How Quitting Smoking Affects Your Metabolism Medical Course
Can I Lose Weight and Quit Smoking Simultaneously?
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My husband and I have decided to quit smoking because cigarettes and even roll-your-own tobacco prices are about to increase tremendously. All well and good, but I also just started a diet! Do you know if anyone has quit smoking and dieted successfully at the same time, and do you have any tips to help?
— Maggie, Michigan
Congratulations! Smoking kills, so quitting is awesome! Unfortunately, weight kills too — so I understand your concern.
First of all, some people are successful at losing weight at the same time as quitting smoking. One person I know very well did this by making a decision to pursue total health and using exercise and healthy eating as a way to fight smoking cravings. He made sure to eat a filling, nutritionally balanced diet and kept plenty of healthy snacks around as a last resort when cravings became particularly strong. Before turning to food to satisfy a craving, he would go for a walk or run to help diminish it. If you crave sweets, using nutrition bars can sometimes be helpful, provided you keep them as a last resort (since the calories they contain still count).
Of course, not everyone has the same success as my friend. Most experts agree that setting a goal of maintaining your weight (not gaining) when first quitting smoking is more realistic. However, this is achieved exactly as I have outlined here — through controlling calories, making healthy choices, and exercising regularly. In addition, there are some excellent nicotine and non-nicotine smoking cessation aids available. If these are used correctly, they can make quitting a little easier and improve your chances of success both with smoking cessation and with managing other cravings.
Finally, there are so many great resources and programs to help you to quit smoking responsibly. I encourage you to talk with your doctor and visit this for additional support and information.
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