Not only is smoking unhealthy, it's downright gross. Who really wants to kiss someone who's just put out a cigarette? If your guy won't butt out, Carolyn Dean, medical doctor and nutrition expert, has some insight that might make him rethink his habit.
Start with natural tobacco: Addictive chemicals are purposely put in tobacco, making smoking very difficult to give up, Dean explains. "Tobacco is cured with sugar, which stimulates combined sugar and tobacco cravings," she says. If quitting cold turkey just isn't going to happen, you can suggest that your guy try smoking natural tobacco (which eliminates the chemicals), making it easier to quit.
What to expect: During the first month after quitting smoking, Dean notes there is often a worsening of smoker's cough. "This happens because the small hair cells that line the bronchial tubes start to regenerate after being paralyzed for years. They immediately begin to move and clear mucus, which often contains black tar held deep in the lungs," she explains. "Although uncomfortable, coughing up this poisonous material is a good sign that things are improving.”
Diet and supplements to try: To help your man on his quest to quit, Dean suggests he drink lots of pure alkaline water to help flush out toxins. "The body is 70 percent water and if you have been smoking for years, much of that internal water is contaminated," she explains. He should also do his best to maintain a healthy diet. This means avoiding red meat, sugar, coffee, alcohol and refined foods — all of which Dean says may trigger a desire for a cigarette. It's also a good idea for him to take a good food-based multiple vitamin and mineral, as well as zinc and magnesium. Zinc will help reactivate his taste buds so that he can enjoy food more fully, she says.
Some guys just don't seem to care what they eat. As long as it's fast and it's fried, they'll eat it. If that sounds like your man, Jennifer E. Seyler, personal trainer and registered dietitian, has some tips for getting him back on track.
Join the party: If you really want to get your guy to ditch the junk food habit, you might want to practice what you preach. "Whether your partner is looking to be more active or eat healthy, having someone by their side helps keep them on track and feel part of a group, instead of having to do something different than the rest of the group," explains Seyler. Vow to eat healthy as a team so your guy feels he has some backup during his quest to kick the junk food habit.
Minimize temptations: It's also important to know your partner's temptations and minimize their appearance at home and in the workplace. "Whatever it is, it is always easier to avoid it if it isn't around. Now, that doesn't mean to avoid what they love all the time. It simply means to make temptations a special occasion," Seyler says. "Instead of having them lying around, make a special trip to the store to get them once in a while."
Know the benefits: One of the best ways to help your guy eat healthy is to remind him of how good he'll feel when he does. "When we eat well, our bodies are properly nourished to take on the day. There are going to be struggles every day, but if we have the fuel, we can overcome them," notes Seyler. "Without a well-balanced meal plan, we can set ourselves up to feel bad physically and emotionally, which can lead to a not so happy day."
Does your guy drive everywhere and shun walking? Laugh when you hit the gym as he sinks deeper into the couch? Brian Durbin, owner of Fitness Together in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, offers some tips for getting your man moving.
Encourage him to put it out there: Encourage your guy to use Twitter or Facebook to keep up the motivation to get active. Durbin always encourages people to let their goals be known to their friends on Facebook, Twitter or other social media outlets. "Verbalizing it in this environment puts our intentions out there and forces us to more fully commit to our goals," he explains.
Not to mention, in many cases, people have the added benefit of support from a network of friends who might also be trying to accomplish similar goals. "When you put your intentions out there to others, you strengthen your commitment to their completion and increase your base of support," affirms Durbin. "A few dozen Facebook 'likes' to pictures of your amazingly shrinking physique can go a long way toward keeping you on track," he says. "Social media can be your best friend."
Stop trying to fit a square peg in a round hole: There are no instant fixes to losing weight or getting motivated to move more, so don't let your guy put pressure on himself, says Durbin. "When you let go of the instant fix mentality, you free yourself to focus on real solutions," he explains. "By focusing on real solutions, you give yourself the opportunity to achieve sustained weight loss."
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