Why Do People Gain Weight When They Quit Smoking?
Why am I gaining weight after I quit smoking? If that's the question that keeps popping into your mind, you should know that it has to do with the influence that nicotine has upon the metabolic rate.
When you smoke, your heart and metabolic rate increase, leading to more calories being burned. If you stop smoking, your metabolism will slow down, meaning that it returns to normal, thus leading to weight gain especially if you maintain your eating habits.
How Much Weight Do You Gain After Quitting Smoking?
As your metabolic rate goes back to normal, it's only natural to experience weight gain after quitting smoking. But how much will you put on? On average, 10 pounds. That number seems a bit too much for you to bear, isn't it? The good news is that the number is not set in stone.
Research has shown that, in spite of possible moderate weight gain during the first year of abstinence, quitting smoking doesn't lead to substantial long term weight gain in most cases. On the contrary, around 20% of former smokers actually experience losing weight after one year of abstinence.
"The good news is that after the first three months, weight gain is decelerating substantially. Nearly 20% of the smokers actually lose weight after one year of continuous abstinence,” says Henri-Jean Aubin, professor of addiction medicine and psychiatry at Hopital Paul Brousse, France.
But How Do You Quit Smoking Without Gaining Weight?
If weight gain after quitting smoking is not an option for you, you should know that there are several strategies you may put into practice in order to prevent the "disaster" from happening (or at least to minimize the damage).
Firstly, your need for "oral gratification", which is satisfying the need of putting a cigarette into your mouth, won't disappear by night. Replace smoking with chewing on healthy products, with almost no calories: celery sticks, sugar-free candy, sugar-free gum.
Then, keep yourself as busy as you can to avoid a possible relapse. Go out for walks, go out with your friends, volunteer, exercise, take dancing lessons - whatever makes you happy and prevents you from smoking again. In order to avoid weight gain after quitting smoking, though, you may want to progressively engage into intense activities. Taking the stairs or jogging could be a great choice that will make you feel better and, also, prevent pounds from accumulating.