Losing Weight After Quitting Smoking

Photo credit: Bigstockphoto
Photo credit: Bigstockphoto

Perhaps one of the most common concerns of those about to quit smoking is weight gain after kicking the habit for good. Because smoking suppresses the appetite, quitting could result in weight gain forsome people.

However, this weight gain is very easy to lose. We recommend focusing first on quitting and not relapsing beforedealing with weight gain later on. Why? Because the damage inflicted on the body by smoking is so much worse that just gaining a couple of pounds. You’ll have a hard time maintaining a healthy lifestyle if you try to lose weight and quit smoking at the same time.

If, say, you’ve quit smoking successfully and you’re now ready to deal with weight gain and curb cravings, consider these weight loss tips:

Stop Snacking on Sugary Treats

You never know how much time you spend smoking in a day until you quit. For most people, the habit is an alternative to snacking — and because smoking does suppress the appetite, you eat less. Now that you’ve quit smoking, you’re probably overwhelmed by cravings for sweets or savory snacks. This is extremely common and very easy to deal with as long as you are committed to staying on track.

To cut back on consuming more sugar, replace all your unhealthy snacks with healthy albeit yummy ones. For example, if you are habitually craving for sweets like doughnuts or candy bars, replace it with low-calorie energy bars or dried fruits and nuts. These healthy snack alternatives are sure to curb your cravings for sweets without the added calories.

Watch Your Portions

Some healthy foods and snacks could be just as fattening as regular foodstuff if you don’t watch what you eat. That’s why to maintain your weight after quitting smoking, you have to control the portions too so you don’t overeat.

For example, apart from choosing healthier snacks, keeping your snacks in portion-controlled bags also helps prevent overeating. The same thing goes for everyday meals; you want to focus on fiber-rich, low-calorie meals to maintain a slender body. The key here is to stay healthy without starving yourself. Do not deprive yourself or you just might break your resolve and overeat.

Keep Your Hands Occupied

One of the most effective ways to keep yourself focused on quitting without gaining weight is to find ways to occupy your hands. This is especially true for long-time smokers who are quitting for the first time. Quitting is a great time to start a new hobby.

Take up knitting or learn how to do your nails on your own. You have to keep the hands occupied so your thought process won’t stray to smoking. If the urge to smoke strikes, let your mind wander to important things like catching up on emails, reading a book, or doing things around the house that you’ve been putting off for months.

Have the Right Mindset

One of the reasons why quitting cold turkey is not as successful is because those who do this aren’t committed to staying clean for good. Without the desire to keep yourself on track, you lose control. The same thing can be said for keeping yourself fit when you quit smoking. You have to be committed if you want to lose weight.

Prior to quitting, find a workout buddy to help you stay in shape; take nicotine patches or nicotine gums to condition your mind to stop craving for cigarettes. You could enroll in workout classes to keep yourself in shape. When it comes to quitting, the hardest part comes within the first two weeks. If you push through the most difficult periods of quitting, then there’s a huge chance that you’ll make it.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking 8 glasses of water a day is the most effective way to lose weight. It could also help flush out toxins from the body, keep the skin healthy, and minimize the urge to light up. Water also helps kick-start the metabolic rate and make you feel fuller longer, preventing overeating.

So always keep a bottle of water or calorie-free beverage handy. Don’t go for sugary drinks like fruit juices or sodas because they could be too high in calories. When the urge strikes, sip water and let your mind occupy other things.

Exercise More!

Exercising regularly not only helps you slim down and tone your body, it also occupies your mind when you quit smoking. Sweating it out in the gym also helps flush out toxins from the body through perspiration. Exercising also releases happy hormones in the brain, leading to having an uplifted mood.

Again, if you’re not ready to exercise on your own just yet, find a fitness buddy to help you stay on track. You can also run or brisk walk 30 minutes each day to keep yourself fit.

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