Quitting Smoking and Weight Gain
Smoking carries several health risks both for the smoker and those around. Some of these health risks are the risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, etc. But most smokers are reluctant to quit since they are concerned about the weight they will gain afterwards.
Most of them experience gaining weight the first few months after quitting which is usually harmless, but there are exceptions. There are also certain rules which can help prevent gaining weight.
Why do you gain weight when you quit smoking
The biggest question asked by those who want to quit is why you are putting on pounds when you quit smoking. Weight gain in relation to quitting smoking can be due to one of these reasons:
- The slowed metabolism due to lack of nicotine;
- Unhealthy snacking by people who are quitting smoking could lead to extra pounds as sugary things become substitutes for cigarettes;
- Serotonin levels increase the first few days or weeks after quitting cigarettes leading to mood swings. Sweet foods are said to improve the mood swings that people get.
A good vape can also help with nicotine cravings if you do not want to fill the void by snacking.
When gaining weight becomes dangerous
Extra pounds gained after quitting smoking for most people will be harmless. But it is dangerous for those who were obese. It can increase the risk of suffering from conditions like hypertension, diabetes and even getting a stroke.
Underweight people could find the extra pounds good for them and get plus points for being healthy.
How to quit smoking without gaining weight
All hope is not lost for ex-smokers who gained some pounds after quitting. There is something that can be done to deal with extra pounds gained after quitting smoking:
What to do to minimize the chances of adding extra pounds
When it comes to quitting smoking and weight gain, there are things people can do to prevent it:
- Healthy Foods
An unhealthy diet is a major cause of gaining weight. Once a person stops smoking, senses become more active. The smell and taste of food are better that can lead to overindulging. To prevent this, people can substitute those sugary snacks for healthier ones like fruits. Diet plays a big part in controlling weight gain. People can increase their vegetable intake and minimize carbohydrates and processed foods.
Most smokers who improve their diet and exercise more after quitting had an easier time withdrawing from the nicotine. This is because frequent exercise will uplift dull moods and help relieve a person of the cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
According to WebMD, adding more exercise into one’s daily routine may also keep the pounds at bay, even if nothing is done to change dietary habits.
- Seek help from a dietician and physician
If a person is overweight while smoking, the person might want to speak to a dietician and physician once making the decision to quit. The dietician will give personalized weight management support while the physician will recommend an exercise regime that can be used to cut the extra pounds. After a while, the person will notice that the weight is getting better and will be motivated to work harder.
Water is very essential when it comes to weight management. When a person is dehydrated, the craving for smoke will increase that can lead to relapsing. Drinking plenty of water will give the body’s metabolism a boost and keep smoking cravings at bay. One can carry a water bottle that will help keep hydrated during the day.
- Have something to replace the cigarette
Most people who stop smoking find that they want to have something in the mouth. Ex-smokers are encouraged to chew sugar-free candies, fruits or chewing gum. Keeping the mouth busy will curb the urge to smoke without adding the extra calories.
Since smokers were used to taking cigarette breaks, they can find that they get bored quickly. One should find something else to occupy their mind and body at that time. Things like video games, walking, jogging, playing with pets among other things can distract the person until the need to smoke goes away.
Using a nicotine substitute, like a vaporizer, may also help to alleviate most of the symptoms linked to weight gain in those who want to quit without putting on the pounds.
The transition to living a smoke-free life can be made easier using the tips above. With a good diet, water and exercise, a person can start the journey towards a healthy life. Even with the challenges, one can make the transition process easy and eventually, the person will no longer have the need or urge to smoke. There is no reason not to start, and everyone who wants to quit smoking can do so now.