How To Quit Smoking And Not Gain Weight (Not Even A Pound!)

How To Quit Smoking And Not Gain Weight (Not Even A Pound!)

So you’re ready to quit smoking. Fantastic!  But you’ve probably heard stories about ex-smokers having an increased appetitie after quitting smoking. Unfortunately, it’s true. Generally, an ex-smoker will put on an extra five to ten pounds after they quit, and sometimes more for those who substitute smoking with food. So how can you quit smoking and not gain weight? Some of the things we’ll look at involve using a metabolism booster after quitting smoking, things to put in your mouth instead of cigarettes, and foods to eat while quitting smoking.

Foods to Eat While Quitting Smoking

Your metabolism will start to slow after you quit smoking because nicotine actually pushes your metabolism forward. What this means is that you’re losing some of your capacity to burn calories. Coupled with a general feeling of increased appetite after quitting smoking, you’ll feel like eating more and that will lead to weight gain. One of the ways you can reduce that potential weight gain is to eat foods which digest slower and keep you feeling full for longer.

  • Boiled potatoes – evidence suggests potatoes contain a protein which curbs hunger, yet they also contain several vitamins and minerals, and are low in fat. Don’t get lazy though and choose fries over boiled potatoes – they are not the same!
  • Oatmeal – try oatmeal for breakfast, and add fruit such as a berries, or apple, or bananas. Then add some cinnamon as a sweetner. This healthy breakfast is high in fiber and is a slow-burning metabolic grain.
  • Eggs – eggs contain antioxidants, protein, and a range of vitamins and minerals. And they’re exceptionally filling. Try eggs on wholegrain toast with avocado for breakfast, or quiches with salad for lunch or dinner.

Other foods to eat while quitting smoking include whole wheat bread, unsalted nuts, greek yoghurt, smooth soups, and air-popped popcorn. 

Air-Popped Popcorn – Quit Smoking Wonder Snack

When it comes to things to put in your mouth instead of cigarettes, air-popped popcorn is the best choice. The air-popped variety has around 25% less calories than its oil-popped counterpart, and that’s significant for the waistline. But it’s also great because like smoking, it keeps your hands busy as you prepare the popcorn, and your mind off the nicotine craving. Popcorn is also surprisingly nutritious, being high in fiber and magnesium.

Metabolism Booster After Quitting Smoking

Nicotine builds your body’s metabolic rate. But when you quit, it goes back to “normal”. Boosting your metabolism again will require activity, meaning exercise (groan!). Plan ahead though, and create an exercise plan – this will make it easier to stick to and keep your mind away from nicotine cravings. Aim for thirty minutes of exercise each day. It doesn’t have to be anything particularly energetic, simple walking will do. Just so long as it’s 30 minutes more than what you were doing as a smoker. Exercise is just as important as any other measure to keep you from smoking and is the most important metabolism bootser after quitting smoking. 

Coffee – Metabolism Booster Plus

The caffeine in coffee boosts your metabolism and acts a natural substitute for smoking. Arguably, you’re trading one bad habit for another, depending on how you view coffee. Whatever your view, it’s obvious coffee has significantly less impact on your respiratory system and overall health, so when looking for a metabolism booster after quitting smoking, coffee may be the most convenient choice. Don’t be tempted though to add sugar! Keep it strong and bitter.

Start a New Post-dinner Custom

Many smokers have a cigarette after dinner, or any meal for that matter. Smoking serves as a body signal that the meal is finished. Now you need a new signal that the meal is done, because without it, many smokers will simply snack instead. This is one of the reasons there is an increased appetite after quitting smoking.

Try strolling around the block, or some brief meditation, or even cleaning your teeth throughly with floss or dental picks – as simple as that sounds, your oral health will become outstanding. Use a historical or inspirational quote app, or something similar which adds value to your day. Read the quotes and reflect on them. Or if that’s too deep, find a game you can play on your phone – something that won’t distract you for hours on end! 

