Quit Lessons - Stress Management and Weight Control

Quit Smoking 101 - Lesson 8

metabolism.jpg
Peter Dazeley/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

Two of the most common issues ex-smokers deal with as a result of smoking cessation involve stress and food.

We have to learn how to manage stress smoke-free, and if possible, avoid the much dreaded weight gain that often comes with quitting tobacco.

Smoking Cessation and Stress

Smokers have a long history of dealing with stress by lighting up. Over the years we learn to block difficult emotions and encounters by hiding behind a wall of smoke.

In fact, stress (and anger) is probably the biggest trigger to light up that smokers have.

When we quit smoking, coping with stress is pretty uncomfortable for just about everyone, at least initially.

Weight Gain When We Quit Smoking

While they often do go hand-in-hand, weight gain when you quit smoking is not a given. Temporary changes in metabolism can cause a small upward shift on the scale of 5 to 8 pounds, but as long as you are eating as you were before, this weight should fall back off within a few months.

The trick is in keeping your eating habits under control when you quit, because for most of us, food is a common substitute for the hand-to-mouth action of smoking that we are missing.

Today's lesson will give you tips on how to overcome these challenges, along with comments from other ex-smokers who have found creative ways to keep their weight under control while quitting tobacco.

Don't let temporary discomforts associated with recovery from nicotine addiction throw you off-balance. Stay the course - it's worth the work.

Managing Stress Smoke-Free

Smoking Cessation and Stress
While quitting tobacco allows us to better deal with stress in the long run, initially, smoking cessation causes additional stress.

Be ready for it and you'll minimize the effects.

10 Tips to Help You Cope With Stress Smoke-Free
Put these suggestions in your toolbox and pull them out the next time stress makes you want to light up.

Deep Breathing for Nicotine Withdrawal
Cravings to smoke usually come on forcefully and drop off within 3 to 5 minutes. Deep breathing will help you weather them more easily.

Avoiding Weight Gain When You Quit Smoking

Smoking Cessation and Weight Gain FAQ's
Why do people gain weight when they quit smoking? Will weight gain hurt my health? Why do I want to snack so much? Will quit smoking aids help me gain less weight? What else can I do to minimize weight gain? 

What Smoking Does to Your Metabolism
Cigarette smoking increases metabolic rate by forcing the heart to beat faster.  Not a healthy way to speed up metabolism.

10 Ways You Can Avoid Weight Gain When You Stop Smoking
Use these 10 tips to help you minimize (or avoid altogether) the weight gain that often follows smoking cessation.

Since Quitting, All I Want to Do is Snack
An increased desire to snack is common when we quit smoking, but why does it happen and what can we do to avoid gaining weight?

Smoking Cessation and Weight Gain/Loss -- Personal Stories

Don't Let Weight Gain Derail Your Quit Program
From Maia: "Quitting smoking will create such amazing changes in the rest of your life. It is not always an easy path, but it is SO worth it."

The Chubster
Yes, she gained some weight when she quit smoking, but with humor and candor, Leslie details the benefits of her new smoke-free life.

Quit Smoking 101 -- Index Page | Lesson 9

Continue Reading