Many smokers avoid kicking the habit because they don't want to gain weight after they quit. Experts say that smoking can burn up to 200 calories per day and helps to boost the metabolism. The sad truth is most people do gain 5 to 10 pounds after quitting simply because nicotine can be a powerful appetite suppressant.
However, there are several ways you can step out of the addictive cycle and improve your health in the process. By adding more exercise to your daily routine, eating a well-balanced diet and avoiding alcohol, you can take control of your addiction-free lifestyle and avoid gaining weight.
Ways to Keep Off the Weight After You Quit Smoking
One of the biggest challenges for most former smokers involves overeating and food addiction. The "addict" mindset can be very difficult to overcome, and many smokers simply turn to another addiction when they can no longer get their "fix" from a cigarette.
Food addiction can lead to another unhealthy lifestyle that eventually leads to even more weight gain. However, former smokers who resolve to get healthy, stay in shape and make positive changes in their lives can keep the weight off and get in better shape for the long-term.
Some simple ways to keep the weight off after quitting smoking include:
Snacking on healthy foods - Stocking up on healthy snacks and food is a top priority, because smoking can make you hungry and predisposed to snacking. Stock up on foods such as frozen grapes, herbal tea, fat-free popcorn and hard candies so that you can replace the need to eat (or smoke a cigarette) with a healthier habit.
Just say "no" to alcohol - Alcohol can be a trigger for the quitting smoker and contains a significant number of calories per serving. When you're trying to lose weight and get healthy, alcohol should be far from reach; drinking can make you gain very quickly and makes it difficult to keep off the weight for the long-term.
Start a new workout plan - Exercising regularly can help you boost your metabolism naturally and ward off those extra pounds. Working out at least four times per week can keep you in great shape and keep you motivated to stick with your healthier lifestyle. Do a combination of cardio exercises and weight training to make the most of your exercise sessions.
Start a new hobby - Many former smokers realize that they have a lot of time on their hands when they stop their addiction. Starting a new hobby will keep your hands and mind occupied so you are less likely to fill up the time with food, food-related activities or falling back into your smoking habit. Join an art or crafts class, begin a new sport, or just get involved in the local community to stay busy.
Weight gain may seem inevitable when you decide to quit smoking, but there are several ways you can ward off the extra pounds and maintain a healthy lifestyle. A few modifications to your diet, keeping up with an exercise regimen and focusing on positive activities can help you overcome your addiction without gaining a single pound.