Coming from a family where both parents smoked, and with more than one family member dying from lung cancer, I have taken the conscious decision not to smoke. I want to be able to see my children grow up and hopefully any grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well.
For those who do I urge you to remember that today is No Smoking Day and today is as good as any to learn how to quit the habit. Smoking does not just affect you it affects those around you and maybe it’s time to think of the bigger picture.
Join the challenge; can you stop smoking for a day?
Giving up is hard to do, but it can be done. The important thing is to get started. You probably know that smoking is one of the biggest preventable causes of premature death in the UK. It is linked to a range of serious and often fatal conditions; including heart disease and lung cancer.
But there is good news. No matter what your age or how long you have been smoking, almost as soon as you quit, the health benefits begin. If you haven’t tried those portable vaporizers, you should learn more about advanced vaporizers from a reputable company. Many say that is a very good way to start on the path of kicking out the habit. The fear of weight gain can often put smokers off quitting – but this is a poor excuse. You simply need to be aware of the changes that will be happening to your body and manage them accordingly.
Common myths associated with giving up smoking:
Smoking keeps your hands and mouth occupied and people who quit replace this habit with food
Myth buster: this needn’t be the case; it is just replacing habit for habit. Before reaching for food, distract yourself by doing the laundry, phoning a friend or, better still, go for a run. You certainly won’t regret substituting smoking with exercise – when you raise your activity levels, your body will release endorphins and you’ll feel great, which beats the creeping guilt and sick feeling you get when smoking or binge eating!
Your metabolism will slow down when you quit smoking, causing you to gain weight
Myth buster: nicotine does elevate your metabolism; it also triggers a faster heartbeat which increases your chance for heart disease! When you quit you will burn calories at a slightly lower rate but, if you combat this by controlling what you eat and increasing your exercise, you can prevent any weight gain. You are more likely to exercise when you don’t smoke which will lead to long-term weight loss.
Smoking kills your taste buds, so when you quit you eat more
Myth buster: developing a greater appreciation for the smell and taste of food should be something to embrace; your body is recovering from being dulled by the hundreds of toxic chemicals found in cigarettes! Actually, you may become more sensitive to sugary and salty foods, take the opportunity to avoid sweet foods, introduce new flavours to your diet and sample seasonal fruit and vegetables.
Top nutrition tips for diet and healthy snacking to help you avoid overeating
Reduce your likelihood of post smoking weight gain by adopting a sensible attitude to eating and snacking. To make sure you are not consuming too many calories, follow these tips for a healthy, balanced diet:
- Eat three sensible-portioned meals a day and two healthy snacks.
- Aim for 6-8 portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
- Eat at least three portions of fish a week; one being oily fish.
- Increase fibre intake to keep your gut healthy.
- Include some low-fat dairy for added calcium and protein.
- Cut back on processed foods (pies, burgers, pastries, ready meals).
- Reduce salt intake. Try Lo Salt/lower sodium content alternatives.
- Reduce sugar intake. Watch for hidden sugar on food labels.
- Eat less saturated fat (cut fat off red meat; avoid crisps and fatty snacks).
- Drink 2 litres or 6 large glasses of water a day.
Cravings are mainly caused by emotional triggers such as boredom, stress, or anxiety rather than physical deficiency. Snacking can be a good thing to provide nourishment and vital nutrients but sugar-rich choices with empty calories can lead to excess fat storage. Don’t make snacking, like smoking, into a habit. Distract yourself for half an hour and see if the craving wave passes.
- Are you hungry or just thirsty? Try a glass of water first.
- Eat little and often to manage your blood sugar levels.
- Vary the types of food you eat to expand the range of nutrients you are consuming.
- Plan ahead and prepare handy, readily available healthy snacks like vegetable crudités (celery, sweet peppers and cucumber) with houmous, a handful of olives or fruit.
- Swap chocolate for nuts or mixed seeds, which are packed with protein and minerals. In excess, they are calorific however, so restrict intake to about 90g a day.
- Try fruit loaf instead of cakes and biscuits.
- Choose oat biscuits for slow release energy. Add low sugar nut butters, cottage cheese or houmous.
- Check the sugar content in energy bars. Read the label – above 10g per 100g carbohydrates, of which sugars, is high!
- Swap popcorn for crisps. Low fat varieties are high in fibre but low in calories.
- Got a sweet tooth? Frozen yoghurt lollies can hit the spot. If you are really craving chocolate, choose a couple of squares of dark/high cocoa varieties.
For more expert advice on nutrition and fitness please visit SportsShoes.com
To order a free resource pack visit – www.nosmokingday.org.uk… What are you waiting for?
Disclosure: This is a subject close to my heart which I am proud to support.