Can You Chew Gum While Intermittent Fasting?
Written by Andrew Brewer. Updated on June 2023.
Medically reviewed and fact checked by Dr. Kinjal Kanani Shah.
While it’s not okay to eat food while intermittent fasting, is it okay to chew gum? Let’s look at the factors at play when chewing gum breaks your fast.
- While fasting, it is important to restrict calorie and carbohydrate intake to force the body to use stored fats for energy.
- The type of gum being chewed is a crucial factor when deciding whether or not to chew gum while fasting.
- Sugar-free gum with low-calorie content is generally acceptable in small quantities during fasting, but it’s important not to overdo it and be mindful of the type of fast being done.
Food Factors To Be Considered While Fasting
To understand whether gum is allowed for fasting, it’s essential to understand what breaks a fast.
Usually, your body obtains energy from carbohydrates. While fasting, you need to restrict your carb and calorie intake so that the body is forced to use stored fats for energy.
So, only foods with low calorie and carbohydrate content are allowed while fasting.
One more aspect while considering foods allowed for fasting includes understanding their effect on the insulin hormone. Insulin controls your blood sugar levels. So, foods that cause insulin to spike should be avoided.
Other factors that decide whether chewing gum is okay during fasting is the type of fast you’re partaking in. Some intermittent fasting methods have extremely low thresholds that are easy to break.
Water fasting holds that any calorie at all is enough to break your fast, so chewing gum is not allowed. Other fasting methods are much more lenient and allow for small amounts of calories.
Standard intermittent fasting plans like the 16:8 or the 5:2 allow for small calories throughout the fasting window, as long as you’re not breaking the threshold. It’s important to know how many calories are in the gum you’re chewing and whether or not that surpasses the maximum caloric intake to break your fast.
Can Chewing Gum Break A Fast?
Most gums contain 2 grams of carbs, which comes in the form of sugar. They may provide anywhere between 11 to 30 calories.
So, the type of gum you’re chewing is one of the biggest factors that decide whether you can chew or not.
If you’re chewing high-calorie gum like bubble gum, then chances are you’ll break your fast by chewing the gum.
Certain sugar-free gums are perfectly acceptable in small quantities. If you’re going to be chewing gum while fasting, we recommend finding a brand that is sugar-free and low in calories as these should be fine to consume.
As long as you’re not chewing multiple sticks throughout the fasting window, you should remain below your caloric intake limit.
There are certain benefits to chewing gum that help make intermittent fasting easier, but it’s important to ensure that you’re not breaking your fast over a stick of gum. Keep it low in sugar and low in calories.
Other Benefits Of Chewing Gum
One of the main reasons why people chew gum is to distract themselves. There’s always been a belief that chewing gum helps reduce hunger as it helps your mind focus on other things. Chewing gum can, in fact, trick your mind into thinking you’re eating, but this only works to a certain extent. If you’re hungry and still have a long time to go in your fasting window, then perhaps chewing gum isn’t a bad idea.
Obviously this isn’t a substitute for eating, but it could help you make it to the end of your fast. However, you do need to be careful as depending on chewing gum could lead to you accidentally breaking your fast. As we mentioned, sugar-free gum should be your fasting gum of choice, but even that could break your fast if you chew too much of it.
The bottom line is that sugar-free should be fine. Some types of gum should be okay to chew while fasting as it doesn’t contain enough sugar or calories to break your fast. For these types of gums, it could even be recommended that you chew them while fasting as it could help curb hunger and cravings. Don’t overdo it on the sugar-free gum as it still contains calories and, even though you’re not swallowing it, those calories are still entering your body.
Just be mindful of the type of gum you’re chewing as well as the type of fast you’re partaking in.
Don’t forget to check our 10 recommended intermittent fasting apps to make your intermittent fasting journey easier.
Can you chew gum while intermittent fasting?
Yes, you can chew sugar-free gum while intermittent fasting.
Will chewing gum break my fast?
Chewing gum alone will not break your fast, but gum with sugar or calories will.
Does chewing gum affect the benefits of fasting?
Chewing gum with sugar or calories can affect the benefits of fasting, but sugar-free gum likely has no effect.
What type of gum can I chew while fasting?
You should only chew sugar-free gum while fasting to avoid breaking your fast.
How much sugar-free gum can I chew while fasting?
There is no specific limit on how much sugar-free gum you can chew while fasting, but excessive gum chewing can cause digestive discomfort.
Can chewing gum help suppress hunger during fasting?
Chewing gum may help suppress hunger during fasting, but it is not a long-term solution for managing hunger.
Can chewing gum cause an insulin response?
Chewing sugar-free gum is not expected to cause an insulin response, but gum with sugar or calories may.
Should I avoid artificial sweeteners in sugar-free gum while fasting?
There is no evidence to suggest that artificial sweeteners in sugar-free gum affect the benefits of fasting. However, some people may prefer to avoid them.