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18 July 2012, 06:00 | Updated: 18 July 2012, 07:42
Smokers in Suffolk are being asked not to give up on quitting after new report says it leads to weight gain.
Live Well Suffolk is urging smokers across the county not to give up quitting smoking despite a new report suggesting that many smokers may put on up to 5kg (or 11lb) in weight in the first twelve months of stopping.
The report published last week by the British Medical Journal (bmj.com) has indicated that the average weight gain associated with stopping smoking is higher than the 3kg previously estimated.
Weight gain is often one of the biggest barriers to those looking to quit, with many female smokers suggesting that they would only be prepared to put on a small amount of weight in order to stop the habit.
Tim Roberts, Director of Live Well Suffolk, said: 'Whilst it is perfectly normal to gain a few pounds whilst giving up cigarettes, we would urge smokers not to be deterred by the new report. The health benefits from quitting smoking are significant and our specialist stop-smoking advisors can give advice and tips on how to successfully curb any cravings during the process.'
In order to combat any potential weight gain, Live Well Suffolk suggests the following tips:
1) Increase physical activity. This will not only provide a short-term distraction but will also help boost your metabolism and burn calories.
2) Aim to reduce your daily calorie intake by 150-200 calories.
3) Choose healthier alternatives when snacking. Have a small handful of nuts or a piece of fruit rather than crisps or chocolate.
4) Plan ahead ? think about what you will have for meals/snacks and avoid shopping when you are hungry as it will be harder to resist temptation.
5) Make small changes to your daily routine to help break any habits. Ensure any adjustments are simple and easy to maintain to ensure success.
Tim Roberts adds: 'Any weight gain may only be temporary whilst the benefits from not smoking will last a lifetime. We know that smokers are four times more likely to quit with our help than if they go it alone, so we would urge anyone who is thinking of quitting to get in touch.'
Smoking is a serious issue in the county with nearly one in five adults being active smokers It is estimated that half will die prematurely due to their habit.