Things to Put in Your Mouth Instead of Cigarettes

Ex-smokers will often say they miss having something to do with their mouths and hands, and with that increased appetite after quitting smoking, it’s easy to substitute cigarettes with food, and most of which tends to be sugary or fatty junk food. And why not? It tastes good, and it’s enjoyable much in the way smoking was. But, you want to know how to quit smoking and not gain weight, so you’ll have to do some work. Try snacking on carrots or celery. OK, yuck! But, nutritionally, you can’t lose. This is about switching a physical habit for something similar, but without the cost and negative health aspects. Remember, you have to do some work. 

For something a bit more appealing on the tastebuds, true some sugar-free low-calorie lollipops. Typically available from organic food stores, many varieities will have nutritional benefits. But set a limit – too much of any manfactured food item will affect your digestive system.

Increased Appetite After Quitting Smoking

You’re going to feel hungrier and you’re going to crave a cigarette. But you need to control your increased appetite to keep the weight off, and curb the cigarette cravings at the same time. During the first 14 days of quitting smoking, stay consistent and remember the following: 

  • Drink more water. Drink eight glasses of water a day. Aside from keeping you hydrated, this keeps feeling full, and rapidly flushes cigarette toxins from your body, which in turn reduces cravings. 
  • At some point, you’ll want to smoke a cigarette. Be prepared. Have your carrots and celery (!) or lollipops close at all times. Have a bottle of water in front of you at all times. When the craving comes, pop on your headphones and go for a walk. 
  • Expect difficulty. You’re strong, you know you can do it. But it isn’t easy. Expect it to be hard, don’t kid yourself. Just be prepared for those times when it seems most difficult. The hardest part is the first 14 days.

Using all the points we’ve listed, this is how to quit smoking and not gain weight, not even a pound. But don’t stress if you do! Your body needs to adjust to quitting smoking, there may be some natural fluctuations in weight in the beginning while your body adjusts to your new habits. Keep them up! It only takes 14 days to break through the hardest part of quitting smoking forever.

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How to Quit Smoking Spiritually – A Guide to Different Meditations

How to Quit Smoking Spiritually – A Guide to Different Meditations

If you were to ask yourself what are the most effective ways to quit smoking, you’d probably lean towards going cold turkey, patches, vaping, etc. However, quitting smoking is a war of the mind and starts with self-awareness. Once you become more aware of your thoughts and surroundings, it becomes easier to address the sabotage in our subconscious programming. Meditation disentangles the knots of sabotage. It forms a part of mindfulness and can be done in any space, allowing you to collect your thoughts and let go of the negative energies and emotions which accumulate so quickly. If this simple process works for you, then great, but taming nicotine cravings is tough and you might need a regular guided meditation for quitting smoking. But meditating like this might not be ideal for everyone, so let’s find something which works for you.

Quit Smoking With Meditation – But Which Ones?

A Google search reveals conflicting numbers of meditation types you can choose; 5 types, 23 types, 9 types, 12 types – who would have thought it could be this hard agreeing about the same thing? You can get a better overview of the different meditations from Healthline, but let’s examine what are the most effective ways to quit smoking with meditation.

Guided Meditation for Quitting Smoking

Guided meditation is when a teacher or narrator leads the meditation, either in a class or through an audio program. The benefit of a guided meditation is the instruction you receive gives the meditation purpose to reach a specific outcome. Typically, a guided meditation would be conducted by a meditation professional, someone for you who would know how to quit smoking spiritually using their meditation expertise. Whether guided or unguided, consistency is the key with meditation. You may find you get better results in a meditation class or from an audio format. Generally though, regular guided meditation will develop your skills to a point where your private meditations will become very powerful. At that stage, being able to quit smoking with meditation crosses from being a desire to being achieved.

