onto their problem areas.

Now supporters of the 3 day diet say that you’re not losing water weight, but actual fat instead. However, there’s no clinical evidence to suggest this statement is accurate at all.

I’m really not surprised that users lose water weight on the 3 day diet; they’re supposed to drink caffeinated coffee or tea, and as we know, caffeine is a diuretic. They’re also slashing calories and carbs, which can also cause a large amount of water loss.

Water weight drops fast, but that weight does not drop from fat. Water weight is also the easiest weight to put back on very quickly, especially if you’re not exercising.

6. The 3 Day Diet Will Speed Up Your Metabolism

As if this diet didn’t have enough hooks to try and grab you, it proudly exclaims that you can speed up your metabolism and lose 10 pounds a week without any form of exercise whatsoever.

This one is almost laughable to me.

Not only does this statement not have any scientific evidence to back it up, but it’s so absolutely contrary to everything we know about our metabolism.

The only things you can really do to “increase your metabolism” is to exercise regularly and build muscle. Stimulants like caffeine can also have a temporary effect.

As you can see, since the 3 day diet doesn’t incorporate exercise into its regime, there’s no way you can increase strength or build more muscle to help burn calories.

7. The 3 Day Diet is NOT a Fad Diet

There are a few simple ways you can spot a fad diet:

  • Ruling out of entire food groups
  • “Unlimited” consumption of anything high in fat, sugar, or cholesterol
  • Lack of variety or extremely stringent rules
  • Certain foods or food combinations said to “burn” fat
  • Promising that certain foods increase your metabolism

So is the 3 day diet a fad diet? Let’s see:

It rules out healthy fats and severely lacks a variety of other types of food due to the stringent rules it sets.

It claims to increase your metabolism, though offers no way to do this, nor evidence to prove that their method works. And it promotes an increase in caffeine by making sure you drink a caffeinated beverage every day.

Fad diets don’t tend to stay around, and I can’t imagine anyone living healthfully or happily on this diet.

Yeah, I’d completely say that the 3 day diet is a fad diet, without question, and that’s no myth.

What You Should Do Instead

I’ve shared a bunch of quick, healthy recipes with you guys thanks to this site, all of which are more delicious than hot dogs and crackers I might add, so if you really want to eat clean for three days, let’s do it together.

Try out some of my quick breakfast ideas to save you some time in the morning or these easy, healthy meals I make for lunch and dinner.

What’s your take on The 3 Day Diet? Have anything else you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments below!

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Sometimes, when our readers don’t write to us, we’re left trying to guess which questions you want the answers to but don’t ask. One way is to ask someone else you’ve been putting your questions to – like your doctor, your mum or your search engine.

This is what happens when we try to find out your deepest darkest niggles about one product: gum.

It’s no wonder this tiny substance inspires such curiosity – there aren’t many things we humans put in their mouths without knowing if they’re animal vegetable or mineral – even if we do subsequently spit them out (don’t worry, we’ll tell you below what happens if you do attempt to digest the stuff).

We’ve got all the answers here, on one single page that doesn’t require endless open-in-new-tab curiosity clicks.

1. Does chewing gum make you hungry?

When a hormone called ghrelin increases in your blood, your stomach muscles contract and you feel hungry. So, most scientific studies have attempted to work out what happens to ghrelin when people chew gum. In August 2013, two scientists writing in Physiology & Behavior found that “chewing had no significant effect on appetitive sensations”.

Those findings contradict a study of 115 men and women who chewed Extra® sugar-free gum three times hourly and “reported significantly decreased feelings of hunger”. We’ve cynically discarded that for now after spotting that “the research was supported by a grant from the Wrigley Science Institute”.

2. Does chewing gum make you fat?

Let’s assume that eating patterns aren’t directly related to hunger (and bear in mind that the findings above could be wrong). Another study, in Eating Behaviors in April 2013 asked participants to chew gum before a meal to see how it affected their appetite for it and how much they ate. That study found that gnawing on some natural latex meant people ate more but less often.

Fewer meals (and extra jaw exercise) weren’t enough to offset the extra calories though. What’s more, the researchers found that mint-flavoured gum made fruits and vegetables taste worse and increased the likelihood of eating junk food.

