Avoiding The Weight Pitfalls Of Smoking Cessation


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If you are a smoker or you know a smoker, then you know that when it comes to quitting smokers always have an excuse, a reason for why they just aren’t quite ready to give up tobacco. One of the most common excuses smokers use to avoid putting out that last cigarette is weight gain. Many smokers claim that smoking helps them keep their weight in check and they fear that if they quit, they will, to put it bluntly, get fat. If we look beyond the appalling fact that many tobacco users laud smoking as a health benefit in terms of weight control, we are forced to confront the reality that smoking actually is a weight deterrent, as paradoxical and unhealthy as it may sound. According to smokefree.gov, smoking cessation causes the average person to gain between 4-10 pounds or roughly 2 to 5 kilos. Since smoking is an appetite deterrent and nicotine raises the rate of our metabolism, giving up tobacco means that the metabolism slows down while the desire to eat increases. Hence, the weight gain.

Even though smokers tend to gain weight after they quit, this does not mean that they will permanently be on the road to obesity. Within six months, those who have quit smoking are usually back to their normal weight. If you are a smoker and are worried about your weight, and use this as a crutch to keep lighting up, here are some ways to help yourself get healthy and keep your weight in balance:

  • Exercise: it is never too late to get yourself moving and grooving and in shape. Make walking, running, bicycling or any other physical activity a regular part of your life and reap the benefits of a healthier, fitter body.
  • Eat right: Your diet will determine your weight. If you eat right and cut our excess sugar, junk and other gunk you will find that you feel better mentally, physically, and you will be able to find the weight that is right for your body and makes you happy.
  • Set realistic expectations: If you are worried about gaining weight if you quit smoking, then realistically assess the state of your body. How was your body before you started smoking? What is your weight now? If you never had Heidi Klum’s body in the first place, then don’t act like the few excess pounds gained after smoking cessation will ruin chances at being a super model. You are in control of your weight and you have the power to make yourself healthy, but don’t compare yourself to perfection—smoking cessation should be about creating optimal health for your uniqueness as an individual.

The cold, hard truth is that smoking cessation usually causes weight gain, but the good news is that you have the power to create the body and weight you want, without the positive or negative influence of tobacco. This starts with exercise, a healthy diet, and realistic expectations about what is right and achievable for your body. Stop making excuses and take control of your body today—quit smoking!

Pregnant? Is Exercise Right for You?


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Many women worry about the weight gain that is inextricable with pregnancy. You often hear women talking about their bodies before and after baby, and how pregnancy really wreaked havoc on their body’s shape and their ability to lose weight. Since we live in such a body-image obsessed world, in which flawlessly skinny celebrities are often held as the ideal, weight worries can be a major danger zone for pregnant women, especially for those who worship at the temple of diet and exercise. This body-image mania can lead to under-eating and over-exercising during pregnancy. Let’s take a look at the ways that exercise can healthily be practiced during pregnancy in order to help you avoid doing any harm to your developing baby.

Regular, light exercise during pregnancy can help you feel good and keep your body moving and healthy. Light exercise such as stretching, yoga, and taking long walks can be really helpful and keep your muscles loose and your body and its metabolic processes running smoothly. Light exercise can also help prevent gestational diabetes, relieve stress, and build the stamina needed for the eventual labor and delivery.

Cardio during pregnancy can be ok, but you have to remember that cardio raises your core temperature, and your baby already has a higher body temp than you do-thus, too much cardio can overheat you and baby and lead to exhaustion and fatigue. When it comes to cardio, only you can know your limits, but you need to be aware that however you are feeling, your developing baby feels the same way only ten-fold. This is why it is best to limit your cardio workouts during pregnancy-you don’t want to overdo it and put yourself and your baby at risk.

Some women are actually not allowed to exercise during pregnancy. This includes women who have experienced recurrent miscarriages, are prone to pregnancy bleeding, have a weak cervix, a low placenta, or a history of premature births. Exercise can disrupt these women’s delicate bodies and cause miscarriage and premature birth. If you fall into one of these risk categories, limit your pregnancy activity to easy walks and simple stretches, but be sure to consult your doctor on what is safest for you.

Fitness during pregnancy is not a no no-you can definitely exercise and keep your body in shape while carrying your developing little one. The important thing is to know your own body, know if you fall into any of the exercise risk categories, and have a good rapport with your doctor so that you can get advice about the best pregnancy exercise route for you. However, remember that your life is not only about you anymore-everything you are doing is now affecting your baby. If that means you have to gain a little weight and it puts a little wear and tear on your figure then so be it. Your baby’s health should be the only driving force behind your pregnancy habits, plain and simple.

