How to maintain healthy weight while giving up smoking


Making the decision to give up smoking is a difficult one, and for many it can take several attempts before they finally reach this goal. There are several different methods for giving up smoking, and an increasing number of products on the market that promise to aid you in achieving this goal.

Whether you use one of the many affordable nicotine replacement therapies, or your will power alone, it is going to be a bumpy ride; many people find that to help relieve the withdrawal symptoms they snack more and consequently put on weight. This is not helped by the fact that once a person has stopped smoking they start to regain their sense of smell and taste, and food then tastes better; the brain, which is being deprived of one thing, craves to substitute the missing pleasure with another newly improved sensation.

While eating more may be an inevitable consequence of stopping smoking, by physiology alone, weight gain does not have to be. By following a few simple tips, you can enjoy the new flavor of food and still maintain a healthy weight along the way.


As well as food tasting better, one of the other reasons that people often put one weight while trying to give up smoking is boredom. Suddenly your hands find they have nothing to do and you become restless counting down the minutes to when you would usually have your next cigarette. The best way to combat this is to get a new hobby; something that uses your hands is ideal, but, as long as it keeps your mind active you are on the right track.

Ideas of hobbies you might want to try include playing computer games; especially strategy games that you can get very involved in, painting or drawing and even cross stitch. If these don’t appeal you could try your hand at “do it yourself” (DIY) and sort out those niggles around the house. It is not smart to start something that is going to increase your stress levels, as it could be counterproductive.


If hobbies and DIY don’t appeal then try something a bit more physical. This will have the double effect of keeping you busy, and helping you to shift off any extra pounds that you do find piling up, as well. The type of activity you choose will depend on your general health and fitness and whether you prefer to be on your own or with other people. Taking part in physical activity does not mean having to go to the gym; you could find a local dance class, take up a team sport, start running or swim regularly. You could also look at volunteering; helping elderly neighbors with dog walking or gardening also helps out your local community.


Volunteering does not have to stop at helping your neighbors; as your energy improves and you complete your tasks quicker and more efficiently without cigarette breaks, you may find that you have extra time on your hands. You could use this time to help in a local homeless shelter, become a hospital visitor or help out at an animal rescue center. Doing something nice for others or for your community will take your mind off you cigarettes, stop you from snacking and
give you a great feeling of achievement.


If time is not something you have in abundance and hobbies or sports are just not your thing then do not despair, as there are still various other ways of keeping off the unwanted pounds. Try to focus on healthy snacks; substitute candy for fruit and add extra vegetables to you dinner, to fill you up. Keeping prepared carrot sticks in the fridge and a supply of healthy unsalted nuts in the cupboard is a good place to start. If you are tempted to snack then try drinking a glass of water first and see if this takes you mind off your craving.