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Stoptober: How Smoking Affects Weight Gain

Medically reviewed by

Prof Rishi Singhal MBBS, MRCS, FRCS, MD

If you’re trying to stop smoking, there’s never been a better time to quit!

As Stoptober has officially begun, one of the most rewarding things you can do for your body is to quit smoking.

According to research, people who quit for 28 days are five times more likely to stop permanently. The problem is that when you finally put down your last cigarette you can expect your weight to increase dramatically – though it’s a very widespread issue.

There are a few reasons why people tend to put on weight once they give up smoking: 

The Nicotine Effect:

Nicotine is the addictive substance in tobacco smoke and speeds up the body’s metabolism. Your metabolic state slows down when people quit smoking which means they don’t burn as many calories as before. 

Better Taste = More Food:

People’s eating habits change when they quit cigarettes and have increased hunger as a form of withdrawal symptom. A sense of taste and smell improve, you’ll probably eat more food!

Cravings & Hand-to-Mouth Replacement:

Ex-smokers often mistake the urge to smoke for being hungry and will more than likely pick up a snack to replace the feel of the cigarette to distract themselves.

So, how do you lose weight after smoking?

Don’t be ashamed if you gain some weight when you quit smoking – it’s pretty normal! Here are a few natural methods to slow or stop it from happening altogether! 

1. Eat as Healthy as Possible

As cigarettes take away hunger, you’ll naturally want to eat more when you quit. By planning your meals, controlling portion sizes, and eating your 5-a-day, you’ll minimise the risk of overeating. 

2. Exercise More Often

If you’re going to replace smoking with anything, it might as well be exercise! To keep the weight off, you’ll need time to work out to keep your metabolism going strong.

3. Keep Healthy Snacks Nearby

Always keep some healthy snacks on hand if you start feeling withdrawal symptoms or hunger pangs. Fruit and nuts make a great combination!


Don’t beat yourself up if you begin gaining weight.

After all, you’re already a lot healthier by stopping in the first place! Just focus on living a more active, healthier lifestyle for the best results.

If it’s a Diet Review, you’re looking for or need weight loss injections we have a programme for you!

Book your consultation today by calling us on 0800 531 6703 or emailing at enquiries@weightlossclinic.co.uk

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