Three packets of Wrigley’s chewing gum claiming it ‘helps you relax’ – which scientific studies have recently found to be quite plausible. Photograph: Picture Post/Getty Images

3. Does chewing gum make you fart?

Let’s assume this isn’t just a typo of the question above – after all, who googles the word flatulence? Well, the National Health Service is hoping you will. Their advice site advises that chewing gum (as well as “smoking, sucking on pen tops or hard sweets or having loose fitting dentures”) can cause people to fart due to swallowing excess air. They offer solace in the fact that belching (burping) is a more likely side effect than breaking wind.

4. Does chewing gum make you smart?

Assuming this isn’t a failed attempt to google question 3, schools might be taking the wrong approach by outlawing the sticky stuff. This question has some of the most fascinating findings of the lot. Brain scans found that chewing gum activated the hippocampus (the part responsible for memory) – a finding that was corroborated elsewhere. Scientists have also found that it can improve alertness and even reduce stress.

5. Does chewing gum make your breath fresh?

Back to the NHS site which offers a relatively unambiguous answer here. “The chewing stimulates saliva and stops your mouth drying out. A dry mouth can lead to bad breath.” Though they also caution to use sugar-free gum and, er, brush your teeth.

6. What happens if I swallow it?

When your mastication (chewing) results in deglutition (swallowing) should you be frightened? Does it really stay in your stomach for 7 years?

No. Some ingredients in chewing gum are indigestible (much the same as other things that we regularly eat like broccoli) but saliva will keep them moving through the digestive system until they meet their final destination. For a blockage to happen the digestive system has to be narrower (so parents’ worries about small children aren’t entirely unwarranted) or a vast amount of gum has to be swallowed.

Organic chewing gum, made from Chicle, being filtered. Locals who collect chicle are called chicleros. Photograph: Nicola “Okin” Frioli

All this research matters because this tiny product is big business. In a survey of thousands of adults, Kantar media found that chewing gum was most popular in Iran (where 82% of people chew it) followed by Saudi Arabia (79%) and the USA (59%).

Last year, global gum was valued at $26bn – that’s more than the world market for biometrics is worth (to choose an interesting albeit random comparison).

Do you have any other chewing gum questions? Post them below the article and we’ll do our best to update the article and address them

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Maria here. We’re moving on with the Diet Review Series with the 3 day military diet review, a diet that promises losing up to 10 pounds a week. Here’s what Rachael Link, a registered dietitian, thinks about this after reviewing the diet and the science behind it.

Enter Rachael:

When I first heard about the Military Diet, I was immediately intrigued.

It advertises itself as “a fast way to lose up to 10 pounds a week” and claims that the diet “was designed by top secret nutritionists at the US military to get soldiers into tip top shape.”

Naturally, in writing my 3 day Military Diet review, I turned to the one person who would know if the military really had some sort of secret special diet for soldiers: my dad.

After 20 years in the army, including a stint in the special forces plus another eight years working for the army as a civilian, I knew he would definitely give me the scoop on this super classified diet plan.

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Not exactly as helpful as I had hoped.

A little digging, however, confirmed my suspicion that the Military Diet is not actually affiliated with the US military at all.

Just like the Cleveland Clinic Diet and the British Heart Foundation Diet aren’t actually associated with those foundations, it’s safe to say that the Military Diet was probably not actually developed by “top secret nutritionists” (whatever that means).

There are some pretty ridiculous, absurd, and downright dangerous diets out there.

The Baby Food Diet, for example, recommends replacing one to two meals each day with jars of baby food to cut calories and slim down. The Bulletproof Diet encourages loading up on high-fat foods and red meat, plus guzzling down a 400 calorie cup of coffee filled with butter in order to burn fat. The Blood Type Diet asserts that what we eat reacts chemically with your blood type, despite a complete lack of evidence to support that.

The Military Diet is relatively high up on the list when it comes to crazy fad diets.

The plan promises up to thirty pounds of weight loss over a month by restricting your intake for just three short days each week!

During your “on” days, you’ll be able to consume foods like ice cream and hot dogs, and during your “off” days, you can follow your usual diet.

Sounds pretty appealing! But does it actually work?

