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

Ximena Jimenez
Nutrition & Dietetics

The majority of people who stop smoking may gain an average of 10 pounds. However, the benefits of quitting are huge. Most of the weight gain happens in the first six months and it is important to plan strategies to cope with possible cravings and increase appetite. 

Stay active, watch less TV and increase your physical activity. You can join a gym or a dance class, start gardening or just walk. Increase your complex carbs: oatmeal, quinoa, rye or wheat products that will help you feel more satisfied and it will help with constipation which could happen after quitting cigarettes. Do not skip or delay meals because that may lead you to overeat or eat junk food.

And don't forget you can visit a registered dietitian for more ideas on how to prevent weight gain after smoking cessation. Visit www.eatright.org.

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

The key to quitting smoking is setting a plan date for your quitting, and with that plan date, start walking 30 additional minutes a day before you quit.  Seven days after you quit, and we recommend walking for 30 days, continuously 30 minutes a day before you quit, but 7 days after you quit, in addition to walking 30 minutes every day, and weight lifting 30 minutes a week, that is 10 minutes 3 times a week to the walking, you find that with the increased exercise you will not gain weight, even though your appetite and taste, and smell for food will return and you will be amazed how good food smells and tastes.  

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.