Giving Up Smoking And Gaining Weight

There’s an assumption that giving up smoking will automatically cause you to gain lots of weight, but the reality is that many people don’t gain weight at all when they quit smoking. Some people use smoking as a comforter and source of reassurance, which may be replaced with eating if you give up smoking, but weight gain can be prevented and there are ways around putting on weight when you stop smoking. If you’re concerned about putting on weight when you try and quit smoking, ask your GP for advice. Here are some tips to avoid gaining weight when you give up smoking:

  • Exercise: exercise burns calories, which will help you to maintain your weight and it’s also proven to help people to quit smoking. Try to exercise at least 5 times per weeks for 30 minutes and you’ll soon notice that you look and feel better. If you don’t enjoy going to the gym, there are plenty of other activities you can try, from boxing or dancing, to swimming, playing tennis or doing a workout DVD at home. 
  • Think about the benefits of giving up smoking: many people worry about putting on weight, but the reality o the situation is that smoking is much more harmful for your body than gaining a few pounds. If you’re not happy with your weight, try to give up smoking and then worry about losing the extra weight afterwards. 
  • Eat healthily: if you have more of an appetite when you give up smoking, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to put on weight; you can eat more without changing weight by making sure that you eat the right things. Do some research on calorie content and stick to a healthy eating plan, which provides you with plenty of healthy foods. Try to cook at home, rather than going for fast food or ready meals, aim for 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day and moderate your intake or sugar, salt and saturated fats. If you have cravings for sweet foods when you give up, go for healthier options, such a sugar-free jelly or natural yoghurt with strawberries, rather than cakes or biscuits. You can make healthier versions of your favourite treat dishes, such as burger and chips, by swapping beef patty for a chicken breast and baking sweet potato wedges instead of frying potato chips.
  • Ask about stop smoking treatments: stop smoking treatments, such as nicotine replacement therapy, help to control cravings and prevent withdrawal symptoms, which may reduce compulsions to comfort eat. Ask your GP about treatment options. 

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