Smoking and Weight Gain

smoking, particularly after the first few months.

But according to Edward C. Rosenow III, M.D. of the Mayo Clinic, though weight gain after quitting smoking is common, it is not inevitable.

Nicotine effect

The nicotine in cigarettes suppresses appetite. It also causes a slight increase in your metabolism. When you quit smoking, naturally your metabolism and your appetite go back to normal, thus leading you to eat more and burn lesser calories.

Your sense of taste and smell also improves after you quit smoking, so your appreciation for food may also improve. Snacking may also substitute smoking, which can quickly rack up calories.

How to avoid weight gain

To avoid weight gain when you quit smoking, try incorporating diet and exercise into your quit-smoking plan. You may also want to try the following:

Be more active

Add physical activity into your daily routine. 30 minutes of moderate physical activity everyday burns calories, plus helps alleviate withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

Make smart food choices

Choose healthy foods, snacks and drinks. Include plenty of fruits and veggies in your diet. Also, eat smaller portions and restrict your consumption of sweets and alcohol.

Monitor your eating habits

Keep a food journal. Record everyday what you eat, when, and how much.

Keep your mouth busy

Keep your mouth busy by chewing on sugarless gum, flavored toothpicks, or vegetable sticks.

Lastly, remember that the health benefits of quitting smoking outweigh the problems associated with weight gain. Lung damage, heart disease, and cancer are irreparable – weight gain is not.

Source: Mayo Clinic