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Avoiding Weight Gain while Quitting Smoking


Oct 8, 2010
One of the main Quit smoking side effects is weight gain. Excessive weight gain while quitting can lead to new problems and it might also dampen the determination to quit smoking.

Smoking burns around 200 calories a day in a heavy smoker and hence metabolism is increased. Nicotine is known to be an appetite suppressant. It stimulates and interferes with the release of the hormone insulin. This in turn affects the level of glucose in the body and the person becomes slightly hyperglycemic. Hence the feeling of hunger is suppressed. When a person quits smoking, the level of glucose in his body decreases. In an attempt to regain the glucose level, the smoker consumes more food which leads to obesity. Putting on weight of around 5 to 10 pounds during the first few months of quitting is normal. Studies show that women are at a greater risk of relapsing than men as a way to avoid weight gain.

Exercise is the best way to avoid weight gain. As metabolism slows down while quitting smoking, some form of exercise can help combat excess weight. It also helps to fight against cravings. One can keep healthy snacks within reach. Snacks like vegetable sticks, fat free popcorn, sunflower seeds in the shell, water, hard candies to suck on, fresh fruits, fat free yogurt, herbal teas, frozen grapes, etc help one keep his mind off cigarettes. It is also very important to avoid high fat food. Alcohol should be strictly avoided. It is not only high in calories but also triggers smoking.

It is important to be patient. Though there might be some weight gain, the advantages of quitting smoking are certainly more.
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