Dealing with Weight Gain after Quitting | Smokefree.gov

Dealing with Weight Gain after Quitting

While many smokers gain some weight after they quit, it is better for your health if you quit as soon as possible. Once you quit, you can begin to build healthy habits for exercise, nutrition, and—if necessary—weight loss.

How to Control Weight Gain After Quitting

Control your appetite. Smoking cigarettes makes you feel less hungry. When you quit smoking, you might feel hungrier and eat more than you used to eat. Portion control can help you prevent overeating. And make sure you stay hydrated. It will keep you from eating when you are actually thirsty.

Start exercising regularly. Smoking cigarettes increases your metabolism, so you burn more calories. When you stop smoking, you may burn fewer calories, which can lead to weigh gain. Regular exercise can help you continue to burn those calories. Just 10 minutes of exercise a day can make a difference. 
 
Learn how to eat mindfully. Eating can become a substitute for smoking. It doesn’t have to. Learn how to eat mindfully. Mindful eating means preparing, choosing, and eating with awareness. Here are some tips to help you eat healthier and enjoy your food more:
 
• Avoid distractions. Turn off the phone, television, and computer.
• Eat at your dinner table so you can focus on eating.
• Think carefully about your portion sizes. Consider starting with a smaller portion.
• Avoid serving food family style. If you still feel hungry, you will have to get up from the table for seconds. 
• Do a belly check. Are you really hungry or eating for some other reason?
 
Wait 10 minutes before going back for a second helping. You might not want it after all.
Learn to cope with emotions without cigarettes. When you stop smoking, you may want to turn to eating when you feel bad or life is stressful. But you can learn other ways to cope without smoking. 
 
You can take charge of your weight even while quitting smoking. Sign up for HealthyYouTXT, a text messaging service that provides 24/7 encouragement, advice, and tips to help you achieve your health goals. And check out Forever Free for more info about smoking and weight.