Does smoking cessation cause weight gain? How the two are connected.
Increased appetite while quitting
After you stop smoking, it’s normal for your appetite to get bigger and your sense of taste to change. Stay in charge of what you eat so you don’t overeat, gain weight, or get bad nutrition.
One of the most common withdrawal symptoms is an increased appetite – unfortunately, this lasts longer than most other signs and symptoms. When you stop smoking, your taste and sense of smell get better and will go back to normal. This makes it more fun to eat, but could also make you hungry more regularly.
When you stop smoking, your tastes in food might also change. People often say that they didn’t like sweet foods before they quit, but now they eat them. Studies show that when people stop smoking, they want more sweet and fatty foods. Most of the time, sweet and fatty foods have a lot of calories.
You might miss having something to do with your mouth and hands when you stop smoking. Over time, this need to always have something in your mouth and hands will go away.
Eating or having a snack is a lot like smoking, so to avoid overeating, use a toothpick or straw to keep your hands and mouth busy. You can also chew on healthy foods like carrots and celery, or you can use sugar-free gum.
Eat with care
People tend to use food the same way they used to use cigarettes, according to research. They eat to deal with stress or boredom, as a personal reward, to pass the time, or to make friends.
It’s important to know why you eat even when you’re not hungry. Slowing down when and what you eat can help you eat more mindfully. Eating more slowly is also healthier.
Simply put: eat slowly and enjoy it.
By slowing down, when you are full you are more likely to realise it. Try also to not watch TV or talk on the phone while you eat. Getting rid of your gadgets lets you focus on the details of your food. You might be able to taste and feel things you would have missed otherwise.
How to deal with gaining weight after quitting
People often put off giving up smoking because they are afraid of gaining weight. Even though many people gain weight after they stop smoking, it is better for your health to stop as soon as you can.
Once you stop smoking, you can start building healthy habits for exercise, eating, and if you need to, losing weight.
How to keep from putting on weight after quitting
- Control your appetite. When you smoke cigarettes, you don’t feel as hungry. If you stop smoking, you might feel more hungry and eat more than you did before. Controlling how much you eat can help you avoid overeating. It’s also important to never forget to drink water – this will keep you from eating when you’re actually thirsty.
- Start going to the gym regularly. When you smoke your metabolism speeds up, so you burn more calories. If you stop smoking you might burn fewer calories, which could make you gain weight. If you work out regularly, you can keep burning those calories. Even if you only work out for 10 minutes a day, this is still a step in the right direction.
Also, learn how to eat mindfully. Eating can take the place of smoking. Learn to eat with your mind and plan out your meals and snacks. Mindful eating means being aware as you prepare, choose, and eat. Here are some tips to help you eat better and enjoy your food more:
- Eat at the table. This way you can pay attention to what you’re eating.
- Avoid distractions. Put down the phone, turn off the TV, and put the computer to sleep.
- Don’t serve food for the whole family. If you’re still hungry, you’ll have to leave the table to get more food.
- Think about the size of your servings. You might want to start with a smaller amount.
- Check your gut. Are you hungry, actually thirsty, or are you eating for another reason?
Figure out how to deal with your feelings without smoking. When you quit smoking, you might want to eat when you feel bad or when things are hard, but there are always ways to deal with things other than smoking.
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