Weight gain does not necessarily happen when you quit smoking.
A combination of healthy diet, exercise and support therapies go a long way in weight management.
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Is the ‘quit smoking, weight gain’ adage inevitable? No, it isn’t. It is possible to not be part of the ‘quit smoking, weight gain’ bandwagon.
The best way to manage weight when you quit smoking is to not focus on weight control, but rather on keeping yourself healthy.
So, how to manage the quit smoking, weight gain phenomenon if and when it does happen?
Why do you gain weight when you quit smoking
Why does the ‘quit smoking, weight gain’ phenomenon happen in the first place? There are 4 chief reasons:
- The nicotine present in the cigarette speeds up the metabolism and suppresses the appetite. Hence, the body ends up burning calories faster than usual. When one quits smoking, the body replaces the cigarettes with high-calorie food cravings while now burning calories at a regular rate – hence the weight gain.
- Olfactory and gustatory senses get enhanced when one quits smoking, leading to one craving sugary and fatty foods.
- One feels like distracting themselves from cigarette cravings by eating or even tends to mistake these cravings as hunger pangs.
People could end up replacing the smoking action of the hand and the mouth with snacking.
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Try these tips to quit smoking without weight gain
So, exactly how to quit smoking and not gain weight?
Quitting smoking is all about finding the right time, the right diet, the right exercise, and adequate support from one’s friends and family.
When the time comes, here are a few tips to minimize cigarette cravings and quit smoking without weight gain:
1] The right approach:
Simply throwing away your cigarettes will not work; one needs a systematic approach to quitting.
One needs to plan ahead, set a quit date, set aside time to flag off a regular exercise regime or a physical activity, and even set a date to begin eating healthy.
Next, one needs to map out situations which could urge one to smoke and find ways to deal with them. This improves readiness to quit.
2] Getting moving:
One of the first steps to quitting smoking without piling on weight is getting into regular exercise by joining the gym, clocking in more hours, going for more walks, etc.
Since metabolism drops after quitting, staying fit with consistent exercise will boost the metabolism in a healthy way.
3] A quit smoking diet:
Food tastes duller when one quits because smoking dampens the taste buds, which gets reversed when one stops smoking.
While there’s an obvious disadvantage, one must begin with slowing down chewing and charting out a healthy food diet complete with proteins, carbs, and vegetables and fruits in all sorts of combinations.
They will soon begin to appreciate the taste of food enough to enjoy healthy food too.
Another great way is to eat healthy food which resembles cigarettes such as carrot and celery sticks, or cinnamon sticks.
Drinking more water is a constant solution no matter what the health problem is. Staying hydrated will keep quitters busy with their hands and help you feel full.
5] Smart snacking choices:
Making smart, healthy snacking choices, such as unsalted pistachios, fruits, roasted snacks, and cut-up veggies, is essential towards avoiding weight gain when one quits smoking.
A good support system and motivation can do wonders for quitters.
Group support therapies, talking to people who have quit, talking to family and close friends, and planning to handle cravings, both food and cigarettes, will go a long way in helping quitters keep weight in check as they quit.
Support is also important when you feel like the craving can get the better of you, and there are people to help you not relapse.
You could even try TruWeight’s weight loss detox program
In the end, since quitting cigarettes is a lifestyle change, allow a little weight gain and don’t be bothered by it, especially when you’re already on the path to a healthier you.
1] How to quit smoking without gaining weight?
Quitting smoking without gaining weight requires a multi-fold lifestyle change which includes exercise, sleeping well, controlling one’s drinking, talking about it with friends and family, eating healthy, drinking lot of water, and, most importantly, not starving oneself because of the weight gain.
It is possible. A good support system, combined with a healthy lifestyle of exercise and good diet will go a long way in ensuring that you can quit smoking without gaining weight.
3] How can I avoid gaining weight when I quit smoking?
Fighting food cravings which is caused by quitting smoking and going off cigarettes is important.
Another aspect is exercise, which will help keep the weight off as well as help one with the weight loss.
Talking to support groups such as friends and family, and other quitters also helps.