I do not want to quit as I am afraid to put on weight

One of the barriers for people refusing to give up smoking, is the fear of putting on weight. This is more common with women.

A smoker weighs on average 3 to 4 kilos less than a non-smoker.

The weight gain which can happen after quitting, is about 3 to 4 kilos and is only the correction of a normal weight.

It takes on average 12 months for people to obtain their healthy body after cessation of smoking

Weight gain of few kilos is often at the origin of a relapse.
  • Nicotine acts as an appetite suppressant and smokers often substitute meals or food with a cigarette.
  • A smoker who smokes 1 packet per day, can burn 200 to 300 calories each day.
  • Smokers use more calories during exercise than that of a non-smoking patient.
  • I in 3 smokers do not put on weight by stopping smoking.
  • Nicotine replacement products (NRT) used to quit are effective at stopping the overeating and nibbling of foods which can cause weight gain.

Accepting the benefits of the quitting is much greater than the few kilos than can may put on.

With exercise and healthy eating, it is possible to prevent weight gain when quitting.

Dieting is not advised when quitting smoking. Concentrate on one thing at a time as too many lifestyle changes often lead to failure.

Seek the help of your GP of community dietician is you need help with weight control and healthy eating.

Hints and tips to avoid putting on weight

It is possible, without too many changes to avoid weight gain whilst quitting and afterwards.
  • Allow yourself to gain a few pounds initially as this is likely to be avoidable.
  • Avoid nibbling : if needing a snack choose, yogurts, fruit and raw vegetables.
  • Rediscover fruits and vegetables as your taste will improve after quitting.
  • Do not skip a meal, especially breakfast.
  • Avoid rich sauces made with butter and cream.
  • Eat more white meats such as fish and chicken.
  • Limit pastries, pies, fried foods, cured meats, chocolate and high calorie foods in general.
  • Choose pasta, rice, potatoes, oats, wholemeal products which are better for you and avoid feelings hunger.
  • Avoid any food or drink that you would normally associate with smoking a cigarette for example tea, coffee, chocolate.
  • Avoid alcohol, it's very calorific , also often associated with smoking a cigarette.
  • See your GP, or dietician for further advice.
  • When you want to smoke: have a glass of water and or eat fruit.
  • Exercise regularly.
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