If you're new to Intermittent Fasting and you're looking to achieve a weight loss goal, you probably have a lot of questions. One major question I get all the time from my clients is "does gum break a fast?". This can break down into two major questions: Does sugar containing gum break a fast and does sugar-free gum break a fast.
Today, I'm breaking down exactly what you need to know about gum and Intermittent Fasting so that you can tap into fat burning mechanisms and achieve your weight loss goals!
Does Gum Break a Fast?
A typical piece of gum that contains sugar will have around 11 calories and 2g of sugar. Although this isn't very high in sugar, consuming 2-3g of sugar can still have the potential to break your fast. Not to mention, sugar is one of the leading causes of spikes in our storing hormone insulin. With weight loss as the focus, it's important to not consistently spike our storing hormone insulin. This shuts off fat burning mechanisms within the body and shifts the body into fat storing mode instead. Exactly opposite of what you're looking to achieve with Intermittent Fasting.
So now you may be thinking... well what about sugar-FREE gum?! If sugar is the problem, then does sugar-free gum break a fast?
Pssst - wondering what type of fasting is best for your goals? Click below for my free Intermittent Fasting Schedule quiz to find out!
Does Sugar-Free Gum Break a Fast?
If sugar-free gum doesn't contain sugar then what makes it taste good? The answer comes down to artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors, "natural" flavors and sugar alcohols. These non-nutritive sweeteners provide the sweet taste without the carbohydrates. But does that mean that these calorie-free sweeteners don't break a fast?
One of the main perks of Intermittent Fasting is that it helps to naturally decrease the storing hormone insulin and therefore turn on fat burning mechanisms.(1) However, it turns out that for some people, sugar-free sweeteners may still cause an insulin response even though it doesn't contain any real sugar.(2)
This means that sugar-free gum can still break your fast because it can cause a spike in insulin.
Unless you're testing your blood glucose levels everyday, it's hard to determine if you may be one of those people who secretes insulin in response to calorie-free sweeteners. That's why I typically recommend a good rule of thumb is to keep your chewing gum to your eating window (if you choose to have it at all).
What Can You Have While Fasting?
If you're looking for something to satiate cravings without breaking your fast, great options include sparkling water, Keto Coffee or mint tea. Mint tea is an excellent choice for reducing cravings as it acts as a natural appetite suppressant. You can use bagged mint tea (just check that it doesn't include any additives and contains only mint) or you can steep a handful of fresh mint leaves in hot water for 4-5 minutes.
Keto Coffee is my personal favorite method for reducing hunger while fasting. Plus, due to not containing any non-nutritive or regular sweeteners, it won't cause an insulin response and therefore can be had during your fasting window!
You can get 5 of my super easy Keto Coffee recipes to use while fasting with my article HERE.