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Quitting leads to better health even if you gain weight

Some people worry about gaining weight when they stop smoking. Weight gain when you quit is not a given, and research shows you reduce serious risks to your health when you quit, even if you gain weight.  Let's look into it...

In people who do gain a little weight when quitting, weight gain tends to happen more in the first three months after stopping smoking, and then slows down. 

Weight gain can happen in the months after quitting because:

  • Nicotine slightly speeds up your metabolism. After quitting it may slow down to a healthier, more normal rate which may lead to some weight gain. 

  • You may feel hungrier than normal in the first weeks of quitting due to nicotine withdrawal – though this will decrease over time. 

If you're worried about weight gain:

  • Plan your meals and snacks ahead of time: stock up on healthy foods like fruit, vegetables and nuts. Remove or reduce processed snacks (e.g. chips, biscuits, lollies, soft drink) in the pantry or fridge. Try to keep most of your eating to meals, whenever possible. 

  • Do some exercise you enjoy: this may help keep your weight down and also act as a distraction to beat cravings

  • Chat with Quitline 13 7848: Quitline counsellors have tips for managing weight gain. See how Quitline can help

If you're worried about gaining weight and it's stopping you from quitting, talk to your doctor. They can help you make a healthy eating and exercise plan that suits your lifestyle. Your doctor can also refer you to a dietitian or other specialist.

Please note,this information is for general use only.  Please consult your health professional for further advice.  

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