When it comes to weight loss, there’s no replacement for a good exercise regime and a healthy diet. But if you’re too busy to hit the gym today, a new study has found that there’s an easy way to burn a few extra calories as you commute from place to place. Researchers in Japan recently studied 46 habitual gum chewers between the ages of 21 and 69 to find out if chewing gum while walking contributed to weight loss.
The participants were divided into two groups, both of whom completed 15 minute walking trials. The first group chewed on two pellets of gum containing 3 calories while completing their walk. The second group ingested a powder containing the same ingredients as gum, in order to determine whether it was the process of masticating or the ingredients in chewing gum that served as a weight-loss agent.
What they found was that those who chewed gum while walking had a significantly higher heart rate, an effect that the researchers attributed to cardio-locomotor synchronization—a natural process in which the heart beats in rhythm with a repetitive motion.
What is most interesting is that chewing gum seemed to boost the number of steps taken by men over 40, allowing them to burn an additional two calories per minute. Sadly, the same was not true for women.
We all know walking is good for you. In fact, a recent study even found that walking just 40 minutes every day has major cardiovascular benefits, especially in women over 50. We also know chewing gum is an easy way to burn calories, since the amount of energy it takes to chew it vastly exceeds the amount of calories it contains. A report by the Mayo Clinic found that chewing gum burns around 11 calories per hour, and when you combine that with the extra calories it helps you burn while walking, it really adds up.
As such, the researchers concluded that “combining exercise and gum chewing may be an effective way to manage weight.” Especially because previous research has also indicated that chewing gum can help curb your appetite.
Of course, it must be noted that chewing gum has its downsides, especially on your teeth. That’s why the American Dental Association recommends chewing sugar-free gum, which actually stimulates saliva flow, reduces plaque, and prevents cavities. Look out for gum that contains the ADA Seal,as it indicates those are sweetened by non-cavity causing sweeteners such as aspartame, xylitol, sorbitol or mannitol.
For more easy ways to burn calories, check out the New Science-Backed Workout That’s Extending Elderly Lives.
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