There are several things that doctors commonly recommend doing for patients with a variety of health issues: staying physically active; eating healthily; and quitting smoking. And if, for whatever reason, you’ve opted to take the latter advice, that might be the best decision you could have made. But the one thing you may not have thought about was the side effects.
Quitting smoking is extremely good for your body; the capacity of your lungs improves, your skin starts to look healthier, and your cardiovascular system becomes stronger. However, your body must adjust to the change, and as a result, some adverse effects, such as weight gain, may occur. Fortunately, if you understand why they take place, you have a good chance of dealing with them successfully.
If you want to learn some basic information on why people gain weight after quitting smoking and how you can manage that, you came to the right place. In the article below, you will find just that, along with some helpful tips. Read on.
How Does Quitting Smoking Affect Your Weight?
After quitting smoking, the usual weight gain is 5 to 10 pounds. While this isn’t much in comparison to the benefits of greater health and a longer life expectancy that come with quitting smoking, many people may still be unhappy with it. Here are the main reasons for this particular type of weight gain.
The increase in appetite that many smokers experience is the most common cause of weight gain after quitting. You stop getting your daily intake of nicotine which normally would suppress your appetite, so you start eating more.
Cravings for nicotine are one of the reasons why people cannot quit smoking immediately. They find themselves reaching for cigarettes without even noticing it. Cravings also lead to increased snacking on foods such as chips, chocolate, cakes, and crisps. This may cause weight gain as well as gut problems.
One of the ways that many people choose to manage cravings is switching to vaping. While this activity is not isn’t fully risk-free for your health, it can help you cut down on your daily nicotine intake. The variety of vaping liquids helps with that – they come in many flavours and nicotine doses (such as those offered by Doozy Vape Co) so that you can enjoy huffing and puffing while fighting your addiction at the same time.
Apart from these two, there are some other reasons why people gain weight when they quit smoking. They include:
Stress: When you quit smoking, you need to change your habits. This can lead to you eating more because food frequently makes you feel better. Some people eat when they are stressed because it provides them with pleasure and relief. However, excessive eating can, unfortunately, lead to weight gain.
Sleep disorders: People who quit smoking frequently experience sleep issues. For example, nicotine withdrawal causes insomnia, which can lead to an increase in hunger and late-night snacking.
Sleep apnea is a potentially fatal sleep disease in which breathing stops and starts repeatedly. This puts your body under even more strain. The good news is that smoking can sometimes be the root of this issue, so eliminating it from your life may make treating sleep apnea much easier.
Fluctuating hormone levels: Nicotine is a stimulant. It boosts the body’s metabolism by increasing blood sugar levels, heart rate, and breathing. Your metabolism slows down when you stop smoking, and your body begins to function normally again. That means your body burns less calories than it used to, which may lead to weight gain.
Unfortunately, you cannot stop your body from gaining weight after quitting smoking. You may, however, manage this problem in a healthy way if you aim to stick to a well-balanced diet and stay physically active. Here are some tips on how to do that.
- Exercise often – at least 3 times a week if possible – as this will help you feel better by increasing your metabolism. Make sure that you choose an activity that you actually enjoy, because otherwise, you may give up on it pretty quickly. Also, try to increase the intensity of your exercise over time – this will help you get more benefits from it.
- Get enough sleep. Having a good night’s rest is necessary for overall health and well-being, but it’s also important for maintaining a balanced weight.
- Stay away from alcohol – it’s one of the most common causes of weight gain. It’s also a depressant that can worsen your mood, which is something that many ex-smokers struggle with.
- Stick to a balanced diet rich in fibre and nutrients. Keep an eye on your calorie intake, but don’t cut on them much. Diets usually fail because they lead to feelings of deprivation and hunger, which, in turn, cause people to binge eat. Eat just as much as your body needs.
Quitting smoking is a fantastic thing to do because it improves your health, makes you happier (though certainly not immediately!), and allows you to live longer. It may, however, lead to weight gain, which is almost unavoidable in most people. You shouldn’t be concerned, though. While quitting cigarettes may result in a few extra pounds, staying in shape does not have to be difficult.
Even if your weight continues to rise, you may keep it under control by staying physically active and eating well. The goal is to figure out why you’re gaining weight in the first place – whether it’s due to an increase in appetite, hormone issues, stress, or cravings – and then address it. You can also talk to your doctor about the best approach to quitting smoking while minimising the negative consequences, such as switching to nicotine patches or vaping.
At the end of the day, all that is worth the effort – because with quitting smoking, you gain much more than you lose.
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