We all have it, whether we choose to admit it or not, and some of us have it worse than others. I would put myself in the top percentile of the world of needing to chew. Chewing is great when you are eating, but if you need to chew between meals that either means you have to eat when you really shouldn’t, OR you have to find something to chew on…such as gum or hard candies. So let’s start with gum. Many people chew sugarless or sugarfree gum so the caloric value is of no importance. HOWEVER, with Sorbitol being the number one ingredient in sugarless or sugarfree gum…I’m forced to chew the REAL thing because I cannot digest Sorbitol AT ALL. But enough about me. The other danger in chewing gum is that our body was not designed to be constantly chewing. Dr. Mercola states that chewing requires sophisticated neurological mechanisms. For example, the brain sends a signal to your stomach to start producing digestive elements like acid and other digestive enzymes preparing the body for what it thinks is food get ready to come down the pipes. The more gym you chew, the more acid your body generates and thus you have an imbalance in acidity and the chance things like acid reflux to develop.
Ok, I had to get a little sidetracked so I could explain why a little stick of gum is more than just a pacifier. But there are many OTHER things we chew on all day long that we don’t include in our daily calories. I would bet that you don’t include gum (I know I neglect this). We rarely include anything that we munch on in between meals. Especially if it is a “bite of” someone elses snack, or a “handful” of someone elses chips. We don’t include things we eat while standing, or the food we graze while we are actually making our meal. (I’m the BIGGEST culprit here — snacking on things while making dinner because I have let myself become too hungry between meals). We don’t include the 5 or 10 calorie “diet” drinks we drink by the gallon or the little creamers we put into our coffee. We don’t include the mint that we have to have to freshen our breath or the cough drop we need to clear our throat.
So we have an excess of chewing going on which results in a whole lot of extra calories that we would swear we aren’t taking in…it must be our metabolism that has slowed down. The goal today is to EITHER right down all of the things you chew when you aren’t eating OR to go for an hour at a time without chewing anything at all. I will abide by the same rules and if anyone has any helpful hints to help create a chewless environment for us…PLEASE share!!