The decision to quit smoking is beneficial to your health, but can lead to weight gain in some cases. On average people gain 5 pounds when they quit. Some people gain more, some less. Some people have  no weight change after quitting smoking.Typically, it's not a huge amount of weight gain--it's maybe 5 or 10 pounds. But the frustration is obvious and understandable: you feel you've replaced one negative habit  with another--excessive consumption of calories.
Some people are more likely than others to put on weight when they stop smoking. You are more at risk of weight gain if you:

  • are already very overweight
  • are a heavy drinker (or you don’t drink any alcohol at all)
  • are a heavy smoker

Focus on giving up smoking first, rather than worrying about your weight. The health risks of smoking are much greater than those of gaining a few pounds temporarily. Trying to quit smoking and lose weight at  the same time could put a lot of strain on your willpower. You may prefer to wait until you’ve given up smoking successfully.If you are trying to quit smoking and are concerned about the possibility of weight gain,  do not give up on your effort to stop smoking. Instead, learn how you can quit smoking and avoid weight gain.


Why Do Quitters Usually Gain Weight?

Giving up smoking can lead to weight gain for several reasons. For example:
Nicotine speeds up your metabolism. When you smoke, your body burns calories at a faster rate. When you stop smoking, your metabolic rate decreases. Metabolism is the rate at which the body burns  calories. A faster metabolism can make it easier to keep weight down.
Nicotine suppresses your appetite. It can affect the part of your brain responsible for making you feel hungry. Nicotine causes the liver to release glycogen, which raises your blood-sugar level slightly and  suppresses appetite. Until your metabolism adjusts, expect to gain about a pound a week.
Other research indicates that smoking increases your levels of the relaxation hormone, serotonin. Quitting smoking can lead to a decrease in this hormone level and an increase in your craving for foods high in  simple carbohydrates. Consuming sweet and starchy foods increases serotonin levels and enables you to feel more at ease.
Smoking dulls your taste buds. When you stop smoking, your appetite and sense of taste and smell may improve, tempting you to snack more often.

Don’t Think About Your Weight So Much

Experts recommend focusing on the quitting process first and getting to the matter of your weight later on. Many smokers do gain some weight. Its fine to resolve to do everything you can to keep your weight  down. But don’t make weight a make-or-break issue. It’s important to tell yourself right at the beginning that it’s OK to put on some weight. “Don’t be too tough on yourself.”
Keep Your Health in Perspective
Quitting smoking doesn't mean you'll automatically gain weight. And even if you do gain a couple pounds, that's not as important as saving your life... and the lives of others.
If you do gain extra pounds while you kick the habit, don't let that derail your efforts. “By quitting smoking, you can add years to your life -- and years of being in good health rather than sick and disabled,” says  McIntosh. “Those extra pounds are a small price to pay.” Once you’re tobacco-free, you’ll have plenty of time to get into shape and achieve a healthy weight.

Try Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Studies suggest it’s better to tackle stopping smoking first before trying to lose any weight gained while quitting. This can help you focus on taking care of yourself—quitting first and then working on weight  control. "If you’re dieting while you’re trying to quit, there’s too much deprivation going on. Weight control is a learned behavior—food habits and activities have developed over your lifetime. It may take awhile  for your new eating habits to stick, but they will become more natural with time. Doing what you can each day to give your body good food and a healthy dose of activity will help keep your weight in check as  you quit smoking.

Oral Gratification

Do you miss the feel of cigarettes in your mouth? Some smokers really miss the oral gratification of smoking."Quitting can increase appetite directly or indirectly, as you crave the oral stimulation of smoking,”  Satisfy your oral fixation with healthy alternatives. By choosing low-calorie or zero-calorie foods, you can avoid putting on weight. Many ex-smokers find that sugar-free lollipops or chewing gum can help to replace the physical sensation of drawing on a cigarette.
Try sugar-free lollipops, gum (nicotine gum if you like), hard candies or Tic Tacs in your car, purse, and coat. Experts recommend chewing celery, carrots, or playing with a straw or toothpick. Even sucking on  cinnamon sticks can help! Gum keeps your mouth busy, and studies show it can even help you lose weight."

Avoid Crash Diets

Do not go on crash diets or a VLCD (very low calorie diet). Choose healthy foods that are rich in nutrients and low in calories whenever you can. Consciously try to reduce your daily intake by just 100-200  calories per day for the next six months. This small reduction will help offset metabolic changes that happen when you stop smoking. However, don't go to extremes: When your calorie intake is too low, it  decreases your metabolism and affects your mood. Both will work against you, rather than for you, when it comes to weight loss. VLCD have been shown to make dieters feel very stressed, which of course will  increase your desire for food and cigarettes.

