Smoking – Not part of your diet routine
People fear that holding their resolution of ‘No smoking’ can lead to Weight Gain but this can be prevented if you do a little planning of your diet. If you do gain weight slightly, you should keep in mind that one to two kilos is significantly less damaging to your health than smoking.
The reasons why smokers generally weigh less than non-smokers are only partially known. Nicotine suppresses appetite only for a short while. It also increases the body’s basal metabolic rate, but only slightly by around 150 to 200 kilocalories per day or 25 grams of fat. However, a lot comes together over the year.
This can be easily compensated for after quitting smoking, for example by snacking on a piece of fruit or yoghurt instead of chocolate or chips, drinking water instead of alcohol or spreading butter thinly instead of generously on bread.
Gaining Muscles and Stamina are a plus
It’s even easier to keep your weight under control with exercise. Half an hour of fast walking every day consumes around 200 kilocalories, about the same as 20 cigarettes. Sport is not only good for the pounds, it also improves well-being, reduces stress and is good for combating boredom – and the pressure of addiction! Those who train regularly also get more muscles and muscles use energy even when at rest. Therefore, the basal metabolic rate increases, the metabolism is activated and the body burns more calories.
Re-awakening your sense of taste & smell
Just two days after quitting smoking, your sense of smell and taste feel renewed. In addition, the appetite is no longer artificially suppressed. This is also a reason why former smokers sometimes eat more. Maybe you always smoke a cigarette after eating and without this ritual you continue to eat until everything is off your plate. To prevent this, you should immediately clear all plates, pots and platters from the table when you feel full.
The idea is to eat plenty but light – Lots of vegetables, raw vegetables, legumes. Experiment with spices. Enjoy, consciously!
It is recommended to take at least a four-hour break between meals. Drink water or sweetened tea when the urge to eat hits you, or chew sugar-free gum. After one to two weeks, your body will get used to the rhythm and you won’t feel like snacking every now and then.
Don’t ignore Carbs!
Carbohydrates should make up the majority of the diet, that is, more than 50 percent of the daily calorie intake. This is what the German Nutrition Society (DGE) recommends. The brain relies on carbohydrates as its main source of energy. When it comes to bread, pasta and rice, especially if it is not the whole grain variety, you should keep the portions small.
Avoid foods that contain large amounts of table sugar, glucose and malt sugar (so-called simple carbohydrates). The same applies to honey and syrup. These sugars are absorbed relatively quickly from the intestines into the blood and cause blood sugar to rise quickly and sharply. In response, the pancreas releases the hormone insulin. It transports the sugar into the body’s cells – blood sugar drops again. This low blood sugar makes you hungry again after a short time.
Small Indulgences are not a crime
For some people, food becomes a replacement for the daily routine of smoking. Smoking 20 cigarettes a day means moving your hand to your mouth around 200 times – so it’s not surprising if, after quitting smoking, the person puts cake, sweets or chips to their mouth instead. If you do the same, think of a cigarette substitute for your mouth to chew on. This could be a lollipop (sugar-free!), chewing gum, carrot pieces, etc. If your craving for sweets becomes irresistible: choose sweets, wine gums or licorice that contain a maximum of 2 g fat/100 g. This is better than chocolate, which contains a lot of fat.
Don’t think: “I’m not allowed”
Strictly banning yourself from any sweet dish or bratwurst is not a good idea. The mind has a hard time coming to terms with the words “no” and “not.” If you try not to think about food, you end up doing the exact opposite: thinking about it all the time. And that makes you even more hungry. The first hunger pang is a sign that you need a healthy snack. Then don’t clench your teeth so you don’t have to eat, but instead grab a piece of fruit, for example.
Maybe these tips will help you manage your weight better. The most important thing is not to panic if you gain a few pounds after quitting smoking. You would have to become significantly overweight to pose a health risk similar to that caused by smoking.
Looking into the UAE
The UAE is promoting efforts to support the community in smoking cessation and with increased efforts through awareness campaigns, support programs and regulations. Healthcare initiatives offer resources for individuals seeking to quit including counselling and medications. Public awareness and health risks associated with smoking has contributed to a growing trend of people choosing to continue avoiding smoking.