Before we start with the 3 Day Military Diet review, here’s what the diet plan actually entails:

Day 1:

½ grapefruit
1 slice of toast
2 tablespoons of peanut butter
1 cup of coffee or tea (with caffeine)

½ cup of tuna
1 slice of toast
1 cup of coffee or tea (with caffeine)

3 oz of meat (any type)
1 cup of green beans
½ banana
1 small apple
1 cup of vanilla ice cream

Day 2:

1 egg (cooked any style)
1 slice of toast
½ banana

1 cup of cottage cheese
1 hard-boiled egg
5 saltine crackers

2 hot dogs (no bun)
1 cup of broccoli
½ cup of carrots
½ banana
½ cup of vanilla ice cream

Day 3:

5 saltine crackers
1 slice of cheddar cheese
1 small apple

1 slice of toast
1 egg (cooked any style)

1 cup of tuna
½ banana
1 cup of vanilla ice cream

Other Guidelines:

  • Water consumption is encouraged; you should drink as much as you can.
  • Avoid artificial sweeteners—only Stevia is permitted.
  • You’re permitted to drink as much caffeine-free herbal tea as you’d like.
  • If you want to drink more coffee than what’s included, black coffee is okay. Just cut out those 5 calories per cup from somewhere else in the day.
  • If you can’t have grapefruit because it interferes with your medication, just mix ½ a teaspoon of baking soda with a glass of water and drink it. Yum!
  • On your four days off, you can follow your normal diet. For continued weight loss, it’s recommended to stay under 1500 calories.

No snacks and no straying allowed. Every calorie, right down to that 5-calorie cup of coffee, has to be accounted for. And, as they mention directly on their website, size doesn’t matter, only calories do.

Because that’s the recipe for sustainable, long-term weight loss, right?

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The creators of the 3 Day Military Diet review a list of reasons that their diet works on their website, claiming that it helps the fat melt off due to three reasons:

1) The Military Diet is low calorie.
The Military Diet provides less than 1000 calories per day, so they state that you’re sure to lose weight if you follow their plan. After all, you’re burning more than you’re consuming for those three days per week, so that means the pounds should just slide off, right?

2) The Military Diet involves intermittent fasting.
And intermittent fasting inevitably leads to weight loss. As the Military Diet website claims, “fasting boosts your metabolism by switching your body’s repair genes into ‘on’ mode.” And if you don’t fast, I guess those repair genes will be stuck in “off” mode forever.

3) The foods in the Military Diet rev up fat burning and enhance your metabolism.
Grapefruit supposedly switches the liver into “fat-burning mode” while those high-protein foods like tuna and eggs burn through fat during digestion because they require more energy to process.

Meanwhile, more calcium stored in fat cells means more fat burned by cells, so there’s the explanation for the ice cream.

And, as they note, apples, a source of pectin, are included in the diet, limiting the amount of fat that can be absorbed by the cells.

3 Day Military Diet Review: 5 Reasons to Consider Passing the Military Diet trend

The claims made in support of the Military Diet are unfounded and not backed by any real science. Sure, you’ll lose weight on the Military Diet, but you’re likely to gain it right back soon after.

1) 1,000 calories/day is unhealthy.

You’ve probably heard of “starvation mode” before. It’s just as scary as it sounds: when you restrict your intake too low, your body starts scrambling to find new sources of energy.

This means that fatty acids will be converted into ketones and muscle will be broken down to use amino acids for energy.

1,000 calories might seem like plenty, but it’s really not.

A study in the International Journal of Obesity found that the average resting metabolic rate for women of normal weight was approximately 1,421 calories/day.

That’s the calories the body needs just to breathe and function, never mind if you also occasionally walk, move around, or participate in any kind of physical activity throughout the day (as most of us tend to do).

Your metabolism kicks into starvation mode anytime it isn’t getting the energy it needs from your food. Repeating the three-day cycle of the Military Diet a few times is likely to send your body straight into starvation mode, meaning you’ll start losing weight, but it will be from all that muscle your body is breaking down.

2) The Military Diet promotes an unhealthy relationship with food.

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One of the most effective ways to promote weight maintenance is through fostering a healthy relationship with food and practicing mindful eating. This just means listening to your body, eating when you feel hungry, and stopping when you feel satisfied (and here’s how to stop when you think you can’t stop eating.)

Sounds pretty reasonable, right?

