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Mary Ella’s Weekly Message
October 24, 2011
Watch Your Waistline
After Halloween, take a look around your kitchen. If you have any leftover candy lying around, you should probably get rid of it as soon as you can. With the holidays fast approaching, this is the time to watch your waistline, especially if you’re quitting smoking!
The average weight gain after someone quits smoking is 7 to 10 pounds. Some people snack more because it gives them something to do with their hands and others find that food tastes better now that their taste buds aren’t dulled by smoking. All the regular reasons for gaining weight could also apply: you might be reaching for too many sugary snacks, eating portions that are too big or not getting enough physical activity. Some FFS Online participants use weight gain as an excuse to backslide and start smoking again. But weight gain can be controlled, and many of the same skills you learned to become smokefree can also help you control your weight.
Just as you went through your house to get rid of smoking materials before you quit, go through your kitchen to get rid of high-calorie, tempting foods and drinks. Most hunger cravings can be controlled with a 50-calorie snack and if you reach for fruits or vegetables, you will probably feel fuller than eating snacks with empty calories such as cookies or chips.
Do you usually eat something crunchy when snacking? Try celery or carrot sticks, radishes, popcorn or an apple instead. You’ll still get the crunch but the calories you take in will be fewer and more filling.
Do you like to eat smooth treats such as pudding or ice cream? Try low-fat or fat-free yogurt instead. But remember that some low-fat and fat-free foods contain more sugar, so be sure to check the label. If you want something sweet, add berries to your yogurt or make a fruit smoothie. No honey or sugar are needed—just whirl up a banana, berries and maybe an apple in a blender and you’ll have a healthy and delicious snack that will satisfy your sweet tooth.
Focusing on control of your weight now can help you to maintain through the upcoming holiday season. This doesn’t mean that you can never have a high-calorie favorite food like pumpkin pie but try to limit yourself to a few bites instead of having a whole portion.
Review the good information in Module 6, such as the Hunger Helps handout. Drinking a glass of water before meals and whenever you feel a craving to snack can also help you to feel full, and help you to eat less.
This time of year, I’m trimming bushes, pulling weeds, raking leaves and getting the yard ready for winter. All of that activity adds healthy exercise to my day. What are you doing to add some physical activity to your routine? Let me know on the Message Boards.
This week try these tips for controlling weight:
- Drink a glass of water before each meal.
- For a snack, eat a piece of fruit or some raw veggies.
- Do at least one outdoor physical activity, such as walking, gardening or playing ball.
I’ll see you on the Message Boards! :-) Mary Ella
Don’t forget: If you're in the Premium program and want help fast on the Message Boards, put "HELP NOW" in the subject line of your post. If you're looking to offer help, watch for those, "HELP NOW" posts and alert your other FFS Online buddies to offer some assistance as well