An important threat to people’s health today is smoking. Weight gain thus becomes a secondary issue. Once you quit smoking, weight gain can be handled later. Many people if given a choice prefer to be nonsmokers and remain 2 to 4 pounds heavier than being smokers and 2 to 4 pounds lighter.
Reason Behind Weight Gain
Physicians assure that no more than 2 to 4 pounds will be gained directly due to quitting smoking. There is an important reason why this happens. Take a look at a regular smoker. You will notice dehydrated and stark skin. Once a person quits smoking, the cells of the skin naturally re-hydrate themselves. This is not due to water retention or fat. It is simply the skin’s natural requirement being fulfilled.
You must always keep in mind that all people react to diverse situations differently. Thus, even while quitting, not everyone tends to put on weight. The maximum weight that one can expect to add is 10 pounds. People who have smoked for 10 to 20 years or smoke more than a pack a day tend to gain more weight after quitting than casual smokers. As explained above, due to deceptive weight gain from skin re-hydration one can put on 5 pounds in the first week itself. However, as the body adjusts to the change the weight comes back to normal.
Components That Prevent Weight Gain
Here are some tips that can help you to avoid weight gain while quitting smoking.
- Healthy Eating Habits
Improving upon the eating habits during the period you are trying to quit smoking plays an important part in controlling weight gain. Eating regularly and opting for variety of foods is a good start.
- Physical Activities
Try to indulge in physical activities like brisk walking, swimming, playing with kids, exercise, etc. before you start on the smoke-quitting program. This will give you an insight regarding how lethargic and stressed you become with a little exertion due to smoking. 30 minutes of physical activity per day helps not just in controlling weight gain, but also reduce stress and moodiness caused after giving up nicotine.
- Manage Cravings
Cravings for cigarettes and food are commonly seen after one stops smoking. Managing and distracting oneself for 5 minutes is the answer to all your problems. Meditation, knitting, doodling and keeping your mind occupied all help in dealing with cigarette cravings. Food craving is best handled by satisfying oneself with a piece of fruit or chewing gum.
- Positive Attitude
The most important thing to keep in mind while quitting is a positive attitude. Minor tensions like weight gain are best ignored. Confidence and positive attitude will help you to take the correct step towards becoming a non-smoker.