Mindfulness Meditation

The practice of mindfulness is a good starting point to quit smoking with meditation because you choose the environment where you will reflect within your thoughts. Over time, this purposeful intent allows your mind to flow and unlock suppressed thoughts and feelings. That doesn’t mean you’ll experience a bevy of hidden memories, but it does encourage a connection with thoughts, events, and emotions which are typically buried under the weight of daily living. This meditation is simple to do and easy to incorporate daily.

Vispassana Meditation

Vispassana is a meditation practice developed in India 2500 years ago. Modern mindfulness movements have been shaped by the foundations of Vispassana, however, it’s a more intense meditation and focuses on breathing and calmness, and the relationship between the mind and body. If you’ve been practicing mindfulness meditation, then graduating to Vispassana will be the next step in how to quit smoking spiritually. Typical Vispassana courses run for 10 days at a retreat – it’s intense. There’s no drinking or smoking allowed, so in terms of giving up weed, don’t do the course unless you can commit to being clean for this time period, and are confident with basic meditation. A four-year study found a 20% drop in drug use for addicts who took up Vispassana, a significant endorsement for meditation in overcoming weed dependency and addiction.

Loving-Kindness Meditation

Loving-Kindness is the more generic Western description given to metta meditation, a Buddhist meditation. As the name suggests, loving-kindness meditation focuses on self-love and kindness, particularly self-compassion. Using loving-kindness meditation for quitting weed is powerful, particularly if your efforts to quit weed are always hampered by self-disappointment and judgement. The meditation encourages you to adopt a mindset of forgiveness, appreciation, trust, and love towards yourself and others. Using loving-kindness to build your daily outlook enables you to switch from self-directed anger and abuse, to tolerance and forgiveness. Removing the anger and harmful self-dialogue associated with your weed dependency lifts the veil on the negative factors which drew you to weed to begin with. Replacing bitter self-talk with compassion and understanding robs your insecurities of the fuel they use to perpetuate a cycle of lighting up, then beating yourself up for it. Loving-kindness works well as a guided meditation for quitting smoking as you develop tolerance towards yourself and others across all aspects of living.

What Are the Most Effective Ways to Quit Smoking With Meditation? 

With all these different options to choose from, how do you know which is best? The different meditation practices we’ve listed are a few of the many to choose from, proven unguided and guided meditations for quitting smoking. But meditation can be anything. This means the meditative elements  – shifting focus from the society surrounding us to a connection with ourselves through earth, wind, water, and fire – can be replicated in any activity. The key is to find an activity that works for you and “spiritualise” it in some way, turn your awareness towards it as a tool for connecting with yourself.

What Activities Can I Do?

My personal activity is swimming. I do it for exercise, but it also connects me with the water, surrounding my body and absorbing me. It removes me from the burdens of daily living. My arms and legs are moving, but this is muscle memory. My mind is elsewhere, admiring the sensation of the water, and ruminating over things I want to achieve, big and small, and challenges I face. And sometimes I’m not thinking at all, I’m just enjoying the moment. For you, it could be walking or running in a park, riding a bike, yoga, cooking, reading in a hammock, sculpting, painting, or any other form of creating – the key is to be absorbed in the activity, allowing its manipulation of the elements to be a part of you. Find an activity that moves you other than smoking, and use it to clear your mind. This is the first step in how to quit smoking spiritually and in conditioning your mind to the benefits of meditation. 

Repetition is King

Whatever meditation you choose, keep doing it. If you want to quit smoking with meditation, then you’ll need to be consistent. It may seem hard at first, but have you ever tried something you couldn’t master and then one day it just clicked? Make meditation one of those click activities, and keep doing it. Your mind is the most powerful weapon against nicotine dependency and meditation is your mind’s gymnasium.

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How to Stop Smoking Naturally: 4 Approaches to Help With Addiction

How to Stop Smoking Naturally: 4 Approaches to Help With Addiction

Help With Addiction

Every person has their own motivation to quit smoking. Each one also chooses a way to do it. The vast majority of smokers prefer to find out how to stop smoking naturally.

