The majority of the smoking population automatically assumes that quitting smoking will also lead to extreme weight gain. Do not let this myth be the reason you keep smoking! Tobacco and nicotine are two powerful stimulants that increase the body’s metabolic rate, influence the blood glucose level and curb hunger. There are ways, however, to kick your smoking habit without packing on those extra pounds, while keeping your metabolism working at it’s best. Let’s take a closer look at how you can succeed in maintaining your current weight without smoking!
The most important element to keep in mind is your personal health. Concentrating solely on your physical appearance is a quick way to sabotage your success. Your major organs have suffered enough turmoil; let’s fuel your insides with the nutrients and vitamins it deserves. Taking a multivitamin each day will give your body the supplements it may not be getting from your diet alone. Something to keep in mind: a smoker that smokes a pack of cigarettes a day, makes his or her heart work as hard as a non-smoker who is 100 pounds overweight! It is important to remember that the health benefits of quitting far outweigh any risks associated with a small amount of weight gain.
Nutrition is a key component in your quest to keeping the pounds off! It’s time to learn how to replace a negative habit with a positive one. Each time you find yourself craving a cigarette, reach for a piece of fruit, or maybe some raw veggies and nuts. If you replace the cigarette with foods high in sugar and fat, you can bet the weight will begin to pile on. Consuming foods that are loaded with protein such as chicken, eggs, beans, and dairy fuel muscles and help burn fat. Be sure to also avoid alcohol; it contains many empty calories, is a known trigger to smoke, and has no nutritional value to your body. Eating small meals frequently throughout the day will keep your metabolism working at top performance. The initial few days without cigarettes may be challenging. Push past the hunger pangs; your body will adjust to these changes quicker than you might think. Another really great tool to use is brushing your teeth immediately after each meal. You are less likely to eat and smoke after having just brushed your teeth. Keep yourself well hydrated; drinking water before and after meals will help you to feel fuller. One study shows that sipping cold water through a straw releases Dopamine, a feel-good hormone in the brain that helps reduce stress.
Because quitting smoking slows down your metabolism, it is essential to include exercise into your daily routine. Fitness promotes a healthy heart, and is proven to increase your energy. Cardiovascular exercise such as walking, running, climbing stairs, or cycling are effective ways to burn off extra calories. Check out your local gym; most health clubs offer a free personal training session to help you familiarize yourself with the weight lifting equipment. Developing your muscles also burns fat, and can keep your metabolism revved up for an extra 3 hours after you finish your workout! Exercise has a psychological effect on one’s mind as well. It relieves stress, keeps your head clear, and can improve your over-all attitude.