One of the reasons smokers give for not quitting this destructive habit is weight gain. Even though your metabolism may slow down it is still possible to remain slim once you quit smoking. Here are 10 proven ways to keep off the pounds once you quit.
Healthy, balanced diet
Sticking to a healthy, balanced diet will help keep you slim and trim. Eating low-calorie, nutrient dense food is the optimal way to keep unwanted pounds from piling up. Keep your portion sizes in check as well.
Satisfy your sweet tooth without overindulging
Good options include low-fat or fat-free yogurt, fat-free frozen fruit bars or sugar-free fruit drinks.
Replace high calorie and high sugar snacks with low-calorie, nutrient dense ones
Cut up vegetables, a handful of pretzels, sugar-free iced tea, fresh fruit and so on are all great for between meal snacks. These also help to satisfy the hand to mouth needs.
Keep your mouth and hands busy
Keep your mouth and hands busy to avoid the temptation to nibble all day long. Once you quit smoking you need to replace the habit with a calorie-free alternative. Chewing on sugarless gum helps to fill the void that quitting creates. Keep your hands busy with painting, woodworking, or crafts such as beading, knitting or needlework. If you don't like crafts, then gardening or a computer class may suit you better.
Keep track of changes in your eating patterns
Keep track of changes in your eating patterns with a food diary. In this way, you will be able to identify potential trouble spots before they become excess pounds.
Drink 6-8 glasses of water each day. Water aids in digestion and can help to alleviate the bloated feeling that ex-smokers experience.
Start or maintain a regular exercise program. Nicotine speeds up your metabolism. Your metabolism slows down when you quit smoking. Exercise will help to rev up your metabolism again. You may want to start an exercise program a month or two before you quit smoking, because working on one new habit at a time is easier than tackling two new habits at once. It will feel good to know you are doing positive things for your body... getting in better physical shape, feeling stronger, and getting rid of a habit which is harmful to you.
Weigh yourself once a week. This helps you to keep tabs on any weight gain before it spirals out of control. If you've gained a pound or two, increase your exercise by 30-60 minutes the following week to burn it off.
Keep yourself busy
Keep yourself busy. Make a list of all the things you've always wanted to do but never had the time for. Then tackle them one at a time. Clean out the basement, join a community project, take up a new hobby.
If you need to tackle only one change at a time
You may find quitting smoking and maintaining your weight simultaneously too much of a challenge. If this is the case, give yourself a break and wait until you've stopped smoking for a while before you begin your weight-loss campaign.
If you've used weight-gain as an excuse to quit smoking, you don't have to anymore. You CAN quit smoking and be slim and trim.