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Quitting Smoking and Gaining Weight

Recovering from a nicotine addiction and worried about gaining weight? A small gain of 5 to 10 pounds is completely normal within the first few months of cessation. Any more than that and new health problems can arise. Here's how to stay in control:

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Expect to gain a few pounds … but only a few

Remove unhealthy snacks:   Eliminate all of the high calorie, fat and/or sodium snacks from your pantry or office drawer and replace them with healthier versions. When you feel a snack attack coming on, drink a full glass of water and if you are still hungry, reach for these healthier options:

  • Fresh fruit, such as bananas or pears
  • Graham crackers (these are great with soy milk!)
  • Rice or Corn Chex dry cereal
  • Honeycomb dry cereal (for a slightly sweet but low calorie munchie)
  • Mini pretzels

These snack options are all packed with soluble fiber, which helps with the digestion process and keeps you from feeling bloated.

Get out and exercise:   You might be feeling some deprivation after quitting smoking, which can be depressing. To boost your spirits and increase your metabolism at the same time, hit the pavement and/or the weights! Take the dog for a walk, join a gym or invest in some DVD’s that will get you active. Also, check your cable and satellite listings for some motivating and ever-changing exercise shows.

Seek support:   Don’t let your friends talk you into going to your favorite weekly, smoky hangout together. Let your friends and loved ones know that you have quit smoking and ask for their support. More than likely, they will be willing to make subtle changes to accommodate your new healthier lifestyle.