Can you gain weight from chewing gum?

Quick answer

Chewing gum alone is unlikely to cause weight gain. Gum contains very few calories and no fat or protein. However, some gums contain sweeteners like sugar which can contribute extra calories and lead to weight gain over time if consumed frequently. Certain ingredients like sorbitol may also cause gastrointestinal issues that promote temporary water retention, but not fat gain. Overall, chewing gum has minimal effects on body weight for most people. Those avoiding calories from sweeteners may want to choose sugar-free gum instead.

Does chewing gum itself cause weight gain?

Chewing gum is unlikely to directly cause weight gain or fat accumulation in the body. An average piece of chewing gum contains about 5-10 calories per serving. This is a negligible amount of energy that won’t tip the scales by itself.

Gum base, which gives gum its chewy texture, is made of inert ingredients like rubbers and resins that provide fiber andnil calories. Most gums also contain flavorings and softeners like glycerin or vegetable oils in small quantities that have minimal caloric impact.

Unlike food which contains fats, carbs, and proteins with 4 calories per gram, the main components of gum lack macronutrients that could be stored as body fat. So just chewing gum without swallowing it does not deliver sufficient energy to gain weight over time.

Exceptions where gum may promote weight gain

However, some exceptions exist where chewing gum could indirectly influence weight gain in certain scenarios:

– Gums containing caloric sweeteners like sugar or corn syrup can provide extra calories that may cause gradual weight gain if consumed frequently.

– Sorbitol sugar alcohol in some gums may have a laxative effect that causes temporary water retention and bloating.

– Flavored and sweetened gum may increase overall appetite and cravings for other sugary foods.

– People may unconsciously eat more calories if they chew gum after a meal, thinking gum can “cancel out” calories.

– Strong mint flavors in gum may trigger Ghrelin release and increase hunger levels.

So in some cases, gum could lead to overconsumption of other calorie sources or appetite changes that influence weight over time. But the gum itself does not add significant calories or body fat.

Calories in different types of chewing gum

Gum Type Calories per piece
Regular sugared gum (Wrigley’s Doublemint) 11 calories
Sugar-free gum with sorbitol (Trident) 2.5 calories
Xylitol sweetened gum (Spry) 10 calories
100% xylitol gum (Xyloburst) 0 calories

This table compares calories in popular chewing gum varieties. Standard gums sweetened with sugar tend to contain 10-15 calories per piece. Sugar-free gums use non-nutritive sweeteners like xylitol or sorbitol and contain only around 2-5 calories per piece. Xylitol has slightly fewer calories than sorbitol, while 100% xylitol gum has no calories.

So sugar-free gums have minimal effects on calorie intake for gum chewers. However, those who chew 10-15 pieces daily could potentially gain a few pounds yearly from regular sugared gums. Moderating gum intake or choosing lower calorie options can help prevent overconsumption.

Ingredients that may affect weight

While gum itself provides negligible calories, some added ingredients may influence weight in different ways:

Sugar alcohols

Sugar alcohols like sorbitol and xylitol are lower calorie sweeteners used in sugar-free gums. They are incompletely absorbed and can have a laxative effect that causes bloating or fluid retention temporarily. But sorbitol does not actually increase stored body fat, and this effect diminishes as tolerance develops with consistent use.

Artificial sweeteners

Non-nutritive sweeteners like aspartame, acesulfame K, and sucralose add sweetness without calories or glycemic impact. Studies show they do not increase appetite or calorie consumption directly. However, the sweet taste may cause some people to crave other sweets.


Mint and fruit flavors give gum a palatable taste but do not contain fats or sugars. However, very strong minty flavors may promote Ghrelin release and hunger signals. So mint gum before meals may increase appetite slightly.


Gum base contains vegetable or plastic oils to create a chewy texture. These thickeners have minimal caloric impact due to the tiny serving size. But they provide omega-6 fats that may influence hormones and inflammation slightly.

Overall, certain gum ingredients like sugar alcohols or strong flavors may affect appetite and fullness. However, they do not cause measurable weight gain on their own.

