How to Avoid Weight Gain When You Quit Smoking 

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How to Avoid Weight Gain When You Quit Smoking 

Quit Smoking

First and absolutely foremost, congratulations on your commitment to quitting smoking! You are a rockstar, don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. One thing that prevents many people from stopping the habit is the fear of weight gain. Does your weight matter? Absolutely. However, the benefits of quitting far outweigh the small weight gain that may occur once you decide to quit the habit for good. Innova Primary Care is invested in your whole health. We know that people smoke for many reasons, yet our commitment to your health far outweighs the comfort that smoking may bring in the present moment. We salute you for your desire to change. There is no shame here. If weight gain is one of your concerns, we are here to help guide you during this time. You don’t have to see additional pounds post cigarettes. There are things you do to kick the habit and stay at a healthy weight. 

Weight gain does not have to be a part of quitting smoking 

Before we dig deep into the ways you can prevent weight gain, let’s take a look at all you will gain from quitting smoking. The effects on your health are real! From the look and feel of your skin to blood flow, once you quit smoking, you will see and feel the difference.

When you decide to quit, your skin will clear. Blemishes will begin to disappear and wrinkles will diminish. Not only will you experience an aesthetic difference, but smokers who put down the habit will also notice changes in hearing (for the better), sharper vision, and better oral hygiene. The effects also go much deeper than your looks. The blood thins making the likelihood of clots diminish. Your heart will thank you. Cholesterol levels lower along with fatty deposits making your circulatory system extremely happy. The damage to your lungs may even reverse. After just two weeks, you can notice a difference in your breathing. The cilia start to regrow and you will notice a difference in your breathing ability too. 

With so many positive reasons to quit smoking, don’t let the thought of weight gain deter you.

According to the National Institues of Health, some people gain between 5 to 10 pounds in the months after they quit. However, don’t let this statistic scare you away. While this may be the case for some, it is not absolute. You don’t have to gain weight post cigarettes. And, even if you do, you can lose any weight you might gain through proper diet and exercise. Remember, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your health overall. The pounds may come, but you can lose them. Your health is what matters most.

If weight gain is a concern of yours, let’s look deeper into why the scale may trend up once you put down your cigarettes. Cigarettes really rev up your metabolism. Smoking increases the number of calories your body uses at rest. Not only this but smoking also acts as an appetite suppressant. When you decide to stop, your metabolism may experience a shift and your appetite may increase. In this case, you will need to make different choices when it comes to your daily activity levels and the foods you choose. It will be important to find healthy alternatives to smoking too. With this in mind, what can you do to replace cigarettes? Believe it or not, you can find replacements that prevent weight gain and keep you busy. It won’t be easy, but your mind is resolute. When you know what to expect, you can find actions to substitute cigarettes. 

Switch up smoke breaks

If you are used to taking smoke breaks throughout the day, you will need to replace those with another activity. Instead of stopping for a smoke break, try walking for those ten minutes. If moving your body doesn’t suit your needs, call a friend or family member to catch up. Keep yourself involved with something else during the times you usually set aside for smoking.

Quit Smoking

Plan your meals ahead of time

Smoking is a habit. For many people, it satisfies an oral fixation. Quitting means that you need to replace that time with something you put into your mouth. When you plan meals and snacks ahead of time, you are always prepared. 

Rather than reaching for a smoke, you can chew sugar-free gum, munch on crisp veggies, or pretzels. Keep portion sizes in mind to prevent overeating and consuming too many calories.

A great app to keep track of your food is MyFitnessPal. This free app allows you to input your daily dietary needs and it also tracks your exercise. If you want to keep track of calories and movement, this app can do it for you. It will require some input on your part but will give you some great data points. 

Quit Smoking

Talk to a professional

If you just don’t know where to start, try consulting with your primary care physician or a nutritionist. There is absolutely no shame in asking for help. Medical professionals are trained in ways to assist their clients. When you ask for help, they are more than willing to guide you in the process. 

Your primary care physician can guide you on smoking cessation procedures like the patch, medications, or even refer you to licensed therapists who are equipped to assist you. Nutritionists can assist you with the dietary changes you need to help you succeed. You are making a huge change in your life when you decide to quit smoking. Let professionals in the field assist you if you need help.  

No matter where you are on your quit journey, Innova Primary Care is here to help you every step of the way. Whether you’ve been a smoker for a few years or a few decades, quitting is one of the best decisions you can make. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. We are here to serve you.

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