Does Smoking Cessation Increase Your Weight?

Almost 80% of the smokers gain weight when they quit smoking. An average weight gained by an ex-smoker is around 5-15 pounds. Know the factors responsible for the weight gain and tips to control the weight gain after smoking cessation.

Do you know after quitting smoking almost 80% of the smokers tend to gain weight? Are you concerned about the weight gain after you quit smoking? A moderate amount of weight is gained. According to a research study women tend to gain more weight as compared to men in the first year after quitting smoking.

Don’t worry, with the help of proper diet and regular exercise you can quit smoking as well as minimize the weight gain. But it is better to keep yourself prepared for small amount of weight gain. You might find it difficult to manage both quitting smoking and weight gain control as both requires commitment and consistent efforts. It is always better for you to first focus on smoking cessation.

Factors Responsible for Weight Gain after Smoking Cessation:

There are basically two factors responsible for the weight gain after smoking cessation.

  • Nicotine Effect on Your Body:

    Tobacco contains nicotine which is a strong addictive substance and it speeds up your metabolism. Hence when you quit smoking your metabolism slows downs resulting in weight gain.

  • Eating More Food:

    A change is observed in the eating habits of a smoker after smoking cessation. You might feel that your appetite has increased after quitting smoking, so you tend to eat more. This is a type of withdrawal symptom. A research study shows that gradually you return to your normal eating habits.

The Effects of Smoking on Metabolism:

Smoking increases metabolism of the body. The nicotine present in cigarette smoke stimulates the central nervous system and increases the metabolism. In this way, you would burning more calories. When a smoker quits smoking, the nicotine level gradually decreases and the metabolism becomes normal. As smoking and metabolism are related, people who quit smoking may gain wait.

Why Do People Eat More After Quitting Smoking?

It is observed that few ex-smokers tend to eat more during their initial period of smoking cessation. Here are few possible reasons:

  • Due to nicotine withdrawal you might feel emptiness and restlessness which are more or less similar to hunger pangs.
  • Generally it is observed that ex-smokers tend to substitute cigarettes with food for oral satisfaction. They eat something instead of lighting a cigarette.
  • During the withdrawal period some ex-smokers undergo hard time so to reward themselves they eat more snacks. Food makes them feel better and comfortable.
  • Before quitting smoking few smokers use to skip meals, but after quitting they don’t feel like skipping meals any longer.
  • In comparison to cigarettes most of the ex-smokers find food to taste better, hence they munch a lot.

Tips to Reduce Weight Gain after Quitting Smoking:

Following suggestions would be helpful for you in controlling the weight gain as well as maintaining your present weight.

  • Try to do at the least moderate amount of physical activity or exercise daily. You can do brisk walking, cycling, swimming or gardening. To control the weight gain you need to do to at least 10 minutes of workout daily, and gradually increase you workout time.
  • Muscle tissues are known to burn more kilojoules as compared to fats. So try to include some weight training exercises in your daily exercise routine.
  • Practice to differentiate between withdrawal cravings and hunger pangs. Try to decide wisely before you eat something.
  • It takes almost 15 minutes for your stomach to send signal to the brain that it is full. So it is advisable for you to wait before you eat something.
  • Avoid crash diets as it will affect your metabolism and muscle tissues.
  • Experiment with ways to cope with your withdrawal cravings. You can drink water, chew sugarless gums, cinnamon stick or toothpick.
  • If you are finding difficulty in controlling your oral cravings then try using safe non-edible things.
  • If you feel the need for snacking then it is better to eat low calorie, low fat food raw vegetable stick or fresh fruits.
  • Gradually increase your consumption of wholegrain foods, fruits and vegetables.
  • Try and avoid your intake of high salt, high fat and high sugar product. The best way to control is not to stock these food products in your kitchen.

Even after your efforts if you gain some weight then don’t get depressed. It’s better to gain some weight to reduce the health risk associated if you continued smoking. Remember that even if you start smoking again, the weight gained would not be shed. Increase your physical activities and improve your diet to control the weight gain. It is advisable for you to consult your doctor or dietitian for advice before quitting smoking.

Source: Better Health