How does smoking impact on weight?
Giving up smoking certainly has its challenges, but it also has endless rewards, including health benefits and financial gain.
There are many reasons why someone may delay a quit attempt and one of these reasons is the fear of gaining weight. The truth is, smoking suppresses appetite. Once you stop smoking you may gain weight however, it is important to note that this is not the case for everyone.
Once you quit smoking you may find that food taste better (bonus!) but if you are worried about gaining weight and feel this is holding you back, there are practical steps you can take:
- Be prepared – Setting a quit date helps you mentally prepare to quit smoking, it gives you time to get organised and the confidence to make and implement your plans. For example, you can research healthy meals and write a shopping list which will help to keep you focused. If your quit date is on Saturday, in order to prepare you can go shopping with your shopping list on Friday.
- Healthy foods and snacks – The good news is there is so much choice and you will be able to fine something to suit your taste buds. Here is just one example of a low cost, healthy and tasty snack. Wash, peel and cut some carrots into sticks and dip them in hummus! For more inspiring healthy meals visit: www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/healthy-food-swaps
- Exercise – Dust off your trainers and find something you enjoy doing. You don’t have to run a marathon, it could simply be going for a walk, riding a bike, yoga or even dancing in your front room. YouTube have some fun free exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home.
- Download the EASY MEALS APP – The app is free and is a great way to eat foods that are healthier for you. Search recipes by mealtime and create shopping lists. Click here for more information on how to download the app: www.nhs.uk/oneyou/for-your-body/eat-better
- Diabetes – If you are concerned you may have diabetes or have any questions we advise to speak to your GP as soon as possible. For more ideas about meals and snacks the following website can offer more tailor made ideas: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/enjoy-food/eating-with-diabetes/healthy-swaps/healthy-swaps-snacks
- Join a support service – MoreLife is a FREE adult and child weight management services, this service is available for individuals and families who live in Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire or Milton Keynes. www.more-life.co.uk/what-we-do/our-services/in-your-area/bedford. Why not encourage a friend to do it with you or join a local group? Not only will you have someone to share tips and recipes with but this will give you extra support to help spur you on when you are having a tough week.
- Invest in yourself – A packet of cigarettes can cost from £8.00 to £13.05, rolling tobacco £12 to £25, not to mention the added cost of filter tips, rizla and lighters. When you quit smoking you will save a lot of money, for example, if someone smokes 20 a day and a pack of cigarettes cost £9.89, they could save £69.23 per week, £276.92 per month and over the year £3323.04 – that is a luxury holiday! This link will help you calculate how much money you could be saving on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis: www.thestopsmokingservice.co.uk/money-calculator. Why not use this money on some Personal Training sessions or a gym membership? If you would prefer saving your money (you will save a lot!) why not put this money into a savings account or a tin? You can still exercise for free in your local park.
- Hydrate – Water is fabulous for your overall health (not to mention your skin) it also helps to aid digestion and helps reduce sugar cravings! Why not fill up a bottle and make it your goal to drink throughout the day?
If you do have any health concerns we would advise to speak to your GP first.
You don’t have to go it alone
The Stop Smoking Service is there to offer you the guidance you need. There’s lots of FREE support on offer and by using the help that’s right for you, you’ll be boosting your chance of quitting for good. Please call 0800 013 0553 or to refer yourself via the website please click here
FREE My Quit Route App
Not ready to speak to us just yet? Why not download our free My Quit Route app. Its free to anyone who lives or works in Milton Keynes, Central Bedfordshire or Bedford Borough. The app will guide you through a set of questions to help you decide what support is right for you. It has a range of self-help activities to manage cravings, stress and day-to-day triggers around your smoking. Available from Apple and Google Play
Claire Peter-Daly – Public Health Officer, Stop Smoking