Quitting smoking naturally seems less complicated and shows respect for the person’s limitations regarding their journey to stop smoking. After all, the urge to smoke won’t just go away just because you’ve decided to quit.

On the contrary, the desire will only reduce as time goes by and you make wise choices regarding your process, which means the journey can be slow, gradual, and natural. 

Here we’ve gathered some natural ways to help you resist your smoking urges and eventually stop this habit. Take a look!

Wait

Weight-loss specialists always say to wait as a hint. Do you know when you have finished eating but want to repeat the meal? We know you’re not exactly hungry, so they tell you to wait 5 minutes. 

It’s time enough for the food to settle in the stomach, and you realize you don’t need to eat more. Plus, you’ve probably gotten distracted by something in the meantime. The situation is similar to smoking.

When you crave a cigarette, wait 10 to 15 minutes. But don’t just count on the clock waiting for the moment to arrive. Instead, do your stuff, drink some water, grab a book, grab a snack or start a conversation with your best friend. You will likely be distracted along the way by something more helpful to you.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a natural method indicated for those who want to quit smoking. 

More conclusive research on the subject still needs to be done but, some studies show that acupuncture can be effective, especially when combined with other anti-smoking techniques.

It turns out that one of the points reached with the technique is related to the vagus nerve, which is the nerve that emits withdrawal symptoms. 

When stimulated, the vagus nerves in the parasympathetic nervous system can block the flow of withdrawal symptoms. 

Therefore, acupuncture to quit smoking can be an excellent option since withdrawal symptoms are so present in this process. 

Essential Oil

Did you know that some oils are known to reduce the intensity and frequency of cigarette cravings? The use derives from a technique called aromatherapy used for centuries to alleviate cravings, addictions, anxiety, and more. 

It’s basically the act of inhaling a drop in concentration for two minutes or leaving it in a room diffuser.

Oils have properties that allow a person to relax and even stay focused on being smoke-free. The most used are black pepper, angelica, lavender, and peppermint.

Changes in Lifestyle

Some lifestyle changes lead to healthier habits and increased wellness hormones. 

Lifestyle changes make us feel more satisfied, more willing, and less prone to addictions. However, you don’t need colossal changes to notice some differences. Start with the simple things, for example:

  • Eat more fruits and vegetables and use them as snacks when the craving for cigarettes grows;
  • Reduce your intake of sugar and caffeine in your diet (even those present in teas and chocolates), as they increase withdrawal symptoms;
  • Exercise, especially outside your house, as this reduces stress and anxiety levels usually present in people with withdrawal symptoms;
  • Drink plenty of water every day and have a pleasant sleep routine every night.

Now that you know how to stop smoking naturally, get started as soon as possible. And if this content was helpful, remember to check our blog for more!

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Mindfulness to Quit Smoking

Mindfulness to Quit Smoking

Once you’ve developed a nicotine dependency, it’s difficult to quit. What may have started out as having a few weekend puffs at the local bar has transformed into an unshakable habit. And once you try to beat that habit, the grasp of tobacco dependence holds you tight. Letting go of that grip will take some resilience and patience with the process and with yourself. But whatever action you choose to quit smoking, it’s important to know that it has worked for others and that even if it doesn’t work for you, keeping trying until you find something that does. And the first part of finding that action or actions which will help you quit is really being aware of yourself and the cigarette in your hand.

Be Aware of Yourself

Awareness is something we take for granted. We often think we’re aware, but really, we’re just reacting or responding to whatever’s in front of us. We’re on autopilot, which is why it’s difficult to recognise why we want that cigarette. It makes us feel better, sure. But how did smoking become something we need instead of something we could choose? Nicotine dependency may be the obvious answer, but the point is to acknowledge that every time the need to smoke arises. And from there, you can start practicing quit smoking mantras, and mindful smoking.

