Weight Gain When Quitting Smoking: What To Expect In 2023

Aleksandra Osadcha March 17, 2022
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The Mystery Of Weight Gain When Quitting Smoking

So you’ve decided to quit smoking. Good for you! That’s a big step.

But have you noticed your clothes getting tighter? Or that the scale keeps going up?

Many people experience weight gain when quitting smoking, but there are scientific explanations for it. So without further ado, let’s get into it!

Will You Put On Weight When You Stop Smoking?

Making the choice to quit smoking is an incredibly brave and difficult one, and you should absolutely be proud of yourself if you’ve done it. 

But if you’ve noticed that your pants are feeling a little tight in the waist since you put out your last cigarette, you might be wondering if quitting will make you add weight.

The answer is: maybe! Some people do experience weight gain after they quit smoking. But before you freak out, there are a few things you need to know:

  1. Not everyone gains weight when they quit smoking (and some people lose weight!)
  2. There are ways to lessen the chance of weight increase after quitting smoking
  3. If you put on weight, there are healthy ways to deal with it

As you can see, there’s actually no good reason for you to be scared about gaining weight when you quit smoking. In fact, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your health, so even if you do add a little bit of weight, it is still worth it.

Why In The World Do People Gain Weight While Quitting?

When you quit smoking, you may find yourself gaining weight. If this happens to you, don’t worry—it’s perfectly normal, and there are a couple of reasons why it happens. 

Nicotine in cigarettes slightly speeds up your metabolism. That means when you smoke a cigarette, your body burns more calories than it normally would. When you quit, that effect wears off and your body uses fewer calories than before. So if you were already eating healthily before you quit smoking, then the extra calories in your diet may add up to extra pounds.

The nicotine in cigarettes also reduces appetite. When people stop smoking, they often feel hungrier than they did when they were smoking regularly. This can make it harder to stick with the healthy eating plan that worked for them when they were still smoking.

And then there’s the issue of habit replacement: People who smoke report a calming effect from the cigarette itself, as well as the taste of tobacco and nicotine. After quitting, certain cravings can be replaced with other habits and unhealthy foods that are calorically dense. If a person makes these substitute habits into routines, they could easily pack on additional pounds over time.

Does Weight Gain Pose Health Risks?

Weight gain is often associated with an unhealthy lifestyle. The recent data demonstrates that weight changes can lead to a number of negative consequences. To maintain good health, it is important to adopt healthy lifestyle habits. You need to exercise and maintain daily healthy nutrition if you want to quit smoking without gaining weight. 

Here are some possible effects of weight gain on the body.

High blood pressure. This refers to how the blood flows within blood vessels. If it’s not within normal range, it strains one’s heart, damages small but important blood vessels, and may cause many illnesses like kidney disease, heart attacks, and even strokes.

Heart diseases. Fat deposits can accumulate in your arteries when you start gaining weight. The buildup can damage and clog the blood vessels that carry blood to your heart, increasing the risk of a life-threatening heart attack.

Kidney diseases. This organ filters blood and is very sensitive to any weight change in the human body. Quitting smoking may influence nutrition changes and can lead to inefficient filtering by the kidneys. In the absence of proper blood filtering, blood pressure increases, which has negative effects on health in general. 

Diabetes. A change in blood glucose levels is harmful to the entire health picture and can lead to other diseases if not spotted at a very early stage.

Gallbladder diseases. Gallstones and cholecystitis are frequent in overweight people as well as those suffering from obesity. So keeping fit and maintaining a healthy life is enough to help you avoid surgery and other issues as well.

These are some of the most common health issues caused by excessive weight gain. The good news is that there are ways to manage this change in weight so you don’t have to worry, and it’s all about making sure the healthy changes outweigh the unhealthy ones.

How Can You Stop Smoking Without Putting On Weight?

If you’ve been trying to quit smoking but are having trouble navigating the challenges of weight gain, remember that you’re not alone. Here are some tips for avoiding weight issues when quitting smoking:

Exercise to avoid gaining weight. Any sporting activity soothes your mind, has a meditative and restorative effect. Sport not only works your lungs, helping to get rid of smoking tar deposited in your lungs, but also burns down extra calories. It definitely lowers the risk of weight gain. At the same time, don’t strain yourself, slowly increase training time and intensity gradually.

Sleep well. Not getting enough sleep causes stress hormone release and the strong desire to eat more than you actually need to cope with the stress.Our decision making and motivation can be more lacking when we don’t have 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Poor sleep is more likely to increase weight and decrease the motivation to exercise and have the willpower to resist nicotine temptations.

Diet sensibly while stopping smoking. Whenever you stop a habit, the urge to replace it with another one is strong—and eating can become that habit. Foods high in fat and sugar tend to be more addictive than other foods, so you’re likely to crave them when you quit smoking. Focus instead on eating foods that are filling but low in calories, such as whole grains, fruit, vegetables, and lean proteins like chicken or fish. If you eat sensibly and maintain healthy choices, you can minimize weight gain while giving up cigarettes.

