4 tips to quit smoking without gaining weight
Weight gain by quitting smoking is inevitable! Discover the advice of Laetitia Suissa, a registered dietitian and nutritionist, to make it happen.
Good news: You want to quit smoking. You are determined to reach your goal, but the worry remains, which is to gain a few pounds. Because it's no secret: Quitting smoking often rhymes with weight gain.
A phenomenon that varies with the metabolism and consumption of tobacco for each, but often remains a reality. because of ? The basic metabolism of smokers, which is higher than that of others: they naturally burn more calories than non-smokers. When you quit smoking, this metabolism slows down, which often leads to weight gain.
But that's not all: when you decide to quit smoking, it is not uncommon to compensate with food, since the signal of satiety in smokers often corresponds to a post-meal cigarette. After you quit smoking, this signal is disrupted, which can lead to more eating.
However, weight gain when you quit smoking is not inevitable! Here are 4 tips to make it happen.
Reduce your energy consumption
What are my eating habits? This is the question to ask when quitting smoking, because it is necessary to make an assessment, in order to adapt your way of eating to this change.
The general idea is to eat well-balanced food, that is, of good quality and quantity. To do this, all food groups (dairy products, grains, fruits, vegetables, fats, etc.) should be consumed, but in smaller quantities than before. Therefore it is advisable to form less dense slabs but also to avoid refilling.
Increase your energy expenditure
Since the basic metabolism is slowed down after smoking cessation, it is recommended to increase energy expenditure, as well as reduce intake. A good decision requires physical activity!
Don't panic: Non-athletes can also achieve this, by adopting simple, effective habits, such as taking the stairs instead of taking the elevator, or walking instead of taking the car or public transportation.
Athletes, for their part, can add an extra session to their program, the goal being to do more physical activity than before they quit!
We know that stress promotes weight gain. It is therefore important to develop a plan of attack against this enemy, which often resurfaces when you quit.
because of ? Nicotine stimulates the pleasure and reward areas of the brain. When you stop smoking, and therefore nicotine, these areas are not stimulated in the same way, which can lead to fatigue.
It is therefore advisable to incorporate relaxation into one's lifestyle: psoriasis, yoga, breathing exercises ... There are many possibilities!
Fight cravings for snacks
After you quit smoking, your cravings for sweet or salty foods may be more regular and more intense. To avoid or combat them, it may be wise to eat more food regularly to avoid overconsumption during meals, but also untimely snacks.
The solution could be to have two or three snacks per day. It is advisable to choose healthy foods with low energy density, such as raw vegetables, dairy products or fruits. Another tip: force yourself not to eat when the craving for snacks arises, because generally it passes within 15-20 minutes!
But it is quite possible to allow yourself, once or twice a week, “pleasant” foods (pastry, sweets, etc.), because it is not because you are paying attention to your streak that they should be radically eliminated. This approach may be counterproductive, especially during this period when frustration is most intense.