Warning: Quitting Smoking May Cause Weight Gain

Although quitting smoking frees people from cigarettes, many people gain weight…lots of weight sometimes.

Quitting smoking is a smoker’s greatest liberation. Kicking the habit can take years and overcoming the huge challenge is part of what makes being released from nicotine bondage feel so good. No more worrying about cancer, heart disease and an early death from the countless other diseases people acquire from cigarette smoking.

I have been a smoker for seven years. At my worst, I smoked a pack and a half of cigarettes per day. I did not know I was addicted to smoking until I began trying to quit cold turkey three weeks ago. Since then I have chewed on straws, bitten my nails and fidgeted a lot. I have also inhaled food like a vacuum. I went from having three small meals a day to eating everything in site all day long. In three weeks, I have gained nine pounds.

Weight gain is one of the many reasons why people have a hard time quitting smoking, especially women. A female friend of mine said weight gain is the very reason she has not attempted to quit because she’s struggled with her weight all her life that she would rather risk cancer than be fat.

According to the Mayo Clinic, most people typically gain between 5 to 10 pounds. within the first three weeks of quitting. The myth is that there is constant weight gain. However, once the first couple of weeks are in the can, the urge of the oral fixation of smoking dies down and so does weight gain.

The reason why so many people gain weight while quitting smoking is that nicotine is an appetite suppressant. Nicotine slightly increases metabolism and assists in burning calories. When people quit smoking, their appetite and metabolism return to normal, which may leads to weight gain. Also, people’s ability to smell and taste food improves during this process, making food more appealing.

Quitting something you like to do really sucks. The truth is, I did not quit smoking because I wanted to improve my health. I decided to quit on a bet with my boyfriend and since I hate when he is right, I will just have to suffer.

Even though quitting often means weight gain, exercising seems like not too hard a task to incorporate into one’s life. Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Human Health and Service’s Weight-Control Information Network advises that people not try to lose the weight while quitting smoking because it will lead to smoking relapse. Although doing both things at the same time would be the ideal, I suppose I will have to suppress my vanity. I guess I’d rather be chubby than have cancer.