27 August 2007

Quit Smoking Without Gaining Weight

Quit Smoking Without Gaining WeightEven if you do gain weight when you quit smoking, the health risks of smoking are far greater… you would have to gain over 150 pounds to make your health risks as high as when you smoked. Weight gain is more likely when someone has smoked for 10 to 20 years or smokes a pack or more a day. Water retention may cause a deceptive weight gain of up to 5 pounds in the week after quitting smoking, but this is not a real weight gain, and your body will go back to normal.

The most important components of preventing weight gain when you quit smoking are:

- Physical activity

Becoming physically active will not only help you control your weight, but will also give you more energy, improve your health, take your mind off smoking, and help relieve the stress and moodiness that may occur as a result of withdrawal from nicotine.

- Healthy eating

Improving your eating habits gradually can help prevent weight gain, as well, as help you feel better as you quit smoking. To prevent extra snacking because of quitting smoking, do not try to quit smoking during a stressful period.

- Managing cravings

A craving only lasts about 5 minutes. If you can distract yourself for 5 minutes, the craving will usually pass. Drink less caffeine; although you may think it will make you feel better, caffeine can worsen the jittery nervous feeling that may accompany nicotine withdrawal. Get enough sleep; when you are tired, you are more likely to crave cigarettes and food. Reduce tension by meditating, taking a walk or a bath, or taking deep breaths. Get support and encouragement; talk to a friend when you get the urge to smoke; talk about something other than smoking.

- Positive attitude

As you focus on quitting, smoking and healing your body, your exercise and eating goals will become easier. When you quit smoking, you can breathe and get around more easily, and nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables taste better when you are not smoking. Try to stay positive, and try not to panic about modest weight gain; if you do gain weight, your healthy habits will help you lose the weight once your body gets back to normal. Be confident that you are making a healthy choice! Your whole body will thank you!

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