Friday, July 13, 2007

Quit Smoking, Gain Weight?

The myth is true. one of the side effects when you stop smoking, is you usually gain weight. Day 6 of my quit has me at plus 3 pounds. Not terrible, all things considered. Remember that last time I tried to quit smoking, I gained a few pounds, but lost it all within three weeks, only to gain more weight shortly thereafter. Sigh.

Where does this weight come from? It's an unfortunate combination of a few things. Firstly, smoking increases your metabolism. When you stop, your metabolic rate may slow by as much as 20%, causing you to burn less calories. The average weight gain for a quitter is said to be somewhere in the 5-20 lb. range. That's 2-9 Kgs or so for my international readers. What's that, you say? You're not into statistics? Okay, here's the simple version: you have to do something or you're going to start getting to be quite the fattie!

Did you know? more than one third of readers to this blog are from outside the U.S.A.?

The logical (not to be confused with easy!) choices to counteract this weight gain would be to either raise the metabolism via exercise, or eat less. Maybe up to 20% less. Yeah, right.

The thing is, when you stop smoking your senses of taste and smell start improving pretty quickly, and you'll probably enjoy some foods more. Especially stuff that's full of sugar and carbs. Yeah, the stuff that will pack on the pounds most quickly.

My recommendations are to increase your activity level by starting a new workout routine, or at least adding whatever activity you can. Maybe walk down to the end of the driveway to pick up the mail instead of driving, stop sending the intern down to pick up lunch everyday, and make yourself something healthy in the morning instead, or at least take the walk yourself.

Combine this with a little extra willpower and common sense regarding your eating habits, and you should be able to minimize the weight gain commonly attached to quitting smoking. No more midnight snacks, fattie!

Much of this info I remember from past studying, and cannot cite the sources. There are however, a couple of excellent articles listed on the topic over at Maggie's Mind, along with 30 or 40 other "linky loos" (don't looky-loo at me, I didn't make it up) to all sorts of quitting resources.

As for me, I think I'm going to try to finish my super awesome surprise post, which won't get published until at least Monday, because nobody ever reads my stuff on the weekends. Good for you guys, get out there and do something fun this weekend!

Hey, I made it through this whole thing without mentioning that it's Friday the 13th, how cool is that?

Crap. I just blew it, didn't I?

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Blogger maggie's mind said...

Hey, thanks for the mention! I'm trying to strike some balance of not freaking out too much about gaining a few pounds from quitting but also not trading one health issue for another one. I haven't yet figured out the balance - I've been walking, but I've been eating. A lot.

July 13, 2007 at 5:39:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Stop Smoking said...

Just another myth about smoking quit! really...

November 9, 2007 at 10:32:00 AM EST  
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Blogger Alex M said...

My doctor told me your better off putting weight on than smoking so be it one day at a time :)

April 7, 2013 at 5:13:00 PM EDT  
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April 29, 2014 at 5:33:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous amy said...

Smoking cause only the positive effect on health and there is no such bad effect that smoking causes on the body after quiting it.

August 19, 2014 at 9:42:00 AM EDT  
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December 21, 2015 at 3:43:00 PM EST  

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