Control weight

While some people gain weight after quitting, there are ways to avoid weight gain and stay smoke-free. Learn what happens to your body after quitting and what you can do to manager your weight.

A common reason that many people return to smoking is fear of gaining weight. But look at quitting as an opportunity to introduce new healthy habits into your daily routine. These can support you in your goal of becoming smoke-free and also help you manage your weight.

If you find that weight gain is setting you back, remember that quitting smoking is a process, and you may need to take stock of what isn’t working, and make adjustments as you move forward.

Why do some people gain weight?

Nicotine keeps you from feeling hungry and smoking dulls your senses of taste and smell. When you quit smoking, your appetite returns at the same time that your taste buds come back. What’s more, nicotine causes your body to burn slightly more calories.

The result is that after quitting, you're hungrier, food tastes better and you don’t burn as many calories. Plus, your body may confuse nicotine cravings for hunger, and you may find yourself snacking on unhealthy foods as a replacement for cigarettes. 

Tips to manage weight after quitting

Control portions

Eating smaller portions can help manage weight and promote overall health and well-being. A few tips for controlling portion sizes include: 

  • use smaller plates for lunch and dinner
  • after finishing a meal, wait 10 minutes before taking that extra helping
  • when dining out, share a meal or order the appetizer instead