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Weight Gain While Quitting Smoking


Weight Gain While Quitting Smoking

Weight gain is a concern for many people who want to quit smoking. In general, most people gain about 5 pounds. Only a small number of people gain much more weight. Quitting smoking is more important to your health than weighing a certain amount.

Do not try to diet when you quit smoking. Most people who try to lose weight at the same time they are trying to stop smoking have an even harder time of stopping smoking.

Instead of trying to lose weight before you quit smoking, try to minimize the weight you may gain after you quit. Here are a few steps you can take to lower your chance of gaining weight while you quit smoking. You may want to start these before your quit date. Even though these changes are not as hard as dieting, making any change is stressful and may be harder to do while you are quitting smoking.

  • Become more physically active. Take a short walk or do some stretches at times when you would ordinarily smoke a cigarette. Becoming more active helps prevent weight gain and increases your chances of successfully quitting smoking.
  • Substitute fruits, vegetables, and whole grains for high-fat foods.
  • Try not to use food to replace the pleasure of handling a cigarette. Rather than eating candy to replace the cigarettes, choose a healthy snack, such as fresh fruit or raw vegetables.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerJohn Hughes, MD - Psychiatry
Last RevisedJuly 6, 2011

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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