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What about weight gain?

By Michael D. Myers, M.D., as published on his homepage. Reused with kind permission.

Smoking and Obesity.

"When people stop smoking, they commonly gain weight. Most people think that they are substituting food for cigarettes. This is partially correct. Smoking is usually a different form of oral gratification that obviously does not involve the consumption of calories. However, smoking does have another effect - it actually increases caloric requirements. A person who smokes requires approximately 10% more calories to maintain their body weight than when they are not smoking. Therefore, if a person maintains constant food intake and exercise and stops smoking, their body weight is expected to increase between 5% and 10%.

"An excellent way to help counter this is to exercise consistently. For example, start walking 30 minutes a day three to four times a week - a very feasible goal. Another approach is recording your food intake. If you write down everything you eat before you eat it, you will become much more aware of what you are eating. This helps you make better food choices, thereby helping you maintain your weight.

"It is much more important to stop smoking than to worry about weight gain. The deleterious effects of smoking far outweigh the effects of putting on a few extra pounds. Some people think that when they stop smoking it is also a good time to go on a strict diet. This is not recommended because both are very stressful and it is extremely difficult to do both effectively.

Usually, people do not succeed at either and feel like failures. Remember that it is important to stop smoking first. Then you can deal with your weight more effectively.

"Disclaimer Statement: The above information is for general purposes only, and should not be construed as definitive or binding medical advice. Because each person is medically different, individuals should see their personal physicians for specific information and/or treatment. For comments, please send E-mail to: [email protected] I do respond to E-mail. Office Address:

MICHAEL D. MYERS, M.D. Inc.
4216 Katella Av.
Los Alamitos, CA
(US) 90720 phone: 1-310-493 2266."