Stop Smoking: How to Avoid Weight Gain Once You Quit

stop smokingNo matter which type of breast surgery you may need, we always recommend that you quit smoking to help speed healing. Many smokers, especially women, fear gaining weight when they quit. While some former smokers do gain a little weight, it is typically no more than a few pounds, and even this gain can largely be avoided with a little planning.

Know that you will be hungrier at first.

According to the Mayo Clinic, smoking reduces your appetite and may increase your metabolism, so when you quit, you’re likely to feel hungrier at first. Keep plenty of healthy snacks around, such as berries, vegetables, cheese, and nuts. The latter two are higher in calories than the others, but they will keep you full longer.

Avoid sugary or high-carbohydrate snacks, such as candy, cookies, chips, and the like. They won’t help you avoid weight gain, and they offer little to no nutritional value.

Watch what you drink.

Soda and fruit juices are loaded with sugar, and even diet soda is not a good idea when you’re trying to lose weight.  Drink water. It will help you detox from the cigarettes, help avoid water retention, and avoid weight gain.

If you don’t like the taste of your tap water, add lemon or lime juice—if you like sparkling water and add lemon and lime juice, it’s almost like drinking a soda without the calories or artificial sweeteners.

Reduce portion sizes at meals.

Eating smaller portions will help you keep your weight under control. Try cutting down your portions by one quarter. If you’re still hungry, have some vegetables or fruit for dessert. Be careful with fruit, as it is high in natural sugars.

Get up and move.

Not only will moving or exercising help you keep your weight down, but it will also help your cravings. Get outside and walk the dog, or take a dance class such as country-western dance or Zumba. You’ll burn calories and help keep your weight where you want it to be.

To keep weight gain down, monitor your weight. You don’t necessarily have to jump on the scale every day; your clothes will tell you how you’re doing. Don’t allow yourself to gain more than two or three pounds before taking action. If you’re watching what you eat and drink and getting more exercise, weight gain after quitting smoking and breast surgery will be a non-issue.