Many long-time smokers are opting to butt out. The world fully realizes how dangerous smoking has become. It can lead to numerous health complications, some are deadly consequences. One of the factors which cause quitters to relapse is weight gain. Many put on at least a few pounds when they quit. Some quite a bit more.
Poisonous Health Penalties
If you’re a smoker, you should quit today regardless of your weight management goals. Those who have tried and failed should speak with a professional for more advanced cessation techniques. There are dedicated websites, email newsletters, online forums, and support groups available for assistance.
According to most experts including the CDC, you can benefit from cessation starting the moment you quit. This is regardless of your current health condition, age, or how many years you’ve been smoking (1; 2).
- Smoking is a deadly, but preventable cause of many health disorders and death.
- It is also responsible for many disabilities among adults.
- Ingesting any type of smoke causes damage at the cellular level. This begins in tissue, continues through your organs, and results in function failure.
- Smoking is the number one factor in death, disease, and disabilities during adulthood.
- It is estimated that more than 15% of all adults are smokers.
- The United States alone pays billions of dollars in medical costs every year.
Weight Gain & Smoking Cessation
One of the only negative side effects of smoking cessation is weight gain. While the health benefits far exceed it, it is also the leading cause of relapse. If you’re determined to quit and putting on a few extra pounds there are a number of steps you can take.
Many people successfully quit every year, but also carry around extra weight. Ex-smokers are said to put an average of ten pounds on by the end of the battle. A few habit changes and psychology tips can help you battle the cessation bulge. Don’t let a bit of weight get in your way of battle. Regroup and strategize for it.
Cessation Techniques & Reasoning
You must first evaluate your personal smoking habits. Many people smoke cigarettes at particular times. Some examples are after eating, sex, and upon rising. These should be the first cigarette breaks you should target and eliminate. Some quitters just throw them in the trash and walk away. Others do much better by cutting one cigarette a day every week or two.
Keep track of your habitual smoke times for at least one week prior to quitting. Make a side note of those you will attempt to eliminate first and those which you have successfully cut. Reviewing the time when tempting cravings hit can help you prepare for them. Being able to assess your goals and evaluate your progress can provide a bit of determination to succeed. Each one you push through psyches you up for the next.
Most all people smoke more while they’re drinking alcohol. They also agree it’s one of the most difficult cigarettes breaks to kick. You might consider abstaining until your cessation process is complete. You could cut back on the amount of alcohol you consume to retain more control over your urges or the number of times you drink each week.
Many all experts agree, if you remove one habit from your life, you’ll replace it. You may not even realize you’re doing it. You can use that knowledge to your advantage. Take control and pick up a healthy habit. When nicotine cravings hit, go to that.
People crave nicotine to calm them when their hands have nothing to do. Find something you enjoy which is simple yet mentally as well as physically challenging. Instead of sitting down to a stogie after supper, go for a stroll and take one picture every night. This occupies your body and your mind.
You might consider creating a list of reasons why you want to quit. Whenever you want to smoke, review this list. Place a copy in the corner of your bathroom mirror. This may not work alone, but it’ll help you stay motivated. Here are a few common examples.
- Health Beneficial
- Time with Loved Ones
- Responsibilities or Extended Goals
- Slow Signs of Aging
Food for Thought: Your sense of smell slowly deteriorates as you smoke. This is directly tied to your sense of taste. Smokers tend to go for junk because it triggers powerful flavor sensors. Damaged taste buds are unable to pick up on more subtle flavors.
Quick Quit Tips
You should include at least one activity which is physically taxing on your list. This will assist in keeping your weight gain down if you are a nervous muncher. Keep in mind it must be an increase of your current activity level.
Try eating a piece of fruit when you reach for non-smoking munchies. Keep several of your favorites on hand. Get some nuts to add crunch to your snack. Consider grabbing some fruit infused water when the cravings hit.
Pay attention to your portion sizes at mealtime. You don’t necessarily have to cut them in half. Try reducing them by one spoon of each dish. Make sure you monitor your activity level and nutritional intake. Don’t burn more than your body requires for fuel. This could cause some major breakdowns.
Start practicing meditation and deep breathing exercises. This can allow you to remove your mind from the situation for a few minutes. Figure up how much money you spend in a year on cigarettes. Commit to buying that exercise machine you’ve been eyeing one year from your cessation date.
Whichever route you take, you’re the one in control. Take advantage of all resources available to you and commit to quit.