Would you like to quit smoking but have concerns about gaining weight? While it’s true that the average person gains about 10 pounds, you can beat those odds. Try these strategies to tackle the two main challenges: oral cravings and a slower metabolism.
Tips to Help You Resist the Urge to Eat More
1. Drink more water.
Plain water is the best thing you can reach for when you experience oral cravings. It’s free of calories and keeps you hydrated. It will also suppress your appetite naturally.
- Create a pleasant ritual by keeping a pitcher on your desk and carrying along a water bottle wherever you go.
2. Chew gum.
Sugar-free gum is another good friend to have around. The chewing action can help substitute for the satisfaction you got from cigarettes. It’s even good for your teeth because it stimulates saliva, which breaks down bacteria.
3. Eat more slowly.
If you spend more time eating the same amount of food, you’ll avoid packing on pounds and may even improve your digestion. Chew slowly. Put your fork and spoon down in between each bite.
4. Seek out distractions.
Even if your cravings are intense, you’ll feel better knowing that the hardest part will be behind you within a few weeks. Meanwhile, take your mind off your discomfort by having a refreshing nap or playing with your kids.
5. Give yourself non-food rewards.
Look forward to all the money you’ll save on cigarette purchases. Try spending some of that on movie tickets or a good book to avoid feeling deprived.
Boost Your Metabolism
You may feel frustrated if you find yourself gaining weight even though you’re eating less. This can occur because your metabolism will slow down once nicotine is withdrawn. However, there are some simple things you can do to increase your basal metabolic rate, or how fast you burn calories.
1. Do aerobics.
Aerobic exercise is an effective method for burning more calories. Take a brisk walk or go for a morning swim. Find a variety of activities that you enjoy.
2. Increase your muscle mass.
Even a modest gain in muscle mass will help you burn more calories all day and night. Try lifting weights or toning your body with Pilates or yoga.
3. Eat more frequently.
Eating food actually stimulates your metabolism because calories get burned in the process of digestion. Most of the action takes place in the first hour after dining, so try eating smaller meals with some healthy snacks in between.
4. Forget about magical solutions.
All foods have about the same effect when it comes to burning calories. You might as well enjoy a cup of coffee rather than waste money on fat burning pills whose only active ingredient is caffeine.
Helpful Tips and Tricks
1. Remember the benefits of giving up tobacco.
Take pleasure in what a great thing you’re doing for yourself and your loved ones.
2. Improve your lifestyle in advance.
It can sometimes help to lose weight or start a regular exercise program prior to giving up tobacco. That way, you can focus your energies on one challenge at a time.
3. Avoid temptations.
Once you know your individual triggers, you can avoid them. Take a walk after dinner if that’s the time you’ll want to eat a heavy dessert and smoke.
If you need extra help, talk to your doctor about using nicotine replacement products.
Congratulations on making the decision to stop smoking! You’re on your way to better heath and a longer life. These suggestions can help you give up cigarettes without gaining weight, and the end result will be a happier, healthier you.
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I really wanted to talk about this topic today because your natural health and wellness is important. You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health, your environment, and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of poor health, including chronic disease, so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
I use functional medicine and lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you lose weight, reverse some chronic diseases (if you suffer from them), and can even help you with detoxification. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy. But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.
Is Dietary Supplementation Right For You?
For some people, vitamin and mineral supplements offer important health benefits. Supplements are designed to fight deficiencies found in our diet and complement the food we eat regularly. Supplements are basically “helping hands” to our daily food.
If you suspect that you aren’t getting the nutrients you need, consider shifting your focus from supplements to eating better.
But it is very important to note that we are not eating the same foods we ate years ago because the soils have been depleted of critical nutrients through current industrial farming practices. And because the soil is not as good as it used to be, the food supply (grown from the depleted soil) is not as good as it used to be. For example, you are not getting the same levels of magnesium as you would have gotten 30 or even 50 years ago.
Second, much of the food has been genetically altered, which can impact the inherent and unique nutritional composition that each food possess. For example, ancient einkorn wheat has less gluten, more protein, more Vitamin A, and more beta carotene, than modern genetically modified wheat.
Third, the toxic load in the environment today is much higher than 100 years ago. We can see this with global warming, toxic landfills, polluted oceans and waterways, etc. Toxicity levels interfere with nutrient assimilation and absorption not just into the foods, but into our bodies as well.
So… if you are unable to eat better, the supplements in my MaxHealth Total Wellness Bundle may provide the extra boost you need.
These are my favorite Wellness and Immune-Boosting Supplements to use! This MaxHealth Total Wellness Bundle will ensure you have the intake of the important vitamins, minerals, and probiotics to decrease inflammation and boost your innate wellness day and night. Taken together, it’s a solid plan for increasing your body’s natural resiliency.
For best results make sure you use the supplements with dietary changes including a whole food plant-based diet, regular exercise (at least 2-3x per week), regular sleep (8 hours per night), and intermittent fasting (at least 1-3x per week).
Since weight management is very important in combatting chronic diseases, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor (*this scale cannot be used with a pacemaker or other implanted devices).
Physical activity (or exercise) can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, just to name a few. Physical activity can improve your mood, boost your immune system, help you maintain a healthy weight, and is a great way to detox your body!
I often recommend yoga and resistance training for physical activity, but as you are aware, there are plenty of forms of “movement” that you can do! But for the basics, especially if you’re just getting started, yoga and resistance training are where I would start.
Yoga can be a great way to improve your strength and flexibility, manage your stress, improve your heart health, and lose weight! I recommend using a grounded yoga mat to connect yourself with the earth and reduce inflammation.
Resistance training is the mainstay for overall health. It not only has beneficial effects on reducing body fat, it also increases muscle size and strength. Check out some basic dumbbells/free weights that I recommend to everyone.
Another alternative for dumbbells/free weights are resistance bands. They are great for physical therapy, yoga, strength training, and excellent for traveling.
Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, and reducing stress are the best ways to maintain a healthy weight. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
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