Earlier, it was known that smoking cigarettes can cause lung cancer. However, it a less known fact that smoking also affects various other organs and is responsible for conditions such as erectile dysfunction, type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, fractures, blindness, fertility issues, gum diseases, and many more.
Smoking may also have another effect on us. Scientists have found that nicotine acts on the same part of the brain that suppresses appetite, which causes reduced hunger and, in some people, weight loss.
What happens when you quit smoking?
Smoking causes chronic health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, cancer and respiratory diseases and reduces the life expectancy of a smoker by 10 years compared to that of a nonsmoker.
Quitting smoking can lead to the following benefits:
- The risk of a stroke decreases to almost that of a non-smoker two to five years after quitting.
- In a year of quitting, the risk of a heart attack greatly reduces.
- In ten years of quitting, the risk of dying due to lung cancer becomes half.
- Within five years of quitting, the risk of throat, mouth, bladder and esophageal cancers become half.
Why do people gain weight on quitting smoking?
Some of the reasons individuals gain weight when they quit smoking are the effects of nicotine withdrawal and snacking whenever they feel the urge to smoke:
Cigarettes suppress your hunger; when you quit smoking, you feel hungrier.
The nicotine in cigarettes increases your metabolism. On quitting, your body’s metabolism rate decreases, burning fewer calories.
Sometimes, if you try to satisfy the craving to smoke with snacking, it can lead to weight gain.
How to not gain weight when you quit smoking?
If you have decided to quit smoking, here are some tips to not gain weight once you have quit:
- Eat sugar-free gum: This is the best way to keep the calories off. It keeps the mouth working without exposing your teeth to any sugar.
- Maintain an active life: Exercise burns calories and keeps you off unhealthy snacking habits and smoking. If you exercised before quitting, increase the intensity or duration of your workout after quitting.
- Do not allow yourself to go hungry for long intervals: Do not stay hungry for long as you will be unable to control yourself when you eat next. Pick food that can keep you full for longer. High fiber foods are a good choice.
- Buy healthy groceries: Buy healthy foods, like vegetables, fruits and low-fat products that do not cause weight gain and finger foods like baby carrots, apples and unsalted nuts to munch on for when you get hungry.
- Sleep well: If you are unable to sleep properly, chances are, you will gain weight.
The risks of smoking far outweigh the benefits of any weight loss you may experience. Do not worry too much if you gain some weight when you quit smoking as most people who quit smoking gain only a modest amount of weight. Focus on improving your diet and increasing your exercises instead.
There are more tips here should you wish to read them here - https://heartsense.in/10-ways-to-quit-smoking/