The fear of gaining weight when you quit smoking can be a hindrance to quitting. The important thing is to be kind to yourself and not want to do everything at the same time. Dieting is difficult; quitting smoking is very difficult, but starting these two steps at the same time is the best way that neither of your projects succeeds! How to avoid the pitfalls of withdrawal?
What is the link between stopping smoking and weight gain?
Cigarettes would indeed have a biological effect on the appetite of smokers, but also on the food intake of people who have recently quit.
- Tobacco increases the basal metabolism: with each cigarette, 10 calories are gone without effort. Thus, the energy expenditure generated by each pack is equivalent to that of 20 minutes of swimming or 30 minutes of active walking.
- Tobacco cuts hunger: nicotine stabilizes blood sugar (blood sugar) levels, which has the effect of regulating appetite. In addition, a long use of tobacco leads to a loss of taste and smell.
- It calms anxiety : by increasing the secretion of serotonin, the well-being hormone, nicotine is one of the most effective anxiolytics. A smoker thus relieves his stress more with a cigarette than with chocolate.
- It occupies the hands and the mouth: whether we smoke or nibble, the gestures are similar.
From 2 to 5.5 kilos depending on the studies : this is the average weight gain caused by stopping smoking. A figure to be qualified because smokers generally have a lower weight than that which corresponds to them: when stopping, it only adjusts, returns to normal. However, weight gain is not inevitable. A third of former smokers do not take a gram! It all depends on each person’s body and their ability to manage withdrawal.
Trap # 1: you have more appetite
“This phenomenon is normal because the nicotine in cigarettes has a hyperglycemic action, explains Caroline Bertossa, dietitian and tobacco specialist. It therefore leads to changes in appetite : less hunger and earlier satiety. “In addition, stopping smoking is often accompanied by the rediscovery of flavors and smells, which helps to strengthen the fork.
What to do ?
For avoid being hungry, it is essential to plan three 3 full meals+ 1 possible snack.
“We must increase the ration of vegetables and consume them, raw or cooked, at the start of each meal, recommends Dr. Corinne Chicheportiche-Ayache, nutritionist. They help to have earlier and more lasting satiety by slowing down, thanks to their fibers. , assimilation of other foods. “
Trap 2: you are more prone to food cravings
Smoking creates a physical and behavioral dependence. “When stopped, you feel a double lack, notes Caroline Bertossa. Candies, chocolate, salty and sweet cookies … then constitute, for some, substitutes for cigarettes.”
What to do ?
Mostly no hyper restrictive diet which would undoubtedly lead to failure! “Quitting smoking is frustrating enough,” insists the dietician. To ensure a lasting satiety throughout the day, we make sure to have a little starchy foods with a low or moderate glycemic index (quinoa, whole grains, sourdough bread, legumes, etc.) and a source of animal or vegetable protein (meat, fish, eggs, tofu …).
“Can also set up an afternoon snack, recommends Corinne Chicheportiche- Ayache. And drink regularly, water, hot unsweetened drinks … to stop the drive, eliminate toxins and replace body language. “This requires anticipation, by having fruit and natural dairy products on hand. .
Trap n ° 3: you store more easily
Nicotine alters lipid metabolism by curbing fat storage. During smoking cessation, fat metabolism, therefore, returns to normal. “Smoking also increases the basal metabolism, that is to say, the expenditure of the body at rest, up to around 200 calories per day for a pack of cigarettes, adds Dr. Chicheportiche-Ayache. When you stop, we burn less and we store more. ” Results: without increasing your calorie intake, you tend to gain weight. “It actually comes down to getting back to how much weight you should be without tobacco most often.”
What to do ?
“We must restore a real breakfast, strengthen lunch, introduce a balanced snack and lighten the dinner (protein + vegetables, even a little starch depending on physical activity)”, recommends the nutritionist. Clearly, the intake of starchy foods should be done especially in the first part of the day, if you are not subject to cravings in the evening.
Sponsored by WW Do not forget to move either! Physical activity is also at the very heart of program WW -formally Weight Watchers-; a slimming program, but also well-being and well-being which encourages movement for pleasure … And no longer simply because it is necessary! In the tracks to consider to start this (re) start-up and be less sedentary: get off one (then, two, then three!) Bus stops earlier, choose the stairs rather than the elevator (and climb the stairs two then two), walk at a slightly faster pace than usual, etc. The idea: to start slowly (with 3000 minimum daily steps) then, each day, go a little further in your efforts. And it is only once we feel ready that we can then choose an activity that we like; because by starting too early, you risk quickly becoming discouraged and not sticking to your goals. While activity has many benefits for stress and sleep, it is also of fundamental importance for well-being: the more you spend, the more energetic you feel, the better in your skin and comfortable in his body. More confident, it is easier to maintain a stable weight. It’s a virtuous circle …
Trap # 4: You’ve grown belly
Nicotine, by mimicking the action of a neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, has a stimulating effect on the intestines. When you stop smoking, constipation problems can occur and, if they are combined with abdominal fat storage, contribute to increasing the waistline.
What to do ?
It is essential toincrease your fiber intake by consuming vegetables and/or fruits at each meal, by swapping refined cereals for their whole counterparts. “Better at first mix raw and cooked », Recommends Dr Chicheportiche-Ayache.
Trap 5: you are stressed and compensate with food
In the period of withdrawal, we must find ways toreduce stress. Fatty and sweet products cause the secretion of soothing neurotransmitters.
What to do ?
Enrich your plate with nutrients that act as mood regulators: magnesium (mineral waters like Hepar, Contrex Where Rozanna, legumes, oilseeds …), tryptophan (dairy products, poultry, bananas …) and Omega 3 (fatty fish, rapeseed and walnut oils, seaweed, etc.) in particular.
In all cases :
- we hydrate : drinking regularly deceives hunger and eliminates toxins. Your choice: water, herbal tea, tea… Choose unsweetened drinks, so as not to get used to consuming too many carbohydrates, and to better control your weight.
- let’s move : sport has a double interest during the withdrawal period: it allows the calories that were previously burned by cigarettes to be consumed; it helps relieve stress and reconnect with your body.
- be careful with chewing gum, even without sugar, which can whet the appetite by chewing, their sweet and sour taste.
- wetakes on new habits : There are many activities that can keep you busy when your cigarette time arrives. After the meal, take a walk, immerse yourself in a book, do Sudoku …
Take a step back from this possible weight gain: priority to your health with stopping smoking, the benefit will be gigantic compared to the few pounds taken (or not) during this period.