Healthy snacks. Snacking can help you curb food or cigarette cravings, but choose your snacks wisely. Try to eat fruit and vegetables throughout the day; these contain lots of vitamins and minerals without the calories of fast food or chips. And if you’re in need of something sweet, try fresh fruit that is low in sugar or low-fat yogurt instead of candy bars or cakes.

A bit of hunger is okay. It’s not always about a diet you should follow. Are you feeling a bit hungry? It’s totally okay. If you eat till you are satisfied, you will usually overeat. Slow down when you eat and make a conscious effort to not consume until you feel 100% full.  A slight feeling of hunger is better than its complete absence, and your body will be rewarded for your astute decisions.

Control your alcohol. It’s a good idea to reduce alcohol consumption. It dehydrates you, drains water in the body, and damages metabolic processes. Alcohol is also high in calories and has no nutritional value—so drinking too much of it can cause you to gain weight quickly.

Simply incorporating a few of the above practices will help you stop smoking without putting on weight. So don’t hesitate to try some of them.

Staying Motivated To Quit

Quitting a habit like smoking may take time. 

The longer you have been addicted to nicotine, the more effort you are likely to put into the quit process. 

Motivation is a tricky thing and can be ruined by weight gain, your mind coming up with some excuse, or some other psychological issues. Moreover, cigarettes or their equivalent become part of a routine in due time, so the chances to relapse and start smoking again are high. Trying to eliminate that routine and replace it with a healthier one is literally going against the grain of your own mind.

It’s normal for people to temporarily gain weight after they quit smoking, and you shouldn’t let this discourage you. Everything will return to normal over time. It’s a great opportunity to start healthy habits and reconsider your current cigarette lifestyle. Knowing that you are making health gains with eating right and exercise will spur you on to add “smoke-free” to the new you.

So when quitting smoking, how can you motivate yourself to not be afraid of weight gain? Consider the following.

  1. A better lifestyle since you will definitely substitute a bad habit with a good one. It will probably be some sports exercise that will help distract your mind from the naughty idea of smoking.
  2. A healthier future. Any changes you make for the sake of your health add up to a brighter future in the long run.
  3. Protection of your family. Once you stop smoking, your close family won’t have to smell the unpleasant aroma or inhale the 2nd-hand fumes, and thus they stop being passive smokers themselves.

But sometimes, you need a little push to stay motivated. This is where Quittercheck comes in. This program offers financial rewards for dedicated people who decided to quit the smoking habit for good. However, if you fail to meet your goals, you will be penalized and the prize money will be deducted.

With real cash on the line, it becomes easier to keep yourself motivated and keep progressing. 

The longer you stay on the wave, the greater the chance to get to the end successfully. 

Getting distracted halfway won’t be an option.

Quitting smoking is beneficial. Here is a brief list of things that will change and benefit you after struggling with weight gain when quitting smoking.

The Benefits Of Quitting Smoking

  • The skin will look better, have a healthier tone and have less acne
  • Teeth will be whiter, have fewer cavities and you’ll spend less on the dentist
  • You will be more fit with little or no extra weight as your lungs and heart will be stronger
  • The extra smells of smoke on your clothes, hair skin, and even your car will disappear
  • You will save up money on nicotine products the moment you quit smoking.

While those are just a few, you have to bear in mind that it is a time-consuming process that requires a lot of effort to finally quit smoking and it is definitely harder to stop if you don’t have any extra motivation.

Conclusion 

We all know what it’s like to want to quit smoking. It’s hard, and we get it. And once you’ve quit, the last thing you want is for your weight to go up instead of down.

But if you’re quitting smoking, you have a chance to look better than ever before!

You may be surprised at what happens when you quit smoking—especially if you haven’t done it before. You’ll feel better as your whole body gets healthier. Your clothes may fit better or seem more comfortable. Your skin may heal itself from old wounds and blemishes, too!

And while it’s true that most people put on weight when they stop smoking, that doesn’t mean it has to happen to YOU.

Quitting smoking can cause your metabolism to slow down, and your appetite to go up. Keep eating the same amount of food as before, and you might end up having to go through some extra work at the gym or with other workouts or exercises (like yoga) in order to keep your weight stable.

But what else can help? Quittercheck! This program is designed specifically for people trying to stop smoking without putting on weight!

Cigarettes are a nasty habit, and quitting them on your own is certainly no easy task. Quittercheck is here to help make it a little bit easier for you with our 12-weeks, 16-weeks, and 22-weeks program. Additionally, we offer a one-week trial so you can see if it’s right for you. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • How long does weight gain last after quitting smoking?

Things like these are highly personal. If you eat healthy and live an active lifestyle, the effect will probably last a few months.

  • Why am I gaining weight so fast after quitting smoking?

Your metabolism gets slower when you quit the habit. You also crave more food. These two combined make you put on extra pounds after quitting smoking..

  • How can I speed up my metabolism after quitting smoking?

Review your nutrition. Perhaps there is a lack of fruit and vegetables so it’s worth adding some to your daily menu. Increase your level of physical activity to burn more calories. Exercise more or take up a sporting activity to increase your metabolic activity.