It’s not uncommon for people to gain weight after they quit smoking. The reason this happens is usually due to your blood sugar level dropping. Cigarette smoke reacts with your body in such a way that sugar is released into your bloodstream almost immediately. This lowers your appetite.
When you stop smoking, your body relies upon the food you eat to begin the release of sugar. That can take up to 20 minutes. As a result, your appetite remains long after you’ve eaten a meal, causing you to overeat and gain weight.
It’s important to know this to understand how you can avoid gaining weight after you quit smoking. In this article, we’ll describe 4 powerful ways that you can ensure you keep the extra pounds off after throwing out your cigarettes.
#1 – Eliminate Junk Food
It’s bad enough that you’ll endure the continuous cravings for food. But, you can limit the weight gain by getting rid of the junk food in your diet. Foods that are high in saturated fat such as fast foods or deep-fried foods should be off of your menu. Ice cream, potato chips and other indulgences should also be removed. Simple sugars like candy can do a number on your weight, so avoid using them as comfort food.
#2 – Introduce Fruits And Vegetables
This is a great time to start eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. Hey you’re getting healthy by quitting, why keep up the good work? When your blood sugar is low and you want something to eat, snack on apples, bananas and carrots. Add almonds to your diet. These foods have 2 primary benefits.
First, they’ll deliver the nutrients to your bloodstream that your body sorely needs. Second, these types of foods tend to have high fibre content. Consuming them will help your body eliminate excess waste material and lower your body’s toxicity.
#3 – Get Some Exercise
Cigarette smoke inhibits your metabolism. When you stop smoking, your metabolism remains slow and this can prevent your body from digesting food as quickly as it should. It’s up to you to give your metabolism the jumpstart it needs.
The only way to do this is by getting some exercise. Because long-term smoking will likely have made intense physical activity difficult, start small. Take a 20-minute walk each day. After a couple of weeks, begin including cardiovascular exercises. Eventually, you’ll increase your metabolic rate which will help keep the extra pounds off.
#4 – Make A Plan
Nothing happens without a plan. Write down the steps you need to take to avoid gaining weight after you stop smoking. Having the action items written down in front of you is a powerful reminder of what you need to do to reach your goal. Once you write the steps down, introduce them slowly. For example, gradually eliminate specific junk foods each week. Add a few fruits and vegetables to your diet each week.
Begin with light exercise and slowly build to include more intense routines. Most people are able to maintain new habits if they adopt them slowly. The same is true for the habits you need to form in order to avoid gaining weight.
Quit Smoking And Stay Trim
There’s every reason to believe that you can quit smoking and stay trim. A lot of people think that gaining weight after they stop smoking is a foregone conclusion. That is, they have no control. That’s entirely false.
You now understand why your body has an increased appetite (lower blood sugar levels). Plus, you have a series of action steps you can take to stay slim and healthy after you quit smoking. The rest is merely a matter of discipline and self-control. Ultimately, it’s in your hands.
Sabyasachi Rakshit is involved in healthcare market research since 2010. He loves to write about various healthcare topics such as herbal medicines, alternative health etc.