There is no need to pay extra pounds for giv­ing up a bad habit.

Quit­ting smok­ing may not be a feat, but there is cer­tain­ly some­thing hero­ic in it. What do we get in return? Frayed nerves, stu­pid jokes instead of sup­port, and even heels of extra pounds. Dis­grace and injus­tice! Try these tips to at least lose the pounds (and if you find out how to cope with the jokes, please write to the edi­tor!).

Go for strength training

Do you know why we gain weight after quit­ting smok­ing? The fact is that nico­tine acts on our ner­vous sys­tem and can acti­vate reward mech­a­nisms. When the reg­u­lar sup­ply of the “stim­u­lant” stops, we uncon­scious­ly look for ways to com­pen­sate, for exam­ple, in the form of sweets. To avoid this, you should try chang­ing your lifestyle a lit­tle — and strength train­ing is great for this. Even if you don’t have the time or desire for full-time work­outs in the gym, just take 10–15 min­utes in the morn­ing and evening and do small sets of exer­cis­es. Jump­ing rope, squats, push-ups — it doesn’t take much time, but such exer­cis­es will lift your mood and improve your well-being, mak­ing it eas­i­er to over­come nico­tine addic­tion.

Eat slowly

Long-term smok­ing weak­ens our taste buds, mak­ing food almost taste­less. But after refusal, the recep­tors quick­ly return to nor­mal — and you can start eat­ing sig­nif­i­cant­ly more than you actu­al­ly need to feel full. The solu­tion is sim­ple: eat slow­ly, chew thor­ough­ly, do not be dis­tract­ed by read­ing or watch­ing while eat­ing, and get max­i­mum plea­sure from eat­ing.

Keep low-calorie snacks on hand

Let’s face it: few peo­ple suc­ceed in quit­ting smok­ing past the stage of “replace­ment” can­dy or cook­ies. This is a good way to reduce anx­i­ety and reduce the stress that all “quit” smok­ers expe­ri­ence — and, frankly, it’s bet­ter to chew than to be ner­vous, includ­ing for your fig­ure. But if you keep healthy snacks on hand — dried fruits, nuts, pop­corn with­out but­ter or syrup — your fig­ure will thank you. And, most like­ly, teeth too.

Keep your hands busy

If you used to reach for a cig­a­rette dur­ing paus­es, now you will just as instinc­tive­ly reach for sweet snacks. But if you train your­self in moments of anx­i­ety or wor­ry to occu­py your hands with some­thing — shuf­fling cards, fin­ger­ing rosaries or some oth­er sim­i­lar activ­i­ty — it will be eas­i­er for you to cope with an attack of anx­i­ety and you will not have to resort to snacks. Prof­it!

Drink more

Water is gen­er­al­ly a uni­ver­sal recipe for any weight prob­lems, and this case is no excep­tion. First, drink­ing slow­ly and in small sips can help com­bat anx­i­ety attacks. Sec­ond­ly, it fills the stom­ach and sup­press­es hunger. Final­ly, it’s just use­ful. So in any unclear sit­u­a­tion, drink water!

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