Apparently not for the creators of the Military Diet. An actual quote from their website:

“Portions on the Military Diet are probably smaller than what you’re used to, especially if you’re overweight. So yes, you will feel hungry sometimes. But you will lose weight. Remember, hunger is just a feeling we’ve all grown too accustomed to satisfying. The Military Diet is a great reboot for your body.”

Yes, we’ve all grown too accustomed to satisfying hunger—you know, that cue that signals that our body needs food to provide us energy and keep us alive? Yeah, just ignore that. It’s all good, though, because you’re losing weight!

The militant (pun intended) rules and regulations of the Military Diet are also pretty questionable. Every calorie counts, so if you even dare to chew a piece of gum on the diet, you’d better be prepared to subtract those calories from somewhere else (one less bite of your five saltine crackers, perhaps?).

Not only is this a great way to lose weight, it’s also a good way to develop some disordered eating patterns.

Looking beyond the obsessive behaviors encouraged by the diet, there are some serious negative psychological effects associated with extreme calorie deficits.

The Minnesota Starvation Experiment demonstrated just a few of the negative results of starvation. This 1944 study called for volunteers to test the effects of starvation given the widespread famine that was starting to spread across Europe during the Second World War.

Researcher Ancel Keys wanted to look at the psychological, social, and intellectual changes that occur with starvation specifically. 36 men volunteered to essentially become human guinea pigs for the duration of the 13-month study.

The study started with a 12-week control period, where the men were consuming about 3,200 calories each day. Then, calories were slashed in half and they were fed just 1,600 calories daily, well below their estimated needs, for the six-month starvation period.

The drop in energy reported by the men was almost instantaneous, as were the decline in motivation and the rise in apathy and irritability. They started developing strange eating habits, playing with food and adopting odd rituals, like licking plates or holding food in their mouth without swallowing.

Many even became obsessive about food, collecting recipes, withdrawing from social situations, and constantly daydreaming about eating.

After the starvation period ended, the participants began a 20-week rehabilitation program. Interestingly enough, while they started recovering physically, their mental states actually got worse.

Intense mood swings and aggression were coupled with their continued bizarre eating patterns. It took a full three months into the recovery period for their mood to finally return back to baseline.

3) The Military Diet can lead to long-term weight gain.

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There’s a reason fad diets and extremely restrictive diets are not recommended: they don’t lead to sustainable weight loss and, unless you’re under medical supervision, they can be an easy way for the pounds to pile back on.

Any time you start a new diet, you’re likely to see a rapid drop on the scale. Most people get discouraged when the progress starts to slow down or plateau.

This is caused by water losses; as you start restricting calories, your body breaks down glycogen stores for energy. The depletion of these glycogen stores causes weight fluctuations as the body loses “water weight.”

  • A 2007 review looking at the long-term outcomes of calorie-restricting diets concluded that low-calorie diets don’t necessarily lead to lasting weight loss. In fact, they found that between one-third to two-thirds of dieters actually regain more weight than they lost while dieting.
  • Another review published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition analyzed the effects of low-calorie diets on weight-loss maintenance. They found that the average weight loss for the 20 studies included was 11.1 kg (24.4 lbs) and the mean weight change during the weight maintenance period ranged from a weight loss of 5 kg (11 lbs) to a weight gain of 14 kg (30.8 lbs).

The psychological effects of extremely restrictive diets can also contribute to weight gain and disturbances in eating patterns

In the Minnesota Experiment, many participants felt that their eating was still not “back to normal” after the three-month recovery period. Several recounted excessive eating following the study; one participant actually required his stomach to be pumped after binging while others reported significant amounts of weight gain.

4) There’s no evidence for “fat-burning foods.”

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The idea of “fat-burning foods” can probably be traced to The Grapefruit Diet. Originating all the way back to the 1930s, The Grapefruit Diet started perpetuating the idea that grapefruits possessed some sort of magical fat-burning ability.

Sorry to disappoint, but there’s just no evidence to support that any foods included in the Military Diet contain any sort of mysterious powers that melt away fat instantly.

Yes, certain foods included are high in fiber and low in calories. Grapefruit, green beans, broccoli, and carrots are all nutrient-dense foods that will keep you fuller for longer, minimizing cravings and likely leading to a lower caloric intake.

However, the myth of “negative calories” has been repeatedly debunked. You’ve probably heard about celery, the ultimate “negative calorie” food that supposedly takes more calories just to chew up than it actually contains.

