You’ve finally decided to nip your smoking habit in the bud and you’re succeeding; but, you’ve noticed that the scale is budging – in the wrong direction. Why is that?
“Typically, when you’re smoking about two packs a day, you’re burning about 200 calories per day. That’s mostly from the nicotine,” Catherine Linn, MA, a pre-doctoral psychology trainee at Bethesda Family Practice, explains.
Weight Gain During Smoking Cessation: How Can I Combat it?
Catherine, who leads a smoking cessation program at TriHealth, says a 3- to 5-pound weight gain is pretty typical when people are in the middle of smoking cessation.
Therefore, she suggests incorporating exercise into your life right away. Even a simple 20- or 30 minute-walk every day can combat weight gain.
On the other hand, many people may fall into a habit of mindless eating, as a way to keep their hands or mouths occupied in the absence of cigarettes. For this reason, Catherine teaches her smoking cessation participants skills for mindful eating and how to shop for healthier foods at the grocery store. She also teaches ways to cope with stress from a nicotine withdrawal by engaging in healthy activities, like meditation or yoga.