Barriers to Quitting Smoking #1

#1 Weight Worries

Many people are reluctant to think about quitting the smokes for fear of gaining weight. It’s true that some people do gain a little (4kg-6kg on average), BUT most people will return to their normal weight within 12 months. 

What causes weight gain when you stop smoking?

  • Let’s start with nicotine. The nicotine in your cigarettes is a powerful stimulant, it speeds up your metabolism so you process food faster. When you take the nicotine away, your body needs a period of adjustment before figuring out how to get the balance right without the help of the stimulant drug.  
  • Food tastes better when you don’t smoke. Smoking dulls your tastebuds, so when you get rid of the smokes, flavours come to life and there can be a tendency to overeat without even knowing it. 
  • If you are a smoker who likes a drink, you may find that removing the cigarettes means that the calories in your alcoholic drink take longer to burn without the nicotine there to help. 

What can you do to prevent or deal with weight gain when quitting? 

  • First of all, try to create good healthy eating habits. Cut out anything with added sugar, reduce your alcohol intake, drink plenty of water and increase your overall exercise. 
  • Many quitters have found that sipping water and / or going for a short walk has helped them to reduce cravings, so give these tips a go. You never know, they may help you.
  • If you do gain a little weight, don’t feel too discouraged. Once you have mastered the battle of smoking addiction you will feel like you can take on the world, so you will be more likely to succeed in getting your weight back in check. BUT be kind to yourself, and don’t expect to conquer both issues at the same time. 

If you have concerns and would like to talk with someone, start with your GP,  jump on the Get Healthy Coaching Service site or call 1300 806 258

For help with Quitting – call the Quitline on 13 7848 (13 QUIT), visit iCanQuit  or talk to your GP or Pharmacist about how Nicotine Replacement Therapy can help. 

Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District