To avoid gaining weight when you quit smoking, you need to become more physically active and improve your eating habits before you quit. Physical activity helps to control your weight by increasing the number of calories your body uses. Making healthy changes to your eating habits will prevent weight gain by controlling the amount of calories you eat. Try to reduce your chances of gaining weight by being more physically active and improving your eating habits before you quit smoking.
Become More Physically Active
Becoming physically active is a healthy way to control your weight and take your mind off smoking. In one study, women who stopped smoking and added 45 minutes of walking a day gained less than 3 pounds. In addition to helping control your weight, exercise increases your energy, promotes self-confidence, improves your health, and may help relieve the stress and depression caused by the lack of nicotine in your body.
You can become more physically active by spending less time doing activities that use little energy, like watching television and playing video games, and spending more time doing physical activities. Try to do at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day on most days of the week. The activity does not have to be done all at once. It can be done in short spurts — 10 minutes here, 20 minute there — as long as it adds up to 30 minutes a day. Simple ways to become more physically active include gardening, housework, mowing the lawn, playing actively with children, and taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
Improve Your Eating Habits
Try to gradually improve your eating habits. Changing your eating habits too quickly can add to the stress you may feel as you try to quit smoking. Eating a variety of foods is a good way to improve your health. To make sure you get all of the nutrients needed for good health, choose a variety of foods from each food group each day. The Nutrition Facts Label that is found on most processed food products can also help you select foods that meet your daily nutritional needs.
For a healthy diet make sure you:
- Eat plenty of grain products, vegetables, and fruits.
- Choose lean and lowfat foods and low-calorie beverages most often. Choose lowfat dairy products, lean meats, fish, poultry, and dry beans to get the nutrients you need without extra calories and fat.
- Choose less often foods high in fat and sugars and low in nutrients.