Trying to keep your weight stable after you quit smoking can be very challenging indeed. Apparently, it’s not unusual to gain as much as 10 extra pounds during the first 90 days of your quit date!
Sound like a familiar story?
Substituting that cigarette for a cheeseburger or a hot dog seems like a great idea at the time, especially when coupled with the rationale that a hot dog is surely the lesser of two evils!. And let’s not forget that everything also tastes a thousand times better now you’ve stopped smoking and your appetite is working on overdrive!
Yep, putting down the cigarettes and picking up the excess pounds is the case for far too many quitters, except it doesn’t have to be that way…
If one of your reasons for quitting or reducing your smoking is the intent to get healthy, then don’t let your newly found taste buds sabotage your efforts.
Lose the smokes and KEEP your waistline.
If you’re determined not to replace one bad habit with another (over eating), here are a few simple tips that will help you keep those pounds off and your nicotine addiction kicked. Below you will just some of the ways YOU can keep those pounds firmly off your physique when you adjust your smoking habits.
Eat a low calorie diet
If you find yourself craving and indulging in too much fast food, hold those sticky fingers and back away from the hamburger with extra large fries. Addictive behaviors can show up in our lives in a multitude of ways, but a newfound love of junk food seems to go hand-in-hand with quitting smoking. Don’t fall victim to this and use these tips to keep things healthy and slim-line at home.
- Take an inventory of the contents of your fridge and dump the unhealthy food. Take no mercy. Replace them with healthier alternatives, and that way whenever you are hungry or craving something sweet your fingers will reach for a piece of fruit not a tub of Ben & Jerry’s!
- Get rid of every Chinese and Pizza takeout number pinned to your fridge. And while you’re at it, that Indian place that does a great chicken korma and the Mexican joint with the mean enchiladas needs to go too!
- Create a shopping list of low calorie foods. This does not mean surviving on salad and bean sprouts, but living on cheese and sodas really won’t help. People often have the excuse that they don’t know how to eat healthily on a budget, but here’s a quick gut check (pardon the pun): if it comes in a tin, box, or is frozen…you should probably avoid it!
- Tell your friends you have quit smoking and are determined not to gain any weight. This way they wont be offended if you turn down an invite to a fast food place or turn up with your own healthy meal in a Tupperware container! But all jokes aside, it’s important to get the support of your family and friends, and you never know, you may even encourage them to dine a little healthier AND quit smoking too!
- Explore healthier recipes. You’ll find the internet a never-ending resource of healthy and tasty recipes you can cook up at home, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
- Many smokers miss the action of sucking on a cigarette. Replace this action with sucking on sugar free candies or gum. Another fun substitute is fruit ice cubes
Develop a fitness program ( one you will stick to)
Regular exercise will also drastically control the amount of weight you put on. And a commitment to working out for an hour 2-3x a week is a good idea whether you smoke or not. When you first start out you may find it tough to establish a regime, so keep it simple. It will get easier as the days and weeks go by, and the positive feedback loop of not only looking good but feeling great, provides a great incentive to keep going.
Now, whilst the obvious and easy choice is to join a gym or, if you can afford it, hire a personal trainer. There are many options for working out at home that are both free and effective, or cost significantly less than the gym. To get you started, we’ve included a lost-cost alternative below.
Remember, exercise also gives you a big boost of happy endorphins coursing through your system. Many smokers says they miss the immediate relief and “feel good” buzz that comes from enjoying a toke on their regular brand, but exercise provides a far healthier and longer lasting buzz than any cigarette.
Keep yourself busy
Now is the time to see all those friends and family members you been promising to go visit for weeks, months even! Now’s the time to pack away those summer clothes and get them stored in the attic, after all… winters here! What about finally getting around to taking that bag of your trash – destined to become someone else’s treasure – down to the goodwill.
Leaving yourself with too much free time is a sure-fire way to watch the pounds creep on when you quit smoking. So with that in mind, plan out your days with a little more care, and have an action plan of what you will do when you’re craving a smoke AND a chocolate bar – because it will happen.
Just to get you started, here are a few positive time fillers you can turn to.
- Watch your favorite movies (again)
- Read that book that’s been sitting on your coffee table all these months
- Clean your car (you know it needs it) and while you’re at it why not tackle the garage?
- Take up a new hobby, even better if it’s one that will add a social dimension to your life
- Try out a new sport
- Attend concerts and new events – check our your local paper to see what free events are taking place in your city
- Volunteer your time to a charity or cause you believe in
The trick is to distract yourself until you have settled into a new routine. Healthy habits take a while to implement, but just like smoking – once on autopilot – you’ll find them hard to give up.
Keeping the pounds off when you quit smoking is not rocket science, but neither do we pretend it’s easy either. However, we firmly believe that with commitment and support you can do it. And if you are looking for a nicotine replacement option to either get you through those first tough few months, or give you a healthier way to keep doing what you enjoy, check us out here at Veppo. Whether you like a cigar, a red Marlboro or a menthol…we’ve probably got something to help you replace it just fine.