(HealthDay News) -- Weight gain doesn't have to be a side effect of quitting smoking if you follow a few simple methods to keep you both slim and healthy.
Here are some things you can do to prevent unnecessary calories and weight gain while you're quitting smoking, courtesy of the American Heart Association:
- Choose healthy foods for meals and snacks -- low-fat and low-calorie foods, and plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Drink plenty of water, and get regular exercise -- it will keep you busy and reduce stress.
- If you need to keep your hands busy, fiddle with a small object like a paper clip, pencil, marbles or something else you can play with in your hand.
- Snack if you feel the urge to have something in your mouth, but stick to crunchy fruits and vegetables, or sugar-free candy or gum.
- Brush your teeth frequently so that you have fresh, clean taste in your mouth that you don't want to ruin with smoke.
- Stay busy -- try knitting, crossword puzzles, writing letters, reading a book or playing a new sport.