So you’ve decided to quit smoking—congratulations!
It’s costly, smelly, and above all it’s bad for your health. No matter how healthy your diet is, or how many sets you can do at the gym, all that hard work is erased when you smoke.
You’ve thought about quitting for a while now—envisioning yourself living a healthier life, and you’re ready to take the plunge.
So what’s stopping you?
For many it’s the fear of weight gain.
A common complaint from many who have kicked the habit is the added pounds. By suppressing the act of smoking, it is not uncommon to replace that habit with another unhealthy one—constant snacking.
But it’s not all doom and gloom—with a plan and a better understanding of cravings, you can stop weight gain all together!
Here is a list of 6 tips proven to help you quit smoking and still lose weight.
1) Chew Sugar-Free Gum
When the urge to smoke becomes all-encompassing, help alleviate the craving by chewing sugar-free gum. There are very few calories in a stick of sugar-free gum, so popping one in your mouth whenever you feel the urge to smoke will keep your mouth busy and prevent you from inflating your calorie budget.
Besides distracting you from lighting up, your breath will be instantly fresher—reminding you of the healthy changes you are making.
2) Drink more water
By sipping water throughout the day, you are satisfying that oral fixation without the added calories. Invest in an eye-catching reusable bottle that you are drawn to (you’re worth it!) With all the cash you will be saving, allow yourself to invest in something beneficial to your healthier lifestyle. If it’s aesthetically pleasing, you’ll be more likely to reach for it throughout the day.
Drinking more water will flush the nicotine out of your system faster, which will, in turn, shorten the withdrawal period. While taking sips, take a moment to think about the positive changes you’re making and visualize how the new you will feel once you have tackled this obstacle.
3) Take Your Vitamins
Smoking cigarettes reduce your body’s ability to absorb vitamins—especially Vitamin C.
This study explains how increasing your intake of vitamin C can help reduce cravings.
An easy way to find out if you’re deficient in any vitamins is by getting a simple blood test from your doctor. Vitamin deficiencies can cause health problems and can impede weight loss, so making sure that your body is well equipped with vitamins and minerals will ensure that your body is functioning optimally.
4) Embrace a new routine
You are going to be continuously reminded of your old routine—when you would have a cigarette first thing in the morning with your cup of coffee, that mid-day break with your co-workers, the satisfaction of lighting up after a big meal.
It’s time to shake up your routine and develop new habits to replace the old ones. Maybe you look forward to that smoke first thing in the morning—consider using the time you would naturally light up to start a new workout routine. If it’s the habit of going outside to light up, instead go for a 5-minute walk around the block.
Habits take time to stick; some say it takes 21 days, but this article shows that forming a healthy pattern takes approximately 66 days.
So stay consistent, and before you know it, you will break those destructive habits to make room for the healthy ones.
5) consider giving up Alcohol
Not only does alcohol sabotage a diet, but it also hinders your judgment, making you more likely to make poor choices.
For many people, drinking and smoking go hand in hand, which is why it’s so important to give up alcohol—that’s not to say that you can never have a beer or glass of wine again, but abstaining until you have kicked the habit is a good idea.
6) Create a health Goal
Think about where you want to see yourself in two weeks, six months—a year from now. Quitting smoking is a step towards your ultimate goal of becoming a healthier version of yourself.
Maybe you have always wanted to run a marathon, but as a smoker, it has always left you winded, or joining a sport, like soccer, but you never felt like you could keep up. Make a long-term goal for yourself that aligns with your desire to be stronger and more fit.
DOn’t give up!
You are making a massive investment in your health—your future self will thank you! Quitting smoking is incredibly difficult, but millions have successfully given it up, and so can you. By applying these tips, you should be able to ditch the cigarettes without packing on the pounds.
Now go and crush your goals!