5 Tools and Tricks to Avoid Weight Gain After Quitting Smoking

Diet Plan

Probably the biggest concern I had when I first quit smoking, other than the raging cravings, was the potential for weight gain. A lot of people have this problem, mainly due to the fact that cigarettes can act as an appetite suppressant. It can also cause fatigue, stress and other emotional issues that can make you want to eat to compensate for. It isn’t unusual for the average smoker to gain five or more pounds (sometimes a lot more) when they give those cigarettes up.

But gaining weight isn’t inevitable. If you are aware of what can happen, you can be prepared to fight against it. All it takes it a little bit of foresight and some tips and tricks to avoid it.

1. Plan Ahead – While you might have that ‘aha!’ moment that makes you want to immediately throw out the smokes and stay off, it might not actually be the best course of action if you are worried about packing on the pounds. Instead, you should take a couple of weeks to get prepared. Start by cutting out the amount you smoke by at least half. Start exercising (if you don’t already, and your doc has cleared it), and establish a routine. Make sure stress is as low as it can realistically be as you start to smoke less. Then when you get to the day you set for quitting, you will be more prepared for everything that comes along with it.

SparkPeople

2. Watch What You Are Eating – Taking more calories in than you are burning is going to cause you to gain weight, period. There is no magic chemical that forces it to happen, so gaining weight after quitting is almost certainly due to replacing cigarettes with food. You should keep an eye on what you eat to keep this from happening. Sign up for a website like SparkPeople or MyFitnessPal and start tracking your calorie intake. Make sure to put in everything you are eating, so you know whether you need to cut back or not. You can set your goals to maintain your current weight if you need to, or to lose weight if that is another goal you have. You can also track physical activity.

MyFitnessPal

3. Get Physical – I already touched on this in the first tip, but exercise should be a part of everyone’s routine. Not only is it a way of maintaining your health, but it is a surefire way to manage your weight. Plus, it has been shown to improve your chances of quitting smoking. You will be amazed by how quickly your lungs will heal during this process, increasing your stamina. If nothing else, it will help you to push away cravings and decrease the stress that comes along with kicking the habit.

4. Cut Out Liquor – Many people smoke when they drink. So when you have had a few and that craving inevitably kicks in, it is easy to say “Well, just one won’t hurt.” But it will, and you don’t want to undo all of your hard work just because you were drunk. You don’t have to cut out all alcohol, all the time. But for the first couple of months, or at least weeks, it is best to avoid it. Besides, you might find yourself drinking more due to the stress, and alcohol is full of sugars and calories.

Reddit's Stop Smoking

5. Join A Support Group – Having understanding people around you that can support and cheer you on is important. You are less likely to turn to food if you have a way to release your tension, stress and feelings. Whether you choose to do it with a group of friends, or you join an online quitting group like Reddit’s Stop Smoking, it is incredibly helpful to have a listening ear. Consider Smoke 51 promo codes or similar options for painless quit smoking experience (Disclaimer: I haven’t tried anything like that amd I am in no way affiliated; I just thought a few good things about these)

Have some tips for keeping your weight down while you boot out smokes for good? Let us know in the comments.

Image Credit: diet plan.

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