When it comes to weight loss, you already know you have to take on the biggies (big E’s): Eat right. Exercise. Endure. But it’s also important to have a stash of small, less intimidating things you can do every day to make the biggies a heck of a lot easier to handle.
Here’s a simple weight loss tip that celebrities like Pamela Anderson swear by…and is soooo easy…AND you’re already doing it every day anyway…wait for it…wait for it…
It’s brushing your teeth.
Yes, that’s it. At the end of every meal and snack that you eat, brush your teeth for no less than 2 minutes, followed by a floss and rinse. Polish those pearly whites, buff up the buds, give those canines a good ol- fashioned scrub down. Your dentist will be thrilled. But why would your waist-line be? Here are five reasons this handy little habit could help you see both your hygienist and your love handles a lot less often.
5 Surprising Ways Brushing Your Teeth Helps You Lose Weight
1. The Mouth-Body Connection
What does the cleanliness of your mouth have to do with your muffin top? Well, as it turns out, recent research is showing that it has everything to do with it. An outpouring of new data is showing that the health of your mouth is linked to the health of almost every other system in your body.
In fact, one study found that people with gum disease were 40 percent more likely to also have another chronic condition. Oral bacterial build-up and inflammation of the gums has been linked to conditions such as high blood sugar, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and osteoporosis, and some researchers even suspect a connection to rheumatoid arthritis and lung conditions.
Both the American and European’s respective journals of clinical periodontology published separate studies and reviews showing a positive association between poor oral health and a higher likelihood of a high BMI and obesity. The research suggests that taking good care of your mouth and gums could have a significant impact on your long-term health and weight.
2. No-Brainer Portion Control
Do you find that you tend to linger at the table and keep eating, even though your physical hunger has already been satisfied? That’s because chewing and eating gives us a tactile pleasure that quickly turns into a psychological habit. This leads to mindless repetitive eating, even after our stomachs are full.
That’s why it’s extremely helpful to replace this grazing habit with a regular post-meal ritual – such as regularly brushing your teeth after every meal – that signals to your brain that the meal is over, time to stop eating and move on to other activities.
Instead of hanging out at the table for seconds or lounging on the couch with a never-emptying snack bowl, getting up and heading to the bathroom for a sudsy tooth wash ‘n floss helps to mentally signal that eating time has ended, shutting off the subconscious part of your brain that keeps you eating out of habit.
3. Scrub Away Your Sugar Cravings
Peppermint has been found to act as a natural appetite suppressant. A University of Rhode Island study found that people who inhaled peppermint scent every two hours ate 2700 fewer calories per week than they normally did. And according to Alan Hirsch, M.D., neurological director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, the more often you smell this scent, the more powerful it becomes at suppressing your appetite.
People also reported experiencing less cravings for sugar and dessert throughout the day when they started brushing at regular intervals throughout the day with peppermint toothpaste. A study involving more than 14,000 subjects published in the Journal of the Japan Society for the Study of Obesity determined that people who brush after every meal tend to weigh less than people who don’t.
4. Kill the Mood to Eat with Other Oral Stimulation
After you’ve thoroughly brushed and flossed your teeth, tongue and roof of the mouth, you’re left with a pleasantly tingling sensation in there. That’s because you’ve stimulated increased blood flow and nerve activity in your gums and mouth. When this happens, sensitivity in the mouth is heightened and people naturally lose their desire to eat.
5. Getting Down in the Mouth Makes You Happier
A simple fact train to follow: brushing your teeth more often encourages you to smile more often. Smiling more often leads to experiencing happiness more often. Experiencing happiness more often leads to better self-esteem. Better self-esteem is linked to taking better care of one’s health and body. Ergo. Brushing your teeth more often leads you to take better care of your body.
There are plenty of “weight-loss toothpastes” on the market. Ignore these. Go directly to the regular oral hygiene aisle in your local drug store, pick up a travel-friendly tube with a tooth brush and some floss, and SMILE – you’re ready to start brushing away the bulge.