We’ve all been there. The jeans start to feel a little tight. You don’t like the way you look in the mirror. Its time to start that diet again. You do everything right. Eat healthy, exercise, and avoid all things sweet. But for whatever reason, the weight just won’t come off. Why? You might have been told that chewing gum or eating mints are a good appetite suppressant. However, could breath mints be a reason you aren’t losing weight?
Dr. Jason Fung is a world-leading specialist on intermittent fasting and dieting. He poses that weight loss is not regulated by calorie counting, but rather by insulin.
Here’s how it works. Insulin is the hormone that balances the amount of glucose in the blood. When you eat, sugar especially, your insulin increases. It stores sugar and produces fat within your liver. When your levels are normal it regulates body fat the way that it is should.
However, if you are resistant to insulin, your body does not react to it normally. It tries to regulate it but just ends up producing more for a longer period of time. Too much insulin, or for too long, causes your body to store excess fat.
Whereas, when you don’t eat your insulin levels end up falling. As a result, your body starts pulling some of that extra energy out of the stored fat. To lose weight, insulin must be kept from spiking. It needs time to drop back down. If you are overweight, Dr. Fung says you undoubtedly have an insulin resistance problem.
The best way to break insulin resistance is by fasting. It helps lower insulin for long periods of time and helps reset the organs’ original function. I understand that most people are hesitant about the idea of long-term fasting, which has been done for thousands of years. And, if you do it, you should talk to your doctor about any issues with medications, etc. But another popular option is intermittent fasting.
With intermittent fasting, you go 12 to 20 hours without eating. It could be from dinner to breakfast the next morning, but the longer the better, says Dr. Fung. One popular method mixes the keto food selection with intermittent fasting. The schedule is to only eat in a four-hour window each day. So, skipping breakfast and lunch and then eating an early dinner of mostly protein and vegetables. Or eating a late lunch and early dinner, focusing on protein and vegetables. This is a simple option that can be incorporated into your everyday lifestyle.
But what if you intermittent fast and still don’t see any change?
Breath Mints & Weight Loss
Alright, time to get to the main point of this article. Breath Mints. Let’s say you have tried intermittent fasting, but it’s still not working. Why?
If you eat a lot of breath mints, this could be a reason. Think about it. Mints can be loaded with sugar. They’re really just candy with peppermint oil added. Remember, sugar causes insulin to spike. The very thing we are trying to avoid. If you eat breath mints multiple times throughout the day that could keep your insulin high and keep it from the normal decline between meals. All the dieting and fasting techniques become less effective when you keep bumping up your insulin levels throughout the day. There are even indications that sugar-free (artificially sweetened) mints and gums may elicit an insulin response because your brain senses sugar.
So what’s a good alternative?
Peppermint Essential Oil
If you absolutely love mints then peppermint essential oil might be the solution for you. You can put a few drops in your mouth or add some to your water. Furthermore, peppermint oil has several health benefits:
- Migraine or stress headache relief
- Sinus relief
- Increased energy
- Longer sleep
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