Mindful Smoking

Over the past decade, the term “mindfulness” has gained traction in the popular culture mindset and is typically linked with meditation. But before jumping headlong into the meditative arts, get familiar with mindfulness first. Mindfulness is about examining the moment you’re in, questioning what’s happening around you, what you are feeling, and why you are feeling it. Awareness, on the other hand, brings you back to the moment so you don’t float off in the thoughts and observations of mindfulness. When applied to smoking, the practice is known as mindful smoking. 

Mindfulness and Awareness

Here’s an example of the differences between mindfulness and awareness. You’re at a work meeting and you start practicing mindfulness. Your boss is addressing the team. How does she sound? Is she nervous or angry? How are your colleagues? One colleague looks upset. Is it because of work or something personal? How does the room make you feel? Then your boss asks you a question and you’re caught off guard because you were too busy practicing mindfulness. This is where awareness reminds you to stay in the moment, focus on what you need to be aware of now whilst gently observing and questioning your current experience of the situation. Maintaining this balance of awareness during mindfulness takes practice. However, using mindfulness to quit smoking will be one of the best mental tools at your disposal.

Practicing Mindfulness to Quit Smoking – Before

Practicing mindfulness can take a bit of adjusting because it requires you to switch your brain over to observation mode. Before you light up, take a step back and ask yourself what you’re feeling. The goal is not to make you feel guilty or to even stop you from having the cigarette you’re about to have, it’s just to prompt self-awareness. Do you feel you need a break from what you’re doing? Are you stressed? Are other people around you about to smoke? 

Practicing Mindfulness to Quit Smoking – During

Now focus on what you’re feeling while you smoke. You’re feeling stressed, why? Is it because you’re unhappy with your circumstances or relationship? Or are you smoking simply because it’s time for a cigarette break? Why? How does it make you feel? Does it make you feel relaxed? What would happen if you didn’t get that smoke break? You don’t have to come up with clear answers, just accept whatever responses and feelings you observe. Mindful smoking is about opening a door to understanding yourself and embracing where you’re at in any given moment. And it’s with that open door, you can start to tackle your nicotine dependency. Now add quit smoking mantras while you smoke.

Quit Smoking Mantras

Quit smoking mantras are phrases you can repeat which help reprogram your mind towards quitting smoking. The struggle to quit largely comes from the mind; you’ve probably tried to quit in the past and have felt your tobacco dependence kick in as you start craving a cigarette and eventually succumb to its call. Finding mantras to repeat to yourself will positively code your mind, allowing subconscious receptiveness to advance your quit smoking journey. When you tell yourself quit smoking mantras, acknowledge what you’re doing now, because you need to own that action first. Then follow it with how you will change. Here are some examples: 

I’m smoking now, but this can be my last one if I choose.

I like the feeling of inhaling the contents of this cigarette, but I’m ready to move on. I’m ready to stop.

I enjoy the time out I’m getting from this cigarette, but at the cost of my health. I can stop smoking.

As basic as these statements are, repeating anything like this combined with mindfulness helps you break nicotine dependency. Get creative. Make up your own mantras. You are the architect of what works best for your mind.

Practicing Mindfulness to Quit Smoking – After

Now focus on what you’re feeling after the cigarette. Do you feel calmer? Do you feel guilty? Why do you feel guilty? Do you feel uninspired to go back to whatever you were doing? The point of all the questions through each phase of each cigarette you smoke is that it builds a connection with yourself and with your subconscious. You’re becoming mentally stronger, and it’s that mental edge which will help you quit smoking for good.

Keeping it Up

Repetition is the key to any good habit or goal. Mindful smoking can feel like a chore, especially when all you want to do is not think about it. By committing to mindfulness each time you smoke though, it gets easier, plus you’ll find your self-awareness increases in other areas of your life. By mastering mindfulness, the unseen negative mental elements which connect you with wanting to smoke begin to carry less power, and those mindfulness questions you ask yourself begin to offer solutions for breaking away from tobacco dependence.

