Many people gain a few pounds when they quit smoking, some more than others. Research has shown that, on average, individuals can gain between two to 10 pounds once they stop smoking. This, however, shouldn’t affect your decision or effort to quit smoking, since weight gain is dependent upon your eating habits and your level of physical activity.
Smoking and Weight Gain
There are a several reasons why people gain a few pounds after they stop smoking. Smoking is known to increase the body’s rate of metabolism, which helps burn calories. Once someone stops smoking, their rate of metabolism may slow down, lessening the amount of calories they burn throughout the day. Over time this could lead to a weight gain.
Also, people who smoke tend to have an oral fixation. When they stop smoking, the act of chewing usually replaces the oral fixation for smoking and most people find themselves eating more. In addition, smoking also acts as an appetite suppressant, which also causes a person to eat more frequently once they stop the habit.
How to Avoid Weight Gain
Learning to eat healthy snacks and exercising will help keep weight under control. More specifically:
- Eat foods that are low in calories but filling, such as carrots, apples, air popped popcorn or low fat yogurt
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day
- Exercise on a regular basis; join a gym, take the stairs, or walk whenever possible
Weight gain is a real concern for people desiring to kick the habit but fortunately, it can be minimized or completely avoided. The damage smoking causes the body is far greater than adding a few extra pounds. The decision to stop smoking can be the first step to leading a healthier life.
Please call 718-670-5486 if you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician who can help with smoking cessation.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.