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How to Quit Smoking without Gaining Weight

Don't let a fear of packing on the pounds keep you from giving up cigarettes. There are several steps you can take to prevent weight gain while you kick the habit.


  • Step 1: Eat less or move more Eat less or exercise more. Nicotine helps smokers stay slim by raising their metabolism; that's part of the reason the average smoker puts on between 4 and 10 pounds after giving up cigarettes. If you're a moderate smoker -- less than a pack a day -- you can counteract this by cutting out or burning off about 200 calories per day.
  • TIP: Walking an extra 30 to 45 minutes usually burns enough calories to make up for the metabolism slow-down.
  • Step 2: Chew nicotine gum Chew nicotine gum. It will suppress your urge for a cigarette and keep your mouth occupied.
  • Step 3: Keep fruit on hand Keep fresh fruit on hand. Many people who quit smoking experience strong cravings for sweets; fruit can satisfy that yen in a healthy way.
  • Step 4: Drink hot tea Drink hot tea between meals. It can kill the urge to munch.
  • TIP: Avoid coffee if you're used to enjoying a cigarette with your cup of joe, or it may reawaken that craving.
  • Step 5: Consider hypnotherapy Consider hypnotherapy. It helps some people give up their cigarettes without piling on the pounds.
  • Step 6: Take medication Ask your doctor about taking the antidepressant bupropion; it sometimes helps curb weight gain in ex-smokers because it's works as an appetite suppressant in some people.
  • FACT: Smokers who quit at age 35 gain an average of eight years of life expectancy; those who quit at age 55 gain about five years; and quitting at 65 gives you three years.

You Will Need

  • Dietary tweaks
  • Exercise
  • Nicotine gum
  • Fruit
  • Hot tea
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Bupropion
  • Daily walk (optional)

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