Some individuals are concerned that quitting smoking may cause them to gain weight. While most individuals gain weight after they stop smoking, it is generally just a little amount.
People acquire an average of four to five kg after quitting smoking over the course of five years. The majority of weight gain happens in the first year after stopping, especially in the first three months.
Why do I gain weight when I quit smoking?
Persons who stop smoking may suffer a wide range of weight changes, from weight loss to a minority of people gaining more than 10 kg.
The average body weight of those who have stopped smoking is identical to that of persons who have never smoked, according to research.
Smoking seems to shift women’s fat distribution to a less healthy, generally masculine “apple” pattern. This suggests that women who smoke are more likely to gain weight around their waist than women who do not smoke.
Fat in this region has been linked to a higher risk of stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and mortality.
When women stop smoking, any weight gain happens around the hips rather than the waist, which is the usual and safer female pattern.
Rather than focusing on weight loss, the greatest method to manage weight is to develop healthy behaviors.
Making reasonable objectives for healthy food, frequent exercise, and enough sleep are all part of this. These methods may also assist you avoid gaining weight.
However, being prepared to tolerate at least a minor weight gain might be beneficial.
1. Can I quit smoking while losing weight?
Quitting smoking and losing weight at the same time might be challenging since both involve work and dedication.
If this is the case, focus on stopping first. In the first three months, weight increase is approximately one kg every month, but it slows down as you remain quit longer, assuming you eat a nutritious diet.
If you acquire more than one kilogram in a month, you should see a doctor or a dietician for further information and assistance.
2. Reasons on why you gain weight after you quit smoking.
Consuming more food
Many smokers discover that after they stop smoking, their eating habits alter. Some individuals feel increased hunger as a withdrawal symptom, but research shows that their eating habits gradually return to normal.
Nicotine is the addictive chemical in tobacco smoke, and it has an impact on the body. Nicotine boosts the metabolism, the body’s food digesting machinery.
When individuals quit smoking, their metabolism slows, and they burn less calories than they did before. This may explain why some individuals who stop smoking gain weight while not eating any more than normal.
Not getting enough workouts
Being physically active helps you lose weight over time. Making regular, enjoyable exercise a part of your daily routine may help you relax, improve your mood, sleep better, and decrease your blood pressure.
Exercising reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, dementia, depression, and cancer in the long run.
It helps with bone health, as well as balance and coordination. Exercise is beneficial to your health regardless of your body weight.
Adults under the age of 65 should strive towards the following goals. Remember that some exercise is always preferable than none. If you are not in good shape, begin with modest exercise and see your doctor or an exercise therapist.
According to Australia’s Physical Activity Guidelines, you should engage in 150–300 minutes of moderate physical activity (or 75–150 minutes of strenuous physical activity) every week and make time to be active every day.
Aim for half an hour of moderate-intensity exercise every day, such as brisk walking, gardening, swimming, or cycling. If you want, you may perform 10 minutes of exercise at a time, building up to 30 minutes over the course of the day.
Include muscle-strengthening exercises in your weekly routine on at least two occasions. This might involve at-home activities like push-ups, squats, and lunges, as well as attending a gym and lifting weights or performing other resistance training.
Healthy Eating suggestions
- Prepare nutritious meals in advance.
- Increase your intake of fruits, veggies, and whole grains.
- Remove or reduce processed foods such as soft drinks, chips, lollipops, cookies, and cakes from your household.
- Keep carrot or celery sticks, full fruit (not juice), or almonds on hand if you want to nibble.
- Consult your doctor or a dietitian for assistance in developing an eating plan that is right for you.
- Avoid a crash diet.
- It generally makes quitting smoking more difficult. Furthermore, if you consume too few kilojoules, your body may react by slowing down your metabolism and burning muscle tissue for energy.
- To deal with withdrawal urges, look for alternatives to eating.
- Some individuals count to 100 while others sip water – try both until you discover your own approach. Also, avoid using food as a reward for quitting smoking. Visit quit.org.au for more information.
- Keep your mouth occupied with non-edible objects that are safe. You could, for example, consume sugarless gum or use a nicotine inhaler.
- If you gain weight after quitting smoking, don’t worry.
- If you do gain weight, be kind with yourself. By quitting smoking, you are improving your health.
Now you know why you started gaining weight after you quit smoking. A few additional pounds provide a much smaller health risk than continuing to smoke.
To match the risk of heart disease caused by smoking, you would have to gain more than 40 kilos above your optimum weight.
Don’t assume that resuming smoking will result in weight loss; this isn’t always the case. Concentrate on eating well and doing more exercise. For assistance and guidance, see your doctor or a dietician.