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Skipping Breakfast Is Not A Weight Control Method


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Many people are looking for the ultimate diet, usually as a means of avoiding the harsh, time-consuming reality of exercise. It doesn’t help that the media is obsessed with promoting not only flawlessly skinny body images, but “easy” diets that supposedly involve little or no work. A diet in and of itself isn’t a bad thing, it is the dietary choices that you make that count. Some people choose healthy diets that focus on cutting out sugars and processed foods, but others go a more unhealthy route- they travel the path that leads to anywhere from crash dieting to developing eating habits that mirror eating disorders.

One common misconception related to weight control is that skipping breakfast can help you slim down. In fact, the opposite is true. Skipping breakfast can lead to weight gain and increased weight control issues. One reason for this is that people who skip breakfast are more likely to take in higher levels of calories at their next meal; additionally, they tend to snack more frequently through the course of the day, and snacking is usually sugar and junk food driven. Skipping breakfast also plays with your blood sugar levels, which can cause moodiness and a lack of energy. There are studies that also indicate that people accumulate more body fat when they eat fewer bigger meals than when they eat spread out, smaller meals. Thus, skipping breakfast is in no way a healthy or reliable method of weight control.

You have probably heard the platitude over and over again that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but this truth cannot be emphasized enough. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. For starters, breakfast gives you the energy you need to be able to execute and complete the tasks for your day ahead. Eating breakfast helps you form consistent eating habits which helps regulate you blood sugar. Eating breakfast is also a complement to your weight control efforts: not eating breakfast means that you are fasting for nearly 20 hours and thus you are not producing the enzymes your body needs to metabolize fat. Without enzymes kicking your metabolic system into gear you cannot lose weight.

While it is important to eat breakfast every morning, this doesn’t mean that you should go to a pancake house or swallow down McDonald’s drive through each morning. Breakfast only supports weight control when it is made up of healthy, balanced foods. Fruits, grains, cereals, eggs, and yoghurt are all great ways to start your morning without falling into the black hole of junk food options. As with all other meals during the day, breakfast must be healthy for you to reap any wellness rewards.

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What role should fast food play in our lives?


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Junk food, fast food, processed food—whatever you choose to call it, it is everywhere. The proliferation of fast food across the globe has caused a sharp increase in obesity, particularly in the Western world, and according to the Australian government nearly 25% of Australian youth are considered overweight.

Whether or not fast food is good for us, it is omniscient and we are confronted by its smells and advertising daily. So how do we realistically approach the fast food leviathan in our daily lives? Here are a few ways to wrestle successfully with the junk food beast:

  • Don’t be too rigid: While fast food should in no way be a part of your daily diet, there is nothing wrong with indulging yourself every once in awhile. Whether it is to satisfy a craving or to save time when the family needs dinner at the end of a long, stressful day, give yourself the green light to stop at Hungry Jacks every once in awhile.  A healthy diet means balance and balance means it is ok to swing in the bad direction every once in awhile.
  • Plan you meals: Most people choose the fast food option because it is super convenient in our time-strapped world. One way to avoid falling into the pit of junk food is to plan your meals. Make a list every weekend of dinner’s you want to eat the following week—dinner’s that are healthy and balanced. Take the weekend to then shop for your supplies so that you are prepared during the week. An added benefit planning healthy dinners is that they can turn into healthy lunches the next day.
  • Exercise: What does exercise have to do with the role of fast food in your life? A lot, actually. Exercise requires you to be more conscious about what you put into your body. If you exercise, you will need to build healthier eating habits, and you may find that you aren’t so interested in processed foods. Exercise also keeps you healthy and in shape for when you do have your occasional junk food slip up.

Fast food should play a minor role in your life, but not best supporting actor—more like one of the names that flashes up on the credits at the end of the film. You don’t have to be dogmatic about avoiding fast food, but if you are conscious about what you eat and work to build healthy eating and exercise habits, then junk food will naturally be relegated to its proper place—movie nights and stress overloaded days.

If you found this article of interest and would like to be notified as more articles become available subscribe on my website www.LifeCoachToQuitSmoking.com.  Also ‘Like’ my Facebook page to get exclusive offers, share your stories and join our community at www.facebook.com/lifecoachtoquitsmoking.