Woman says she accidentally consumed over 1,000 calories simply by licking envelopes

@chloewilliams3663/TikTok Alliance/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘What a waste of calories’: Woman says she accidentally consumed over 1,000 calories simply by licking envelopes. Are envelope-licking calories actually a thing?

‘Just imagine entering envelopes into your calorie tracker app.’


Stacy Fernandez


Did you know you are consuming calories every time you lick glue on an envelope or stamp? That’s the topic of today’s episode of “I was today years old when I found out…”

In a viral video with more than 1.2 million views, Chloe Williams (@chloewilliams3663) shared how she accidentally consumed more than 1,000 calories worth of envelope glue. That’s close to how many calories there are in a Burger King Triple Whopper or a specialty cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory.

See, Williams is seemingly in the midst of wedding planning and needs to send out her save-the-date cards, which, of course, each go in their own little envelope with a stamp.

Little did she know that every time she swiped her tongue on the card (she tried using a sponge with water instead of her tongue, but said it didn’t seal very well) to close and mail it she was ingesting a few calories each time.

Envelopes and stamps commonly contain gum arabic, a fiber which is widely used in candies, ice creams, and sweets to thicken, emulsify, and stabilize, Food Navigator USA reported.

How many calories do you ingest from licking envelopes?

Williams’ 1,000-calorie calculation may be off. Williams was accidentally basing her calculation off of the standard British stamp, which has 5.9 calories each. That means she licked about 166 stamps.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, each stamp or envelope has around 1.7 calories per gram, but that doesn’t mean you’re ingesting that entire amount when you link the glue. Instead, each lick is about 0.1 calories, Atlas Obscura reported.

By this measure (166 envelopes times 0.1 calories), Williams only consumed about 16.6 calories. That’s about four strawberries, a cup of raw spinach, or a piece of sugar-free gum.

Now, with all of our technological advances, why is there still a need to lick envelopes?

Self-seal envelopes have been around for a while. They do tend to be more expensive than traditional envelopes, but not by that much. At Target (in NYC) you can get 55 press and seal envelopes for $2 and 125 traditional ones for $3.27. That’s $0.36 versus $0.26 per envelope.

But wet-and-seal envelopes remain popular because bulk mailing companies have already invested a lot of money in machines that wet and seal thousands of envelopes a day, Vice reported. So, switching to peel-and-stick doesn’t really make financial sense for them.

And greeting card companies have stuck to tradition because people don’t really complain about having to lick one or two envelopes every few months when a special occasion comes up.

@chloewilliams3663 I tried a sponge and it didn’t seal very well…😭 yes, i did accidentally look at Britsh Stamps cals instead of envelopes😳 #fyp#weddingtiktok#weddinginvitations#envelopes#savethedates#calories#wedding#sendingmail#horrified ♬ Tell Ur GF – Lay Bankz

Viewers in the comments section had plenty to say.

“Just imagine entering envelopes into your calorie tracker app,” the top comment with more than 24,000 likes read.

“I feel like for some things we can pretend that calories don’t exist for it like ain’t no way envelopes count,” a person said.

“So that’s why there’s envelope wetting sticks…” another added.

In a comment, Williams shared that she bought an envelope sealer stick to avoid more licking.

The Daily Dot reached out to Williams for comments via direct message on Instagram.

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