One of the reasons that people don’t want to stop smoking is because they are worried about gaining weight. Smoking increases the rate of metabolism so when a person quits, their metabolism slows and they tend to eat a little bit more than they did when they were still smoking. As a result, people will typically gain four to 10 pounds when they quit. When you snack between meals, over the course of time, you can slowly be adding on the pounds. Nicotine is an appetite suppressant, so it reduces these cravings. Smoking also makes people feel good, so that is another reason that people will eat sweet foods such as cookies and cake to replace cigarettes.
If you find yourself craving something sweet to eat, there are healthy alternatives:
• Fruits and vegetables
• Fat free or low fat snacks
• Sugar free candies
Drinking plenty of water and brushing your teeth frequently throughout the day will keep your breath fresh and will take away the urge to smoke.
Try finding alternate activities that will keep you busy so that you won’t have the desire to reach for a cigarette. It might be helpful to go to a movie theater, take a long walk, use the stairs instead of an elevator when possible, read a book and spend time with people who are supportive and who don’t smoke.
Smoking is a leading factor in heart disease, cancer, stroke, and many other illnesses. Speak to your physician to learn about ways to quit and how to manage the changes your body will experience. If you would like to speak with a physician at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-7001 to schedule an appointment.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.