For most smokers, when they feel the need to snack on something, they replace eating with smoking a cigarette. This is why many smokers are skinnier than some of their non-smoking friends. Though some smokers may be skinnier than others, it does not mean that they are healthier. In fact, many smokers are less healthy than their heavier friends and are most likely suffering from lung, heart and other medical conditions. These health concerns and others are associated with their smoking habits.
Some smokers who make the decision to quit smoking turn to food to help curb their nicotine cravings. Plus, many smokers who have recently quit smoking do not have the comfort of turning to smoke a cigarette when they have a food craving. This is just one reason why so many people are concerned with gaining weight after they quit smoking.
Smoking and Weight Loss *
According to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, there is a connection between smoking and weight loss. This is mostly because those who enjoy a cigarette are most likely to notice their hunger tends to disappear. According to their website, new researched has revealed that there is a connection between nicotine and other appetite suppressants.
Cigarettes tend to raise a person’s blood pressure, which can trigger the same receptors in the brain that associates food with a reward. This often means the desire for food is less among those who smoke, mostly because the brain receives the same type of satisfaction.
For some, the fear of gaining weight is the biggest deterrent when wanting to quit smoking. Some end up gaining anywhere from 10 to 15 percent of body fat after they quit smoking. However, the health concerns with smoking outweigh those associated with being a bit overweight.
Consequences of Smoking on the Body *
According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, there are many different factors that may go into how much a person who smokes weighs. For the most part, those who smoke have a reduced appetite, which may cause them to be skinnier than others. However, those who smoke excessively may experience a higher body fat distribution than those who occasionally have a cigarette.
Those who smoke excessively may have a heavier body mass than others mostly because they are less physically active than others. These smokers experience other medical complications, such as lower lung capacity, which will reduce their energy levels and desire to exercise. Thus, causing them to have an increased body weight.
Other factors that may cause smokers to be heavier than others are their poor decisions in life. The fact that they smoke a lot may contribute to their lack of eating healthy foods. A poor diet may also cause someone who smokes to have a high body fat count and be a bit overweight.
Change in Weight after Quitting *
There have been studies that show that many people who choose to quit smoking do gain some weight. For some, this can be a short-term side effect of quitting, while for others, the weight gain can be a long-term battle. The fear of weight gain is one of the top concerns smokers who want to quit have. This fear is one of the reasons why some smokers relapse and pick up the habit again.
Along with quitting smoking, it is important to come up with an exercise routine and stick to it. This will not only help keep any weight gain down, it will also help get through the symptoms of withdrawal. This is mostly because the mind will be occupied with exercising it will not have time to crave a cigarette. Over time you will feel healthier and happier you made the decision to quit smoking.
Other things that can help prevent weight gain after quitting is hypnosis, medicines and change in diet. Those wanting additional help to prevent possible weight gain after quitting smoking should seek the counsel of their physician. He or she may be able to make a recommendation for hypnotic therapy or a nutritionist who can help.
What Causes Weight Gain? *
After someone stop smoking the body changes from the withdrawals associated with the cessation of nicotine entering the body. Some bodies turn the nicotine into a suppressant that reduces the hunger. According to Medical Daily, the symptoms of withdrawal – stress, depression and anxiety – are common triggers that cause people to turn to comfort foods.
Quitting smoking may cause someone to want to turn to snacks and sweets to help reduce the pain they are feeling while going through withdrawal. This can cause his or her body’s overall weight to increase.
Is Smoking an Appetite Suppressant? *
After looking at the connection between smoking and weight loss, many people have asked the question: “Can smoking help someone lose weight?” Though smoking is not a solution to going on a diet and losing weight, some studies have proven it to be an appetite suppressant. Plus, there is a link between smoking and metabolism, which can increase as a person continues to smoke cigarettes.
This means that it lowers the feeling of being hungry, while boosting the body’s metabolism. After quitting smoking, a person’s appetite returns and their metabolism returns to normal. This means that they will end up eating more food, while burning less calories and eventually gaining weight.
Nicotine and Weight Loss *
According to a report by the Nevada Public Radio, some scientists are working on finding a way to extract nicotine and create the same brain stimulation to promote weight loss. They are trying to make this possible without the need to become addicted to cigarettes.
Recent experiments are being conducted to find the link of chemicals that trigger depression and how to treat it. Doing so will help reduce the chances of a smoker to gain weight from feeling depressed upon quitting. In fact, they are looking into what response brain cells have when nicotine is introduced to the body and how it affects mood and appetites.
It is believed that smoking a cigarette triggers a feel-good response in the brain. This is a similar response the brain has when a person eats their favorite food.
Scientists do not suggest that people replace smoking with good eating habits and other weight control activities. It just means that they are trying to find a connection and a treatment for weight loss with the assistance of nicotine. They just want to do it without the need to smoke a cigarette to get the same affect.
How Not to Gain Weight *
Just like with the many other symptoms of withdrawal you will experience after quitting smoking, your weight gain concerns may only be short-term. There are many ways to help yourself not gain weight after you make the decision to quit smoking. Some ways to not gain weight include:
- Lengthen the time it takes you to chew your food
- Use a smaller plate when eating
- Keep a detailed record of what you eat and when
- Find something to relax you when feeling stressed
- Exercise more
- Go for a walk when feeling depressed
- Choose low-calorie snacks to curb cravings
- Chew gum to curb cravings
- Join a support group
Both smoking and obesity have been leading causes in death in the United States. Because of this, there are many concerns over which one is worse than the other. Some smokers choose not to quit for fear of gaining weight. While others fear that their smoking habit is contributing to their weight gain. Either way, the decision to get healthy and quit smoking and lose weight is up to the individual. When he or she is ready, they will quit smoking and make the commitment to keep their weight down.