Thursday, July 12, 2007

Smoking and Weight Loss

I'm not a smoker and never have been. But I have some friends who have run into the problem of gaining weight once they have quit smoking. I found this great article over at Calories per hour that may help if you're trying to kick the habit and are afraid you'll gain weight.

I thought this was a good ad :)

Smoking and Weight Loss

Heavy smokers and people who have smoked for a long time often gain a few pounds after they quit smoking. Unfortunately, smokers often use this fact to justify continuing to smoke. But this weight gain isn't inevitable.

Weight gain can be avoided by eating less and/or exercising more. And if you're making poor food choices now, simply eating healthier foods can do the trick.

Here are some of the reasons why quitting smoking causes people to gain weight:

  • Smoking increases your metabolism, the rate at which you burn calories. So quitting smoking will cause your metabolism to decrease a little to its normal rate.

  • People who quit smoking are inclined to eat more because they reach for snacks as a substitute for cigarettes.

  • People who quit smoking are inclined to eat more because food tastes better!

Quitting smoking is difficult enough without the fear of gaining weight. The primary reason that people gain weight when they quit smoking is that they tend to eat more, and you can control that. If you can keep from turning to food in place of cigarettes, and make a few adjustments to your eating and exercise habits, you won't have to gain any weight at all.

You know that smoking is bad for you. Now read what the American Lung Association says will happen when you quit smoking:

After 20 minutes:

  • Your blood pressure will decrease.
  • Your heart rate will decrease.
  • The temperature of your hands and feet will increase.

After 8 hours:

  • The level of carbon monoxide in your blood will drop to normal.
  • The level of oxygen in your blood will increase to normal.

After 24 hours:

  • Your chance of heart attack will decrease.

After 48 hours:

  • Your nerve endings will start to regrow.
  • Your ability to smell and taste will improve.

After 2 weeks to 3 months:

  • Your circulation will improve.
  • Your lung function will improve.
  • Aerobic activity (e.g., walking) will become easier.

After 1 to 9 months:

  • Symptoms including coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue, and shortness of breath will decrease.

After 1 year:

  • Excess risk of coronary heart disease will decrease to half that of a smoker.

After 5 to 15 years:

  • Risk of stroke will decrease to that of people who have never smoked.

After 10 years:

  • Risk of lung cancer will decrease to half that of continuing smokers.
  • Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas will decrease.
  • Risk of ulcers will decrease.

After 15 years:

  • Risk of coronary heart disease will decrease to that of people who have never smoked.
  • Risk of death will decrease to near the level of people who have never smoked.
You don't have to gain weight if you quit smoking. And you'll be healthier, have more friends and more money, and smell better.

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