Don’t derail your quit by becoming overly concerned about weight gain.
When you quit smoking, it’s crucial to stay focused on your quit. But some people get caught up in the potential side effect of quitting – weight gain – that they try to tackle both cigarettes and weight at the same time. This split in focus can result in relapse.
Not everyone gains weight, and those who do gain on average of just 4-10 pounds. In many cases, smokers could use the extra pounds because smoking can make people unhealthily thin. So why do recent quitters even gain weight? Smoking acts as an appetite suppressant, and when smokers quit their metabolic rate returns to normal. Others may gain weight because they are replacing their smoking habits with unhealthy snacking, or they enjoy food so much more because it tastes better than when they were smoking. Regardless of why some people gain weight, the many benefits of quitting smoking and potentially gaining a few pounds far outweighs the no benefits of continuing to smoke.
It’s ok to want to want to stave off weight gain after you quit smoking, but don’t make drastic changes in your diet in order to do it. Quitting is tough enough without the added stress of severe dieting. Instead, use some of these simple tips to keep healthy.
- Get moving! Exercise not only helps you lose or keep off weight, it also helps to control your appetite and relieve cravings, withdrawal symptoms, and stress. Now that’s a win-win-win.
- Eat and snack healthy. Try to eat meals and snacks that are nutritious and low in calories like fruit and vegetables. Go for smaller portions or lean meats, and stop eating when you feel full.
- Brush your teeth. One trick to avoid over-eating is to brush your teeth throughout the day. When your mouth feels squeaky clean, you may have less of an urge to put more food in it.
- Indulge a hobby. Participating in activities like gardening, playing an instrument, or something else that you enjoy doing can help you stay active and avoid eating just to eat. Bonus point: They also help distract you from smoking cravings!
- Put something else in your mouth. Instead of reaching for unhealthy snacks, try carrots or sugar-free hard candies or gum. It’ll help satisfy your oral craving without adding the calories.
- Keep hydrated. Good ole H20 helps boost metabolism and relieves smoking cravings.
If you are very concerned about weight gain, please talk to your doctor or a nutritionist who can help you develop a dietary plan that fits your needs. Just try not to stress too much about some weight gain post-quit. Instead, focus on sticking to your quit!
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