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Stopping Weight Gain While Quitting Smoking

Many people who quit smoking gain 10 pounds, but not you.

More Smoking-Cessation Secrets: Plan Ahead and Drink Lots of Water

Besides eating a healthy diet and exercising more, here are some other tips to help you avoid gaining the "kick the habit 10":

  • Plan ahead. "Some of my patients, when they know they're going to quit, start improving their diet and exercise ahead of time so that they're not already at a really high weight when they quit," says Covey. 
  • Find something else to do with your mouth. Keep sugar-free hard candies, gum (nicotine gum if you like), or Tic Tacs in your car, purse, and coat. Crunching on a carrot when you feel like a cigarette or a snack will keep your mouth busy without adding calories. 
  • If you're keeping a "smoking journal," track your cravings to eat just as you track your cravings to smoke, and identify replacement activities (a walk, a run, a video game, playing with the dog). 
  • Drink plenty of water. Being hydrated will boost your metabolism, while at the same time helping you beat back the craving to smoke. Carry a water bottle with you throughout the day.
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Reviewed on January 23, 2009

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