Quit Smoking Without Gaining Weight- Yes You Can!

By Susanna Sweeney, MSC, MBACP, CHT

You are asking yourself if you could quit smoking without gaining weight. Let me guess.

quit smoking without gaining weight

Like many smokers, you may have kept on smoking in an attempt to control your weight. And now that you want to quit smoking, you want to know if you can quit smoking without putting on an extra few pounds. Am I right? If so:

In principle, the answer is: Yes you can.

First, let me explain what I mean by ‘in principle’. And after that, allow me to talk you through habits to avoid, followed by habits to adopt to support you in the process.

So, what do I mean when I say that ‘in principle' you can.

Either you do, or you don’t quit smoking without gaining weight- right?

Well, not quite.  Think about it, you are facing a double challenge here. You want to quit smoking (number one), plus you are concerned about gaining weight (number two).

When you are looking to make big changes in your life, it’s very easy to overload your system with too many demands at once. My advice is to take it step by step. And to be mindful of your priorities as well as your perspective in how you look at these two challenges. Getting the mindset right will go a long way to helping you succeed.

Let me explain what I mean by getting your priorities and perspective right.

First Things First- Quitting is Your Number one Priority

Let’s get this straight right at the start. Smoking is so damaging to your health that it is not a viable tool for managing your weight. Sorry for bursting that bubble.

In fact, smoking holds no benefit whatsoever. All it will do is spoil your looks, drain your finances, make you age prematurely and make you very, very ill.

You may not have any smoking related health issues yet. If so, take it as a blessing. In time, the health hazards of smoking would inevitably take their terrible toll. So, it’s the perfect time for you to quit, and you have made the right decision. You are putting the focus on your health. Well done!

The Best Method to Quit Smoking

If you haven't quit cigarettes yet, before you can even think about how to quit smoking without gaining weight, first do your research on the best method to quit smoking for you. There are a good few things to consider, such as:

  • Is a medical approach important to you?
  • Do you want to go the natural route?
  • What is the cost of your favored quit smoking methods?
  • which quit smoking techniques have you tried before and how did they work for you?
  • Do you want to try something new?
  • Is ongoing support during the quitting process important to you?
  • Do you want to get rid of any and all substances when quitting, i.e. exclude quit products such as e-cigarettes?

One Method to Quit Smoking and to Lose Weight is Hypnosis

Wait, Isn't Hypnosis just a big Gimmick?

best free stop smoking hypnosis

What is Stop Smoking Hypnosis?

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Can't see Yourself Attending a Quit Smoking Hypnotist? How About Self Hypnosis

Weight Loss Hypnosis

  • Once you have quit smoking and are settled and comfortable with this big change in your life, you might want to consider weight loss hypnosis.

quit smoking without gaining weight

Change Your Perspective on the Idea of Some Weight Gain

Because quitting smoking is so important, is your number one priority, I will advise you to change your perspective on weight gain a small bit here. It’s important not to obsess over a few pounds, especially in the first few weeks. I am serious! Bear with me and I will explain why.

But first, to finish my point on mindset. My advice is to approach the two challenges you are facing, to quit smoking without gaining weight, by focusing on your health. Zoom in on your health. Let every decision you make, and everything you do be determined by what is best for your health.

As you will see further down in this article, if you keep the focus on your health, a lot of stuff will fall into place for you. Decisions will become easier to make. Your overall goal will be clearly spelled out. With a focus on your health, ultimately, it will be so much easier for you to succeed with both challenges, all in good time.

Let me explain. In the next paragraph I will clarify why some early weight gain is likely to happen when you quit smoking, and how to deal with that so you can ultimately quit smoking without gaining weight.

Why Some Weight Gain can Happen After You Quit Smoking

Early weight gain is a sign that your body is healing!

You may have tried to quit before and gone back to smoking because you put on a couple of pounds in the first week after quitting. Let me explain to you what happened there.

The moment you stop putting around 400 dangerous toxic chemicals into your body with every puff of cigarette smoke, your body started healing. You will have noticed feeling calmer and less stressed after quitting. You will have noticed the smoker’s cough easing off, and breathing becoming easier, along with many other health benefits of quitting smoking.

