One of the fears a lot of smokers who are contemplating quitting have to deal with is potential weight gain. While we all know smoking is bad for us, no one wants to give up the habit only to then have to deal with a growing waistline. However, gaining weight when you quit smoking isn't a requirement. If you understand what's happening, and how you can deal with it.
Why Do Quitters Gain Weight?
In order to understand why quitting smoking leads to weight gain, it's important to understand what smoking does. Firstly, as Health points out, smoking leads to increased metabolism, and heart rate. Nicotine suppresses your appetite, which often leads to smokers eating less, as well. If ou add in the habit of putting something in your mouth, and the dopamine rush that smoking provides, there is a formula put in place.
When you stop smoking, though, you go through a lot of difficulties. On top of the withdrawal, and craving, your body and mind are looking for ways to fill the gap. High-calorie treats tend to provide a dopamine rush, so you become more likely to eat junk food instead of smoking. Especially since your appetite is now unfettered by nicotine. Rather than smoking when you're bored, you might seek out something else to put in your mouth... like an entire bag of chips.
Avoiding The Calorie Count
So, you're going to quit smoking. As Women's Health points out, that needs to remain your focus. You'd have to gain over 45 kilograms in order to be just as unhealthy as you were smoking a pack a day.
With that said, it's important to be aware of what's happening inside your body. The way your brain is craving that rush of feel-good chemicals, the way boredom often had you reaching for a smoke, or how stress would make you light up. You need to be aware of that, and to find ways to cope with your needs. Because quitting smoking won't make them go away... if anything, they'll become more insistent.
Some people use replacements, like chewing gum after a meal instead of smoking. Others will take up a new ritual, such as brushing their teeth after eating, to fill the void left by smoking. Thanks to e-cigarettes, it's even possible to inhale water vapor with no nicotine in it, just to maintain the feeling of smoking without the harmful side effects.
The key to staying fit whilequitting smoking, though, is to remember that your body is a fully-integratedmechanism. Nothing happens to just one part of you. So if you quit smoking, that affects everything from your appetite, to your neurotransmitters, to your mood, and your sleep. So, in order to cope with what happens when you quit, you need to address your body as a whole.