Ex-Smokers Putting Their Health at Risk Through Weight Gain

by Jodee on January 25, 2010

We all know by now that smoking increases the risk of heart disease. Despite the warnings that we have heard, kicking the cigarette habit can be challenging for many people. It’s not a question of lack of will power; the problem stems from the fact that nicotine is a highly-addictive substance.

The cravings that a person who tries to quit smoking goes through are very real, and many people who manage to give up cigarettes find that they gain weight afterward. This may be caused by the fact that food tastes better after giving up the habit or perhaps the ex-smoker eats more in an effort to keep their mouth busy without lighting up again. Whatever the reason, gaining weight after giving up smoking may mean trading one risk factor for heart disease for another.

Being overweight increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, so the person who is planning to quit smoking needs to have a plan for keeping his or her weight under control.
fruits, vegetables, fiber
One way to do so is to plan meals and snacks carefully after butting out.

A person who is hungry can learn to think about whether they want to eat something sweet, crunchy, or chewy and then having healthy options readily available. When the craving is for something sweet, look to fresh fruits or low-fat yogurt to satisfy the craving. Carrot and celery sticks can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for times when something crunchy would hit the spot. Raisins or prunes are chewy, and add fiber to the diet.

A person who has decided to quit smoking has already made a very positive decision about his or her health. It needs to be followed up with another one about making a strategy to avoid weight gain afterward.

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