Quit Smoking & Avoid Weight Gain
Quitting smoking is probably the most difficult addiction to break and many consider quitting this very deadly habit as a New Year’s Resolution, but fear that it will instantly cause weight gain. The truth is Smoking is not helping you control your weight, it is actually making you store fat.
Smoking affects many of the endocrine glands that produce metabolic hormones. It helps cause insulin resistance and diabetes and drives up cortisol levels, which contributes to belly fat. Smoking is also a risk factor for underactive thyroid, a metabolic condition that can lead to weight gain, and if you already have underactive thyroid, smoking can cut your thyroid hormone secretion further.
Smoking acts as an oral fixation and when you do not have a cigarette to fulfill that need, many replace it with food, eating more than usual and choosing high fat, high sugar foods to find comfort.
Everyone knows that smoking kills. I personally have lost loved ones to lung cancer. There is nothing positive to your health or those around you when you smoke. Let's add years to your life by quitting this nasty addiction and avoiding weight gain.
AVOID CRASH DIETS
Quitting smoking is hard enough without the stress of extreme dieting. It is very common at the start of the year to make extreme changes to your life which can backfire greatly. Instead of radical changes, make small ones. Baby steps. At Fit By Faith, we recommend making 3 changes to 3 areas of your life every 3 weeks. The three areas are Nutrition, Fitness and Motivation. For example if you don't normally eat breakfast, for 3 weeks, eat breakfast every morning. If you drink a lot of soft drinks or high sugar drinks, cut them out for 3 weeks. Maybe you don't drink enough water. For 3 weeks drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day. For Fitness, start a new workout 3X a week or if you are already working out, find something different to change things up. Motivation can be listening to your favorite inspirational song each morning, reading an inspirational quote or scripture, or having an accountability partner to talk to each day. After 3 weeks, add something new to each area while keeping the last choices. One change in all 3 areas for 3 weeks. This will make the transition easier on you and your body.
KEEP LOW CALORIE SNACKS HANDY
At Fit By Faith, we advise our members to keep a small cooler handy, filled with healthy snacks. By doing this, it prevents any need to run to the vending machine or the drive through window to grab something to eat. Life is unpredictable and you may have to get up and run somewhere, but with your cooler handy, you will have a much healthier choice available to you. When you feel the need to smoke, you can munch on something healthy instead.
DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
Did you know that sipping water through a straw can actually trigger the release of dopamine, a feel-good hormone in the brain that can counteract stress and help you fight off the craving of smoking. We all know how important water is for good health and weight loss as well. Try adding crushed ice or maybe a squirt of lemon or lime in your water if you have a difficult time drinking it. Sometimes when we feel a craving for smoking or food, a good drink of water can stop the craving so drink up!
CHOOSE HIGH FIBER FOODS
Many studies show that fiber helps blunt appetite and helps make people feel fuller longer after a meal. Insoluble fiber passes through the digestive tract without being broken down. Soluble fiber is slowly broken down in the small intestines, where it helps prevent cholesterol from being absorbed. High-fiber foods include whole grains, beans, and vegetables.
MAKE EXERCISE YOUR NEW HABIT
Exercise burns calories and offers a welcome distraction from cravings both for nicotine and for food. Exercise also eases stress, which is important while you’re trying to quit smoking. You can ramp up the number of calories you burn either by exercising at greater intensity or increasing the amount of time you exercise.
I am so grateful that God gives us the ability to heal our bodies no matter how long we have abused them. Twenty minutes after you stop smoking, your heart rate slows down to a calm, steady beat, lowering your blood pressure. Three days later you might feel like going for a jog – because your energy is going to skyrocket. After the first month, you have fewer instances of that annoying, hacking smoker’s cough because your bronchial tubes are on the mend. A few months later, you’ll be taking the stairs without gasping for a breath. Make it to your fifth year smoke-free and your risk of stroke is the same as a non-smoker. In ten years, your lungs become stronger and your chances of dying from lung cancer are only half as great as if you continued to smoke.
So don't let fear of weight gain stop you from stopping this dangerous addiction.
Krista Johnson is the owner of Fit By Faith Fitness Center which was established in October of 2006. She is the mother of 4 children ages 20, 15, 11 and 8 and has a passion for helping others get in shape from the inside out. Krista is a walking testimony having lost over 100lbs and has successfully kept it off. During her weight loss, she had a vision of creating Fit By Faith. She believed she was to change the atmosphere of the gym and create a different environment for people to work out in. Krista is a former High School Theater Arts teacher and is currently attending college to obtain her B.A in Sports Medicine. She holds certifications as Personal Trainer with the International Sports Science Association Tae Bo® fitness instructor (Certified by the creator Billy Blanks) Group Fitness Instructor for Adults, Children and Seniors SilverSneakers® Muscle Strength & Range of Motion for Seniors Black Belt 1st Dan in the art of Tae Bo Kwon. She maintains her certifications annually through continuing education classes and training camps and requires all her instructors at Fit By Faith to do the same. She also competes in races and other competitions regularly. Krista has appeared in 3 Tae Bo® infomercials on national TV Shape, Collage Video, Looking Good Now and Christian Living Magazines Several times in the Brownwood Bulletin Newspaper. She has also been featured on several websites such as The Fitness Zone, The Biggest Loser, ivillage as well as the Billy Blanks Website. Krista has been a motivational speaker at many churches and radio stations. Krista and her husband John, who is co-owner of Fit By Faith, both have hearts to help others to feel good, to be healthy and strive everyday to serve more people in this manner.