Tips to Prevent Smoking Cessation-Related Weight Gain

Tips to Prevent Smoking Cessation-Related Weight Gain

The benefits that smoking cessation delivers are irrefutable. Kicking one’s cigarette habit can help reduce risks for noncommunicable illnesses such as cancer and cardiovascular and heart diseases. However, a quit attempt is rarely, if at all, done with ease. Concerningly, a study by the Environmental Research and Public Health explains that the potential weight gain caused by smoking cessation can discourage attempts to quit. The study reveals that quitters can increase their body weight by a mean of 2.8 kg among men and 3.8 kg among women.

Now, if you’re a smoker who wants to quit, don’t be deterred by the possible changes that quitting will have on your weight. Below, this article has listed four ways to overcome smoking cessation-related weight gain.

1. Adopt healthier eating habits

It isn’t atypical for quitters to struggle with stress eating amidst pesky tobacco cravings. According to a Drug Alcohol Depend report, the intake of high caloric foods is heightened during abstinence from cigarettes. In fact, quitters can consume up to 300 kcal per day after smoking cessation. This reality underscores the importance of adopting healthier eating habits, specifically managing your portion size.

Our post ‘Weight Loss Hacks: The Raisin Trick and Other Surprising, Effective Weight Loss Techniques’ explains that learning about portion control allows you to prioritize nutrient-rich foods and limit your intake of processed snacks. To do so, ensure that you’re consuming balanced meals that are low in fat and have a generous amount of veggies. It’s also recommended that you substitute simple carbs like bread and pasta for healthy grains such as brown rice and oats. By consuming the right portions, you can impede any weight gain caused by smoking cessation.

2. Use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products

NRT products like nicotine pouches and nicotine patches allow quitters to mitigate withdrawal symptoms like increased appetite and irritability. This is reinforced by a 2020 National Library of Medicine article on post-cessation weight gain and eating behavior changes, which explained that taking NRTs was associated with less weight gain.

Now, nicotine pouches are tobacco-free products that are typically placed in between the cheeks for a kick of nicotine. Rogue nicotine pouches that are featured heavily on the ecommerce site Prilla are made with clean, sugar-free ingredients, which will help aid with both smoking cessation and weight loss. These products are also available in various strengths and flavors that can help provide you with a more pleasurable quit experience. On the other hand, nicotine patches are inconspicuous self-adhesive patches that provide a steady stream of nicotine throughout the day. The ones from Habitrol come in different doses, specifically 7mg, 14mg, and 21 mg. Ideally, the patch strength you start with should correspond to your daily nicotine intake. Ultimately, one great advantage of NRT products is that they aren’t meant to be consumed, so using them won’t cause unnecessary weight gain.

3. Opt for sugar-free gum

Chewing gum is believed to be an effective way to keep cigarette withdrawal at bay. This is because it imitates the act of smoking and helps distract you from tobacco cravings.

That said, chewing gum contains an average of 11 calories per 3g of serving and is high in sugar, making it detrimental if you want to address smoking cessation-related weight gain. As such, opt for sugar-free gum. A 2022 Health Shots article titled ‘Can chewing gum result in weight loss?’ highlights that each piece of sugarless gum contains less than five calories. In addition, products such as Spry Chewing gum are created with xylitol, a natural sweetener derived from fibrous plants, which can prevent tooth decay and cavities while helping you stay on track of your weight management goals.

4. Be diligent about your exercise routine

According to a 2022 Jama Network study on maintaining a healthy lifestyle after quitting smoking, although weight gain after smoking cessation is a contributing factor for relapse, exercise interventions are beneficial in sustaining tobacco abstinence.

Of course, be mindful of choosing a workout that you enjoy so you can stick to it regularly. If you prefer being outdoors, then aerobic exercises such as walking and cycling are a great way to burn calories and rebuild your lung capacity, which may have been damaged by smoking. If you’re more interested in home workouts, you can do strength training exercises like deadlifts, push-ups, and squats to increase your fat loss rate and boost your endurance. By maintaining a regular exercise routine, you can circumvent weight gain caused by your quit attempt.

By following the tips above, you can impede risks of weight gain and better adhere to your smoking cessation plan.

Rubal is a dynamic and talented entertainment writer, passionate about all things pop culture. From celebrity gossip to film and television reviews, his writing is always engaging and informative. In addition to his work as an entertainment writer, he is a fitness freak and an optimistic guy. You can find him working out at the gym and listening to his favorite songs when he's not busy writing.