Make Wise Food Choices

Make your meals interesting, vary the foods you eat—don’t have the same old things all the time. You can still eat foods from all of the food groups; just choose them with care. Plan good-for-you meals that  include plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Eat smaller, more frequent meals to increase your metabolism and avoid getting so hungry that you overeat. Eat high-protein, high-fiber foods because they fill up your stomach more (and because they’re better  for you). Lean meat, eggs, soy, and nut butters should stay in your food arsenal as you quit. As protein with each meal will help control blood sugar and hunger over the course of your day.
Milk and dairy products should be nonfat or very low fat (1%).For meats make lean choices like turkey and chicken breast. Be aware of how much oil you’re using; salads are great, but dressing can make the fat  calories skyrocket, so use them sparingly.

Eat Healthy

Avoid salty, sweet and processed foods. If you reduce or avoid high-calorie sweet foods, you are less likely to gain weight. Avoid the temptation of fast food—it’s very high in fat and calories. One fast food meal  contains more fat grams than you need for the whole day. Generally, avoid fried foods and food like soups and pastas that are loaded with fattening cream sauce. Stock up on low fat foods, and stick to the ones  that you like and will actually eat.

Choose Healthy Snacks

Quitting smoking will increase your snacking. If you're hungry between meals, Have lots of low-cal, healthy snacks on hand at home and at work. If you want certain snacks around, make sure they're handy and  healthy. While you should avoid substituting food for cigarettes, you should plan healthy snacks, like fresh fruit or canned fruit packed in its own juices, cut-up veggies, Carrots, celery and bell-pepper sticks,  sugar-snap peas, edamame, grape tomatoes almonds or pistachios (in limited amounts.) and fat-free yogurt are all low-calorie, high density.

Drink Lots of Water

Drink plenty of water. Shoot for eight, 8-ounce glasses of water a day and helps you keep weight off naturally. Drinking water will keep you hydrated, boost your metabolism, help you feel full, also provide a  sense of satisfaction and flush toxins from your newly clean system. Carry a water bottle with you throughout the day and sipping through a straw or water bottle might help with the desire to have something in  your mouth.

Avoid Alcohol

Watch your alcohol intake. Aside from the fact that, it is often coupled with smoking. For many people, drinking is a trigger for smoking. Also, alcohol is high in “empty calories” and can pile on the pounds. Limit  the amount of alcohol you drink or stop it altogether to reduce the chance of a nicotine relapse. Alcohol will also lower your inhibitions and make it more difficult to resist both overeating and cigarettes. So cut  back on alcohol and drinks with caffeine (coffee, tea and soft drinks)

Conquer Smoking Triggers

Track your cigarette triggers for a few days before your quit date. You may notice you always smoke a cigarette after eating, or as soon as you get on the phone with your mom. Begin to brainstorm alternative  activities to replace smoking. Perhaps a cup of herbal tea or brushing your teeth after each meal might help. While on the phone, keep a pad and colored pencils nearby and doodle to keep those fingers busy.

Break Routines

Avoid smokers and smoking environments. Did you used to take a smoking break at 10 A.M. with co-workers? Take your break at 9:30, and go for a short walk instead to avoid the sight and smell of cigarettes.  Go where there's no smoking, like stores, movies, churches and libraries. Spend time with other nonsmokers. Put yourself in control. Smokers are told constantly that they are not in control of their addiction and  that their cigarettes control them. It is simply not true. Just like eating patterns, smoking patterns contribute to addictive behavior.

Replacement Indoor Activities

Acute cigarette cravings often last just five minutes. Remember, the severity of your cravings will decrease over time. If you're keeping a "smoking journal" track your cravings to smoke, and identify replacement  activities such as doing the laundry, call a friend, dance, cook, a video game, watch a movie, play with your dog or kids, do gardening or yard work, wash the car, knit, do crossword puzzles, write letters,  reading to your child, play with a pencil, paper clip or marbles or whatever you like to do that’s active.  Activity burns calories.

