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What About Quitting Smoking And Weight Gain, Eating Healthy

This article covers how smoking and weight are related, the reasons that people often gain weight after quitting smoking, and what can be done to control weight after quitting. Exercise and diet are important for everyone who wants to live a healthy lifestyle. When I quit smoking I was in the process of making a major lifestyle change. My goal was more than just quitting it was taking on new healthy habits that would improve the quality of my life. Exercising and eating healthier were simply part of this plan when I quit smoking. I recommend that you consider doing something similar, it makes the idea about quitting smoking even more desirable.

Are you concerned about gaining weight after quitting smoking? Have you gained some weight after quitting smoking? You are not alone. Four out of every five people who stop smoking gain some weight. While the health benefits of quitting smoking far exceed the problems of gaining weight, many people do not like it if they put on a few extra pounds. However, six months after quitting, most people have lost at least some of the weight that they gained. It is important to know that you can quit smoking and control your weight. It may take some time and effort, but it can be done!

This article should help you understand the reasons that people gain weight after quitting smoking. It offers tips on how to lessen weight you might gain. Remember, quitting smoking is your top goal. Staying off of cigarettes is much more important than losing a few pounds. Some people return to smoking to lose weight. You want to avoid this thinking, even if it means living with a few extra pounds. The average person who quits smoking gains between 4 and 10 pounds. It turns out that the average smoker weighs 4-10 pounds less than the average non-smoker–even if they have the same levels of exercise and food intake. Thus, it seems that the weight gained by quitting smoking brings most ex-smokers up to what they would weigh if they had never smoked.

The more cigarettes that a person smoked per day, the more weight he or she is likely to gain after quitting. Someone who quit smoking two packs per day may expect to gain more than someone who quit smoking only one pack per day.

Please note that these numbers are only averages. You may be above average or below average. Half the people who quit smoking gain less than the average 4-10 pounds. And, about one out of ten ex-smokers gains as much as 25-30 pounds. Most weight tends to be gained in the first six months. Then, after six months many people start to lose the weight they gained as they adjust to being an ex-smoker.

Who Gains Weight after Quitting Smoking?

One of the reasons we gain weight after quitting smoking, is that we eat more calories than we use. There are 3,500 calories in a pound of body fat. When a person eats 3,500 more calories than he or she can use, the person will gain one pound. When a person burns 3,500 more calories than he or she eats, the person will lose a pound. The number of calories that a person burns each day depends on age, sex, body weight, metabolism, and amount of exercise. These factors determine how many calories a person can eat without gaining weight, or while losing weight.


Metabolism is the energy needed for the body’s functions, like the functions performed by the heart, brain and liver. About 70% of the calories burned each day are for these functions. The nicotine in cigarettes raises the “metabolic rate” of smokers, which increases the amount of calories used. But it is a very unhealthy way to burn calories. After smoking a cigarette your “metabolism” increases right away. Your heart may beat 10-20 more times per minute after you have a cigarette. This is one reason for the high rate of heart disease in smokers. When you quit smoking, your metabolic rate slows down to a healthy level. It may even slow down an extra amount before going back to normal.

It can take a few weeks or even months for your metabolism to rise back to a normal level. Meanwhile, this slower rate burns fewer calories. There are more healthy ways than smoking to increase metabolism. Exercise is the best way.

Changes in Eating Habits after Quitting Smoking

Another reason you might gain weight after quitting smoking is because of changes in your diet. It is normal for your appetite to increase after quitting smoking. Studies show that people who quit smoking increase their food intake. Increased appetite is a common withdrawal symptom after quitting smoking. It tends to last somewhat longer than other symptoms.

Not only does appetite increase, but after quitting people’s likes/dislikes might change. It is common for people to say that before quitting smoking they never had much of a sweet tooth but now they find that they eat sweet foods. Studies show that people want more sweet and fatty foods after quitting smoking. Even rats in nicotine withdrawal show more desire for sugar. And, as you know, sweet and fatty foods also tend to be high in calories.

When you quit smoking, your senses of taste and smell improve and return to normal. This may also increase your appetite, studies show that alcohol use often increases after people quit smoking. Alcohol is very high in calories, so increased drinking may cause weight gain.

Oral Gratification - (Feeling the Need to Have Something in Your Mouth)

Another reason that people gain weight after quitting smoking is because of what ex-smokers often call “oral gratification.” Ex-smokers often report that they miss the feeling of having something to do with their mouth and hands. Eating or snacking is like the action of smoking. The need to have something in your mouth goes away over time. Keep your hands and mouth busy with objects, such as toothpicks or straws. Or you can chew on foods such as carrots, celery, or even sugar-free mints. In the car is where I seemed to have the most trouble with needing something in my mouth. I chewed on sunflower seeds, however I recommend the unsalted ones because the salted ones seemed to make my mouth raw.

Other Reasons for Eating

Is Weight Gain a Sure Thing after Quitting?

Weight Control Tips after Quitting Smoking

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