If you're thinking of quitting smoking but you're afraid you'll gain weight, here's some good news: it doesn't have to happen! Experts from the National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases say that by knowing — and preparing for — the common reasons for post-tobacco weight gain, you can avoid them. They include:
- Feeling hungrier: Have plenty of low-calorie snacks on hand, such as cut-up carrot and celery sticks, sugar-free chewing gum, rice cakes, and the like. Soon the urge to munch will pass.
- Going overboard: When smokers finally give it up, they tend to replace one bad habit with another! That often means more alcohol and high-calorie snacks. Be aware of what you're eating and avoid alcohol — which can decrease your willpower — for a while.
- Slowing burn rate: Many people, women in particular, started smoking to control their weight. While it's true that smoking can reduce your appetite and stimulate your metabolism slightly, the risks aren't worth the trade-off! Instead, keep your metabolism running strong with a healthy diet and regular exercise!