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Walk and chew gum to boost your weight loss efforts

A new study reveals that chewing gum while walking may be the key to losing extra calories.

fitness Updated: May 27, 2018 11:10 IST
Soma Das
Soma Das
Hindustan Times
Walking,Health,Wellness
Previous research had found that gum chewing boosts heart rate and energy expenditure in people at rest.(Shutterstock)

While exercise and diet are integral to weight, there may be certain tweaks you can make for better results. And unlike fad diets which take you to extremes and lead you to fast or eat just one food item a day, this new study asks you to just chew gum.

A team of Japanese researchers reveal that the key to weight loss could be as simple as chewing gum while walking. They conducted experiments where they found that the heart rate of 46 people, aged 21 to 69, increased when they were given gum to chew while walking at a natural pace. Previous research had found that gum chewing boosts heart rate and energy expenditure in people at rest.

And while masticating caused a measurable physical difference in participants of both genders and across all age groups, it was most pronounced in men over 40, the team reported at the European Congress on Obesity in Vienna.

“Combining exercise and gum chewing may be an effective way to manage weight,” the researchers said. This is very relevant in countries like Japan where walking is the “most widely performed movement”. This was the first study dedicated to studying its effects in people while walking, its authors said.

Combining exercise and gum chewing may be an effective way to manage weight. (Shutterstock)

How the study was conducted

Volunteers completed two walking trials, each 15 minutes long. In one, they chewed two pellets of gum that contained three kilocalories. In the other, for comparison, they walked after ingesting a powder containing the same ingredients as the gum.

The team then measured participants’ resting heart rate and walking heart rate in both legs, as well as the distance they covered at a natural pace, walking speed, and the number of steps taken. In all participants, the mean heart rate was “significantly higher” in the gum trial, said the researchers.

In men over 40, it also boosted the distance walked, number of steps taken, and energy expended. The team speculated that the reason for this may have something to do with “cardio-locomotor synchronisation”, a natural phenomenon whereby the heart beats in rhythm with a repetitive movement.

The study was published in The Journal of Physical Therapy Science.

Fruits are your secret weapon to lose weight. (Shutterstock)

Other factors that boost weight loss

* Controlling your stress levels

A study, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, shows how chronic exposure to stress is linked with obesity due to the relationship between fat cells and the timing of stress hormones. The strategies to beat stress and associated weight gain involve relaxing the brain and calming the nerves and cells.

* Tweak your diet to feel full for longer

You can avoid overeating by opting for foods that keep you full for longer. Stock up on fruits, nuts, dried fruits, cucumber and carrot sticks and Greek yogurt which make for excellent snacks instead of junk food. Another cheat trick is to drink lots of water.

* Eat the right fruits

Fruits make for excellent snacks and are loaded with nutrients. Eat servings of papayas, pineapple, mangoes, bananas and avocados for best results.

(With inputs from AFP)

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First Published: May 27, 2018 11:06 IST