Did you know that Wrigley's Gum had nutritionists that help them find ways to aid in weight loss? I sure didn't. In conjunction with this season's "The Biggest Loser", Molly Gee, a Wrigley's Nutritionist with 25 years of experience in health/nutrition communications and the clinical management of obesity as well as a leader of the ADA (American Dietetic Association) is spending some time with us today to share information about how gum can help you in your back in skinny jeans efforts.
BISJ: Hi Molly, we are very excited to have you speak with us today. The first thing I'd like to know is how gum can help someone in their weight loss journey. Gum doesn't seem to have much in the nutrition area, or am I wrong there?
Molly: Chewing gum can be a great tool to help people manage their weight since it’s a low calorie alternative to a high calorie snack. I often tell my patients that when they feel the urge to snack, especially in the afternoon or at the office, to pop in a piece of gum like Extra instead of reaching for that handful of cookies or chips. With only five calories per serving, sugarfree gum is a very small portion of your daily caloric intake.
BISJ: I find it really fascinating that a gum company like Wrigley's hires nutritionists. I would never have guessed that but it is a relief to know. Can you give us a quick peek into some of the things you help Wrigley's with in terms of weight loss?
Molly: Wrigley has Registered Dietitians on staff to marry the science of nutrition and the flavor of its products. I’ve been in the obesity wars for over 25 years and help to review select research and tools for their educational materials. For example, Wrigley’s Walk and Chew Gum Challenge provides great tools like a grocery list and a weekly progress journal.
BISJ: Can you tell us 3 things that people trying to shed pounds can immediately do to help them with their nutrition during their weight loss journey?
- Weigh and measure what you eat and drink and write it down in a food journal.
- Fill up on more fruits and vegetables to crowd out high calorie foods.
- Limit high calorie grazing by substituting chewing gum which only has 5-10 calories per piece.
BISJ: Can you share with us one myth about nutrition that is commonly believed
but un-true, and set the record straight for us?
Molly: Often my patients ask me about the fat burning powers of foods like grapefruit, cabbage or celery. If it sounds too good to be true, then it usually is. Those foods are all very healthy and have a low energy density; but no foods have the ability to “burn” fat. It’s all about energy balance in the calories you eat versus the calories you burn up through physical activity. An easy way to track the calories you eat and physical activity is to join the Wrigley’s Walk and Chew Gum Challenge. The challenge has tools that allow you to track the number of calories you cut by substituting gum for a high-calorie snack and the number of extra steps you take each day.
BISJ: And lastly, I talk a great deal about how your emotions can affect a weight loss program. One of the reasons many people have troubles with their nutrition is because of emotional eating. Sometimes the need for ice cream to comfort a bad day out weighs the logic of eating fruits and vegetables for healthy nutrients. What is your advice to help people who are emotional eaters to honor the emotions yet honor the body will healthy foods as well?
Molly: Knowledge is power; use it. Emotional eaters are really more in control if they acknowledge that ice cream is to comfort a bad day. Own it and move on. It’s the guilt and beating yourself up that will have you spiraling toward uncontrolled eating.
BISJ: Molly, thank you again for your time! We're so happy you came by to visit
Molly: Thanks for having me Stephanie!