People may generally gain some extra weight after they quit smoking. Gaining weight is considered to be a common side effect of smoking cessation. Usually, an individual may gain up to 10 pounds during the first few months. Weight gain after quitting smoking is attributed to various factors:
- Inducing increased appetite (nicotine is an appetite suppressant)
- Decreased metabolism (smoking increases metabolism slightly)
- Decreased physical activity
- Increased lipoprotein lipase activity, which affects fat transportation in the body (smoking burns calories up to 200 calories a day in a heavy smoker)
According to recent research, about 80% of the people who quit smoking tend to weigh 10 kgs more on average, but in most of them, there is no increase in the calorie levels. The weight gained after quitting smoking may last for a few months or years, while quitting smoking remains good for the long-term health decision. Obesity is bad, smoking is worse. The right diet and exercise plan may help in reducing the gained weight.
Can I quit smoking without gaining weight?
An individual may take a few precautions to counter weight gain after they quit smoking:
- Avoid alcohol
- Tea would be a good substitute than coffee after smoking cessation
- Include high-fiber foods in your diet. Eat regular meals and eat at least 250 fewer calories a day than you ate before you quit.
- Exercise for a half-hour every day. Include weight-bearing exercise in routine at least twice a week.
- Drink lots of water
- Talk to your doctor about Bupropion, a drug that may help with smoking withdrawal and weight gain
What type of diet is usually recommended after smoking cessation?
Nutritionists may usually recommend a healthy diet after smoking cessation:
- Protein: They keep appetite in check and is good for the brain
- Minerals, such as nuts and seeds, are usually recommended
- Healthy fats like avocado may give a person the required energy
- Complex carbohydrates also help in controlling the hunger
- Drinking water at regular interval may help the body in eliminating toxins
- Plenty of fruits and vegetables
- Wholegrain options for cereals, bread, pasta, and rice
- Lean cuts of meat, poultry, and fish
What are the common side effects of smoking cessation?
Smoking affects many parts of the body, including the heart, hormones, metabolism, and brain. Apart from weight gain people may experience the below side effects immediately after smoking cessation:
How soon will I benefit after I quit smoking?
The benefits may start immediately, and the patient may feel normal within a few years:
- Blood pressure and heart rate stabilize; blood circulation improves
- Carbon monoxide level in the blood reduces and may get totally eliminated
- Oxygen level normalizes and the risk of a heart attack is usually reduced
- Lungs can hold more air and breathing becomes easier
- Lung function and blood circulation improves
Within a month:
Within a year or two:
- The risk of heart problems reduces by half compared to that of a smoker