Some researchers at Rhode Island's Miriam Hospital enrolled 281 women in a smoking-cessation program. Half also were assigned vigorous cardiovascular fitness routines.
At the end of the sessions, the exercise group had a higher rate of success and smaller weight gains, says study leader Dr. Bess Marcus. She says more research is needed, but she speculates that exercise enabled women to relax their fears of gaining weight and eased the depression that often accompanies quitting smoking. Other benefits included a boost in mood and energy levels, she said.
"I would recommend that anyone trying to quit smoking after consulting with a physician start exercising," she says. "It can only help."
Weight loss: Let's make a meal
Sticking to a diet is tough, as everyone knows. Toss in a rumbling stomach and the 3 p.m. munchies, and the effort needed becomes almost superhuman.
But a new study suggests that sticking to your normal eating schedule (snacks included) and focusing instead on changing what you eat during those times could make the struggle a bit easier.
After putting 81 men on different eating schedules and diets, researchers in Ireland found that the men who continued to eat according to their traditional schedules had more success sticking with the plan.
These men selected lowfat foods and snacks, but kept eating at their regular times. Instructed to limit their food intake to three meals a day, the other men had a harder time sticking to their diets, showing that changing what you eat not when could be your key to diet success.
By Ericka Kostka