Alongside those developments, also, your metabolism slowed down a little after you quit smoking. When your metabolism slows down, you don’t burn as many calories as you did before. And when the calories are not burnt, they will lead to putting on a small bit of weight.

Alongside this, you are no longer taking in toxic nicotine. One of the side effects of nicotine is that it suppresses your appetite. So, after quitting, you will have a healthy appetite once more.

These are three major reasons why weight gain happens when you quit smoking.

But, I would encourage you to change your perspective on this weight gain.

Is it really all bad?

Think about it.Try looking at this as a positive thing. Read on for some suggestions as to how to change your perspective here.

I have said it before and I will say it again, right now your main focus should be on quitting smoking. Get that right first.

Along with that, develop healthy habits, including healthy eating, and things will fall into place for you. Further down the page you will find practical advice on habits to avoid and habits to nurture so that you can quit smoking without gaining weight, in the medium term.

The Correct Mindset for Dealing With Early Weight Gain After you Quit Smoking

Know this: You might gain a few pounds in the first couple of months, but things will even off as you find your balance.

In the early days, changes in your body will occur rapidly. Then, the rate of change will slow down.

It’s really important not to obsess over this phenomenon of early weight gain. I would even say to put the scales away altogether for a few weeks initially. Just trust your body to find its equilibrium as you are going along making health focused decisions the whole way.

Think about early weight gain this way:

  • Your looks will improve dramatically after you give up smoking.
  • Your eyes will look bright, your skin can glow once more, your teeth will shine.
  • No more tobacco taste and smell. Enjoy those benefits that you will start noticing within a few days after you quit cigarettes or tobacco.
  • Trust me- others will see only that: your new, natural good looks. Most won’t even notice the couple of pounds extra.
  • Ladies- your partner may even compliment you on a few extra curves. Clients often report that!

Reality is that a small bit of weight gain will in no way impact negatively on your health. You would have to put on a very large amount, 100 pounds or more to start reproducing even some of the negative health impact associated with smoking.

Habits and Foods to Avoid so you can Quit Smoking Without Gaining Weight

With the focus on your health, keep away from replacing smoking addiction with sugar addiction. Some people drift towards eating chocolate or snack bars when they feel cigarette cravings. If this is you, be gentle with yourself and at the same time, steer away from sweets and sugary foods. Like smoking, they have no benefit to offer you. Read further down the page for healthy habits to adopt instead.

Some people start overeating after they quit smoking, choosing junk foods such as deep fried and starchy foods. If you find yourself making this mistake, be gentle with yourself. There is no point in harboring harsh feelings (e.g. ‘I did wrong.’) or defeatist feelings ( e.g. ‘I’ll never get it right.’).

They will work against you. Instead, recognize and acknowledge what has happened. At least you didn’t go back smoking! Be gentle on yourself. Then, start making different, healthy choices about your nutrition. Move on and act as if the glitch never happened. Get back to your plan to quit smoking without losing weight.

Foods to avoid as much as possible:

  • Avoid or reduce soda drinks containing sugar. These are empty calories you can do without at this time.
  • Avoid sugary foods, such as chocolate bars, sweets and sweet bakery goods.
  • Avoid or reduce alcoholic drinks at this time, especially those with added sugar. But even beer, wine and spirits have many unhelpful, empty calories.
  • Avoid or reduce junk foods, such as deep-fried foods.

Following these four suggestions alone will go a very long way to helping you stabilize your weight.

It will take some determination to introduce healthy habits that help you quit smoking without gaining weight, but I believe you can do this.

Giving up tobacco requires huge determination. Smoking addiction is one of the most difficult addictions to break and you have done it. The reality is, once you have quit smoking, you can do anything!

quit smoking without gaining weight

Healthy Habits to Nurture so you can Quit Smoking Without Gaining Weight

Now that you put the focus in your life on your health, let’s keep it that way. Make healthy decisions in relation to everything you do. Here are some things you can start doing so you can quit smoking without gaining weight in the medium term.

