There are many reasons why folks have difficulty kicking the nicotine habit. For some, the fear of weight gain can be enough to keep them puffing on cigarettes.
Although many smokers gain weight after they quit, extra pounds are not inevitable. If you want to kick the habit without adding to your waistline, try these tips:
Drink water! Many health experts believe that drinking water will help flush the nicotine out of your system faster, so you’ll experience a shorter period of physical withdrawal. Water is also calorie-free, and it gives you something to do with your mouth and hands. Another benefit: You’ll be running to the bathroom so frequently that you won’t have time to light up!
Exercise! Studies have indicated that smokers who exercise are more likely to quit. Exercise has a positive effect on your health, and it gives you an emotional boost, too – something that’s often necessary as you go through the pain of withdrawal. The natural endorphins you produce from exercise will help keep your mood stable. Moreover, exercise burns calories, so you’ll be less likely to gain weight.
Choose sugar free! Many people who quit smoking use foods like candy and gum to keep their mouths busy, and it can help to have a replacement for the oral fixation that comes from smoking. Choose sugar free and low-calorie versions of these treats to keep the weight off.
Change your ritual! A cigarette after dinner generally signifies the end of a meal for smokers. Once you quit, you may feel as if there’s an empty space at the end of dinner – and you may try to fill it with more food or high-calorie desserts. Instead, brush your teeth, sip some herbal tea or go for a walk. Picking a different ritual to replace your cigarette will help you avoid too many desserts.
Nibble toothpicks! Still need something to do with your hands and mouth? Nibble toothpicks or straws. You don’t get any calories (like you would from lollipops or candy), but you’ll still have something to keep you occupied.
Avoid alcohol! Most people who are trying to quit smoking should avoid alcohol, since it lowers your inhibitions. (And every smoker knows that alcoholic beverages and cigarettes go hand-in-hand.) Go on the wagon for a few weeks as you clear the nicotine out of your system. And, since alcoholic beverages are very calorie dense, you may even lose a few pounds!
Don’t let fear of weight gain keep you from quitting smoking. Even if you do gain a few pounds, it’s relatively easy to drop the weight in the future after you’ve become an ex-smoker