Yes, You Can: Quit Smoking Without Packing on the Pounds

When people get hooked on cigarettes, it affects their metabolism. Declogging your body from tobacco smoke is a good way to start weight loss. Most people who quit smoking report some amount of weight gain within a few months, often because they substitute smoking for eating and their hunger is increased due to lack of nicotine. If you’re looking to quit smoking soon, here’s how you can do it without putting on the pounds like so many people do.

The Problem

Cigarettes not only reduce your sense of taste but also reduce the sensation of hunger. Nicotine stimulates your metabolism, causing you to burn more calories per day. While this may be advantageous in the short term, it degrades your health in the medium-long term, limiting oxygen flow to your cells and interfering with the absorption of essential nutrients. Diminished oxygen reduces your energy which gets in the way of exercise and reduces your body’s capacity to repair itself, worsening the effects of injuries and quickening the onset of aging.

Back To Basics

Of course, the basics are always essential. Regularly drinking water and eating a balanced diet of quality food, and any movement – whether it’s formal exercise or just walking – are essential. Because your metabolism drops when you quit smoking, making up for it with a better diet and routine is your first line of defense. To fight the urge of binge eating, try finding a healthy snack you can rely upon, such as grapes or dried apple. Eat healthy meals at regular intervals during a day to prevent snacking. Try having your healthy snack as plan A for when the urge hits you, which a short exercise activity being plan B. Chewing gum may also be helpful to reduce hunger pangs.

Vaping Solution?

An innovative new way of transitioning off smoking is e-cigarettes. Alongside nicotine replacement therapies (NRT), vaping can help you control weight gain as you gradually quit. With e-cigarettes, you can start with higher strength e-liquids and gradually taper down in a more controlled fashion than NRTs. Furthermore, the variety of e-liquids flavors such as those offered by one hit wonder e liquid could help stave off snacking to some degree. Of course, long-term e-cigarette use has health concerns, but as a healthier alternative and means of quitting they can be helpful.

Gradual or Cold Turkey?

Whilst most people who successfully quit smoking do so cold Turkey, different strategies work for different people. If you intend on quitting gradually make sure to track and record your progress – there’s no point decreasing your nicotine intake over a couple of months just to taper it back up again. Different combinations of cold turkey, NRT, and distraction (e.g. exercise or hypnotherapy) work for different people. Don’t be discouraged by having to go through a little experimentation to find out which tools are useful to you and which aren’t.

I hope you find success in quitting smoking. Being prepared is half of the battle – write up a schedule and a Plan A and B.

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