Sounds very appealing, but it’s unfortunately not true.

A 1999 study found that chewing gum for an hour burned just 12 calories. So those 10 seconds you spend chomping on a stalk of celery? Not significant.

It is true that some foods, like protein-rich foods, have a higher thermic effect and take more energy to digest, but it’s not enough of a difference to classify them as “negative calorie” or make a huge impact.

Instead, consumption of high protein foods should be encouraged because they keep you feeling satiated and are nutrient-dense, providing your body with what it needs to function.

5) The foods included have a low nutrient-density.

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The military diet includes several foods that are not exactly nutrient-dense. For the same amount of calories, you could be eating foods that keep you feeling full and are higher in the good stuff, like protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

A few healthier swap ideas:

1 cup of vanilla ice cream (274 calories)
-1 cup Greek yogurt and 1 oz chia seeds (258 calories)
-Fruit bowl with 1 cup strawberries, ½ cup blueberries, and 1 oz dark chocolate (243 calories)
-1 medium banana with 2 tbsp peanut butter (293 calories)

2 hot dogs (270 calories)
-4 oz grilled chicken breast and ½ cup sautéed spinach (250 calories)
-1 cup stir-fried vegetables and 4 oz baked salmon (277 calories)
-Veggie burger with bun and ½ cup kale chips (273 calories)

3 Day Military Diet Review: The Report Card

Sustainability: F
This is one diet that you shouldn’t (and probably won’t want to) keep up with long-term. Unless you’re into intentionally depriving yourself and indulging in weird food combos, getting through even three days of this diet will probably be a challenge.

Effectiveness: D
You might lose weight on this diet, but it will only be temporary. This is not at all an effective diet plan for long-term, sustainable weight loss.

Nutrition: D
The only reason this doesn’t get an F is because it throws in a few fruits and veggies for good measure. But hot dogs, ice cream, and less than 1,000 calories a day? Not quite nutritionally sound.

Overall Grade: D

The 3 day military review bottom line:

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This could be the diet for you…if you’re looking to lose a few pounds and risk gaining them back (with interest) shortly after.

I know losing weight is a difficult, slow, and sometimes painstaking process. Instead of turning to these unhealthy and unrealistic fad diets created by people with no nutritional knowledge, though, why not go with the evidence-based, proven guidelines set by the people who actually know what they’re talking about?

Enjoy a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Exercise regularly to keep your body healthy and celebrate the small victories when it comes to weight loss. Finally, don’t succumb to the hype surrounding these crazy diets or clean eating trends; there’s a reason they only last a matter of months before you never hear about them again.

Have you ever tried The Military Diet (or another equally crazy fad diet)? I would love to hear your 3 Day Military Diet Review–share with me in the comments!

Kalm LM, Semba RD. They starved so that others be better fed: remembering Ancel Keys and the Minnesota experiment. J Nutr. 2005;135(6):1347-52.

Kreitzman SN, Coxon AY, Szaz KF. Glycogen storage: illusions of easy weight loss, excessive weight regain, and distortions in estimates of body composition. Am J Clin Nutr. 1992;56(1 Suppl):292S-293S.

Johansson K, Neovius M, Hemmingsson E. Effects of anti-obesity drugs, diet, and exercise on weight-loss maintenance after a very-low-calorie diet or low-calorie diet: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014;99(1):14-23.

Levine J, Baukol P, Pavlidis I. The energy expended in chewing gum. N Engl J Med. 1999;341(27):2100.

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As sugar-free gum contains next to no calories, and chewing it precludes one’s ability to simultaneously eat food, and maybe it even burns calories (11 per hour, says the Internet), it could seem like a perfect, minty-fresh tool for losing weight. Some research has even suggested that it might act as an appetite suppressant.

Unfortunately, a study out of Ohio State University found that once such people spit out their gum, they go on to eat just as much as people who don’t chew. In the long run, not only does it seem unlikely that chewing gum is an effective tool in losing weight, but it also may lead to nutritional deficiencies.

In the study, people were instructed to chew either NutraTrim Weight Loss Gum (“boosts metabolism and helps to curb food cravings”) or Eclipse gum before snacks and meals for a week, and to keep track of everything they ate. Their food diaries revealed that, compared to non-gum chewers, they ate fewer, but larger, meals. Not only did they end up eating about the same number of calories as non-chewers, their meals were less nutritious.

