Smoking And Weight Loss
Dieting is hard enough on its own, but if you factor in quitting smoking on top of that, it becomes very difficult to achieve your goals within a reasonable timetable. That’s because around 80 percent of all the people who quit smoking gain several pounds in the first year of quitting. That weight gain is hard to fight, but it may help to know what causes it and what you can do to change your diet accordingly. This guide will aim to answer all your questions about quitting smoking and weight loss.
Why Weight Gain Happens after Smoking
First, you are going to want to know why you may gain weight when you quit smoking. This is primarily due to the nicotine within the cigarettes. This drug speeds up your metabolism, slows down your appetite and ensures that you are addicted to smoking.
Now it’s easy to understand how metabolism factors into weight gain. If your metabolism was sped up while you were smoking and then starts to normalize, then you are going to have trouble keeping off the weight. You can’t just eat like you used to.
The same applies to appetite suppression. Smoking makes you want to eat less, and once that feeling goes away, you are going to find yourself with food cravings to go along with your nicotine cravings. Weight gain almost seems inevitable.
It’ may be a little harder to understand the effect that addiction can have on your weight. When you smoke, you actually want to spend more time with your cigarettes and less time eating and doing anything besides smoking.
Smoking fills up your free time, and many people hurry to get through a meal so they can go have their cigarette. This even truer for smokers who live with non-smokers. They have to have their separate time away from the rest of the family or roommates to do their smoking. This means they will probably cut into their eating time to have a chance to smoke. Once they quit, they are freeing themselves up for plenty of eating that they are not used to.
Foods To Eat When Quitting Smoking
Now once you know what is going on with your body and eating habits, it can go a long way toward helping you keep it all under control. You should be aware that food cravings are going to come as a result of withdrawing from the nicotine. Sugary and fatty foods will satiate these cravings most easily. You will find yourself drawn to the foods that your diet may not allow.
You will want to be prepared for those cravings by having healthy alternatives to snack foods and dessert foods on hand. Granola bars, fruits, juice, fat-free and sugar-free desserts can all serve as satisfactory craving squelchers. You may tell yourself that you will fight through the cravings and resist them without giving in to the need for food. But these are cravings that are going to be accompanied by nicotine and cigarette cravings. It isn’t just going to be a normal case of munchies.
You also need to be prepared to eat less than you were while you were smoking. Remember that your metabolism isn’t as powerful as it used to be. There are ways to boost your metabolism, but until it gets back to where you would like it, you do need to cut back on what you are eating.
You may also find that exercising is harder to do during the first couple of weeks of quitting smoking. Your respiratory system will be trying to recover from the damage that was done to it, and that is going to make things difficult for you as you try to stick to your diet. If you simply cannot exercise as much as you used to, then you will need to adjust your diet for that setback.
There are lots of small changes that happen to your body when you quit smoking as well as many bigger ones. All of these play at least some role in how your diet works. You will need to keep making adjustments as your body goes through the stages of quitting to ensure that you are on track to achieving your goals.