Weight gain can be a problem for some when giving up smoking. For a few, it’s a reason not to stop (not good) and for others they smoke to stay skinny. (worse still) But the pros always outdo the cons. Whiter teeth, fresher clothes and hair, more energy, better lung function. (try not breathing for 2 minutes to appreciate this one), less wrinkles, clearer skin, better health just to name a few or, on the other hand, you could look forward to: Lung cancer, heart disease, premature ageing, stinky fingers ha haha ha, being outcast to have a ciggie when out with friends, too many health issues to name.
Nicotine can help curb the appetite and also raises your heart rate so you burn more calories. (which is also the contributing factor to why smoking can cause heart disease.) which is why you tend not to put on a lot of weight when you smoke in most cases. Therefore, you may experience a slight lowering of your metabolism after you give up smoking. Luckily that’s a pretty easy problem to solve.
I gave up the nasties a little over 20 years ago. A GREAT MOVE!! So I have a little bit of experience. I also gained 20 kilos in the process, but I have managed to make those quality kilos (muscle) with minimal fat. (which was good for me) and hopefully this article can help you to limit the excess weight and keep you taught and terrific.
Some other reasons you might gain weight after quitting are:
- you had a cigarette when you felt hungry and the urge to eat went away. Now, that urge doesn’t subside, so you eat and therefore your calorie consumption goes up overnight, literally.
- You had a cigarette at the end of your meal, which signalled to you the meal was over. Now, you keep picking and nibbling or going back for more helpings. (again higher calorie consumption than before)
Here are a few tips that might help with that.
- Make Better Choices: this is #1 for a reason. The food you consume will have a massive impact on how your body reacts. You can eat HUGE amounts of good, wholesome, fresh food without putting on extra weight. This will satiate you without overloading you with “empty” calories. On the other hand, if you eat more crisps, cakes, biscuits, Macca’s and junk like it, you can bet your arse you are going to put on weight. Shitty, fatty weight at that!!! Which do you want? Choose wisely.
- Start moving: If you haven’t been exercising up to now, why not get started? The secret is to start slowly, progress slowly and to be consistent. The best way to achieve this is to get a good trainer. Someone who has experience, keeps you accountable and isn’t going to drive you into the ground so you give up after 2 weeks. This alone will boost your metabolism and make up for any shortcomings that come from quitting smoking.
- Be Prepared: Your appetite will increase so best to be prepared. Take healthy snacks with you so you won’t be chewing on lollies, or chips. Some fruit, yep, the good ol’ carrot and celery sticks, air popped pop corn, even raw nuts are a good choice as well as dried dates. NOTE: Nuts and dates, keep the portions limited though as your calorie count can go through the roof. Count out 15 nuts and 6 or 7 dates and put them into a clip lock bag. 1 portion.
- Carry a water bottle: drinking plenty of water helps curb hunger, helps with fat loss and helps clean all the toxins from your body. The beauty with water is it’s calorie free so go for your life, drink as much as you want! Avoid fruit juices (even the freshly done = calorie bombs) and soft drinks. If you don’t like water, just ask yourself this question “How much do I want this?” Make water your “go to drink.”
- Brush your teeth: This is a great tip to signal the end of a meal. It can be a substitute for the cigarette we spoke about earlier. It’s also a great way to curb hunger and satisfy a sweet craving. Try it. Sugar free gum or mint could be a good alternative as well if you don’t have access to your toothbrush so keep some handy.
- Restrict alcohol consumption: (it had to be there) This has got to be the biggest contributor to weight gain we encounter at Mojo Strength. If people restricted their consumption of alcohol, weight gain would NOT be a problem for most adults. Note, I did say “restrict” I didn’t say give up. I love my glass of red, no doubt about it, but it’s limited to 1 or 2 glasses a day, with dinner. That’s it. Not 4 or 5 glasses and definitely not 1 or 2 bottles yeah? If you have weight to lose (and you probably do if you are reading this) I would suggest you abstain from drinking totally on weekdays and restrict to the 1 or 2 glasses rule on weekends.
- Never give up trying: Whether you gain weight or you slip and have a ciggie, NEVER stop trying to get to your goal. Just get back on the wagon and start again. It took me 3YEARS of constant trying before I managed to give up smoking for good. Everyday I tried and I slipped up after a few hours, a few days or even a few weeks, but I just kept trying till I finally got there. One tip as far as cigarettes go. Never think “it’s only one” It’s always one too many be it a whole cigarette or just a toke. Never put another cigarette in your mouth ever!
That’s it from me again. I really hope this helps someone.
OK before you go, take some action! Be it, throw your cigarettes in a bin where you can’t retrieve them, prep a healthy snack to take to work with you or call up that training centre you’ve been wanting to call and sign up for a trial. Commit to doing one positive thing RIGHT NOW! Keep repeating that positive action till it’s a positive habit.
Speak soon folks
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