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How to Quit Smoking and Not Gain Weight

How to Ditch Cigarettes Without Gaining Weight

Quitting cigarettes can be tough to endure; nicotine is so addictive. That's why we're thrilled to hear Jennifer Aniston is putting herself on the nonsmoker list. People reports that in a recent press conference Jen said:

"And rumor Number two: no, we're not pregnant. It's just I quit smoking, so I've gained a couple of pounds."

It's common when quitting smoking to put on a little weight since you tend to reach for other things to keep your mouth busy. Cigarettes can also suppress your appetite, and when you give them up, your hunger may increase. If you're a smoker and are worried giving up the habit will cause you to pack on the pounds, here are some tips to help you quit without gaining weight.

  • Tell everyone you're quitting: You need all the support you can get. If everyone close to you knows you want to quit, your friends can help distract you when your cravings strike, and your co-workers will know not to ask you to come out for a cigarette break.
  • Avoid your triggers: Whether it's hitting a nightclub with friends, your morning cup of joe, or driving with the window down — know your triggers and steer clear of locations, food, or people that cause cigarette cravings.
  • Exercise: Studies show that people have an easier time quitting when exercise is part of their cessation plan, because exercise can reduce nicotine cravings. Plus working out burns calories helping prevent weight gain.

Keep reading for more tips to help you quit cigarettes without gaining weight.

  • Go for the gum: Chewing nicotine gum can help you slowly come off your nicotine addiction, and if gum is in your mouth, you won't be tempted to reach for food. Not into nicotine gum? Chewing regular gum can also give your mouth something to do.
  • Prepack healthy snacks: When hunger strikes, you'll need healthy bites you can quickly nosh on so you're less tempted to grab sugary or high calories foods. Keep trail mix, energy bars, cut-up fruit and veggies, or air-popped popcorn in your purse or desk drawer.
  • Enlist the help of technology: Download an app to help you quit. Livestrong MYQuit Coach is free and helps you create a personalized plan according to your needs. There's also Quit It - Stop Smoking ($1), which counts your smoke-free days, keeps track of how much money you've saved, and also the amount of tar you've avoided.
  • Replace smoking with a healthier habit: Every time you crave a cigarette, do something good for your body instead. Drink a glass of water, do 20 push-ups, wash your hands (great for ditching germs), or eat a few carrots.
Image Source: Thinkstock
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adaster adaster 4 years
I also think another group that doesn't even know how to quit is the social smoker who only smokes when they drink. I failed many times at quitting doing this myself. Don't be afraid of the patch, gum and lozenges! Just don't abuse them (i.e. don't use them and smoke anyway). Goodluck!
Susi-May Susi-May 4 years
Way to go amusedd! That's a great success story.
amusedd amusedd 4 years
I would just like to add one thing. I quit smoking 2 years ago. In the first 2 months, I gained 10-12 pounds. It sucked, a lot, BUT I started doing yoga to help me quit, and then once I realized I had gained weight, I started running. I'm now lighter than I was before I quit smoking by about 7-10 pounds, I'm fitter than I've ever been, and I was only heavier for like 3 months. Anyone can weigh an extra 10 pounds for 90 days...it was SO WORTH IT to quit smoking!
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