Should I Count Calories From Chewing Gum? (Explained)


When I was counting calories I was obsessed with knowing everything I can about all the foods and calories they have. And some foods that may seem quite obvious, intrigued me even more. Like chewing gum.

Today I will cover if chewing gum has calories, and most importantly, should you be counting them in your diet?

As a whole, you shouldn’t count calories from chewing gum because chewing gums have a relatively small amount of calories that don’t affect your weight. One chewing gum has 5 calories and it takes around 10 calories to chew the gum. So chewing gum can not only help you will reducing craving but also burn 5 calories per gum.

This is my brief answer but if you wanna know more details like if the gum is good for weight loss or what are the health benefits of chewing gum, keep reading.

Do Calories From Chewing Gum Count?

As a general rule, calories from chewing gum don’t count. A single serving of chewing gum has from 0 to 5 calories, and the body burns around 10 calories during the chewing process. Therefore, yes, chewing gum does have calories but the amount of calories is insignificant to include in daily calorie counting.

So before you quit your spin class and start a full-time chewing gum program, just keep in mind that this may take some time to see any results.

Why Does Gum Have Calories?

Overall, chewing gums have small amounts of calories because they’re made of insoluble gum base that includes resins, humectants, elastomers, emulsifiers, fillers, waxes, antioxidants, and other softeners.

Some chewing gums have a sugar coating, while sugar-free gums contain sweeteners and other flavoring agents.

Does Chewing Gum Burn Calories?

According to studies, chewing gum burn 0.2 calories per minute. Chewing gum is also associated with higher fasting and postprandial (after eating) energy expenditure, without changes in blood glucose levels.

Plus, chewing gum is associated with improved satiation and reduces hunger levels.

I know that’s a lot of information so let’s break this down.

Chewing gum burns 0.2 calories, depending on the number of chews

Studies have shown that chewing gum can improve energy expenditure, which is basically the number of calories you burn during 24-hours. In one study, a group of researchers asked 20 people to chew gum for 90 minutes.

They compared their energy expenditure during chewing and after chewing. Chewing gum burned 0.2 calories per minute more than not chewing (source). If we take that into perspective, that’s 12 calories per 60 minutes.

So nothing to write home about.

Chewing gum lowers appetite and food cravings

Another study assessed the hypothesis that it’s possible that chewing gum can reduce appetite and food cravings (this is a big one for me).

The result showed that chewing gum for at least 45 min suppressed hunger, appetite, and cravings for snacks by whooping 10% (source).

Which may sound like not a lot. But when you’re dealing with food cravings, especially on a calorie deficit, then having a handy chewing gum can make a huge difference. You just pop one in and you’re done.

One of the most effective weight loss strategies is slow eating. It works because of numerous reasons, including delay in appetite. According to research, chewing gum has a very similar effect on your hunger and satiety signals.

So increasing number of chews it’s a behavioral strategy to reduce food intake, not to burn calories (source).

Is Gum Good for Weight Loss?

As a whole, chewing gum is good for weight loss because it enhances the satiety response, reduces caloric intake during meals, and reduces postprandial appetite. Chewing gum also reduces hunger levels, which helps to lower the overall desire to eat.

You can chew gum while dieting because it has a positive short-term effect on appetite regulation (meaning you’re less hungry). However, chewing gum does not count as food so it should only be eaten as a way to increase your fullness and lower your desire to eat more.

So instead of taking some magic pill from snake oil sales people, you will be much better to pop in one serving of a gum in between meals.

Of course, it doesn’t burn calories like a 20-minute abs class, but at least you will feel less hungry. Which is what you want on the calorie restriction program.

Can You Lose Weight From Chewing Gum?

As a whole, you cannot lose weight just from chewing gum. Chewing gum burns calories and increases daily calorie expenditure by 0.2 calories per minute, which is not a significant number to lose weight. However, the daily practice of chewing gum can lower hunger and appetite.

