Smoking Effects on Health and How to Avoid Weight gain
The smoking effects on health are some of the best reasons why a smoker should consider quitting smoking. When a smoker makes a decision to quit smoking, one of the potential fears faced is that of a possible weight gain. It is estimated that around 75% of smokers gain weight after quitting. This is largely attributed to the suppression of nicotine which has served as an appetite suppressant in the body for such a long time. Nicotine is the primary active ingredient in tobacco.
The issue of weight gain while quitting smoking should be addressed as soon as a decision is made to quit.
Being proactive and planning ahead is the best method to avoid weight gain. Adopting a healthier lifestyle habit combined with nutritious meals, healthy snacks, fruits and vegetables is the key.
When the temptation to binge on food comes, go for the healthier meal options.
The following quit smoking hacks are simple practical tips to help stop the weight gain:
Is your hunger due to food or nicotine withdrawal symptoms?
This might be a tricky one, especially when you can’t differentiate between the two.
Nicotine affects several hormones in the brain including:
- beta- endorphin
Some of the overall effects on these hormones include appetite suppression due to a decrease in the sense of smell and taste, a calming effect, especially during stress.
These effects are temporary and short lived and because of this, smokers can feel the hunger effect in the form of a withdrawal symptoms.
Some of the best ways to avoid the trap of weight gain during quitting smoking include:
- Don’t starve yourself of food. Choose healthier options when it comes to meals and snacks. Replace a chocolate bar with fruits and vegetables.
- Plan ahead the foods and snacks you can eat every week. Make sure you shop for healthier and nutritious food types. Have them handy at home or even at your workplace to prevent undue pressure when hunger strikes.
- Get rid of all the tempting foods. You can either trash them or better still give them away. The less you surround yourself with unhealthy foods, the better it would be for you. There is a small decrease in metabolic rates, when nicotine intake is stopped. If left unchecked and if the extra calories are not burnt effectively, weight gain cannot be avoided.
Seeking advice from a nutritionist or a dietician and developing a portion management and calorie reduction plan will help gauge weight increase soon after one quits smoking.
Step Up Your Fitness…
It is a known fact that there tends to be a slight decrease in the metabolic rate when smoking ceases. This is another example of the smoking effects on health.
Incorporating a fitness or workout routine into your everyday activities has many advantages.
In addition to helping you keep the weights off, a good workout routine can boost your energy level, improves metabolism, help reduce the chance of other health conditions like hypertension and diabetes type 2, serves as a great stress reliever, just to mention a few.
You don’t have to go to the gym or a fitness class if you don’t want to. The key to success is to get started. Do not wait for the perfect time to start.
Fitness can be as simple as taking a walk round the park of even using the stairways instead of the elevator to carrying some weights and flexing the muscles.
You can find a sport or another physical activity that you love and just start from there.
As mentioned earlier, the key is to get started, celebrate your successes, no matter how small and never give up.
Increase Fluid Intake
Keeping hydrated by drinking water throughout the day is very beneficial for everyone. Water is a great detoxifying agent. It helps to flush out toxins in the body. The chemicals released from cigarette smoking cause damage to the body and this is irrespective of age. The smoking effects on health can be attributed largely to the chemical and toxins released from smoking cigarettes into the body.
Water is a great substitute when looking to increase fluid intake. A lot of other fluids like soda, juices, carbonated drinks are all full of calories and this can be detrimental to your weight and teeth. Studies have shown that drinking between 8 to 10 glasses of water daily is healthy, great for the skin, making it supple.
Another point to consider is to drinking from a bottle. This helps the smoker who is used to the hand to mouth coordination to his attention from the craving feeling
It is important for smokers to have a positive mindset and remember that this quit-smoking process is a journey that needs focus and determination. When you believe you can beat this, then you know it is possible.
It takes more than will power to beat the smoking habit. Set the cessation pace that works for you and just follow it. Remember to celebrate your success and breakthroughs. Keep at it and add some or all the smoking cessation tips already discussed and immediately start noticing the many benefits that come with freedom from nicotine addiction.