At Blue Phoenix our clients are amazed to find they can stop smoking but don’t gain weight. Certainly, the opposite is often the case, where people often gain weight when they quit cigarettes. This is an understandable, if easy, reason for some to keep on puffing. However, since smoking alters your metabolism artificially–your body rights itself within weeks–once you quit, it will return to normal. In the meantime, you could pack on a few unwanted pounds. So, along with utilizing hypnosis, and sometimes acupuncture to help you quit, we also ask you to simply be aware of what you put in your mouth. Here are some healthy tips to help you quit smoking and not put that weight back on.
1. Choose your meals wisely: Go for lots of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, low-fat milk products, and lean meats and fish. Don’t forget your body is detoxing, so you will want to feed it nutritious food, especially now.
2. Graze: Eat small meals and small snacks throughout the day. You’ll feel satisfied and have something to do with your hands and mouth. Caution: This isn’t a green light to eat constantly.
3. Don’t skip meals: It doesn’t help your cravings for nicotine if you are also in need of food. If you deprive yourself of both things you are in for a crash—and, potentially, a return to old and undesired ways.
4. Plan ahead: That nasty nicotine craving can creep on you at any time. Of course, with hypnosis we prepare you for this potential, but you want to be as on top of your game as possible. Carry cut-up fruit or veggies with you, so you can pop something other than a cigarette in your mouth. Carrot sticks and celery sticks are good because they…uhm, sort of mimic the way a cigarette looks. But please don’t try and light one up.
5. You’re letting go of powerful chemicals in the cigarettes. Snack on fruit, raw vegetables and dip, yogurt, or pretzels rather than cookies or potato chips or other fast, fatty snacks. You can let go the mindset that you “deserve” that chocolate because you didn’t have a cigarette. What you truly deserve is a break from the toxins and pollutants coursing through your bloodstream. Your body will thank you down the road.
6. Be aware of a mainly mindless tendency to overeat: It’s common to find that food smells and tastes better after you stop smoking. Be careful that you don’t go overboard on the portions.
7. Drink lots of water: Drinking water helps remove the nicotine and other pollutants from your system. Drinking water throughout the day–6-10 glasses worth–is something we ought be doing whether or not we’re quitting smoking. Flush that stuff out of you!
8. When quitting, avoid Alcohol; Social settings + liquor=Big Trigger; alcohol can make it hard to say no if/when the urge to smoke strikes.
9. Exercise: Moving your muscles, raising your heart rate: these are all good things that will help get your metabolism back on track, as well as help to clear out your lungs.
10. Get used to the idea that any craving–whether for food or nicotine–lasts roughly 20 seconds. If you make it past that, you are generally home free. Exploit that to your benefit.
Hope this helps. And see, I barely mentioned acupuncture, hypnosis or supplements once in this mini-article on how to stop smoking but don’t gain weight .