Other factors influencing gum’s effects on weight

Aside from gum’s composition, several external factors also determine whether it affects weight:

Frequency of gum chewing

Chewing 1-2 pieces of gum daily has negligible effects on body weight. However, chewing 6-10+ pieces throughout the day could drive gradual weight gain for sugared gum over time due to extra calories.

Timing of gum chewing

Chewing gum after eating may signal to your body that calories are still entering and prevent fullness signals that indicate a meal has finished. This could impair satiety from that meal.

Pairing gum with food

Some people chew gum while snacking on calorie-dense foods, which pairs superfluous chewing with unnecessary calories for potential weight gain.

Individual differences

A small percentage of people may be sensitive to gum sweeteners and experience increased hunger or cravings that drive overeating. These effects likely vary based on gum type and individual response.

So gum on its own does not alter body weight substantially. But overusing sugared gum or poor pairings with food may influence weight modestly over the long term.

Does chewing gum suppress appetite?

Despite some claims, chewing gum is unlikely to be an effective appetite suppressant for weight loss:

– Gum chewing does stimulate saliva flow and provide a small amount of calories that may distract from hunger temporarily.

– However, any effects on appetite diminish quickly as the flavors dissipate within 15-20 minutes of chewing.

– Gum sweetness may actually increase food cravings rather than reducing them for some individuals.

– Studies on gum’s effects on appetite and eating behavior show minimal, transient effects compared to control groups not chewing gum.

– Gum likely does not affect levels of appetite hormones like ghrelin, PYY, or GLP-1 in any significant, prolonged way.

– Simply chewing without swallowing food does not provide the same effects on appetite as eating solid food with weight and volume.

So while gum may have slight short-term sensory effects on hunger, it likely has minimal influence on overall appetite and calorie intake compared to eating behaviors. More filling foods and snacks can suppress appetite longer.

Can chewing gum help you lose weight?

There is no compelling evidence that chewing gum aids weight loss:

– Gum itself provides only 5-10 calories max, too little to impact energy balance meaningfully.

– While chewing burns 11 calories per hour, this is trivial compared to overall daily expenditure.

– Gum likely does not decrease ghrelin or increase satiety hormone levels enough to suppress appetite substantially.

– People may unconsciously compensate by eating more calories from other sources.

– Any diuretic effects from sweeteners that reduce water weight tend to be temporary.

– Studies on gum for weight loss show minimal long-term differences in body composition or weight versus not chewing gum.

The act of chewing does burn some calories and may provide oral sensory effects that distract from eating briefly. So gum could be a minor complementary habit in a weight loss regimen – but it should not replace proven dietary strategies like calorie counting and exercise. For best results, focus on comprehensive lifestyle changes rather than relying on gum chewing alone.

Does chewing gum after a meal help lose weight?

There is mixed evidence on whether chewing gum after meals helps weight loss:

– Some studies suggest chewing gum for 30 minutes after lunch may help reduce overall calorie intake at the next meal by improving satiety.

– However, other studies show no differences in hunger, appetite hormones, or subsequent meal calories between gum-chewers and non-chewers.

– Gum often contains sweeteners that may increase post-meal cravings rather than reducing appetite in sweet-sensitive individuals.

– People may feel like they “undid” the meal by chewing gum afterwards and end up overeating because of it.

– Any effects on appetite and calories are likely short-term and dissipate after gum chewing stops.

Overall, chewing gum after meals has shown minor and mixed results on calorie intake and weight control in studies. It likely does not have a major sustained impact for weight loss. More filling, high-protein or high-fiber meals tend to suppress appetite longer.

Does mint gum suppress appetite?

Some theories suggest minty gum could suppress appetite due to:

– Minty flavors triggering digestive enzyme release and signaling meal completion.

– Peppermint lowering Ghrelin to reduce hunger.

– Mint increasing satiety hormones like CCK.

– Mint’s effects on levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin that regulate appetite.

However, studies on mint gum’s effects on appetite find mixed results:

– Some studies show mint gum reduces self-reported appetite and desire to eat compared to fruit or non-flavored gum.

– But other studies find no major differences in appetite hormones or actual calories consumed after chewing mint versus non-mint gum.

– Any appetite and hormone changes dissipate shortly after mint gum chewing stops.

