Why is there weight gain with smoking cessation?
According to medical research there are a few physiological effects from nicotine cessation that are responsible for weight gain. One proven theory supports that people gain weight when they stop smoking because they begin to crave carbohydrates. And we all are aware or should at least be aware of the fact that carbohydrates are not just responsible for us gaining weight but are also responsible for us keeping the weight on that we gain. This explains why low carb diets produce a large amount of weight loss quickly. Another proven theory is that nicotine is actually an appetite suppressant and increases an individual’s metabolism. Nicotine may very well be an anoretic but smokers have a tendency to replace a meal with a cigarette. After all it takes much less time to smoke a cigarette than it does to eat a meal. And many people who smoke are also people who are fixated orally. With that being said, if someone is not putting a cigarette in their mouth they substitute that with putting something else in their mouth; food instead. Also, it has been determined that foods taste so much better without nicotine because nicotine numbs taste buds; actually overriding the taste of many foods. So when people stop smoking their appetite increases, significantly.
Yes, there are many theories when it comes to understanding why people gain weight when they stop smoking and most of the theories have a high probability of being accurate. However, when someone stops smoking the average weight gain is approximately 5-10 lbs at the most. This weight gain happens early on in smoking cessation during the time someone is withdrawing from nicotine. And believe it or not, anything more than a 10 pound weight gain is not to be blamed on smoking cessation alone; many other factors play a part.
Is this weight gain inevitable?
Gaining weight with smoking cessation is common but it isn’t inevitable. To avoid weight gain when you quit smoking, you must make diet and exercise significant parts of your stop smoking plan. Smoking cessation therapies and programs are very helpful with the withdrawal process stage; the stage when most weight is gained. There are also several online websites that have been specifically designed to assist individuals in the process of quitting smoking. Last, but not least, please seek professional assistance from your PCP (primary care physician) for the guidance and support you will need with the entire quitting process.
Weighing the odds…….
Many people believe that nicotine is associated with a chronic lung disease called emphysema or associated with only one cancer, lung cancer. However, on the contrary nicotine is linked to other Cancers, such as cancer of the bladder, cervix, kidney, pancreas, and stomach. Nicotine is also associated with leukemia. This association is due to the fact that cigarettes contain an organic chemical called “benzene”, which causes leukemia. So it is safe to say that cigarettes contain nicotine and therefore are detrimental to your health. Once inhaled, the toxic effects of nicotine flow throughout the bloodstream, and from the bloodstream throughout the entire body, damaging to major organs.
According to recent medical research studies on the detrimental effects of nicotine, someone would need to gain more than 100 pounds after quitting smoking before they even start to diminish the benefits smoking cessation provides for their health. That alone says quite a bit about the damaging effects from nicotine. Remember, cigarette smoke kills approximately 400,000 people every year in the United States, and 50,000 non-smokers die yearly from second-hand smoke. Don’t let the fear of gaining weight stop you from kicking the nicotine habit! It is time for you to “Step on it!” In fact, the time for you to Step on your cigarette for the last time to put out your addiction is no better time than now!