October 15


Quit Smoking? 4 Easy Ways to Avoid Gaining Weight

By Alexa Sooter

October 15, 2021

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Use These Simple Tips To Avoid Gaining Weight When You Quit Smoking

Quit Smoking? 4 Easy Ways to Avoid Gaining Weight

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There are many reasons to quit smoking. And, if you’re reading this article, you already know what they are.

But you might be on the fence about whether you’re really ready to quit. Well, if possible weight gain is one of your concerns, there is good news. 

Yes, a lot of people gain weight when they stop smoking. But it’s not an inevitable part of the process.

If you know why people gain weight when they give up nicotine and how to avoid a few common pitfalls, your weight might not budge at all!

Quit Smoking? 4 Easy Ways to Avoid Gaining Weight

Why Do People Gain Weight When They Quit Smoking?

It’s hard enough to stop smoking. But when so many people are trying to lose weight, it seems almost unfair that weight gain is associated with cutting cigarette use. And, for some, it’s just as baffling as it is unfair. 

Why would cutting an unhealthy habit from your life lead to weight gain? The answer lies in both nicotine’s effects on the body and what smoking does to your senses.

Nicotine is a natural appetite suppressant. And, according to some studies, it may even increase your metabolism.

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When you smoke, these two effects work together to ensure that you eat less and, when you do eat, that your body burns more energy.

When you quit smoking, your appetite will return. Your metabolism will be returning to its normal processing speed at the same time. Failing to account for these factors is when you’ll start to see weight gain.

A smaller appetite and higher metabolism might sound like benefits of smoking… but they are coupled with some serious drawbacks. And I’m not just talking about the increased risk for lung, throat, and mouth cancers. 

Smoking decreases your senses of both taste and smell. This means that your brain doesn’t get as much sensory input when you eat. Over time, as your senses take more damage, food is less appealing.

Giving up cigarettes might not bring your senses of taste and smell back to what they once were. But the longer you go without smoking, the better everything will smell and taste.

When this happens, food will generally become more appealing. If you’re not careful, overindulgence can creep in. 

An increased appetite, slower metabolism, and improved interest in food aren’t necessarily bad things. Given the risks you’re giving up, they’re more like a benefit.

But you need to account for them when you give up smoking. Thankfully, there are a few easy tricks you can use to reduce the odds you’ll pack on the pounds.

Quit Smoking? 4 Easy Ways to Avoid Gaining Weight

How Can I Avoid Gaining Weight When I Quit Smoking?

So, now you know why people gain weight after they quit smoking. And that is good information to have.

But how can you turn this information into an action plan so you don’t gain weight?

1) Eat Slowly

The easiest thing you can do to avoid weight gain is to eat slowly. This is a general rule for life, but it is especially important when you’re kicking the smoking habit.

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When you eat quickly, you’re more likely to overeat. But if you slow down and focus on the meal at hand, you’ll notice your body’s food signals much sooner.

This is sometimes referred to as “mindful eating.” But you don’t need to meditate on your dinner to pay attention to your food.

At its core, mindful eating is simply the practice of slowing down and noticing the bites you take. You don’t have to count them or tune everything else out. Just be aware of them.

2) Plan Your Meals in Advance

Giving up cigarettes requires a lot of willpower. And if you will need to account for that if you want to avoid weight gain, as you’ll also need willpower to make healthy food choices.

The best way to do this is to take a lot of the guesswork out of the food you eat.

When you make a meal plan, you solve a whole bunch of problems at once. You are accounting for your already strained sense of willpower by cutting off the option of going out to eat or feasting on the junk food that suddenly tastes so good.

You will also be reducing your risk for Decision Fatigue. If you haven’t come across this term before, Decision Fatigue is the term for your lack of energy after making too many decisions

When you waste all of your energy on small, unimportant decisions, and you don’t have any left for the important things. Like, in this case, what to eat so you’re nourishing your body without indulging in junk food.

Instead of facing down your pantry and wondering if you should make a healthy meal… or just order a pizza for dinner… you’ll have an organized plan. You can just look at your calendar and start in on the meal you chose earlier in the week, when you hadn’t spent all day at work. 

When planning out your meals, it’s best to start small and work your way up to the month-long three-meal menus you sometimes see online. Try planning just one week of dinners in advance.

