how you can lose weight after quitting smoking

This is how you can lose weight after quitting smoking

November 23. 2021

If you’ve ever tried to give up smoking, you’re probably aware of how challenging it can be. Still, it’s one of the kindest things you can do for your body and your overall health – and it’s definitely worth your efforts. As if smoking itself isn’t harmful enough, many people delay their cessation due to a fear of weight gain. Although you may feel like such weight gain is inevitable, it’s vital to understand that you can lose weight after quitting smoking, and it may be easier than you think.

Physicians from our weight loss clinic pay close attention to patients who fear weight gain after smoking. We’re well aware that making more than one step towards a healthy lifestyle seems unattainable and too challenging; that’s why we provide additional support to anyone struggling with this problem. In today’s article, we’re answering some of the most prominent questions about gaining weight after smoking cessation and providing proven tips on how to avoid it.

Do people gain weight after giving up smoking?

If you’re a smoker who fears gaining weight after cessation, you’ve most likely run across those who had quit and then put on some weight. Unfortunately, such weight gain occurs with people who find it hard to give up their addiction entirely; instead, they turn their nicotine addiction into another one, whether snacking, overeating, or consuming too much alcohol. While quitting does require some additional mind strength and willpower, it would help if you found support in your friends, family, or professionals.
If potential weight gain is your significant barrier to stopping smoking, it’s important to understand that, on average, people gain less than 10lbs in the first few months after quitting. Let’s be honest – a few pounds of excess weight should not be stopping you from abandoning one of the most harmful habits that threaten your health in numerous ways. 

If you’re wondering what exactly causes such weight gain, take a look at the following reasons:

  • Finding comfort in overeating – Any addiction is somewhat challenging to overcome. Smoking is a habit you probably strongly connect to several actions such as drinking coffee, eating, attending social events, etc. Once this habit is gone, people tend to keep their hands and mouths busy by snacking on high-fat and high-sugar treats. Indulging in over-processed food may feel comforting at the moment. Still, it will most likely lead to weight gain and possibly even other health concerns, such as cardiovascular problems, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, etc. 
  • Struggling with increased appetiteCigarettes are known to curb your appetite. How many times have you had coffee and cigarettes for breakfast and skipped a wholesome meal? Once you give up this harmful habit, your senses will be activated again, you’ll probably start enjoying the actual taste of your favorite meals, and you may experience increased appetite. 
  • The effects of nicotine withdrawal – It’s known that nicotine speeds up metabolism by also speeding up your heartbeat. Although this may seem like a positive trait, there are far healthier ways to speed up your metabolism (for instance, physical activity or lipo C injections) and help you lose weight without all the negative side effects. 

It’s also worth mentioning that not everyone gains weight after cessation; some people are motivated enough to turn their current habits upside down and create healthy and sustainable lifestyles. 

Can you lose weight after quitting smoking?

We’ll answer this question with an honest YES! Losing weight after giving up smoking is far more manageable once you prepare for it. That’s why we decided to list some of the most effective ways to either prevent or cure weight gain after smoking cessation. Once you implement these tips, you’re bound to feel confident and even more determined to give up this harmful habit, as your accomplishments will be your personal reward. Here’s what you can do to lose weight after quitting smoking:

  • Get more active. Once you quit smoking, you’ll find it much easier to partake in any form of physical activity. Your heart and lungs will be more capable of getting you through low to medium-intensity workouts that will, in turn, boost your metabolism function. 
  • Establish a nutritionally-balanced diet. Your food choices affect so much more than just your weight. If the word “diet” deterred you, keep in mind that we’re aiming for a nutritionally-balanced one, and stay away from all the popular fad diets. Learning about the nutritional value and health benefits of each ingredient you take can help you establish a long-term lifestyle and keep those excess pounds far away. 
  • Try food prepping. Cutting up some fresh fruit and veggies that you can easily snack on during the day can help you get through those hunger spikes. Additionally, you can have a handful of sunflower or pumpkin seeds when you feel anxious or triggered to either light a cigarette or empty a bag of Cheetos. The act of snacking and the sound of crunching through the seeds may help you feel more relaxed.
  • Keep sugar-free gums on hand. Many people claim that sugar-free gums saved them from putting on pounds after quitting smoking. Gums will keep your mouth busy without adding unwanted calories to your diet plan. 
  • Don’t starve yourself. The starvation mode in your body causes it to hold onto every pound of fat and is shown to slow your metabolism. Therefore, starving yourself won’t do you any good if you’re looking to lose. If, however, you’re struggling with hunger attacks, you may benefit from taking appetite suppressants
  • Avoid indulging in alcohol. Switching cigarette addiction for an alcohol one is wrong on so many levels. You should aim to exclude all the harmful substances from your lifestyle and switch them to those that aid a long and healthy life. 
  • Practice mindful eating. One of those things we stress about is mindful eating. Since overeating itself comes more from the state of your mental health (rather than physical conditions), it’s necessary to practice mindful eating, which will enable you to enjoy a meal fully and know when to stop. It’s a practice anyone can master, and it benefits your body in numerous ways. You can also try using inspiring affirmations for weight loss, as they can help you stay focused on your goal.
  • Reward yourself for every success. Although rewarding yourself for every successful milestone can keep you motivated, it’s vital to avoid rewards that are high in fats, sugar, and refined carbs. Rewarding yourself with a stylish pair of jeans you can finally fit into makes much more sense, wouldn’t you agree?

Final thoughts

If you’re currently wondering whether you can lose weight after quitting smoking, let us assure you – you absolutely can. Although this article highlights numerous effective tips, if you ever feel unmotivated or uncertain whether you can do it by yourself, don’t hesitate to join a support group or get in touch with us. Our medical professionals offer personalized weight loss programs based on your specific needs, goals, and health condition.

Lastly, don’t let the potential weight gain (which is still highly preventable) discourage you from giving up smoking. Once you leave this harmful habit behind, your body will be able to achieve much more than it can at this moment. Keep in mind that smoking cessation brings you one giant step closer to your goal weight and dream body.

Nurse Walton


Nurse Walton

Born and raised in Chicago, IL, Chanay received her Practical Nurse licensure and went to work in clinical specialties such as Home Health, Assisted Living, Long-Term Care and Dialysis Centers. Through this work, she realized the importance of diet, nutrition and weight loss among her patients. This led her to open A Better Weigh, Inc. Medical Weight Loss Center in 2009.

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