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Quit Smoking and Keep off the Weight

Aug 10, 2008
A lot of smokers go through bouts of wanting to quit, but they fear the possible weight gain that may occur. Gaining weight can lead to a whole other set of health problems. Those who fear gaining weight abandon their thoughts of quitting their smoking habit.

They figure it is better to be a smoker and thin than to be a non-smoker and over-weight, so they decide to not quit. There are simple reasons why people gain weight when they quit smoking and in the following I will explain some of those reasons and how to avoid them.

First and foremost, nicotine is an appetite suppressant and a stimulant. Your metabolism increases slightly when you smoke. Once you quit, your metabolism decreases and your hunger increases.

Also, when stress levels are high for smokers, lighting up a cigarette to calm one's nerves is typical. For those who quit smoking, they find other ways to relieve the stress, such as eating. When a smoker decides to quit, cravings are a common occurrence.

The main type of food one picks to substitute for smoking is usually something with a lot of fat or sugar; to give you that "sugar high". It's a quick fix, but often doesn't last long and it takes more and more to satisfy the cravings for a cigarette.

However, the calories add up, the metabolism is slowed and, sadly, weight is gained. To keep from gaining weight when you've decided to quit is to counteract the behaviors that cause you to gain weight in the first place.

If a craving comes on, go for a long walk or listen to relaxing music. Read a book or start a low stress project to keep your mind occupied. Whatever you do, keep busy. When an overactive appetite becomes a problem after you quit smoking then consider snacking on healthier foods.

Some alternatives to sugar snacks are things like vegetables, fruit, dried fruit, and low calories types of food. Cherry tomatoes are a great snack to keep around. Dried fruit can satisfy your sweet tooth as well, with its natural sweetness.

The best advice for someone who has decided to quit smoking is to start an exercise program as soon as you quit. Most smokers will gain some weight just because you will eat more because your appetite will increase plus food will taste better. Your metabolism will slow down, so that's why it's important to start exercising.

Something that is very helpful in the process of quitting smoking is to drink a lot of water to keep your hunger pangs under control. Nicotine is what addicts you to smoking, but it is the habit of smoking that continues to bug you after you quit. Stay busy and keep yourself occupied and start a good exercise program. Set your goal to quit and control your eating behaviors; this will ensure you the best results and a much healthier body.
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