Forget about calories. There are other benefits that you get from your daily chew. Some include cognitive improvements, stress reduction, and better mood.

What Are The Benefits of Chewing Gum?

As a whole, apart from weight loss and lowered appetite, regular gum chewing comes with several benefits like reduced stress, improved alertness and memory, and improved cognitive performance.

It helps to reduce chronic stress

Chewing gum helps to lower stress, but it does not affect the reasons why we experience stress. So we cannot prevent stress from happening, simply by chewing gum or taking a mint.

However, multiple studies show positive effects and associations with chewing gum and lowering the cortisol levels.

It can improve mental alertness

Chewing gum leads to an increase in salivary cortisol and increased heart rate, which is an indicator of improved alertness.

Some studies show that chewing gum led to a wider breadth of attention, however, the results weren’t significant.

Improved cognitive performance

There are mixed evidence about improving cognition. Some studies show that chewing gum indeed helps with cognition, but others show no results.

Improved memory

Some research shows that chewing gum (comparing with sucking a mint) leads to improved immediate and delayed memory.

The bottom line is simple. People who chew gum habitually report less stress, enhanced productivity, and reduced cognitive errors at work and outside of work (source).

Do You Gain Weight From Gum?

Overall, you cannot gain weight from the gum. Chewing gums contain around 0 to 5 calories per serving which is not enough to create a calorie surplus. In fact, regular practice of chewing gum, even without flavor, smell, or ingestion, affect reward pathways in the brain and help prevent overeating.

So if you’re counting calories, relax. Chewing gum does not make you fat.

Chewing gum won’t add any calories to your daily plate.

I know the feeling of counting calories and stressing around the smallest details. The more I was into the woods, the more anxious I was about my calories.

It was crazy.

Just to let you know, there are much better ways to be in a calorie deficit, without counting calories. In this article, I’ve explained step by step how to stop counting calories, and still lose weight.

Does Chewing Gum Make You Lose Face Fat?

In short, chewing gum does not make you lose fat face. Reducing fat is done through calorie restriction for an extended period of time when the body enters into a calorie deficit. Chewing gum does engage jaw muscles, but it doesn’t trigger spot fat reduction.

Nowadays there are several “fitness” gimmick products that claim to enhance the jawline by regular chewing. I’m not gonna be that guy who critic or steps on someone’s beliefs.

As you’ve probably noticed, all of my claims are backed up by science. Because I love to geek out in scientific papers and translate that jargon into plain English.

So all the complex stuff is becoming more digestible for people like you.

All I can tell that I haven’t seen a single reputable study that can confirm that you can “enhance” your jawline by chewing gum or some gummy object.

Sorry.

Does Gum Have Calories If You Don’t Swallow It?

In general, chewing gum has calories (even without swallowing it) that come from the sweeteners. During chewing, sweeteners and are being digested by the enzymes. The ingredients that contain calories in chewing gum usually include glucose, sugar, dextrose, and corn syrup.

Some gums that have zero calories are packed with artificial sweeteners like erythritol, isomalt, maltitol, mannitol, and sorbitol.

Also, keep in mind that manufacturers have no legal obligation to disclose all ingredients in chewing gum. So it can be anything.

Conclusion

You shouldn’t count calories from chewing gum. There are multiple health benefits of chewing gum, including cognitive performance, improved mood, and lowering stress. However, there is no calorie burned in a significant way.

I wish it could be so simple to chew gum and get ripped.

If that would be so easy, we all would be walking downtown shirtless chewing gums while drinking 500 calories extra grande frappuccino.

I hope you had fun reading this article, as much as I had creating it.

Michal Sieroslawski

Michal is an exercise physiologist (MSc), nutrition coach, Ashtanga teacher, and fitness blogger. He shares his successes and failures to help busy men and women squash down 20, 50, or even 100 pounds of fat without leaving their home.

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