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Other Reasons for Eating

Last, research has shown that people tend to use food in the same ways they used cigarettes. They use them to deal with stress or boredom, to reward oneself, to pass time, or to help be social. It is important to know why you eat even when you are not hungry.

While there are reasons for putting on pounds after quitting smoking, weight gain does not have to happen. Studies of heart patients showed that patients who were told to make diet and lifestyle changes while quitting smoking did not gain as much weight as those who did not get this advice.

Another recent study looked at Air Force recruits going through six weeks of “boot camp” in Texas. All the recruits were forced to quit smoking during this time. The results were that the recruits did not gain weight while in boot camp. How could this be? You have to think about what boot camp is like. There is a lot of exercise. Snack foods are not allowed. Alcohol is not allowed. Meals are well planned. Most ex-smokers would not want to go through boot camp in order to keep the weight off and we do not recommend such drastic action. But this study does show that it is possible to quit smoking without gaining weight.

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