By Rita Black C.Ht.
Want to stop smoking but afraid of gaining weight? You are not alone! Many people, both men are women, are very reluctant to give up smoking for this very reason. There are a lot of myths and fears out there about putting on weight after quitting. Maybe you even have stopped smoking in the past and put on some weight and started smoking again and lost it and so your fear is based on some truth.
As a professional clinical hypnotherapist, weight management expert and smoking cessation specialist (as well as a former smoker who was fearful of gaining weight when I stopped—but I didn’t I actually lost weight when I finally stopped with hypnosis almost 2 decades ago) I want to assure you that you can stop smoking and manage your weight but we need to separate the facts from the fiction so that you can have a clear picture of what becoming a happy non-smoker and managing your weight looks like.
Here is my main question to you…think about this…do you really want to be still smoking cigarettes a year from now, five years from now, 20 years from now—just to manage your weight? Of course not! Talk about slavery—choking yourself with smoke in order to remain skinny or not put on more pounds if you are already struggling. I remember when I smoked and I managed to lose weight (I was always struggling back then) I called my newfound svelt-ness “fake thin” because I knew if I stopped smoking I would just gain the weight back.
You can stop smoking without weight gain but you need to have the facts to help you create sound solutions so that you can manage your weight as you prepare to stop instead of having old myths and fears run you and your weight up the scale. When clients mention they are afraid of gaining weight when they stop smoking I make sure and talk through their fears, dispel the myths and create, with my client, a sound solution for managing their weight as a non-smoker. I also mention specific weight management related suggestions during our smoking cessation hypnosis session that will help them achieve their goal.
YOU WON’T GAIN ANYTHING EXCEPT YOUR HEALTH, SELF CONFIDENCE, AND FREEDOM
(Disclaimer: results may vary) Many of my formerly fearful clients call me back happily a few months after our hypnosis session to report that not only have they become a happy free non-smoker but they did not gain weight as well! In fact, those who needed to lose weight when they came to see me have reported also releasing a few pounds because they started exercising and eating better because stopping smoking inspired them to start living a healthier life.
Here are the three main common fears that my clients ask me about when considering stopping smoking with my “Shift Hypnosis Stop Smoking in One Session Method”. I have offered the facts and solutions to these fears.
FEAR: Smoking boosts my metabolism so when I stop smoking I will gain weight, right?
FACT: Your metabolism may drop an insignificant amount when you become a non-smoker but not enough to gain weight unless you begin eating more.
For every pack of cigarettes you smoke per day your body burns 100 extra calories. That is not a considerable amount of calories and will not doom you to adding considerable poundage unless you start consuming more calories, which is what people are doing when they typically gain weight.
There are 3500 calories in one pound of fat. Our weight is run by simple physics and the laws of thermodynamics–calories in and calories out. True, if you stop smoking a pack a day and slow down your body burn by 100 calories in 35 days you will gain one pound of fat. Over a year period you could, if you did not make up the difference, put on around 11 extra pounds. But now that you have the facts you can take action. As a non-smoker you can simply eat a teeny bit less or exercise a teeny bit more per day and make up the tiny metabolic slow down. Vive la difference in calories because you are now a healthy non-smoker!
SOLUTION: Make a point to move your body by walking or some other exercise to make up for the slow down in your metabolism when you become a non-smoker.
1/2 pack per day…burns 50 calories
1 pack per day…burns 100 calories
1 ½ pack per day burns 150 calories
Usually a short 10-20 minute walk is enough to make up the difference in metabolism from when you smoked . I recommend a 10 minute walk after lunch and dinner—this becomes the automatic go to way of refreshing yourself after a meal instead of a cigarette.
If you don’t want to move more then try eating a little less. 100 calories is not a lot of food, haven’t you noticed–10 French fries, ¼ of a bagel, one bite of prime rib! Just cut back a little bit and drink more water and you should make up the calorie gap created when you freed yourself from that prison of cigarettes.
