Smoking and Weight
You may be worried about piling on the pounds when you stop smoking, but there are steps you can take to keep weight gain to a minimum.
Here are some steps you can take to keep active:
- Take more exercise
- Use stop smoking treatments
- Diet sensibly – it can help reduce weight while you quit, but you must be careful not to take too much on at once
Why do you put on weight when you quit?
There are 5 main reasons:
- Smoking speeds up your metabolism, so your body burns calories at a faster rate. When you stop smoking, you actually need fewer calories.
- Smoking can suppress your appetite.
- You may find that food tastes better after you stop smoking and you also crave sugary foods.
- It’s possible to mistake nicotine cravings for feeling hungry, or to eat to distract yourself from them.
- You may replace the “hand-to-mouth” action of smoking with snacking.
How can I avoid putting on weight when I quit?
- Keep your metabolism high by taking regular exercise. Try walking rather than getting the bus or using a lift, start a gym class, or ask your local sports centre about the activities they offer.
- Combat hunger pangs by keeping a stash of healthy treats to hand. Nuts, fresh fruit and veg sticks are ideal.
- Eat smaller portions of food until your metabolism has stabilised. It takes 20 minutes for you to feel full after eating, so take a break (go for a walk) after your main meal and see if you still feel hungry in half an hour. If so, dip into your healthy treats.
- Just because food tastes better, it does not mean you need to eat more of it. Chew your food slowly and enjoy each mouthful.
- Make sure you’re taking your stop smoking medicines regularly to help suppress cravings. The less you crave nicotine, the easier it’ll be to keep focused.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for further advice and support.