The Key Reasons You Gain Weight When You Quit Smoking

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When you quit smoking, weight gain is a major concern.

There is an increase in appetite as the cigarette no longer suppresses your natural hunger cycle.

Despite the weight gain, when you quit smoking, you do your health a  great service.

Even if you feel hungry, avoid binge eating and plan your diet with the right food choices.

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Do we gain weight after we quit smoking? This is one of the most commonly asked questions when one is trying to quit smoking.

For one thing, most of those who quit smoking, experience a sudden weight gain.

This can be alarming at first, but it is not unexpected as your body tries to come back to its normal state. 

What happens when you quit smoking

The chemistry is simple – smoking suppresses one’s appetite and could also augment metabolisms.

That’s because the nicotine in cigarettes speeds up both calorie burning and metabolism.

When one quits smoking, both metabolism and appetite return to normal, leading to bodies burning fewer calories and people tending to binge eat because the body tries to replace cigarettes with high-calorie food cravings.

Once you quit smoking there is an improvement in your sensorial aspects, which means you gain back your food tasting and smelling abilities.

This is good news but can also lead to food cravings and more snacking, thus leading to weight gain.

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What additional nutrients do smokers need? Read this.

The weight you gain when you quit smoking

There is no universal ‘Quit smoking, weight gain’ timeline, but it looks something like this – people usually put on

  • 0.9 kg within 2-3 weeks after quitting,
  • around 1.3-1.5 kg 30 days after quitting,
  • 2-2.5 kg after 60 days of quitting,
  • 2.8-3 kg 90 days after quitting,
  • and could reach as much as 4-4.5 kg between 6 and 12 months of quitting smoking.

Weight gain after quitting smoking largely depends on genes, appetite, activity levels, age, and gender.

According to an M.D. at Harvard University, kicking the habit doesn’t necessarily mean one will put on weight.

According to multiple researches and studies, when one compares weight gain due to quitting smoking vs the health effects of smoking, it’s much better to put on a few pounds, which won’t hurt the health as smoking will.

The research also says that those quitters who face weight gain still are at a 50% lesser risk of heart disease as compared to smokers.

So, one needn’t worry about the post-quitting weight gain activity, even if it lasts for a few years, as long as one understands that their decision to quit smoking will have good lifelong effects on their health.

Check your BMI to know what your ideal weight should be.

Avoid weight gain after you quit smoking why

weight gain
weight gain

This is probably the first question those who plan on quitting smoking ask. The answer is a balance of correct diet and exercise.

1] Exercise:

Including physical activity in one’s daily routine not only helps relieve cravings and withdrawal symptoms but burns calories as well. Fighting cravings can also be done effectively with exercise.

Flag off your after-quitting-smoking regime by engaging in activities that you enjoy in order to get into the mind-frame of exercising regularly. Walking to your destination, taking stairs, etc. also help.

2] Boosting metabolism:

How to boost metabolism after quitting smoking? The answer is by making wise food choices. Try and prepare meals at home rather than having outside.

Include vegetables and fruits in your diet, limit food portions and swear off alcohol and sweets for a while.

Choosing healthy snacking options such as fresh fruit, fat-free yogurt will go a long way in boosting one’s metabolism. Try tea for boosting metabolism.

3] Working with a dietitian:

Personalized weight management support combined with correct exercise and a monitored diet will help people stay away from weight gain after one quits smoking.

4] Other lifestyle habits:

Don’t starve oneself, sleep well and enough, and control one’s drinking – these 3 golden rules will help people stay light on the scales after one quits smoking.

So why put on weight after you stop smoking when you can manage it? Try TruWeight’s weight loss program today.


1] Quit smoking, gain weight: Is it inevitable?

No, weight gain after quitting smoking can be managed and controlled.

Nicotine replacement aids such as patches and lozenges, switching to a healthy diet with fruits, veggies, and unsalted nuts, eating mindfully, sleeping well, controlling your drinking for a while, and exercising – a combination of all of the above will go a long way in helping minimize your weight gain after quitting smoking.

2]  How do I deal with weight gain when I quit smoking?

Take control of your life by incorporating exercise into your life, bit by bit. Change your food habits mindfully – it is difficult, yes, but not impossible. A busy mind and a busy soul will go a long way in helping you deal with possible weight gain after quitting smoking.

3] How to avoid gaining weight when you quit smoking?

Changing lifestyle habits for the better, exercising, boosting your metabolism by eating the correct kinds and amounts of food, talking about your struggle, if any, with a loved one, and sleeping well.

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