– People may overcompensate and eat more later due to mint flavor triggering Ghrelin release for some individuals.

So while mint gum may create a temporary sensory illusion of fullness, it likely does not have a major lasting impact on appetite or weight control for most people. More research is still needed on mint gum’s effects.

Can sugar-free gum help you lose weight?

Sugar-free gum is unlikely to help you lose weight. Here’s why:

– It only has around 5 calories per piece, too minimal to affect weight.

– Sugar-free gum often contains sorbitol or other sweeteners that may increase hunger signals.

– While sugar-free gum avoids real sugar calories, the sweet taste may still drive sugar cravings.

– People may consciously or unconsciously overeat to “cancel out” the calories they think they saved from gum.

– Many studies show no significant difference in weight loss for sugar-free gum users versus non-gum chewers when food intake is controlled.

– Any small appetite suppressing effects of gum are temporary and unlikely to impact long-term weight.

Sugar-free gum can be a lower calorie alternative to regular sugared gum, but it is not a driver of weight loss on its own. Removing excess sugar from your diet through calorie counting and moderating sweets intake is more likely to contribute to losing weight.

Does chewing gum help burn calories?

Chewing gum does burn some extra calories, but the amount is negligible for weight loss:

– Chewing gum burns around 11 calories per hour, mainly from jaw muscle movements.

– This equates to 80-100 calories burned if chewing steadily for 8-10 hours.

– However, you need a deficit of 3,500 calories to lose 1 pound of fat.

– Burning 100 calories from gum would take over a month to remove 1 pound.

– The same calorie burn could be achieved by taking a brief 10-15 minute walk.

While gum causes trivial calorie expenditure, any calories burned are minimal in the context of a weight loss plan requiring cutting 500+ calories daily from diet and exercise. So gum should not replace more impactful calorie-burning activities.

Chewing gum risks and side effects

Some potential chewing gum risks and side effects to consider include:

– Headaches or jaw pain from overuse and frequent chewing

– Tooth decay or erosion from sugar in regular gums

– Gas, bloating, or diarrhea from sugar alcohols like sorbitol and maltitol

– Allergic reactions or migraines in sensitive individuals, especially from artificial sweeteners

– Overuse may worsen TMJ disorders or aggravate jaw and neck muscles

– Choking hazards from accidentally swallowing gum pieces

– Interference with medications or dental work if chewed soon after taking pills or procedures

Moderating gum intake, choosing natural options when possible, and proper dental hygiene can help minimize risks of gum chewing for most individuals. Those with chewing-related medical conditions should consult their dentist.

Tips for chewing gum for weight loss

Here are some tips for chewing gum to support a weight loss diet:

– Choose sugar-free gums to avoid extra calories from sugar.

– Limit gum chewing to 1-2 pieces max per day to prevent overdoing it.

– Avoid chewing gum before or during meals so as not to impair appetite.

– Opt for gum with no or minimal sorbitol to prevent bloating issues.

– Pick a flavor you enjoy so gum chewing is palatable as a habit.

– Drink water while chewing to wash out food debris and prevent tooth decay.

– Combine gum chewing with an overall reduced calorie diet and active lifestyle for best weight loss potential.

– Do not solely rely on gum to reduce hunger or calories. Make sure to eat balanced meals and snacks.

– Be mindful of chewing intensity and frequency to prevent jaw issues.

Chewing gum can provide an oral activity to reduce mindless eating and minor calorie burn. But it should complement, not replace, traditional diet and exercise strategies for weight loss. Sustainable lifestyle changes remain key.


Chewing gum alone is highly unlikely to cause weight gain or fat accumulation, especially when limiting sugared varieties. While gum may have minor effects on appetite sensations and calories burned through chewing, these impacts are generally insignificant for long term weight control. For optimal weight management, focus on traditional approaches like calorie tracking, nutritious low-calorie foods, and daily physical activity rather than relying on gum chewing as a solution. Moderately incorporating gum into your regimen as an oral habit adjunct may provide slight appetite suppression or calorie burn. But sustainable diet and lifestyle changes that impact your overall energy balance remain far more important for weight loss and maintaining a healthy body weight over time.

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