Over the years, I have come across many who believe that people gain weight once they stop smoking. For some, this fear of gaining weight may lead to a decision to delay or avoid quitting. If we critically evaluate ties between smoking, body weight, body fat distribution and insulin resistance, as reported in scientific journals, smokers do tend to have a lower body weight than non-smokers and usually, smoking cessation is followed by weight gain. But, the weight gain that follows quitting smoking is generally not much, and poses far lesser health risks than those associated with the continuance of smoking.
If weight gain due to smoking cessation is something you fear, use the tips below to help you control your weight:
1. Drink plenty of fluids including raw vegetable juices. It helps provide antioxidants to reduce free radical irritation during the detox period. Basil juice is beneficial for lung health. Also, keep sipping on warm water throughout the day.
2. Follow a regular physical activity routine to boost your metabolism, burn calories and release the feel good hormone, dopamine. Exercise also breaks down fats, releasing it into the blood stream. Besides walking, other common aerobic exercises include cycling, swimming, playing squash, tennis, climbing stairs, spot marching, etc.
3. Switch to complex carbs from refined and processed ones (maida and products). Include adequate amounts of vegetables, whole pulses, nuts and lean meats (chicken) while having small and fibre-dense foods at regular intervals. This will prevent hunger pangs, provide consistent energy, and maintain metabolism.
4. Set a regular meal pattern and avoid skipping meals. Feeling hungry may make you feel like reaching for a cigarette, but if you stick to a healthy pattern of three meals and two or three small snacks, you can avoid that feeling.