You are contemplating quitting smoking to have a healthier, happier and longer life, but certain changes you’ll experience or the process that you will go through after quitting smoking may be deterring you from initiating the quitting process.
One of the things that frighten many smokers about quit smoking is weight gain phenomenon that befalls many people after quitting.
Those who stop smoking become susceptible to weight gain due to various changes in the body.
According to NHS; a person can be expected to gain weight up to 5 kg in the year of quitting. But, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will unavoidably gain weight after quitting smoking.
If the risk of gaining weight is the biggest obstacle for you to quit smoking, we are about to remove this obstacle and encourage you to initiate the quitting process.
With simple methods you can apply to your life, you can overcome this process without gaining weight or keeping the amount of weight at the minimum.
We compiled 7 strategies that will help you go through the quitting process without expanding your waistline.
But first, let’s take a look at the factors that lead people to gain weight after quitting smoking.
Why People Tend to Gain weight After Quitting?
There are certain factors that make the quitters gain weight in the post-quitting process.
Metabolism: Nicotine that presents in tobacco products increases the metabolism, therefore, the body burns calories at a faster rate. After quitting, the metabolism slows down. As such, some people gain weight after quitting smoking.
Appetite: What certain is smoking suppresses appetite and make smokers eat with relatively smaller portion and also eat less frequently.
Food taste: According to experts, smoking brings about decreased taste sensitivity. After quitting, people tend to crave foods as their taste sensitivity gets better.
Nicotine Craving: One of the things that can happen after quitting is nicotine cravings. When the craving hits hard that leads many people to eat in order to suppress the craving.
Ways to Avoid Weight Gain After quitting
Below-given 7 simple but effective ways will help you go through the post-quitting process without gaining weight.
1- Chew Thoroughly
If you stopped smoking, that means your sense of taste is improving each passing day since the day you quitted. This improved sense of taste can make you eat more than you body needs, plus, make you eat faster than you did a smoker. Unfortunately, these changes can set the stage for weight gain.
To avoid an unintended weight gain, experts recommend chewing foods thoroughly. This will prevent you from eating too much, plus enable you to enjoy your meal.
2- Increase Water Intake
Increasing water intake will be beneficial to your body in two ways. On the one hand, water will help your body to get rid of toxins accumulated in your body due to harmful chemicals of cigarettes.
On the other hand, drinking water, especially before a meal, will prevent you from eating huge portions by suppressing your appetite, according to Healthline. What’s more, water contains no calorie in it.
Therefore, do not forget to drink at least 8 glasses of water every day to avoid weight gain after quitting smoking.
3- Exercise Regularly
Earlier in this article, we underlined the fact that after quitting the metabolic rate slows down and this may lead the quitter to weight gain in the process. However, there are certain ways to boost the working rate of metabolism.
One of the most effective ways to speed up the metabolic rate is to do exercise. If your current physical capacity or condition doesn’t allow you to carry out an intense exercise, start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of exercise.
4- Prepare Smaller Portion
So to speak, you will get a monstrous appetite in the following days and weeks of quitting. This strong urge of eating can cause you to make mistakes that result in weight gain.
For instance, due to improved appetite, you might prepare bigger portions than you need to eat. Or, you can order foods more than you would normally do at a restaurant.
Therefore, think twice while preparing or ordering foods in order to avoid too much calorie intake in the quitting process.
5- Fruits and Vegetables
What you eat is as important as how much you eat when it comes to weight gain. As we mentioned repeatedly earlier in the article, it is unavoidable that a person who stopped smoking wants to eat more due to certain reasons, such as increased appetite or better sense of taste.
While it is important to avoid too much calorie intake, choosing the right food will also play an significant role in preventing you from gaining weight.
Fruits and vegetables have always been a safe port when it comes to avoiding excess weight. Unless you have a restriction to consume fruits or vegetables, eat plenty of them instead of eating fast-food or high-calorie foods in order to avoid weight gain.
6- Increase Fiber Intake
Here is another nutrition choice that can be a key factor to avoid weight gain after quitting. Foods that contain fibre are quite healthy. But at the same time, soluable-fibre containing foods can definitely prevent you from eating too much.
According to Healthline: soluble fibre promotes overall fat loss by reducing your appetite. This mainly stems from the way fibre is digested in the body.
Therefore, opting for food with soluble fibre will help you go through this process gaining none or very little amount of weight.
7- Do Shopping Wisely
As mentioned earlier, after the following days and weeks of quitting, you will have an increased appetite. Therefore, you might tend to eat foods you see around.
Therefore filling your kitchen and fridge with junk foods or sweet foods can be a huge mistake in this period. Due to increased appetite, you may fall into the trap and eat them frequently, if your fridge is full of these tempting and high-calorie foods.
Try not to buy these sorts of foods in the first months of quitting smoking to avoid weight gain.
Tarkan is an experienced health writer ( currently more than 600 articles ) and also the founder of this website namely www.neededforhealth.com. His expertise in health stems from in-depth medical research and knowledge which he obtained over the course of many years.
Tarkan enjoys sharing factual knowledge on health, psychology and nutrition. He always aims to deliver evidence-based recommendations, provide links to related scientific studies.