By Sherali S. Bharwani

It’s a very common observation that people gain weight after giving up smoking. Generally speaking, that happens due to 2 major reasons:

  • Your body burns about 10% more calories per day when you smoke. So when you give up smoking, you burn 10% less calories per day.

  • Food usually tastes better when you stop smoking, so you eat a little more. 

So what do you do? Don’t quite smoking? Let me tell you why your body burns more calories when you smoke. One quick trick to keeping off the weight (and building lean muscle mass) is wearing around weighted clothes or a weighted vest. Some of these are small enough to be concealed under clothing. But every step you take with these on, you burn that much more calories. Think about it, over the long term, you will burn 1000s extra. That little bit will help you keep the weight off.

Smoking adds significant STRESS to your system. In response, your body burns about 10% more calories per day resisting the toxic effect of smoking. A similar toxic response is seen when ingesting large amounts of caffeine, high-protein diets, and other drugs and supplements.

Interestingly (and sadly), a recent survey showed that 40% of young women listed ‘weight control’ as primary or secondary reason for taking up smoking!

Come on! There are hundreds of ways you can burn more calories per day apart from putting your body (and life) under stress, wasting your energy and sacrificing your health. 

Tell me.. If I told you that you’re 20 pounds overweight and you can get rid of that excess weight by cutting off your left hand. Would you go for it? If you are shocked to hear the question, excuse me. But very frankly, in my opinion, taking up smoking to lose weight is just as absurd!

Now let me tell you how to avoid gaining extra pounds after giving up smoking. It’s pretty simple. You just have to readjust your calorie intake to match the 10% reduction in your calorie output. 

Additionally, as I said, food usually tastes better when you stop smoking which is a good thing NOT a bad thing. But be sure to be sensible and make intelligent food selections and satisfy your hunger with nutritional food, not empty calorie food. Otherwise, what’s the use substituting one unhealthy habit (smoking) with another (regularly eating junk food)?

Now the big problem is to find the right tools and information to effectively yet easily modify your diet, activities and most importantly, your long term behavior and lifestyle in order to achieve your ideal weight goal.