Many people experience weight gain when they quit smoking. However, the extent seems to vary. On average people who quit smoking will gain about 5 to 10 pounds the first few months after quitting. There are several reasons for this:
- Nicotine acts as an appetite suppressant
- Smoking increases the body’s metabolism, which means more calories are being used throughout the day
- Replacing smoking with eating
For starters let’s look at how the body manages weight. There are several factors but the most important are physical activity and diet. Every day we burn calories whether we are physically active or not. The Basal Metabolic Rate is how many calories our body burns in a day just to survive. This number represents the minimum amount of caloric intake, however when you quit smoking the number of calories you burn standing around will decrease because your metabolism decreased. Basically your weight is determined by the calories in vs the calories out. If you eat more calories than you are burning then you will gain weight.
You can control you weight gain by eating the right amount of calories with the appropriate mix of carbs, protein, fats, and sugars. Eating more than 3 times a day is also helpful keeping you from getting to hungry and over eating at meal time.
Don’t get overly excited if you start gaining weight after quitting smoking. Chances are you will burn it off and don’t start smoking just to manage your weight. The health concerns related to smoking are worse than gaining a few pounds.
One thing that was really helpful for me was to determine my daily caloric needs. There are several good online calculators on the net that will help you accomplish this. So for example if my Basal Metabolic Rate was 1,455 calories and I worked out moderately several days per week in order to maintain my weight I could eat 2,550 calories per day. If I wanted to lose weight, healthily, I would knock off about 400 calories per day until I reached my desired weight, and it works. I may not have the washboard stomach I want but I feel and look good.
Also get over the mentality of only having 3 meals per day. Try having 5 to 6 meals per day (but smaller). Eat some protein, carbs, and fat. Balance it out! Eating often will keep your metabolism up and keep you from getting too hungry making you over eat at supper time.
- The weight you might be gaining may be muscle mass, which weighs more than fat (that is good)
- Don’t eat too much sugar or drink too much alcohol
- Eat healthy
- Eat often (5 to 6 times per day)
- Determine your caloric daily needs
- Be patient
- Get physically active several days a week
- Drink lots of water
- Don’t smoke
If you really want to kick butt and lose the fat while building a great body check out this program.