In most cases, when the subject of quitting smoking comes up, people fear that they will gain weight. To tell the truth, I also felt the same way when I stopped. Since I was over 220 pounds, I did not want to gain further weight. However, when I made my list of what I could gain from quitting, I stopped caring about it. I will be healthier and fitter even if I gain a few pounds.
It is funny that, after reducing my smoking dramatically and adopting a much healthier lifestyle, I lost over 30 pounds! Yes, you heard me right. I gradually changed my life through proper nutrition and regular exercise. And the small changes added up to the end. Now I feel much better. It is no longer a problem for me to run a few miles or climb stairs without huffing and puffing.
I did thorough research on the topic to find out what I can do to avoid gaining weight. Here are my habits to prevent gaining weight.
Drinking water is an important part of my daily routine
Even though it may seem boring, drinking water regularly is an important part of a healthy diet.
When you consume plenty of water, your body can effectively flush toxins out of your body, which is especially important for smokers or ex-smokers. You can imagine how many harmful toxins have built up in your body after years of smoking.
Water also helps to improve digestion, and with that, it can promote weight loss. When you drink a big glass of water, what do you not feel? Hunger! So, it is excellent to surpass appetite. It is also a natural metabolism booster. Increased metabolism leads to more effective calorie burning, even if you don’t exercise.
Finally, water is also crucial for joints’ health and muscle fibers’ regeneration. This makes it easier to exercise with greater safety and effectiveness.
There is one thing you should not consume, however. That is, drinks that are packed with sugar and artificial ingredients. Those beverages are sure to make you fat. I personally prefer fresh, cold mineral water, but you can sometimes substitute it with infused water or tea.
Snacking wisely is my priority
As soon as we experience withdrawal symptoms, most of us reach for some snacks. Certainly, it can alleviate the discomfort. However, you should be careful. If you fill yourself up with chips, chocolate, sweets, and other junk food, you should not be surprised that you will gain weight.
What are the best alternatives?
Fresh fruits and vegetables are an excellent snack choice because they are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Another great snack is nuts and seeds, which are high in fiber, protein, and healthy fat. There is always a mix of peanuts, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds in my pocket and desk.
Since snacks contain various nutrients, they are effective supplements to your diet. Thus, you hit two birds with one stone. They help you avoid lighting a cigarette while providing you with healthy foods.
Try to have a healthy snack on hand at all times! That way, you’ll be prepared when the urge strikes, and you can stay on track with your diet!
I engage in physical activity
Several studies have shown that even short periods of exercise, especially aerobic exercise, can reduce the urge to smoke.
As a smoker, it is difficult to exercise because smoking makes you out of breath and tired. However, after a few days without smoking, your lungs will feel stronger, and you can exercise comfortably.
The first thing you should do if you have never done any serious physical activity is to consult your physician before you begin anything. And, of course, you should start slowly. You have been destroying your body for many years, so do not expect it to function properly at first.
Workouts don’t have to be time-consuming or difficult. Even just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day can make a big difference in your health. Gradually increase how long you work out each day until you are doing something that makes your heart beat for at least 30 minutes.
Take a class at your local gym or consult a personal trainer if you don’t know where to start. There are also lots of exercises you can find online or in magazines.
Consider taking a class or finding an outdoor activity you enjoy if you find it hard to stick to a regular workout schedule.
Why do I think exercising is so important for those who give up smoking?
In addition to the benefits of exercise, it will keep you distracted from any temptations you may face while you are quitting smoking. Exercise releases endorphins, which ease cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
A regular training routine is also an effective motivation for me to continue to exercise. I have become aware of how my body is changing and how I can perform better and better. All of this encourages me to give up cigarettes once and for all.
By the way, sometimes I’m surprised at myself because I can work out so intensively that I couldn’t have imagined before. That is the point when I realize how harmful smoking is.
All these things together can help you stay smoke-free for the long term.
Therefore, please do not waste your time but go out and do something that will make you happy. Whatever you like to do, do it! Whether you ride a bike, play football or tennis, jog or walk. Just don’t waste your time.
Lastly, accept a small amount of weight gain.
There are two same cars, but one of them doesn’t look so good. The first car has a bad engine, runs slowly, and always has a problem. The other that doesn’t look so good has a much better engine and works smoothly. Which do you prefer? Of course, the second one.
If you continue to smoke, you will have a faulty engine, which will not function properly. If you stop smoking, you may gain a few pounds, but you are taking a huge step in pursuing a healthier and more effective lifestyle.
Quitting smoking will give you much more benefits. Plus, if you make a few lifestyle changes – like exercise and proper nutrition – you can quickly lose those excess pounds. Furthermore, most people do not experience weight gain upon quitting smoking. Why would you be one of them?
To sum up
My strategy for preventing weight gain when quitting smoking is simple. I stay active, drink water, and eat healthy foods. This is the best way for me to eliminate my addictions and support my physical well-being.
Don’t hesitate any longer. Start making changes today, and you will be on your way to a smoke-free life!