FEAR: Will I substitute smoking with food and pack on the pounds?
FACT: Some people do start eating more when they stop smoking and gain weight. Let’s look at the reasons why so that I can show you with our method this will not have to happen to you. In fact, many clients lose weight when they become a non-smoker with our method.
Reason 1: They substitute food for cigarettes- The problem with substituting food for cigarettes is it is counter productive to being a happy non-smoker. When we substitute anything for smoking the one message we are sending the brain is “this thing I am substituting is not a cigarette”! This gives us the feeling that we have a void we are trying to fill and yes you will pack on weight if you adapt this attitude.
There is no substitution for cigarettes—non-smokers don’t smoke and they do not perceive a void in their day that needs to be filled with something either. You ever see a non-smoker walking around with a lolli-pop hanging out of their mouth, or a carrot stick or an e-cigarette. Non-smokers are non-smokers and they live their days as such.
Solution 1: Be clear that you are becoming a non-smoker and not a smoker who is “trying” to quit. During my sessions with my clients we focus on the “void” trap that people fall into and how to avoid it.
Reason 2: They begin eating more sugar instead of smoking:—There happens to be a lot of sugar in cigarettes. When you smoke the body assimilates the sugar and when you stop smoking the body does experience some drops in blood sugar. Many people will experience this drop in blood sugar (not painful at all BTW) and eat a piece of candy or a cookie instead. This short term solution causes weight gain because the sugar in cigarettes is calorie free but the sugars in sweets are not.
Solution 2: For the first few days following your last cigarette help your body out by keeping you carbohydrate intake low and your protein levels raised. The amino acids in the protein stabilize you blood sugar levels and keep you from feeling the drop and searching for snacks.
Reason 3: They feel sorry for themselves and treat themselves to a “reward” for being so good for not smoking. This is the primary cause of weight gain—feeling sorry for yourself and giving yourself a candy bar or some French fries instead of a cigarette. Obviously this will lead to weight gain.
Solution 3: Celebrate your non-smoker-dom!! During my sessions with clients I focus them on the fact they are not giving something up but becoming something powerful—a non-smoker. The more clear the mind is that you are moving forward as a non –smoker the less it will mope around feeling sorry for itself that it’s missing out on the stinky cigarettes and need a “treat” to pacify it. Move on and celebrate with 3 deep breaths of fresh air in your new, clean lungs—you’re free!
FEAR: I will just gain weight. The last time I quit smoking I put on 3 pounds and didn’t eat more. Explain that!
FACT: Smoking dehydrates your body, your organs and your skin. You ever go in a smoke-house where they cure meat and see the water dripping from the meat? Well, hate to be so graphic, but that’s pretty much what happens when you make a cigarette. Smoking squeezes water from the cells of your body and your skin (are you starting to see the tiny lines?).
When you stop smoking water will return to your cells and make your body and your skin healthier. Depending on how much you smoke you may experience a 1-4 pound gain. Beware this is not fat—it is water and it’s the best weight you will ever gain.
SOLUTION: Knowing that you can expect an almost immediate rise in your weight of a few pounds of water will keep you from freaking on the scale and thinking you are packing on the pounds—you are not—this is the water weight that will make your body healthy. Instead of fretting over a few pounds, relax and go look in the mirror at how fabulous your skin and complexion look now that you are a non-smoker. Ahhh, doesn’t that feel better?
So there you have it—the fears, facts and solutions around stopping smoking and weight gain. Just remember—becoming a non-smoker is one of the most powerful things you can do in your life. The freedom and confidence that come from finally giving up the slavery to cigarettes is amazing. You can and will figure out how to manage your weight as a non-smoker—you will find a way. I released 40 pounds when I stopped smoking with the use of hypnosis and have been not only smoke-free but have maintained my goal weight for almost 2 decades. I have done it, my clients have done it. Now it’s your turn.
You can do this—do not let fear stand in the way of you living a healthy and free life! Please call me or contact me through this site to discuss your further questions or to set up an appointment.