Won't Quitting Make Me Fat?

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Won't Quitting Make Me Fat?

Tobacco Cessation
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The Great American Smokeout
Won't Quitting Make Me Fat?
Won't Quitting Make Me Fat?
htmSmokeOutFat
It's true that many smokers gain weight after quitting, but the weight gain is usually mild, nine to 11 pounds on average.
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InteliHealth
2009-03-23
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InteliHealth Medical Content
2001-03-23

Reviewed by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School

Won't Quitting Make Me Fat?

It's true that many smokers gain weight after quitting, even if they don't actually eat any more than before. But the weight gain is usually mild, 9 to 11 pounds on average. Weight gain is most noticeable in the first year after you quit. Typically, weight gain slowly tapers off during the next several years after you quit smoking.

A lot of people are concerned about putting on those extra pounds. Past surveys indicate that about 75% of women and 35% of men said they would be unwilling to gain more than 5 pounds if they quit smoking. Anyone who avoids quitting because of worry about weight gain is making a bad health decision. Although weight gain is problematic, continued smoking is much more harmful to your body than is this amount of added weight.

Three important points to keep you focused:

  • You shouldn't let weight gain be an excuse not to quit or to relapse once you have quit.
  • You can take the weight off, but experts recommend holding off on your dieting until after you have safely conquered smoking.
  • You can keep the post-cessation poundage to a minimum with brisk walking, a great form of exercise that takes no special equipment.

Whatever form of exercise you choose, it will take your mind off your craving and will help alleviate the depression that many smokers feel after they quit. Click here for more information on exercise and weight loss.

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Last updated June 03, 2014


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