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Quitting Smoking With Meditation

Quitting Smoking With Meditation

Meditation is a ritual we’ve all heard of but can be easily dismissed as pretentious. It’s important though to keep an open mind – if quitting smoking with meditation has worked for others, then surely it’s worth trying regardless of any notions we may have. Once you’ve started on your quit smoking journey, your body begins to navigate the various stages of nicotine withdrawal; meditation will help keep you focussed and effectively quit smoking spiritually.

How Does Meditation Help?

Meditation and nicotine stimulate similar responses in the body. The key difference is that smoking cigarettes is a form of escapism, whereas meditation is about taking control. It has been shown to improve mood and reduce anxiety, and tackle issues such as depression, irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia, and addiction. Self-control and addiction are two areas where meditation has been particularly helpful because meditation stimulates brain activity. Another view is that your brain is a muscle and meditation is the exercise. All our rational and emotional composition is housed in the brain, meaning our mental capacity is increased when the brain is exercised through meditation.

Before Starting

If you can, begin to practice meditation before you have your first cigarette for the day. This will help you maintain control as you work through the stages of nicotine withdrawal. Doing so will give you greater mental strength, so use this clarity to capitalize on the task of quitting smoking with meditation. What you want to experience is a transition from pushing yourself to quit to quitting on autopilot – consistent meditation can effectively provide that transition and enable you to quit smoking without willpower.

How to Meditate

Meditation consists of setting time aside each day – aim for twice a day if you can, around about 20 minutes each – and focusing on your breathing as you rid your psyche of all your accumulated distractions and negative energies, until you reach a state of near-empty peace and tranquillity. Sounds a bit airy-fairy, right? Let me put it into context; you’re focusing solely on the moment. The peace and tranquillity you reach in your mind exists at that moment. It’s like the moment allows a door to open in your mind for negative emotions to pass out, and for positivity to flow in. That doesn’t mean a simple exchange of good and bad emotions, but rather our subconscious communicating with us via images and colors. Ponder as you meditate; what does this color make me feel, what do I associate with it? What can I derive from the images I’m seeing? Sometimes the meaning is clear, sometimes it’s not – don’t overthink it. Just let it flow, your subconscious is doing most of the work, and that’s where most of our mental junk lies.

Quit Smoking Without Willpower

Meditation in the beginning will feel weird, especially if you’ve associated it as an activity of fickle and pretentious people. But stick with it – not only will you get better at it, but you will start to see some more clarity in the images and colors, and start feeling more positive and capable. One of the biggest challenges when quitting is maintaining your willpower, but as mediation becomes a daily routine, you’ll find it easier to quit smoking without willpower, or rather, without focusing on it. Meditation becomes that willpower. 

Easy to Do, But Easy not to Do

Meditation is easy to do every day, but also easy not to do. The “easy-not-to-do” trap is the biggest obstacle we face in simple, daily habits. Consistency is king. As you continue to build up mental stamina through meditation, you’ll develop an inner-strength towards your actions and decisions, and can use this to break the hold nicotine has over you. Quitting smoking with meditation is all about embracing the saying “slow and steady wins the race”.

Quit Smoking Spiritually

Continue to meditate as you work through the stages of nicotine withdrawal and make it a daily routine for life. If you find this helps you in the nicotine withdrawal process, then you won’t want to stop. The mind is exceptionally powerful, and it’s about finding a way to tap into that and making it work for you. Arguably, mediation is a way to quit smoking spiritually, but that might be a heavy concept for some, and that’s fine, each to their own. As you gain more confidence with meditation though, you can investigate more advanced meditation techniques. And from there, you might find other spiritual philosophies and practices you can incorporate into your lifestyle and contribute to your journey to quit smoking without willpower.

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