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Quit Smoking Without Gaining Weight

Smoking is NOT Glamorous!

Everybody knows that smoking is a dangerous habit. Thousands of people die every day because of cigarettes. It's expensive. It smells. It ages your face, stains your teeth and fouls your breath. In fact, it's one of the greatest causes of preventable death in the world.

The American Cancer Society estimates that of all the people alive in the world today, a full 650 million of them will DIE because of smoking related illness. Of course if you're a smoker, none of that makes a difference. The addiction to nicotine is strong.

There is another, even more surprising reason people don't quit. A full 25% of all the people addicted to smoking said that the primary reason they wouldn't stop is because they were afraid of gaining weight. That's right, they were more afraid of putting on a couple pounds than...death.

Don't fear the fat. The average smoker puts on 4-10 pounds when they quit smoking. I'm going to share six simple steps you can take to make sure that doesn't happen to you.

Cinnamon Sticks Pick up a healthy calorie free replacement for your cigarettes. Carry around a cinnamon stick to chew on. Cinnamon boosts your metabolism and smells good as well. If you don't have any cinnamon, try using a straw. You want to keep your hands and mouth busy and avoid stuffing yourself while your brain is fighting the addiction.

Break the bond between coffee and cigarettes. Nicotine helps your body process caffeine faster, so when you quit, the caffeine stays in your body longer. Increased restlessness, agitation and the jitters that trigger mindless eating can be the result. Avoid the cravings by cutting back to half your usual amount of coffee or switch to something like herbal tea with less caffeine.

Chewing GumChew gum when the cravings get bad. Massachusetts General Hospital researchers looked at several nicotine-replacement methods. They discovered nicotine-replacement gum was the only method that helped prevent weight gain in people who quit. Nancy Rigotti, M.D., the lead researcher said, "It may be more effective than other replacement methods because it provides a closer oral substitute for food."

Baby  Avoid romancing the cigarette. Often when people give up a bad habit, they look back and only remember the good things. Don't delude yourself. If you start thinking smoking wasn't so bad, go out a buy yourself a pacifier. The bigger and sillier looking the better. Then when you start thinking back about how wonderful smoking was, whip out that pacifier and start sucking on it in front of your friends and co-workers. Feeling a little embarrassed or stupid? You need to remember that sucking on those cigarettes is far more foolish than sucking on that pacifier.

Start Lifting Weights  Start lifting weights. It's a fact that cigarettes do slightly increase your metabolism. The average smoker burns about 200 calories more per day than the average non-smoker. However, the average 30 minute workout with weights burns more than 250 calories. Plus, the more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism works. Exercise for 30 minutes, five times a week and you win three ways. You burn the calories during the workout, your new muscles continue burning calories when you're done and you look better as your muscles grow.

Play more video games. Smoking and eating have one thing in common. They both boost the levels of dopamine (a pleasure producing chemical) in your brain. One of the reasons people eat more when they quit smoking is to replace that lost dopamine. Fortunately food isn't the only way to get dopamine. Playing intense video games also increases the levels of dopamine in the brain. So instead of stuffing yourself, try 20 minutes of video game therapy instead.

Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Remember the majority of people who quit smoking gain less than 6 pounds, and most of that weight is later lost. Don't use weight gain as an excuse any longer.

Call for a FREE Consultation (305) 296-3434
CAUTION: Check with your doctor before
beginning any diet or exercise program.

11/14/2010
Updated 8/20/2012
Updated 1/14/2018

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  • In 2012, the British Medical Journal The Lancet released the results of the largest ever international study on tobacco use. One of the scariest facts is this quote from the World Health Organization:

    "...if current trends continue, it [smoking] will cause up to one billion deaths in the 21st century."

    According to a three year study done in Australia, two out of every three people who continue to smoke, will die from the addiction. The study was carried out on 200,000 people. How lucky do you think you are?

    Smoking Makes You Frail

    In a study of over 2,542 adults over the age of 60, those that smoked were 60% more likely to be frail. After accounting for things like age, sex and education level that could contribute to frailty, researchers concluded that smoking was the likely cause.

    Quitting helps. The risk of frailty for those who quit eventually drops to the same levels as those who never smoked.