Will I Gain Weight if I Quit Smoking?
Not necessarily. Not everyone gains weight when they stop smoking.
On average, people who quit smoking gain only about 10 pounds.
You are more likely to gain weight when you stop smoking if you have smoked for 10 to 20 years or smoked one or more packs of cigarettes a day.
You can control your weight while you quit smoking by making healthy eating and physical activity a part of your life. Although you might gain a few pounds, remember you have stopped smoking and taken a big step toward a healthier life.
Weight Gain after Quitting Smoking
When nicotine, a chemical in cigarette smoke, leaves your body, you may experience:
- Temporary Weight Gain.
Nicotine keeps your body weight artificially low. When you quit smoking, your body returns to the weight it would have been had you never smoked. Result? You may gain 3 to 5 pounds due to water retention during the first week after quitting.
- A need for fewer calories.
After you stop smoking, you may use fewer calories than when you were smoking.
This Weight Gain is not Detrimental to your Health
The health risks of smoking are far greater than the risks of gaining even 20 pounds. Smoking causes more than 400,000 deaths each year in the United States. You would have to gain about 100 to 150 pounds after quitting to make your health risks as high as when you smoked.