Weight gain and quitting smoking
Motivation, energy and a positive attitude are the keys to success when quitting smoking. Of course, it can be tough to stay positive if you gain weight after quitting. It certainly feels unfair. You go and do something good for yourself - stop smoking - then you look down at the scale and get an unpleasant surprise.
Everything about gaining weight when quitting smoking
Weight gain is common when you stop smoking
If you happen to gain weight when you stop smoking, you are not alone. It is one of the most common ‘negative’ effects of quitting: ex-smokers usually put on two to four kilos the first month after they quit.
It is perfectly normal to question your choice to stop smoking when your body changes in a way you are not happy with. But keeping up your motivation is essential for fighting nicotine cravings. Here are some valuable tips that can help keep you stay motivated. 👌
Weight gain and motivation
Why do you gain weight when you stop smoking?
There are a number of reasons people gain weight when they quit smoking.
Nicotine affects your body’s ability to burn calories by unnaturally increasing your metabolism. In fact, nicotine increases the number of calories you burn at rest - from 7% to 15%. Without nicotine, the body returns to a regular metabolism and burns fewer calories.
Increased appetite after quitting smoking
Nicotine also has another effect that impacts your weight - it is an appetite suppressant. Smoking can simply make you feel less hungry. By breaking the cigarette habit, the body starts sending stronger hunger signals, and the hungrier you feel, the more likely you are to eat. Plain and simple. 😊
The psychology that goes along with smoking is also important to consider. The habit of holding a cigarette in your hand and inhaling can be as hard to break as the physical urge for nicotine. That's why it is common that people keep their hands and mouths busy by eating in place of smoking.
Quit smoking without gaining weight
Is it possible to quit smoking without gaining weight? Yes! By adopting a few smart strategies to stay active and watching what you eat, it is completely possible to keep your waistline under control. 🏖
How to ease cigarette cravings
This may be easier said than done, but it is a good idea to make a meal plan. When you eat regularly, you have a greater chance of avoiding sugar cravings. If you have healthy, satisfying and tasty food to look forward to, it is easier to resist those sudden sugar cravings. There may also be landmines hidden at home in the pantry, so do a clean sweep and clear out those crisps, chocolates and cookies. Sugar cravings are just like nicotine cravings - they pass quickly.
- Plan out your meals
- Keep your blood sugar steady to avoid cravings
- Go for tasty, satisfying food that is low in calories
- Purge your cabinets of sweets and sugary foods and replace them with fruits that are naturally sweet
Of course, eating healthy is very important. But then the question arises: what are good food choices when you are trying to quit smoking? Think green! Make a shopping list, and make sure the list is full of fruits and vegetables and other low-calorie foods. This improves your chances of sticking to a balanced diet. 🥗
Good snack ideas
At the same time, your dietary choices shouldn’t be something that adds to your stress. The important thing is to eat well, not to stop eating entirely. Try snacks that are lower in artificial sugar.
Good snack options that will help you get through the day include:
- Apple slices
- Baby carrots 🥕
- Unsalted nuts
Sometimes it is the feeling of not having something in your mouth that gets to you. So instead of reaching for a cigarette, try:
- Vegetable sticks
- Chewing gum (sugar-free)
- Mints (sugar-free)
The absolute best thing you can do might be to drink plenty of water. A glass or two helps fight off feelings of hunger and sugar cravings. A good fluid balance simply helps you feel better.
Quit smoking and lose weight too with an active lifestyle
Have you recently quit smoking, snus or other tobacco products and noticed some weight gain? Relax, there are plenty of ways to get back down to your ideal weight.
The right diet is important, but physical activity is also effective for keeping your weight in check. You can come a long way with regular, everyday activitiy:
- Take the stairs instead of the lift
- Cycle to work
- Take a walk at lunch
- Play with your kids or pets
If you can find an exercise activity that you enjoy, it is more likely to become a natural part of your arsenal to burn up those extra calories. As a nice little bonus, exercise is a great way to help you shake off those sugar cravings quickly.