After Kicking The Smoking Habit- How To Avoid Weight Gain?

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Are you currently in the process of kicking the smoking habit, but are dreading the idea of gaining a few extra pounds? It is estimated that most smokers will gain five to fifteen pounds after successfully kicking the habit. Why the weight gain, you wonder? There are several reasons most ex-smokers end up a bit heavier after their battle to kick the habit. First, nicotine is a natural appetite suppressant that boosts your metabolism. Second, many heavy smokers can burn up to 200 hundred calories a day. Finally, many people tend to overeat or reward themselves with indulgent foods while kicking the habit, either as a reward or as a substitute. It's no surprise, then, that so many people gain weight after kicking the smoking habit.

A small gain in weight is a small price to pay for the numerous health benefits that come with quitting smoking. Just remember: you can always lose those few extra pounds. In fact, losing a few pounds may seem like a cinch after the hard work of successfully kicking your smoking habit. But if you are just setting out on kicking the smoking habit, here are eight tips on how not to gain wait as you work on becoming healthy and smoke-free.

1) Stock your fridge and pantry with healthy eats. Rather than taking a negative approach, you should see your decision to kick the habit as a positive change in your life to become more healthy and vibrant. To this end, you should do your best to get rid of the junk food and stock up on healthy foods. Many smokers use food as a reward for not smoking, or as a substitute for smoking. Rewarding yourself is perfectly OK, but you should try to avoid food as a reward. However, surrounding yourself with healthy foods will help you avoid gaining weight, in case you should end up relying on food as you strive to stop smoking.

2) Go for a walk or job whenever a craving strikes. It is recommended that individuals who wish to stop smoking get some form of daily exercise. Exercise helps counter the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal that smokers experience upon quitting. Endorphins?those famous pleasure chemicals?are released each time you become engaged in an exercise activity. Some form of daily exercise will not only help you feel better and keep you distracted from smoking, but it will also ensure that you don't experience any significant weight gain.

3) If you don't have time to incorporate a daily exercise regime into your schedule, try to find hobbies that keep you outside and off the couch. Maybe you can rediscover the freedom and fun of riding a bicycle. Perhaps you enjoy gardening, or note that the yard needs a little work done. For fun, take a dance class, or purchase a videotape you can practice with at home.

4) Avoid drinking alcohol. Not only is alcohol loaded with calories, but also for many people it is often associated with smoking. Drinking alcohol can be difficult without getting the urge to reach for your cigarette case.

5) Practice deep breathing and other relaxation techniques. Whenever you feel the urge to smoke, find a quiet, dark place and sit down for a few moments of deep breathing and visualization. Instead of reaching for the chocolate, chips, or cookies, strive to spend a few moments alone practicing your deep breathing. This will help you overcome the urge to smoke and eat.

6) Treat yourself to non-food reward items. Some individuals treat themselves with decadent dark chocolate, slice of cake, or other rich food items. Give yourself some kind of reward for each day or week that you go without smoking, but strive to reward your self with mostly non-food items. Instead of food, give yourself a long, luxurious bubble bath, a new clothing item, or just the gift of a quiet, stress-free evening watching your favorite TV show or movie.

7) Use smoking cessation products such as nicotine gum or the nicotine patch. These products can not only help you conquer your smoking habit, they can also keep you from overeating. Whenever you feel the urge to substitute your cigarette with a piece of food, pop a piece of nicotine gum instead.