Many people, women in particular, are afraid to give up smoking for fear of gaining weight. While quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your body, trading it for obesity is certainly not a good idea either.
Quitting smoking for good and keeping fit is the key to a longer, happier and healthier life.
While not everyone gains weight after giving up this nasty habit, those who do tend to gain about 6 to 8 pounds, and about 10 percent gain as much as 30 pounds or even more.
According to ShapeFit.com, some of the reasons for gaining weight include feeling hungrier than usual, eating more high-fat/high-sugar snacks as well as drinking more alcoholic beverages in place of smoking, and returning to a normal rate of calorie burning.
Smoking increases calorie burning slightly, which means it’s important to boost the metabolism through a healthier means after quitting.
Improve Your Body Image
ABC News reported that the results of one study found that learning to love your body can be especially effective in mitigating those dreaded additional pounds.
They found that combining exercise and body image therapy may be the best way to prevent weight gain. It was noted that, “using something like body image skills training can be helpful for smoking cessation, because it provides skills and tools to help people feel better about themselves and not turn back to smoking for weight control.”
You don’t have to take body image skills training; consider using positive messages to help you think about all of the great things your body can do instead of focusing on perceived flaws. What do you love about your body?
Regular daily physical activity is one of the most important things you can do to not only help you stop smoking but to prevent gaining weight. Once you quit smoking, you’ll find it’s much easier to breathe while you’re exercising, too.
Not exercising is just like taking a depressant, which makes it twice as hard to give up the habit. Working out boosts endorphins which in turn can transform a sour mood, help build your confidence and make you feel better about your body. It also increases your metabolic rate and encourages fat burning.
A minimum of 30 minutes or longer of at least moderate intensity exercise on most days of the week is suggested. The more you move throughout the day, the better. You’ll raise your metabolism and burn that many more calories. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park your car further out from the office or grocery store, take a walk after dinner – whatever you do, just move as often as possible.
Adding strength training will also help you build lean muscle and boost your metabolism even more. The more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn.
Diet is important as well. Avoid highly processed foods and fast foods including high-fat and/or high-sugar snacks. Limit alcohol and focus on eating plenty of fresh organic fruits and vegetables as well as getting healthy fats from things like wild-caught salmon, nuts and seeds as well as olive and coconut oils.
Drink plenty of liquids. If you’re bored with plain water, try adding a squeeze of lemon, or drink herbal tea without added sugar.
By quitting smoking and staying fit, you’ll be well on your way to significantly improving the quality of your life!
-The Alternative Daily