Jan. 11, 2008 — — It was a baffling medical mystery. A 21-year-old woman showed up at her doctor’s office after having suffered abdominal pains and severe diarrhea for eight months — and losing 25 pounds.

Another patient, a 46-year-old man, arrived at the hospital with similar complaints. He had lost nearly 50 pounds.

In both cases, which occurred in Germany, the symptoms could have pointed to a severe food intolerance, serious bowel problems or worse. But after a battery of medical tests and a complete medical history, doctors in Berlin finally unlocked the secret behind the massive weight loss in these patients.

Sugarless gum. And lots of it.

Specifically, an ingredient in sugar-free gum called sorbitol — used instead of sugar to make the gum sweet — turned out to be the key culprit in both cases. In a report published Thursday in the British Medical Journal, the German doctors said the female patient had chewed up to 16 sticks of sugarless gum per day, while the male patient consumed about 20 sticks daily.

But in addition to being used as a sweetener, the ingredient has other uses in the medical arena.

“Both our patients consumed large amounts of sorbitol, which belongs to the family of polyalcohol sugars, like mannitol and xylitol, some of which are regularly used as laxatives,” the study authors write.

“We’ve known about the diarrhea effects of sorbitol for some time,” said Dr. David Posner, chief of gastroenterology at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. “People, when they overuse it, will have trouble with diarrhea and will lose weight because they have a lot of diarrhea and lose a lot of nutrients.”

“It’s actually a pretty classical teaching pearl when it comes to gastroenterology,” said Dr. Ramon E. Rivera, gastroenterologist at Ochsner Medical Center’s digestive disease center in New Orleans, La.

He notes that the cases elegantly illustrate the need for a complete and thorough medical history.

“History will give you the diagnosis,” he said. “So most of the information you need is in the history itself.”

“No one would think about asking the patient, ‘do you chew gum?’ But in medicine you have to be a detective. History is everything.”

That being said, Rivera adds that cases this extreme — in which malnutrition occurs — are relatively rare.

Chewing off the Pounds

The very property that makes sorbitol friendly for waistlines is actually the same characteristic that makes large quantities of it such a problem.

“What happens is that it creates an osmotic gradient; as it goes through the gastrointestinal tract, it’s like a sponge that pulls water out of the intestinal walls,” Rivera said. “So imagine a sponge going down the gastrointestinal tract and absorbing fluid as it goes along.”

All of this excess fluid in the bowel leads to diarrhea, as well as the host of unfortunate abdominal effects that come along with it.

Rivera adds that whether or not an individual experiences such symptoms depends largely on the sensitivity of his or her digestive tract. This sensitivity varies widely from person to person, he says. So while one person may not experience gastrointestinal symptoms from chewing a few dozen sticks of sugarless gum per day, others might experience problems with that amount.

Coincidentally, at least one gum company in the past has touted its product as a weight loss aid.

A research study conducted by the Wrigley Science Institute and presented at the 2007 Annual Scientific Meeting of The Obesity Society found that chewing gum before an afternoon snack may contribute to a weight loss plan. The gum maker’s researchers showed that the product helped reduce hunger, diminish cravings and promote fullness among individuals who limit their overall calorie intake.

But it is unlikely that the potentially unpleasant laxative effect of sorbitol is what the gum companies have in mind when it comes to dropping pounds.

A Special Threat for Diabetics?

Though cases as severe as the ones documented in the new report may be uncommon, some say the problems associated with sorbitol could be more widespread than currently believed.

And people who consume a large amount of foods with sugar substitutes — namely diabetics — may be at special risk.

“We see this problem frequently in people with diabetes,” said Julie Schwartz, a registered dietitian at the Emory Bariatric Center in Atlanta. “If you really looked at these cases, you might find that there are more gastrointestinal problems linked to sorbitol than to other perceived problems.”

For example, she says she recalls one case of a patient who was assumed to be lactose intolerant, as he experienced the same kind of abdominal pain and diarrhea associated with this condition after eating ice cream and yogurt.

