11 August 2006

Weight gain is a reason

The negative impact of smoking on our health is well documented. Yet, some of us still won't quit. There are a lot of people who smoke out there who, among other reasons, are afraid to try to quit smoking cigarettes for the fear of what they think is unavoidable weight gain. A weight gain of 5 to 10 pounds because of smoking cessation is common.

Tobacco contains nicotine and nicotine acts in a number of ways in the body, including elevating metabolism. When you quit and the nicotine begins to leave your body, you may see a marginal amount of short term weight gain, but usually it will be no more than 3 to 5 pounds, mostly due to water retention. The major reason why so many people will gain a significant amount of weight however, has more to do with replacing the smoking habit with excessive eating habits.

Did you gained more than 10 pounds? Look at what you are doing and combat that gain by:

- Keep aware of what you eat, when you eat, and how much you eat.
- Drink water. Metabolism slows when the body is dehydrated, so make sure to do your part in keeping it elevated.
- Exercise daily. Start slow and gradually increase your activity.

Stopping smoking is an extraordinarily important act and getting used to it will take time. Smoking is the cause of more than 400,000 deaths every year in the United States. It would take a weight gain of over 100 pounds to equal the health risks of smoking cigarettes. Smoking causes your heart rate to increase and you have twice the likeliness to suffer a heart attack than a nonsmoker. Men are 22 times more likely to develop lung cancer than nonsmokers are, and women are 12 times more likely.

With a little effort on your part to keep your eating habits in check and incorporate some exercise into your daily routine, weight gain can and will be at least kept down to a minimum when you quit smoking. You will be in better health, feel better, and have a more positive outlook on life when you make the decision to put those cigarettes down for once and for all.

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