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Starting with dinner is especially effective because you’re more likely to be tired and low on willpower later in the day. 

Once you get the hang of making (and sticking to) your dinner plans, you can move on to other meals. Over time, you can even add in things like snacks and treats without worrying about straining your willpower. 

3) Expect to Snack

Your appetite increases when you quit smoking. This means that you’ll start feeling hungry more often.

And when those food cravings hit, they’ll hit harder than they did when you were a smoker. If you’re not careful, this could lead to some very unhealthy, calorie-heavy snacking.

Instead of leaving it to chance, plan out ways you can deal with sudden snack attacks. Keep healthy snacks and meal replacements on hand.

You can try some delicious protein bars, like these that only have a few ingredients and a ton of flavor. Or you can make your own trail mix with a nice balance of sweet and savory.

When you plan for your snacks, you also need to remember that your senses of taste and smell will be improving… so you’re going to start noticing flavors your couldn’t before. Take this as an opportunity to try new things and avoid the strongly flavored junk food you might have preferred before.

4) Get Moving

Weight gain is usually best handled in the kitchen. But there is no denying that physical activity is also a key component in the quest to maintain a healthy weight.

Many smokers dislike physical activity, in part due to the strain it puts on their lungs. But right now, when you’re quitting, is the perfect time to give physical fitness another go.

Smoking – like most addictions – is addictive because of the way it affects your brain. When you give up your cigarettes, part of your withdrawal is the way smoking makes you feel on a chemical level.

Working out, as odd as it may seem, can offer a similar boost.

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Although the act of exercising might make you grimace, you’re going to love the endorphin boost it gives you. This rush of happiness-inducing chemicals in your brain can ease some of the sting of withdrawal. Over time, the endorphin rush of working out might even make fitness the habit that fills the time you used to spend lighting up.

Increasing your level of activity will also help keep your metabolism running at a higher rate. And, as you progress into more intense workouts, you’ll find that they burn a ton of calories.

So even if you slip up and overindulge, if you stay active, you’ve got a little bit of wiggle room before you start noticing any weight gain.

Quit Smoking? 4 Easy Ways to Avoid Gaining Weight

The Takeaway

If you haven’t kicked your smoking habit yet, you’re probably dreading the work you know is ahead of you. And if you’re in the middle of quitting, you might find your resolve flagging.

But giving up cigarettes is a choice that will bring amazing benefits to you, your body, and your loved ones.

Weight gain is the bogeyman in the closet when you try to quit smoking. But if you pay attention to what you eat, there’s no reason for you to be afraid.

You can kick your bad habit and still maintain the weight you had when smoking. As your lungs recover and you find new foods that taste good, you might even find yourself dropping weight.

So don’t let the risk of weight gain stop you. Take the plunge and kick your smoking habit. No matter which way the scale goes, your body will thank you.


quit smoking without weight gain

3 Simple Steps To Help You Quit AND Lose Weight At The Same Time

I know what you’re thinking: “Quit smoking? Oh yeah, no problem, totally easy, I’ll get right on that…” 

…and then another 2 years go by.

It’s hard to want to, even if you know you should. It might be the only time you get a minute to yourself… and we all need that. 

So here’s something that can help you quit… give you your breathing room… AND that’ll keep you from gaining weight when you do: 

It’s a simple, 3-step bedtime routine that gives you your relaxation time… and it doesn’t hurt that it also boosts your metabolism so much that you start losing weight in your sleep!

This will help you quit smoking in 3 very specific ways: 

1) It’s a routine… and when you’re abandoning an old, relaxing routine like lighting up a cigarette… it helps to have a new routine that still gives you the relaxation you need to replace it. 

2) You’ll start losing weight, which will give you some positive reinforcement (especially when you look in the mirror each morning!) while you’re doing something difficult like quitting smoking, and…

3) You’ll wake up each morning feeling great! Eventually, the last thing on your mind will be “I need a cigarette”… and you’ll be ready to face the day and hit the ground running. 

(Plus, as your sense of taste gets better, all of our recipes are going to blow you away!)

Here’s what this routine is… plus the exact order to do the steps in for MAXIMUM weight loss:

Click Here For The Simple 3-Step Routine That Can Help You Quit Smoking AND Lose More Weight

Alexa Sooter

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