Would you like to quit smoking but have concerns about gaining weight? While it’s true that the average person gains about 10 pounds, you can beat those odds. Try these strategies to tackle the two main challenges: oral cravings and a slower metabolism.
Tips to Help You Resist the Urge to Eat More
1. Drink more water.
Plain water is the best thing you can reach for when you experience oral cravings. It’s free of calories and keeps you hydrated. It will also suppress your appetite naturally.
- Create a pleasant ritual by keeping a pitcher on your desk and carrying along a water bottle wherever you go.
2. Chew gum.
Sugar-free gum is another good friend to have around. The chewing action can help substitute for the satisfaction you got from cigarettes. It’s even good for your teeth because it stimulates saliva, which breaks down bacteria.
3. Eat more slowly.
If you spend more time eating the same amount of food, you’ll avoid packing on pounds and may even improve your digestion. Chew slowly. Put your fork and spoon down in between each bite.
4. Seek out distractions.
Even if your cravings are intense, you’ll feel better knowing that the hardest part will be behind you within a few weeks. Meanwhile, take your mind off your discomfort by having a refreshing nap or playing with your kids.
5. Give yourself non-food rewards.
Look forward to all the money you’ll save on cigarette purchases. Try spending some of that on movie tickets or a good book to avoid feeling deprived.
Boost Your Metabolism
You may feel frustrated if you find yourself gaining weight even though you’re eating less. This can occur because your metabolism will slow down once nicotine is withdrawn. However, there are some simple things you can do to increase your basal metabolic rate, or how fast you burn calories.
1. Do aerobics.
Aerobic exercise is an effective method for burning more calories. Take a brisk walk or go for a morning swim. Find a variety of activities that you enjoy.
2. Increase your muscle mass.
Even a modest gain in muscle mass will help you burn more calories all day and night. Try lifting weights or toning your body with Pilates or yoga.
3. Eat more frequently.
Eating food actually stimulates your metabolism because calories get burned in the process of digestion. Most of the action takes place in the first hour after dining, so try eating smaller meals with some healthy snacks in between.
4. Forget about magical solutions.
All foods have about the same effect when it comes to burning calories. You might as well enjoy a cup of coffee rather than waste money on fat burning pills whose only active ingredient is caffeine.
Helpful Tips and Tricks
1. Remember the benefits of giving up tobacco.
2. Improve your lifestyle in advance.
It can sometimes help to lose weight or start a regular exercise program prior to giving up tobacco. That way, you can focus your energies on one challenge at a time.
3. Avoid temptations.
Once you know your individual triggers, you can avoid them. Take a walk after dinner if that’s the time you’ll want to eat a heavy dessert and smoke.
If you need extra help, talk to your doctor about using nicotine replacement products.
Congratulations on making the decision to stop smoking! You’re on your way to better heath and a longer life. These suggestions can help you give up cigarettes without gaining weight, and the end result will be a happier, healthier you.
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I really wanted to talk about this topic today because your natural health and wellness is important. You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of poor health, including chronic disease, so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
I use lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you lose weight, and maybe reverse some chronic diseases (if you suffer from them). In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy. But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.
Please talk with your doctor about any complementary health approaches, including supplements, you use. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
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