Four out of five ex-smokers gain weight shortly after quitting cigarettes, according to tobacco research and the Research and Prevention Program at the University of South Florida's H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute (University of South Florida, cancer center and research institute). The health benefits of living tobacco-free compensates for the discomfort of extra kilos, and the increase does not have to be permanent.
The H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute (H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute) explains that smokers usually gain weight during the first six months of quitting. The average weight gain is four to 10 pounds. People who were heavy smokers generally gain more weight than those who smoked a moderate amount. Many begin to lose extra pounds after six months.
Smokers who quit smoking usually gain a few pounds due to changes in metabolism. The H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and the Research Institute reports that the nicotine in cigarettes increases a person's metabolic rate and increases the speed at which calories are burned. A smoker's heart often beats 10 to 20 times more per minute compared to a non-smoker. The body's metabolic rate returns to normal when smoking is stopped, which means that fewer calories are used. Excesses can be converted into fat, depending on the person's diet and activity level.
Smokers often experience an increase in appetite soon after quitting. This effect usually persists longer than other withdrawal symptoms, according to the Cancer Center H. Lee Moffitt and the Research Institute, which means a potential increase in the consumption of snacks and weight. People like the feeling of having something in their mouths as a cigarette replacement.
The H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and the Research Institute explain that smokers can compensate for potential weight gain with a healthy plan to quit smoking. A slower metabolism increases with exercise, and consuming fewer calories means less chance of gaining extra pounds. Former smokers can reduce the consumption of fatty and sweet foods and focus on fruits, vegetables, lean meats, beans and whole grains instead. Dr. Rosenow recommends the use of sugar-free gum, vegetable sticks or flavored toothpicks as substitutes for cigarettes.
Smokers are sometimes discouraged by weight gain and start using cigarettes again.The H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and the Research Institute cautions against doing this because tobacco is often much worse for health, than being overweight. A pack of cigarettes smoked in a day puts as much pressure on the heart as 90 pounds of overweight, explains the Center.