Chew Away The Extra Pounds

Written by Rita Kennen

Chew. Chew. Chew your way to weightloss.

Among the top five tunes on the charts in 1961 was Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor On the Bedpost Overnight?  When British musician Lonnie Donegan turned the old `20s favorite into what's now an icon of baby boomer nostalgia, he probably wasn't aware of the ramifications chewing gum would have on weight loss.

Chewing gum can help you burn up to 11 calories an hour.
If you chew gum all day every day for one year you could lose 11 pounds.
Gum chewing is no substitute for exercise, but it does use up energy.

Odd as it sounds, chewing gum actually burns up to 11 calories an hour.

Watch this video from our resident fitness expert, Jon Giswold, on some new stretches.

Having something in common with cows.

Twenty percent of the calories cows burn comes from chewing their cud. This chewy nugget of info was the inspiration that led Minnesota researchers to test the calorie-burning power of chewing gum.

Seven people of normal weight were recruited and asked to sit in a dark room and chew sugarless gum for 12 minutes. To make sure everyone chewed with equal energy and enthusiasm researchers asked them to chew by a metronome.

Merely sitting, but not chewing gum, the subjects burned an average of 58 calories an hour. Once they started chewing on a quarter piece of calorie free gum, the number of calories burned shot up to 70. The conclusion? Humans burn about the same amount of calories chewing gum as cows do chewing cud.

Double your pleasure, double your fun

But before you audition for a role as one of the Doublemint twins consider this:

Researchers estimate if you chewed gum every waking hour for one year and made no other extra effort to lose weight you'd lose approximately 11 pounds.

But would you want to go through life chewing gum all day long? I doubt it. And forget about substituting gum chewing for aerobics. The only real conclusion coming out of the experiment is that minor changes in non-exercise activities do burn more energy.

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