Can Smoking Cause Weight Gain?

Can Smoking Cause Weight Gain?

Smoking is responsible for the second highest death toll in the world. While many smokers would like to quit smoking, they simply cannot. One of the reasons for this is that when people quit smoking, they rapidly gain weight.

A research tackled this question using mice. To expose them to cigarette smoke, the mice were placed in a smoking chamber. They went through passive smoking. The results showed that the mice exposed to smoke gained less weight than the mice that were not exposed to smoke. When they were not exposed to smoke, their weight gain started to rise sharply.

Interestingly, mice previously exposed to smoke and treated with antibiotics gained less weight than the mice that did not receive antibiotics. One of the things that happened in these mice is that the composition of the microbiome in their gut changed significantly. This change caused the gut microbes to increase the ability to harvest energy from ingested food, which explains why people quit smoking gain weight despite consuming less calories.

Does smoking make you gain weight?

Not directly. Smoking does not directly cause weight gain, but it does influence your metabolism and appetite in ways that can contribute to weight gain when you quit smoking. This is because of the metabolic shift that your body goes through.

Nicotine acts as a stimulant and slightly increases your metabolic rate. This means your body burns a few more calories at rest while you smoke. However, this effect is relatively small. It is around 7 – 15%, on average.

Additionally, nicotine also suppresses your appetite. This is why smokers feel less hungry through – out the day, and consume less calories. So while they smoke, they do not gain weight. If you’re wondering if smoking can make me fat, the answer is yes, in the long – term. Especially, when you quit smoking.

What happens to your weight after you quit smoking?

Once you quit smoking, your metabolism slows down. Because the effects go into reverse, your appetite increases. Now, this leads to weight gain because you eat more and your body digests less.

You gain weight, often an average of 5 – 10 pounds in the first few months after quitting cigarettes. This happens, like explained earlier, because of metabolic slowdown. You don’t get the nicotine hit you normally used to, and without it, your body burns calories at a very slow rate. You need to watch out for your calorie count in  order to keep a healthy weight.

You hunger levels increase once you quit smoking. You will experience increased appetite and cravings. You will find yourself consuming an increased amount of food. Mostly, high – calorie snacks.

It is also worth noting that smoking is also a coping mechanism for stress and boredom. When you leave smoking, you will have a tendency to fill that gap with food. You might not be hungry but you can potentially start emotional eating. All in all, leading to weight gain.

Do cigarettes make you lose weight?

No, cigarette is not a good weight-loss strategy. It is not at all sustainable. It sure suppresses your appetite in the short – term, it does make you fat in the long – term. The nicotine intake slightly boosts your metabolism and your body gets used to it. When you quit smoking, your metabolism slows down, as your body stop getting the nicotine it used to rely on.

In addition to the numerous health risks like lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, and emphysema, weight gain is also one deadly problem associated with smoking.

Can you quit smoking and lose weight at the same time?

Yes, definitely. While weight gain is common after quitting, it’s not inevitable. You can always manage your weight by incorporating healthy eating habits in your daily routine. By planning on a balanced diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein, you will keep your body feeling full. Your body will be getting the nutrients it needs as well.

Having a colorful plate is important, and so is having the right portions of those colors. It is recommended to use small plates, and eat slowly. While you eat properly, you need to make sure you boost your metabolism. You can do that through physical activities. Take daily walks, get yourself involved in any sports of your liking. It will also help you ignore your cigarette cravings.

You can also consult your doctor if this all feels too overwhelming to you. Your doctor can help you quit and manage weight gain. You should also consider nicotine replacement therapy to ease withdrawal symptoms, if you find it hard to manage.

Does smoking make you skinny?

This is a misconception that smoking makes you skinny. While smokers weigh less on average, it’s important to understand why. The weight difference is often due to factors like decreased muscle mass and a higher risk of malnutrition due to poor food choices. Additionally, smoking can lead to an unhealthy distribution of body fat, increasing the risk of visceral fat around the abdomen, which is linked to a higher risk of heart disease.

Final Thoughts

Smoking is injurious to your health, regardless of weight. Quitting smoking is the single best thing you can do for your overall health and well-being. While weight gain is a potential side effect, it’s manageable with healthy lifestyle changes. Don’t let the fear of gaining weight deter you from quitting – the long-term health benefits far outweigh the risks.

Akbar Khan