To smoke or to gain weight, the question is now?
The fear of gaining weight can be determinating in a decision to stop smoking for many women, and the men too. The truth is that many people gain a few pounds after they give up cigarettes. The reason is that smoking does increase your metabolism to a certain level. The nicotine in cigarettes speeds up your metabolism and increases the number of calories your body use, so without cigarettes, your body may burn food slowly. Also, smoking is a habit and using food as a substitute for cigarettes.
Three steps strategy
Weight gain can be manageable, and wellness professional Celynn Erasmus of Complete Nutrition suggests a three steps strategy- Balance blood sugar levels using glycemic index, use super booster foods and eat balanced meals.
Balancing blood sugar levels. Avoid fast sugar-releasing foods such as refined cereals, sweets, cakes, white and some brown bread which release a lot of insulin – a hormone that in excessive amounts contributes towards fat gain. Low glycemic index carbohydrates such as sweet potato, hi fiber foods, soya release sugar into the bloodstream more steadily and slowly resulting in sustained energy and more natural fat loss.
Use super booster foods. Breakfast can include citrus or berry fruit salad with yogurt, almonds or walnuts or omelet with sweet peppers and tomato. For lunch, you can eat chicken or turkey salads, lean protein such as egg, soya, halloumi cheese or fish with roasted vegetable. Avocado or peanut butter dip, boiled egg, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, unsalted almonds or cashews, or crackers can be a snack.
Eat balanced meals. That means naturally colorful food, fruits, and vegetables. So, the advice is to divide the plate into a half and two quarters, fresh fruit and vegetables in half, a quarter with lean protein and a quarter with slow release carbs.
What You Can Do? As you get ready to give up cigarettes, here are some things you can do to keep your weight under control.
-Get active. Physical activity helps you burn calories that earlier nicotine used to help remove.
-Use low-calorie “finger foods” that can keep your hands busy- sliced apples, baby carrots or unsalted nuts.
-Create healthy eating habits. Never let yourself get too hungry, learn to eat foods that fill you up.
-Sleep well. If you don’t get enough sleep, you are at more significant risk of putting on extra weight.
-Control your drinking. Alcohol and sweetened juices may go down easy, but they can lead to weight gain.
Nicotine gum helps
According to Linda Gotlieb, Group Product Manager for Nicorette, smokers who use nicotine gum gain less weight than those who don’ t use it.
Nicorette did a study on 253 women who had stopped smoking, and their research showed that those who didn’t use gum often had put on an average of 3.4 kg only twelve weeks after they quit smoking, and in women who used nicotine gum weight increase only 1.3 kg.
What Linda Gotlieb says is that results are encouraging news for the many smokers who are currently discouraged from giving up smoking just because they are afraid of gaining weight, and when they substitute their nicotine intake from cigarettes with nicotine from Nicorette gum, they will be able to control their weight gain and adopt healthy lifestyle.”