♥ Why some former smokers gain weight ♥
February is all about healthy hearts. If you’re a smoker, this is the perfect time to quit. Give yourself a big, healthy red heart of a valentine.
Several factors, ranging from chemical reactions in your body to unintentional (unconscious) shifts in behavior, can account for weight gain when you quit smoking. If you plan ahead, you can make conscious choices to prevent that, or to minimize it.
- When you stop smoking, food tastes and smells better. So you may want larger or more frequent portions. Or both.
So pay attention to what you’re eating. Enjoy the smells and tastes, but switch to a smaller plate (studies have shown that using 9″ plate helps with weight loss), and make sure it’s at least half raw and/or steamed vegetables. Eat breakfast, and stop eating after dinner.
- If you smoked for boredom, you may find yourself eating because it’s something to do now that you’re not smoking.
Get a hobby, or get back to a hobby – something that uses your hands is good – like playing the guitar or piano, or knitting or sewing, or painting or gardening. Take a walk or do some other form of exercise. Get outside.
- If you smoked for stress relief (and really – how is accelerating your own death any kind of stress relief? Sorry to sound harsh, just putting that thought into your mind), you may try to relieve stress with the repetitive action of snacking.
Learn meditation or prayer practices. Practice yoga. Join a gym and work out, or take a fitness class. Journal. Call a (non-smoking) friend.
- When you stop smoking, you may unconsciously start eating more high-fat, sugary foods. Studies have shown that smokers who gain weight tend to eat those foods.
Prepare fresh fruits and veggies for snacking, and keep them in your fridge. Challenge yourself to try a new whole food (food as it grows) every week.
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