Physical Activities to Keep Weight Off

Becoming more active can help you reduce or maintain your weight. To distract yourself from the urge to smoke, fill your day with things to do that don't involve eating. Physical activities -- walking, gardening,  doing chores -- are a great choice. They burn calories, of course. And research shows that they also have a positive effect on mood. Check with your doctor first if you've been inactive a long time or have  medical problems, you're middle-aged or older or if you’re not sure about what level of activity is best for you. But any kind of distraction from the urge to smoke will help. Examples include:

  • A trip to the cinema
  • Visiting a local museum
  • Attending a concert
  • Volunteering
  • Going to the library to read
  • Walking or cycling for short journeys, instead of driving
  • Walk in shopping malls
  • Try stairs instead of escalators and elevators
  • Park farther away from stores and walk
  • Getting off the bus one stop early and walking the rest of the way
  • Learn a new dance or Try aerobic dance classes
  • Fortunately, it's easier than ever to find smoke-free places to go these days. That trend has helped to make it easier for smokers to quit.

Do a Major Cleanup

Clean your home to get rid of the smell of smoke. The smell of cigarettes will increase your urge to smoke, so the less residual scent, the better. Try scented candles, potpourri, or oil-infused room fresheners.  Use peppermint scented products; the smell of peppermint has been shown to be an appetite suppressant. Have carpets and draperies steam cleaned. Throw away all tobacco, ashtrays and lighters so you  won't be tempted. Take your car to be professionally cleaned.

Get Support

Tell your family and friends you are stopping smoking and ask them to support you. Use the tried-and-true method of successful quitters. "Statistics show the best success is a combination of group or support  therapy. Join a support group. Just as you find the support and camaraderie of the Spark People community helpful with your weight-loss journey, a can make things a little easier—and you can find many right  here at Spark People!
Reward Yourself
Stopping smoking is a major achievement and trying to do so without gaining weight makes the process more challenging. Forgive yourself for minor slips and treat yourself to small rewards for each progress  step you make. Reward yourself every day or week that you stay a nonsmoker. Don't use food as a reward. Keep in mind the goal should be to "maintain" your current weight and put continued weight loss on  hold.

Stress Management Toolbox

If you are used to reaching for a cigarette to calm down when faced with outside stressors, and you’re working hard to get cigarettes out of your life, food can easily become part of your stress-management  toolbox. Have a toolbox of stress management techniques ready and on-hand. Try massage, yoga, playing with your dog, listening to music you love, or taking a bath. If you’ve always depended on cigarettes  to ease stress, have lots of other options aside from food ready and available. Consider self-relaxation techniques to reduce withdrawal symptoms and the tendency toward emotional eating. Let it pass. Try  relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation.

Exercise More!

To avoid weight gain when you quit smoking, make diet and exercise part of your stop-smoking plan. Keep up the physical activity and the healthy eating. This will help you quit smoking as well as trim your  waistline. It may benefit:

  1. After you quit smoking, your body burns calories more slowly. Even if you eat no more than when you smoked, you may put on weight, but being more active can help you stay at a healthy weight.
  2. Regular exercise not only burns calories but also helps lose weight if you take in fewer calories than you use up.
  3. Exercising also distracts you from cigarettes cravings and restless energy.
  4. Exercise can help your body cope with withdrawal symptoms from nicotine, as well as boosting your self-confidence.
  5. Exercise also has the additional benefit of helping you burn off the nervous energy many smokers struggle with when they quit.
  6. Exercise also suppresses appetite. When you exercise, fat is broken down and released into the bloodstream, which can suppress your appetite.
  7. By exercising for 30 minutes a day, five days a week, you can increase your metabolism and help combat weight gain.
  8. Moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, such as fast walking, jogging or swimming can burn off 200-600 calories an hour and being active increases your metabolic rate.
  9. Exercise helps you deal with stress, boredom, tension and calms you.

Talk With Your Doctor

Share your plans with your doctor, and have a discussion about smoking cessation tools. The prescription medication Zyban, the antidepressant fluoxetine, as well as nicotine replacement therapies,  cognitive  behavioral therapy and support groups or counseling have all been shown to help smokers quit successfully—with less weight gain.  Get free advice which might be best for you from the NHS Stop Smoking  Service.

Antismoking Medicines

A variety of products and medications are available that have been found to help smokers quit. antismoking drug such as nicotine-replacement therapy and the prescription tablets Zyban (bupropion) and  Champix (varenicline) can double your chances of quitting successfully and also seem to help reduce weight gain in the first few months.
Finally, a word to the wise: Don’t rely on nicotine-replacement therapy or smoking-cessation drugs to control your weight when quitting. The weight effects can be unpredictable and temporary. And beware of  programs that guarantee you can put down the cigarettes without picking up some pounds. They’re probably too good to be true. 

Natural Fitness Tips
Natural Fitness Tips

No comments:

Post a Comment

please do not enter any spam link in the comment