First of all congratulations on making the decision to cut down or quit smoking! You are taking a step that will make serious improvements to your health and help prevent a whole range of lifestyle-related diseases.
You’ve probably heard stories about people who gained weight when they quit smoking. The idea of giving up cigarettes can feel difficult enough without the threat of gaining weight on top of it all.
So why do you gain weight when you quit smoking and is there anything that you can do to prevent it happening to you? Find out here.
Why Do You Gain Weight?
Quitting smoking can result in a slight decrease in metabolism, but it seems that it is not this change that results in weight gain so much as the habit that replaces smoking. One of the most common replacements for smoking to help subdue those tobacco cravings is… You guessed it… Food.
Many find that they snack more often, eat in between meals instead of taking their usual cigarette break, start substituting cigarettes with sugar or start eating larger meals.
Sucking in lollies, gravitating to the pantry out of boredom, satisfying a sweet craving, or increasing alcohol consumption. All new habits that are forming as a replacement for giving up cigarettes.
Working with your doctor to help you to cut down or quit smoking can be helpful. They may be able to offer options to help if you are finding it too difficult on your own. You might find that a gradual reduction over weeks or months is easier to manage that going cold turkey.
Being aware of your responses to cravings is also important. Choosing to implement new habits that are healthier is a great place to start. Going for a walk or finding tasks to keep you busy and distracted until a craving passes, choosing healthy snacks and meals to eat at regular intervals through the day, chewing on sugar-free gum, brushing your teeth.
Have a think about what could work best for you. And have some strategies in mind ahead of time to give you the very best chance of quitting for good. Be mindful of triggers and try and avoid these if you can.
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