Weight Loss and Quitting Smoking: Are They The Same?

Almost three years ago (already!) I quit smoking. There just came a point when I realised that smoking wasn’t making me happy anymore and I stopped wanting to waste time and money doing it. As with many people, I soon found myself piling on the pounds and I now stand three dress sizes bigger than I was before I quit.

Readers who have been with me a while will know that I’ve been trying to lose weight since Jan 2013 with little success so far. I wonder, if I were to apply the same tactics as when I quit smoking, would I be able to lose weight? So I browsed the net for quitting smoking tips and here they are, applied to weight loss:

  • Use an event or milestone to motivate you. Ok, well No Smoking Day probably won’t apply here. Use birthdays, the turn of a new year, or even becoming a parent/grandparent as a reason to ease yourself into a more healthy life. An important one suggested is becoming ill. Adopting a healthier lifestyle may not cure all conditions but it may well help them. which certainly is motivating if your illness is weight related!
  • Avoid the triggers. If you are an emotional eater, avoiding stress (easier said than done) might help stave off those cravings. If you have a takeaway every time you get drunk, maybe avoid alcohol. Avoid people who will try and goad you into falling off the wagon, if you can.
  • Exercise. Self explanatory, this one. It doesn’t have to cost a penny – read this post to find out more.
  • Delay satisfying the craving. When you feel you absolutely MUST have those chocolate biscuits, try and put it off for as long as possible. Busy yourself with something else for a while and you might just find yourself forgetting about those cravings.
  • Be prepared for special events. Weddings, parties, Christmas… there are “traps” everywhere. Will there be healthy options? Could you eat something beforehand? Could you just let go for an evening and adjust the rest of your meal plan (if you have one) to compensate? Of course you can!
  • Set a date. I didn’t do this when quitting smoking but for weight loss it can help you get things sorted. You could look up some healthy meals in advance and make sure you have the ingredients. You could arrange to go for a gentle walk or swim with a friend.
  • Get some support. Whether it’s some supportive friends, a weight loss group or something like #WobblesWednesday, surrounding yourself with like-minded people is sure to help you on your way.
  • Make a list of reasons to lose weight. Do you want to fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes, feel healthier or set a good example to the children? Write those down and keep them somewhere safe.

I would add, keep a relaxed attitude on both counts. Just because you light up a cigarette or eat a massive slice of cake doesn’t mean your efforts are wasted. Accept it as a blip, get back in the saddle and move on.

 

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