Our expert says:
I am delighted that you have taken this step. The anxious feeling is not anything unusual - it is partly a withdrawal problem, chemically controlled, so it helps to be aware of this. I'm not sure how you are going about your quitting, but there are a number of different gums, patches and sprays that can help if you haven't got one already. I would speak with a pharmacist about this. As for food, often people put on weight when they stop smoking because they satisfy their craving with some sort of food. You must be careful not to do this. If you must eat, eat something like fruit or very low in fat and energy foods. Again, a dietician will be able to advise you on this, and the rest of the diet.
Now, for the exercise,the scientific truth is that one cannot "spot reduce". That is, you can't really try and reduce the fat around your stomach, thighs and abdominals by just doing exercises for those areas. This kind of exercise, using specific muscles only, actually burns fewer calories than exercising large muscles groups in dynamic cardiovascular exercise such as walking, jogging, running, swimming or cycling. In order to burn the fat, you need to do these types of cardiovascular exercises as least 4 - 5 times a week for at least 30 - 45 minutes. This will help to increase the amount of calories that you use and help to decrease your body fat.
Having said that, it is still important to do some strengthening and toning exercise and obviously to include exercises that make use of the muscle groups in your abdominal area. The exercises that you do will depend on whether you have access to a gym or you do body weight exercises at home. I would suggest you have a look at the following website through the Health 24 site - http://www.health24.com/fitness/Build_muscle_Tone/16-478-504.asp
Lastly, keep in mind that this is a very common problem, and changes in certain areas can happen very slowly, because some people do just have a specific distribution of fat, and it can be hard to fight against this.
However, be patient and keep at it!
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