5 Minute Coffee Break - A Weighty Thought

Published at 01 April, 2021 12:10.

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Are you worried about putting on weight when you stop smoking? Is this preventing you from starting your quit attempt?  Let us be realistic and tell you that the average weight gain in the year after stopping smoking is just 5kg. Not everyone will put on weight however and there are tips that can help you avoid it so read on and chew it over with your five minute coffee break

It is true that smoking can speed up your metabolism and therefor your body will burn calories at a faster rate. But when you stop smoking your body will actually require fewer calories! 

Smoking can suppress your appetite but stopping smoking can help your food smell and taste so much more appealing.  Fall in love with eating again in a new and adventurous way as your tastebuds are reactivated. Taste new foods you would not usually try, enrol on a cooking course or get some new recipe books and test out your newly found enthusiasm and cooking skills on your family and friends. Cooking healthier using fresh ingredients instead of buying expensive processed foods and take away will boost your confidence through your quit attempt.  Your new and rewarding skill will keep you busy and soon you are not thinking about smoking at all. Your goal could be planning a dinner party and show off your new talent with an amazing tastebud tantalising recipe.

When you stop smoking it is possible that your nicotine cravings may mimic hunger pangs or you may find yourself distracting from withdrawal symptoms by snacking. Reaching for a snack instead of the cigarette can also simulate the hand to mouth action of smoking that you are used to. The key is to make sure it is a healthy snack you are reaching for such as carrot and other veggie sticks, fruit slices, nuts and seeds or sugar free mints and gum. Lessen the cravings by using nicotine replacement products. Limit alcohol and avoid sugary snacks. We can still reward ourselves for being smoke free in a healthy way. So, go ahead and buy those shoes with the money you have saved from not buying any tobacco! 

Chewing your food slower can also help. Enjoy every mouthful. It takes up to 20 minutes to feel full after eating so wait at least ten minutes before helping yourself to that second portion as you may find you don't want it after all. Eat smaller portions until your metabolism starts to stabilise after quitting smoking. keeping a food diary to track what you eat can also be useful 

By planning ahead and focusing on the positives and benefits of stopping smoking and using the hints and tips to stay on track you can stay smoke free and enjoy healthy eating. 

Being more active can help too. It does not have to be high impact aerobics especially if you struggle with physical activities. Low impact movement such as Yoga can help, adding extra steps on your daily walk or swimming when we are allowed back into the pool. Always check with your GP before starting any new exercise plan if you have any health concerns

Let's keep perspective by keeping a healthy balance and dieting sensibly. Don't take on too many goals all at once and remember the benefits of stopping smoking far out “WEIGH” the risk of any small weight gain.