Watching Your Weight
Quit smoking tips on how to control your weight.
Most people gain between 5 to 10 pounds when they stop smoking. The good news is
that this weight gain can be lessened if you understand what's happening to your
body and stick to the basics. Enjoy healthy foods. Understand your triggers. And
realize that smoking likely increases your metabolism. So plan on burning a few
extra calories when you quit. Here are a few tips to consider:
Think before you eat
Early on in your quit, it's natural to look for something to fill the void left
by cigarettes. Ask yourself why you're reaching for food. Understanding why can
help you avoid eating when not hungry. Try other ways to cope with snacking triggers
like anxiety and boredom by "breathing deeply" or other relaxation exercises.
Keep your hands and mouth occupied
Find healthy foods that take time to chew. Have a ready supply of low-calorie, low-fat
foods to keep your hands and mouth smoke-free. If you feel the urge to eat, try
waiting a few minutes, it just might go away! When you do decide to snack, think
moderation. Choose foods with a variety of tastes and textures.
Eat a minimum of 3 meals a day
Eating at regular times also helps stabilize your metabolism throughout the day.
Choose a variety of foods from the basic food groups to get the vitamins and minerals
you need to stay healthy.
Research has shown that adults who eat breakfast are 35% to 50% less likely to be
obese compared to those who frequently skip it. And it's been suggested that the
habit of a morning meal might help people control their hunger throughout the day.
Rest your fork and knife between bites. It takes about 20 minutes for the brain
to get the message that you are no longer hungry. Fast eaters are often overeaters,
while slow eaters tend to eat less and are still satisfied.
Get up from the table as soon as you finish eating
Move on to other non-smoking activities like walking, biking, doing the dishes,
When you eat out, eat well
Salads with chicken, cheese or almonds pack a terrific protein punch along with
fiber and vitamins, and you can always use a low-fat dressing or skip the croutons.
Drink less alcohol and caffeine
All alcoholic beverages contain calories and heavy drinking has been shown to contribute
to weight gain. As for caffeine, smokers have a higher tolerance to caffeine. Once
you quit, the same amount of coffee of cola might now make you very jittery and
Plan on burning a few extra calories when you quit
It’s been estimated that smoking burns an extra 140 to 215 calories per day. The
good news is if your eating habits remain the same as they were when you smoked,
you can easily burn those calories with a 30-minute daily walk. Nicotine Replacement
Therapy or stop-smoking medication, such as nicotine gum, also appears to help protect
against weight gain, at least while they are being used.
Exercise is a big help in controlling weight while quitting. Experts suggest 30
minutes of activity almost every day for adults. If you already have an exercise
program, you might want to consider increasing your aerobic activity to get your
heart and lungs working harder. Consult your doctor and plan a program tailored
to your age and physical condition. Start out slowly, make it fun and stick to it.