Quitting and Weight

You, like many people, may gain some weight when you quit smoking. Most people only gain a small amount (about ten pounds), and some don’t gain any. Managing how much you eat and adding at least thirty minutes of exercise most days of the week can help you avoid weight gain after you quit.

When you’re quitting, you can make small healthy changes to help prevent weight gain, but now is not the time to make drastic changes to try to lose to weight.

Why You May Gain Weight When you Quit:

  • Your body doesn’t burn up calories quite as fast. Once you stop smoking, your heart no longer has to work as hard to pump blood through your body. When your heart is working harder, your body burns more calories. But it’s not a good thing for your heart to work harder because of smoking. The good news about quitting is you’ll feel a lot better and your heart will be healthier.
  • You may be eating more calories than your body needs. Some people end up eating more after they quit because they eat when they get a craving for a cigarette or want to do something with their hands or mouth. Getting some exercise or using your favorite substitutes and distractions can help you avoid snacking when you want to smoke.
  • You may not be getting enough physical activity. Even if you’re not taking in extra calories once you quit, you may need to add physical activity to your routine to help you avoid gaining weight. Physical activity most days of the week will help you maintain a healthy weight and a healthy heart.