Intermittent fasting has gotten popular over the years due to its numerous health benefits.
Chewing gum is a frequent activity enjoyed by millions around the world.
However, fasting means that you cannot consume any calories during the fasting period, so can you chew gum while intermittent fasting?
A “sugar-filled” gum can cost you about 10 calories per piece due to its sugar content.
You can go through three to 5 pieces in each sitting, which could count to about 50 extra calories.
This is not ideal since intermittent fasting requires you to steer off calorie consumption entirely.
Some may think that the calories are low enough that the act of chewing itself will eliminate the consumed calories, but in reality, the calories you burn chewing a piece of gum are negligible.
You burn approximately 11 calories an hour chewing gum.
If we compare that to the calories you consume, it still counts as an extra calorie consumption because you wouldn’t be chewing that one piece of gum for an entire hour.
The longest you would chew a piece of gum would probably be around 15 to 20 minutes before it loses its flavor.
That would mean one piece of gum will give you 10 calories, while you’ll only burn off a quarter of it.
On the other hand, chewing gum might help you with keeping your cravings at bay.
According to research, those who are trying to lose weight and chew gum in between meals are more likely to steer off consuming snacks and in the end, consume fewer calories than those who do not.
Can You Chew Sugar Free Gum While Intermittent Fasting?
If you are craving to chew at some point during your intermittent fasting, sugar-free gum is a better option to go.
It has only about 5 calories per piece compared to the 10 calories per piece that non-sugar-free gums have.
You can also keep cravings at bay by chewing sugar-free gum due to chewing itself and the release or replenishing of saliva, which could make your breath smell nicer and your dental health better.
There’s even evidence that you will consume much fewer calories if you chew gum – as much as 68 calories when you finally break your fast and eat your meals.
This could help you regulate your caloric intake as a whole.
Be mindful of how many gums you’re consuming during the day because even though the calorie content is low, other ingredients such as artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols, can cause harm to your health when consumed in high concentration.
For example, sugar-free gum often contains artificial sweeteners like aspartame or sucralose.
If consumed excessively, they can cause poor gut health, diabetes, and poor cardiovascular health.
Sugar-free gums also contain sugar alcohol such as sorbitol that can cause cramps, gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
You should only consume about 4 to 16 pieces of sugar-free gums per day to keep the negative effect of sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners at bay.
Can You Chew Gum and Still Get the Benefits of Fasting?
One of the main benefits or ultimate goals of intermittent fasting is giving the body a rest from having to process food and restarting its metabolism.
The benefits of intermittent fasting that people look for are mainly for weight loss and lowering or repairing insulin resistance.
Weight loss can be achieved since we are not consuming any calories at all.
This triggers the body to burn off available calories from the energy available or by burning fat storage.
Intermittent fasting for at least 16 hours can also help you lower your insulin resistance and lower your risks of diabetes.
If you consume more and more food, insulin levels will spike and this ultimately will lower your sensitivity to insulin and you’ll want to consume even more food.
That is something that intermittent fasting tries to undo and to keep your sensitivity to insulin so that you avoid overeating in the future.
You can achieve these benefits by not consuming any calories and not spiking your blood’s insulin levels.
If you are going to chew gum when trying to do intermittent fasting, you should opt for something that virtually has no calories and sugar content.
Sugar-free gum also will not spike your insulin levels.
A study showed that chewing sugar-free gum for 30 minutes did not change insulin or blood glucose levels, which means chewing sugar-free gum will not break your fast or hinder the benefits you’ll receive from intermittent fasting.
But the bottom line is, make sure you choose sugar-free gum and keep them at a manageable amount since excessive consumption could lead to harmful effects from sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners.
I’m Chris Watson & the Founder of EatForLonger.com. I’m a food and wellbeing enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuffs and simple food-based concepts, such as fasting and clean eating.
I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes to what you eat and when you eat while optimizing your healthspan and all-around well-being.
Read more About Me here.