Stopping Smoking and Gaining Weight

Gaining weight is a very real worry for lots of people who are thinking about stopping smoking. Many are actually put off the idea of giving up smoking because of this fear. The average weight gain for an individual will be about 6-8kg but and health implications caused by this minor weight gain will be far less when compared to the health risks associated with smoking.

Why do people gain weight when they stop smoking?

Nicotine is an appetite suppressant. This means that when you stop smoking you will feel hungrier which can lead to increased snacking between meals.

Stopping smoking can alter your metabolism so that even by eating the same amount of food you may gain weight. Often when a smoker finishes a meal, they have a cigarette. When stopped smoking, the ex-smoker may continue to nibble.

Some people find eating helps them get through a craving.

By taking a few easy steps weight gain can be limited whilst stopping smoking:

  • Drink lots of water.
  • Try eating raw vegetables or frozen grapes.
  • Brush your teeth at the end of a meal instead of having a cigarette or leave the table straight away to avoid temptation.
  • Chew sugar-free gum or nicotine replacement gum instead of eating sugary foods.
  • Use of nicotine replacement therapy can delay the onset of weight gain.

Try some gentle exercise which will help increase your metabolic rate to use up any extra calories. Exercise can also help cope with cravings and reduce stress levels.