I got some pretty cool fitness and running gifts this year, but it’s the sugar free gum that were in my Christmas stocking that have saved my fitness plan. Sounds silly…I know. But it’s true!
My work place is loaded with snacks and the holidays have just exponentially increased the trend.
There is always a counter with treats on it within walking distance.
And my willpower holds strong until after lunch….and then I crumble.
And since I’m trying to shed a few pounds (aren’t we all), and I HATE writing line items like “Cookies – 400 calories” in my food log, I decided that I needed to distract myself from this devilish cornucopia of treats.
And that’s when I re-discovered chewing gum.
A simple stick of sugarless gum has stopped my hunger cravings and sweet tooth yearnings and has pulled me through those moments of weakness between lunch and dinner.
Santa’s a genius! I did a little research and discovered that not only is gum saving me from snacking, but it’s also cleaning my teeth, burning a few extra calories, and preventing things like plaque build-up and gum disease. How ‘bout that?
Chewing gum has also been found to increase focus. I've found that on long car rides, gum does a better job of keeping me awake than caffeine! Studies have also shown that gum boosts test performance (i.e. SATs, ACTs) probably for this same reason (increased focus).
You already may be on to the no-sugar gum trick, but if you’re not, give it a try! It’s a simple, quick, and calorie-free way to avoid snacking.
Now, it’s also worth noting, that many sugar-free gums use a sweetener with Sorbitol that is a slight laxative and can cause some problems if you’re chewing more than a pack of gum a day.
Personally, I just like 1-2 sticks in the afternoon on days when I feel a bit hungry. It’s helped me out quite a bit…I hope that it can help you, too!
So go ahead and stash a pack of gum in your pocket, next to the cookie jar, desk drawer, or wherever you'll need to stop the next snacking urge. If a pack of gum can save us ten 350 calorie-snacks, then it just save us a pound!
You can find this article and other motivational fitness information in the January 2009 article of The Bullhorn.