If you are a smoker or you know a smoker, then you know that when it comes to quitting, smokers always have an excuse, a reason for why they just aren't quite ready to give up cigarettes. One of the most common excuses smokers use to avoid putting out that last cigarette is weight gain. Many smokers claim that smoking helps them keep their weight in check and they fear that if they quit, they will, to put it bluntly, get fat.
How does Smoking keep the weight off?
If we look beyond the appalling fact that many tobacco users laud smoking as a health benefit in terms of weight control, we are forced to confront the reality that smoking actually is a weight deterrent, as paradoxical and unhealthy as it may sound. According to smokefree.gov, smoking cessation causes the average person to gain between 4-10 pounds or roughly 2 to 5 kilos. Since smoking is an appetite deterrent and nicotine raises the rate of our metabolism, giving up tobacco means that the metabolism slows down while the desire to eat increases. Hence, the weight gain.
Even though smokers tend to gain weight after they quit, this does not mean that they will permanently be on the road to obesity. Within six month, those who have quit smoking are usually back to their normal weight. If you are a smoker and are worried about your weight, and use this as a crutch to keep lighting up, here are some ways to help yourself get healthy and keep your weight in balance:
· Exercise: it is never too late to get yourself moving and grooving and in shape. Make walking, running, bicycling or any other physical activity a regular part of your life and reap the benefits of a healthier, fitter body.
· Eat right: Your diet will determine your weight. If you eat right and cut our excess sugar, junk and other gunk you will find that you feel better mentally, physically, and you will be able to find the weight that is right for your body and makes you happy.
· Set realistic expectations: If you are worried about gaining weight if you quit smoking, then realistically assess the state of your body. How was your body before you started smoking? What is your weight now? If you never had Heidi Klum's body in the first place, then don't act like the few excess pounds gained after smoking cessation will ruin chances at being a super model. You are in control of your weight and you have the power to make yourself healthy, but don't compare yourself to perfection-smoking cessation should be about creating optimal health for your uniqueness as an individual.
The cold, hard truth is that smoking cessation usually causes weight gain, but the good news is that you have the power to create the body and weight you want, without the positive or negative influence of tobacco. This starts with exercise, a healthy diet, and realistic expectations about what is right and achievable for your body. Stop making excuses and take control of your body today-quit smoking!