Cigarette Smoking and Weight Loss

By: Patricia Zelkovsky

Most people realize that cigarette smoking accelerates weight loss particularly in the elderly. But did you know that prolonged cigarette smoking could also cause weight gain.

This is because there is a substantial amount of sugar in each cigarette that you smoke. Each time you take a puff, the sugar in the cigarette is sped immediately into your bloodstream causing insulin spikes and the metabolism to work more slowly. This is why cigarettes are a contributing factor to causing diabetes. It may take days or decades for you to experience the kind of weight gain associated with insulin resistant reactions to cigarettes; it all depends on your physiology and your family history. However if you can't seem to lose that last twenty pounds and are smoking like a chimney, those cigarettes you are smoking might be the culprit.

Tobacco in itself is an adaptogen meaning that it can cause either weight gain or weight loss. Embracing the idea that cigarettes directly cause you to shed pounds is foolhardy. It is more likely that the cigarette displaces food cravings that are caused by emotional issues. Instead of reaching for a bag of chips every time you feel stressed, lonely, frustrated or angry you are simply reaching for a smoke instead.

Perhaps the biggest issues to do with weight and cigarette smoking is the fact that most people pack on an average of twenty pounds once they quit. This is a huge deterrent for many people when it comes to making the decision to quit and a huge motivator for young women who start smoking in order to stay svelte.

Quitting smoking can cause a huge shift in metabolism once your body realizes that the adaptogen tobacco is no longer running the show. Deprived of its favorite addictive substance the body goes into panic mode and starts conserving fat to react to the scarcity of nicotine. It is highly possible that the body perceives cigarettes and the sugar that they contain as a necessary source of food.

Another reason for weight gain after quitting cigarettes is purely emotional. Most cigarette smokers have an oral fixation, which is why they always have a cigarette in their mouth. Without having the cigarettes around to take care of this oral fixation, the individual will start to appease their desire to always have something in their mouth by snacking. Many cigarette smokers will also reach for candies which mimic the sugar hit of taking a draw on a cigarette and provide their body with a similar sugary spike in their blood sugar. Of course this is not good for your pancreas or your waistline.

Unfortunately there is no one simple magical cure for dealing with the problem of gaining weight after quitting smoking. The key is to stay as active as possible, avoid sweets and avoid emotionally charged or stressful situations that might have you reaching for a cigarette or a snack substitute. Drinking cups of strong black coffee is also supposed to help cut the severity of these kinds of cravings and help you save both your lungs and your waistline.

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