A healthy attitude to adopt: Trust your body to find its own natural shape and size.  Support this with healthy eating habits.

Healthy habits to nurture:

  • Be clear that your focus is to stabilize your weight and to minimize weight gain while staying off cigarettes and tobacco. A weight loss program is best left for another time, when you have settled into your new life as a happy healthy non-smoker.
  • Take up a new hobby, or an old one you had almost forgotten about. This is a useful strategy for occupying your mind in the early days so you can avoid obsessing with the idea that you might be putting on weight.
  • Write healthy, weight related affirmations for yourself, and recite these to yourself daily.
  • Hypnosis or self hypnosis for smoking can be very helpful to quit smoking without gaining weight.

Healthy Activities That Help You Quit Smoking Without Gaining Weight

  • Replace the smoking habit with healthy activities such as walking, running, swimming. Exercise will help you feel good as well as support you to quit smoking without gaining weight.
  • Keep busy. Take up a new hobby or an old one you had almost forgotten about. Being busy will stop you from thinking about food and weight too much.
  • Your hands may be looking for something to do when you give up cigarettes. Try taking up knitting, crocheting, or doodling in a small sketchbook. Some people find fiddling toys helpful for keeping the hands occupied, for example a small fidget spinner. Keeping hands occupied can help stop the habitual reaching for food.

Healthy Nutrition That can Help You Quit Smoking Without Gaining Weight

  • Planning is key: Plan ahead of time what you are going to eat. Getting caught by hunger by surprise can lead to making bad choices around food.
  • If you find it difficult to identify the right nutrition for you, consider getting advice from a nutritionist.
  • If you experience more appetite after you quit smoking, this is a natural part of the healing process, too. Prepare for that by always having healthy snacks ready.

The first couple of months after you quit smoking are not a good time to make major nutritional changes, such as going vegetarian or vegan. When I mention fruit, veg, nuts and seeds, I am suggesting you include them into your diet, not to replace any other foods, but to add valuable nutrition which is easy on calories.

Healthy foods to focus on:

  • Start making juices or vegan smoothies. Have a juice or smoothie once or twice a day. They are packed with nutrition and will help you stabilize your weight. Smoothies and juices can even help you overcome nicotine cravings if you make them in response to a craving and sip them until the craving passes.
  • Drink plenty of fresh, alkaline water to help you shed toxins from your body. Water is your best friend when you want to quit smoking without gaining weight as it helps your body to eliminate fat.
  • Introduce plenty of fresh fruit and veg into your diet, both cooked and raw. Raw fruit and veg can be cut into finger food, and made into salads.
  • Introduce nuts, seeds and berries. Again, this healthy nutrition helps stabilize your body weight.

quit smoking without gaining weight

Tips for when you are out and about:

  • Always carry a bottle of water with you.
  • Here is a handy snack that will fit in any handbag or jacket pocket. Prepare a mix of your favorite nuts, seeds, raisins and dried berries. You can carry them in a small Tupperware box in your handbag. A handful of this mix will settle hunger pangs. So healthy and nutritious, too.

Apply the 80/20 Rule

All in all, I will suggest you apply the 80/20 rule. The 80/20 rule states that, typically, 80% of your results come from only 20% of your effort.

So when you want to quit smoking without gaining weight, think ahead to quit day and the days after. You know yourself best.

What will the big offenders be for you that may prompt weight gain? We are looking for the top 20 % of offenders here, the ones that cause most of the damage. These could be habits, or they could be foods.

Make a list, then make a plan for how to deal with those big offenders. That alone will go a long way to helping you quit smoking without losing weight. Combine this with trusting your body to find its equilibrium.

Following the 80/20 rule will allow you to have a life while you quit smoking without gaining weight. And having a life is what it’s all about in the end, isn’t it?

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I hope you have found this article helpful and are clearer now on what you can do to quit smoking without gaining weight. Here is to your success with smoking cessation!

In the comments underneath, let our community know how you are getting on.



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