“When we really dove into the problem, we found out that he was eating sugar-free ice cream and sugar-free yogurt, which had sorbitol,” she said. “We switched him over to full-sugar versions of ice cream and yogurt, and he had no problems anymore.”

The authors of the report write that in light of the increasing number of sugar-free products hitting the shelves, more prominent labeling detailing the possible health effects of too much sorbitol is needed — a suggestion with which Schwartz agrees.

“I would definitely think that consumers should be aware that this product could have side effects,” she said.

“People reach for sugar-free gum because they think it is healthier, but maybe it’s really not.”

EVERYBODY knows that to lose weight you should eat less and move more.

But, of course, it’s not that simple; the combination of today’s environment and human biology can make it really, really hard to shed pounds.

9 9 Keep your January health kick going with these helpful tips – backed by scienceCredit: Getty – Contributor

To reduce diseases caused by being overweight or obese, society needs to change, but those changes will be slow to come.

We need effective weight-loss strategies now.

For anyone trying to lose weight, you’ll know that lots of people have advice on what to do.

There are websites, TV shows, books, apps, friends, and friends of friends who will all give different advice.

9 Set yourself food goals – limit your calorie intake for each day for exampleCredit: Getty – Contributor

There is also research, but a lot of it is done on people who receive a lot of support to lose weight.

This doesn’t necessarily translate to the real world where most people trying to lose weight are doing so on their own.

To shed light on this, our latest study followed hundreds of British adults trying to lose weight on their own.

From this research, as well as from reviewing other studies in the area, we identified ten strategies that science suggests may help you lose weight.

Strategies that really DO work…

1. Get informed

Look up information on how to lose weight from sources you can trust, for example, government resources or sites recommended by your doctor or nurse.

2. Set goals

Set yourself food goals for how much you’ll eat each day or each week.

This could be in terms of calories, portion sizes or nutritional content.

3. Set a target

9 Have a goal weight in mind to inspire youCredit: Getty – Contributor

Set yourself a weight-loss target.

Have a goal weight in mind that you are working towards, or a certain amount of weight that you want to lose each week.

You might want to write this down somewhere.

4. Meal prep

9 Plan your meals in advance and meal prep on a Sunday to stave off temptationCredit: Getty – Contributor 9 Avoid buying junk food and throw out what’s in your cupboards to keep temptation at bayCredit: Getty – Contributor

Plan your meals in advance to help you make healthy choices.

5. Don’t buy it

Keep food that doesn’t fit with your diet out of the house.

It’s a lot easier to stick to your food goals when you aren’t being constantly tempted, so keep it out of sight and reach if you can.

6. Learn to cope with cravings… chew gum

9 Learn to cope with food cravings, chewing gum can stave off your hungerCredit: Getty – Contributor

Have a strategy for dealing with food cravings.

You can’t always avoid being around unhealthy foods, so it’s a good idea to anticipate cravings and have a way to deal with them when they arise.

Need some ideas?

This could include chewing gum, waiting a certain amount of time to see if the craving passes, distracting yourself by focusing on something else, or being mindful of the craving – acknowledging it, but not acting on it.

7. Swap it up

9 Swap your usual treat for a healthier alternativeCredit: Getty – Contributor

Swap one type of food or drink for another if you know it’s healthier for your diet.

For example, choose lower fat or lower sugar versions of the food or drinks you’d usually have.

8. Keep on track

Keep track of what you eat.

You can help yourself meet your food goals by measuring the calories, portion sizes or nutritional content of your food.

Don’t forget to keep track of your drinks, too.

9. Weigh it up

9 Weigh yourself regularly to keep on top of your goals and stay motivatedCredit: Getty – Contributor

Weigh yourself regularly.

This will help you measure your progress towards your target, but it will also help you to learn about yourself.

If you’ve gained weight, or not lost as much as you wanted, don’t be discouraged.

Use it as an opportunity to learn more about how food and activity affect your weight.

Knowing more about yourself can help you make healthier choices in the future.


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10. Get motivated

Find ways to stay motivated.

It’s not always easy to do the things listed above, and it’s important to find ways to keep going when you are flagging.

This could involve other people – for example, trying to lose weight at the same time as someone else or telling other people about your weight loss plans.

You could also reward yourself when you meet your targets (with something other than food), and keep a note to remind yourself of the reasons you want to lose weight.

Sugar free gum weight loss

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