Quitting smoking can be the first step in making a change to a healthier lifestyle and avoiding future health problems. However, those who choose not to use it again may experience weight gain during this process.
Quitting tobacco is a complex task for those who have smoked for years. Because tobacco is a plant that stimulates the central nervous system, it is a highly addictive product that contains additives that can harm your health if consumed in excess.
However, people who stop taking this product may experience a series of changes in their bodies. weight gain .
According to the online medical encyclopedia medline plus“On average, people gain 5 to 10 pounds (2.25 to 4.5 kilograms) in a few months after quitting smoking.”
In this line Dr. Carlos Jimenez a pulmonologist and president of the Spanish Society of Thoracic and Thoracic Surgery (Separ), told the portal take care plus About 80% of people who never smoke again gain 3-4 kilos in the first 6 months.
Similarly “About 20% gain 5 kg or more, while 20% tend to lose weight during this period.” Jimenez explained.
Effects of nicotine on the body
There may be many different factors that influence this weight gain, but in most cases: nicotine addictive substances contained in tobacco.
Among the effects that this compound produces in the body include accelerating the metabolism of the food ingested by the average smoker.
“Nicotine increases the calories your body burns at rest by about 7% to 15%. If you don’t smoke, your body can slowly burn food,” explained MedlinePlus.
But not only does it affect your metabolism, it also causes anorexia.a study A paper published by the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain) states that the substance may suppress appetite and lead to weight loss in smokers.
Studies suggest that this lack of urge to eat is related to the enzyme AMPK, which is important for fat metabolism and is affected by nicotine.
Because cigarettes are an addictive and habit-forming product over time, quitting can cause hunger and weight changes in some people, causing a “withdrawal” state.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says, “It’s normal to have a slight increase in appetite when you quit smoking. Also, your body may not burn calories as quickly.”
“You can also eat more because of the stress of quitting smoking or having something to do with your hands or mouth. ,” said the CDC.
In this sense, Dr. Jiménez says you need to consider that quitting smoking “decreases your ability to break down fat and increases your appetite.” “Smokers are used to oral rewards, so it’s common to turn cigarettes into food,” he said.
What should I do to maintain a healthy weight?
Quitting tobacco is an important step in improving your quality of life.
According to World Health Organization data (WHO), not smoking can slow your heart rate and lower your blood pressure. Likewise, it improves blood circulation, lung function, and prevents heart disease and cancer risk.
People may experience slight weight gain, but maintaining a balanced diet and exercising regularly can lead to a healthy lifestyle.
Similarly, establishing a proper sleep routine, staying properly hydrated, and controlling alcohol consumption may contribute to metabolism in people who quit smoking.
If you experience any health problems related to sudden changes in weight or excessive tobacco consumption, it is recommended that you visit a professional for a preventive health check-up to rule out the disease.