How Do You Avoid Dramatic Weight Gain When You Stop Smoking

When you first stop smoking, you can have a dramatic weight gain. As your body craves an addiction similar to smoking, which causes excessive eating.

Source: Fotolia © 9nong
Source: Fotolia © 9nong

First, be prepared. Use smoking cessation tools to make it easier for you, and stock up on these beforehand. Nicotine patches will help you to quit gradually as they deliver a small amount of nicotine to your system over time. Nicotine gum will keep your mouth busy while also giving you a small dose of nicotine. When you can gradually quit this way, it makes it easier. Electronic cigarettes also help you to quit; these are artificial cigarettes that have an electronic cartridge that delivers a flavored vapor. You inhale the vapor as you would when smoking, but are only getting flavored water, not tar or nicotine or other positions. Electronic cigarettes give you the feeling of smoking while keeping your hands busy and letting you keep something in your mouth.

Next, stock up on healthy snack items you can munch on while you quit smoking that won’t pack on the pounds. Some good foods are those that are crunchy as this keeps your mouth extra busy with chewing. Try rice cakes, celery or carrot sticks with hummus as a dip, homemade granola or trail mix. All of these are lower in calories than other foods and can help you to get past your cravings without overindulging.

As you do quit smoking, stay active, even more so than before. This helps you in a number of ways. First, the more you sweat, the faster you get tar, nicotine, and other poisons out of your system as sweat is a natural filter for the body. The faster you get these out of your system, the faster your cravings will go away. Second, being active will get you away from the kitchen and all those delicious and tempting snacks. Also, if you exercise vigorously you’re less likely to gain weight when you quit smoking because you’ll be burning any extra calories you might take in through snacking.

Remember that even if you do gain some weight from quitting smoking, you can always go on a sensible eating plan and get more exercise once the initial cravings are gone. Quitting smoking has a number of health benefits, so it’s worth any and all sacrifices you might make along the way.