Posted by: C | 2006/11/09

Quit smoking, but getting fatter

Hi Diet Doc
I stopped smoking 2 weeks ago - which is fabulous. I feel so much better already and really have no desire to start again. I know that folk tend to pick up weight when they quit, so I did make a bit of an effort to eat better and get a bit more exercise. In spite of this, my clothes are definitely tighter. I really, really don't want to put on any more weight. I've heard from friends who gave up (and started again because they got so fat) that your metabolism just grinds to a halt when you stop. I've also heard that this is just a temporary thing and although you do pick up some weight in the beginning, you lose it sooner or later. What is the truth about quitting smoking and putting on weight? And do you have any advice for foods or exercises that will actually increase my metabolism while my body adjusts to the new chemical balance?

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Our expert says:
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Dear C
Firstly congratulations for stopping smoking - this is a great thing you have done and your health will benefit in all respects. What ever you do, do NOT start again because you may have gained a bit of weight. If you reduce your energy intake and do plenty of exercise, then this initial gain will stop and after a short while you will get back to your normal weight. I wrote an article on this important subject recently, so click on 'Diet' at the top of this page and then on 'DietDoc's articles' and do a Search for 'Stopping smoking' to read all the tips for overcoming this temporary problem.
Hang in there

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Our users say:
Posted by: Mike | 2006/11/09

Nicotine contains an appetite suppressant. So that is why people pick up weight after stopping smoking.
Also smoking is a habit, so your hands are used to doing something and i think thats why the other thing you think of is eating. People eat for comfort and out of boredom etc.....
It's great that you are eating better and getting exercise.
Just try and recognise when you are hungry....and try not to eat for any other reason. Also if you feel a little peckish drink a glass of water or milk.
I don't think it will take long before it's outta your system, so hang in there and keep up with the cardio.
I would rather you didn't go back to smoking.
There is also a weight loss forum, so if you need some encouragement you can speak to the people there.

Reply to Mike

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