Thursday, April 15, 2010

Chewing Gum for Weight Loss

My awesome friend Karen from L.A. was so kind to share with us a strategy that has been helpful for her. Let us know what your thoughts are and if you have an interesting strategy that is working for you. Thanks Karen!

"I have found that chewing gum has been helpful for my weight loss plan this time around. In addition to using the Weight Watcher's point system and moving more and more toward a vegan and nutrarian food plan, I am also chewing gum.

I enjoy chewing gum, especially right after a meal when I want something sweet, when I am working on the computer and when I am driving. I live in LA so I spend a lot of time driving, for work and in my personal life (chauffeuring my kids around.) I used to snack on low point foods at those times, like rice crackers, sea weed and fruit. But I have found that chewing gum is just as satisfying and perhaps more so because there is no guilt (i.e. eating when I am not hungry) associated with it.

I spoke to my dentist, and she said that chewing sugarless gum with Xylitol is actually good for your teeth and helps to keep them clean and white. I have had to experiment a bit to find gums that work for me. I started with good ole' Trident in my favorite minty flavors (wintergreen and cinnamon.) What I found was that there were two unexpected side effects that were not at all pleasant. One is that I chewed so much that my jaw got sore. Really sore. And two, the minty flavors did something to the inside of my mouth and tongue that I find difficult to explain. It made the inside of my mouth sort of raw and affected my ability to taste foods. So I talked to a friend who is an occupational therapist and she suggested other possible techniques (i.e. chew on a straw, chew on a plastic bottle cap, chew on a piece of plastic tubing, find a softer gum). So through trial and error, I have discovered softer gums that work better for me (chewing on plastic didn't do the trick!).

Trident has a gum called Layers in Strawberry/Citrus and Apple/Pineapple. They start out very soft and have a lot of flavor for quite a long time. When the piece of gum starts to get at all tough to chew, I get rid of it and start over with new, softer pieces (I like to chew two pieces at a time). The other thing is that I take breaks from chewing. I could chew all day if it didn't mess up my jaw. But I have a history of TMJ (I realize this may be too much information), and so I have to be careful to take breaks from chewing.

Orbit also has some nice flavors of gum like Sweet Mint. It is not quite as soft as Trident Layers, but I use it for variety sometimes and am mindful not to chew it for too long. Sometimes I embarrass my teenage kids by "chomping on my gum," (you know, the thing your mother told you not to do when you were a kid.) I just figure it is a small price to pay for my personal health and fitness. Overall, they have been very supportive and proud of my successes and I also notice them asking for pieces of gum when we are in the car!




liz said...

I used to chew on these flavored toothpicks all the time

They sell them at Whole Foods and they taste great. I don't know why I stopped... I should try them again!

Anonymous said...

Great idea -- but watch out for bloating and gas associated with xylitol. If you have a sensitive stomach like I do, too much gum gets very uncomfortable (and embarrassing!)

Wendy said...

Very interesting product Liz, I have never heard of that product.

Anonymous said...

There are 2 more books you might find useful. One is The UltraSimple Diet: Kick-Start Your Metabolism and Safely Lose Up to 10 Pounds in 7 Days, by Dr. Mark Hyman, and the other is Empowering Your Health, by Dr. Asa Andrew. My sister has been having fantastic results with the Hyman book, and a dear friend on the verge of complete physical collapse is vibrantly healthy now due to Andrew's book. My friend says fat is NOT the enemy. My sister says the same. Both have lost lots of weight. I'm getting ready to try Hyman's plan right now!

Wendy said...

Thanks for the tip anonymous! I will check the books out in the reviews on Amazon. I love reading about other philosophies. Let us know what the results are for you, and not just your weight but the way that what you are eating makes you feel!

Anonymous said...


Naomi said...

I love this blog, but was very sad when I read that you experimented with major coporation brands, I thought you might be interested in the chemicals that are actually in these types of gum,

Wendy (Healthy Girl) said...

Hi Naomi! THanks for commenting. I myself do not chew gum on any regular basis (this was a guest blog posting), but for those who do, thank you for the link! I'm sure it will be very helpful.

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