By: Jen Johnson – The Biggest Loser Resort

Many choose National No Smoking Day as the big day they rid themselves of their nasty habit. I am not going to go into detail why you should quit smoking, the negative health effects are well documented and the health benefits when stopping are significant. For smokers who are overweight or obese the probability of suffering heart disease, cancer and other diseases is multiplied.

Avoid Weight Gain After Quitting Smoking
Why do people gain weight after quitting smoking?

Your heart and lungs will be thankful when you have kicked the habit, but your waistline may not be as appreciative. A common thread amongst smokers thinking about stopping is the concern about weight gain (also used as an excuse to delay quitting), some people do put on some extra pounds but some don’t.

Nicotine is an appetite suppressant that raises the body’s metabolic rate increasing the number of calories burnt. When you are nicotine free, your metabolism normalizes to a healthy level so the metabolic slowdown results in burning fewer calories than previously when smoking. Your appetite is no longer suppressed so inevitably your eating habits will change, people get more hunger pangs and often consume candy or other sugary snacks. Your senses of taste and smell will get a new lease of life so food tastes so much better-increasing the tendency to overeat. The intensity of Nicotine cravings will vary but irritability and feeling stressed are common, with many turning to food for comfort.

Avoid Weight Gain After Quitting Smoking
Here are some useful tips to avoid weight gain after quitting smoking.

Eat When Hungry and Eat Right: Your healthier appetite will make you feel the need to eat more and often. Eat a balanced breakfast consisting of fiber, slow releasing carbohydrates and protein. A good breakfast will keep you going and will stop you overeating at lunch time. Do not eat for the sake of it, avoid sugary snacks and substitute for healthier alternatives such as fruit, vegetables and nuts.

Exercise: After quitting you will feel a surge in energy levels, your cardiovascular capacity will improve and you will breathe more freely without coughing or wheezing. It is important to get moving, if you have not exercised for a period of time, start slowly and make small daily changes. We recommend you don’t go crazy and attempt a marathon on your first day and start off with a walk after dinner. The increased activity will burn calories and your body will produce endorphins that will leave you feeling good and less stressed.

Drink More Water: Water can help reduce the intensity of Nicotine cravings and will keep you hydrated. The additional fluid you consume will leave you feeling fuller, reducing the propensity to overeat.

Cut Alcohol Consumption: The association between drinking alcohol and smoking are very closely linked. The effects of alcohol may weaken your willpower and jeopardize your attempt to quit, also alcoholic drinks are high in calories.

Consult a Doctor / Dietician: If you are a heavy smoker and obese talk to your doctor about receiving personalized weight management support from a dietitian.

The Biggest Loser Resort program has been developed as a modified elimination & gentle detox to rid the body of toxins such a nicotine and caffeine. These substances have an impact on metabolism so it is important that we help our guests rid them from their bodies so they can achieve the best possible results.

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