Do You Really
Want To Stop Smoking? Or Do You Use The Weight Gain Excuse?
I do not smoke, never have, and
admit to being one of those 'pain in the butts' (OK, bad pun!)
that go on about the foul stench, and anti-social behaviour of
smokers, especially in public places.
You can imagine my joy when one
of my local pubs recently banned smoking. Shortly after the ban
had come into force I spotted a guy poised with cigarette in
hand, and was about to get huffy and even confrontational.
Fortunately I held back and continued my beer - but was puzzled.
The cigarette was unlit and yet he was putting it near his
mouth, flicking the imaginary ash and generally acting as if he
was smoking it. Curious about this I eventually enquired, only
to find out this was his own rather unorthodox approach to
keeping his hands busy and therefore, as he put it, keeping his
Although everyone knows that
smoking is detrimental to health, it's surprising how many
smokers cite fear of putting on weight as a reason to not quit
The simple fact is that it is
not quitting smoking that affects your weight, but the change of
habit can result in you increasing your food intake.
But there are plenty of ways to
ensure this does not happen to you.
There is no need for a special
diet when you stop smoking, but you must use your common sense.
If you eat chocolates instead of smoking then you are very
likely to gain weight!
Monitor your diet for a
fortnight before you stop smoking - write a food diary, noting
everything you eat and when. You simply use this to make sure
that what you eat post-quitting follows a similar pattern.
In a similar way, note how much
exercise you can do as a smoker. When you stop smoking, you can
begin to compare how much more exercise you can do with ease.
This will inspire you to the possibility of becoming fitter in
other ways, and will actually help you through the tough period
of giving up the addiction.
Even moderate amounts of
exercise can reduce tobacco cravings. A recent study found that
women that maintained a rigorous exercise regime coupled with a
stop-smoking programme were twice as likely to succeed as those
who didn't. Frankly, exercising is incompatible with smoking,
and you are also more likely to be mixing with non-smokers.
Let's face it, if you smoke 20
cigarettes daily, you are putting your hand to your mouth at
least 200 times a day. When you quit, you need to keep your
hands busy. How about peeling fruit for snacks, doing jigsaws or
maybe even knitting.
Keep visualising yourself as a
fit non-smoker, especially when your motivation starts to flag.
You can always get help with this through the use of
hypnotherapy. As in so many behavioural issues, it is simply a
matter of re-programming our mind. Giving up smoking is tough,
and self-hypnosis is a method that many are discovering as a
simple way to help keep the mental attitude and motivation on
Like the chap in the pub, you
may find your own method of coping with your quit smoking
challenge, and well.. if it works - great!
Keith Watson - 25 years as a
registered nurse. Now writing about and promoting a holistic
approach to health issues. To learn more about hypnosis as a