Chain smokers and people who have smoked for a long period of time often gain extra pounds after they quit smoking. The average weight gain is between 4.5 and 7 pounds, but a very small percentage of former heavy smokers gain 25 pounds or more! Unfortunately, most of the smokers often use this fact for continuing to smoke. But this weight gain isn't inevitable.
Following are some of the reasons why people gain weight after quitting smoking:
1.Metabolic rate falls:
The nicotine present in the cigarettes raises the metabolic rate of smokers, which increases the rate of calorie burning process(see more on increasing your metabolism). Now when you quit smoking your body metabolism decreases down to a healthy level. It may even slow down more before getting back to normal level. Meanwhile, due to the slow metabolic rate, your body will burn off fewer calories, which causes people to gain weight.
2.Changes in eating habits:
Besides the metabolic reason, another very important reason for increase in weight is due to change in your diet. Studies have shown that after quitting smoking, your appetite increase. People who have just stopped smoking are inclined to eat more because they search for other snacks as a substitute for cigarettes. Studies have also shown that after quitting smoking, your desire for sweet and fatty foods increases, and we all know that these sugary foods are rich in calories, which causes weight gain (see more on Weight Loss Diet).
Another reason for the inclination to eat more is because your senses of taste and smell imporve and then only return to normal. After quitting, studies have also shown that food tastes better.
Most ex-smokers often say that after quitting smoking, they miss the feeling of having something in their mouth. So they start to eat some other snacks which fulfills their requirement. Some smokers keep their hands and mouth busy with objects like straws or toothpicks. While some chew foods like carrots, celery or even sugar-free mints.