Now you have an urge to ask… Does it? Really ?
Yes, It does, by damaging your taste buds and making the food less appealing, and slightly increasing the rate at which your body burns calories — your body’s metabolic rate.
Smoking as a catalyst to keep your weight down is very attractive to see at first. Not only are you able to continue your habit now but it’s also easy to keep your weight down to a manageable level whenever you want to. However, not all that glitters is gold.
The real reason behind your loss of appetite is: when you smoke your blood vessels constrict not allowing sufficient amount of blood to flow to your stomach causing it cease functioning. That’s why smoking is said to increase the number of heart attacks, as smoking can constrict your blood vessels, which increases the risk of your arteries clogging, causing you to have a heart attack.
After getting to know this, you do not exactly want to call this a good way to suppress your appetite. Although it might be the case that you are able to drop your weight using this method, but what is really happening is that your body is being worn out, not just getting thin. That is why smoking and dieting don’t mix and should be avoided for your better health.
Is counteracting the effects of smoking with a healthy diet possible?
The answer is no. But people believe that if they adopt an otherwise healthy lifestyle, then smoking will not have that bad effect on them. This is proven to be completely wrong. Smoking does affect every organ in the body and there are no diets or lifestyle choices that you can adopt that will counteract the harmful effects of smoking.
What have doctors to say?
“Smoking a lot can increase insulin resistance and cause fat to be stored around the waist,” says Dr. Dikla Shmueli, a postdoctoral fellow in the department of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco.
What happens when you stop smoking?
Weight gain as a side effect of smoking cessation remains a major aspect of smoking and weight control. People can easily be discouraged by weight gain experience after quitting smoking.
Nicotine is an appetite suppressant and smokers expend more energy, weight gain due to smoking cessation which is usually attributed to increased caloric intake and a slowed metabolic rate.
Weight gain can be a deterrent (preventing or controlling actions/behavior through fear of punishment) in the smoking cessation process, even if the smoker did not smoke for weight control purposes. Smokers in process of quitting are recommended to follow a diet and to exercise on a regular basis. Most quitting advice encourages people to not be discouraged if they experience weight gain while quitting. Studies have also shown that weight gain during the smoking cessation process can often be lost eventually through diet and exercise.
How to deal with it –
Increase the time you take eating be chewing your food more than you normally do, by taking smaller bites, cutting your food properly before putting it in your mouth. Record and maintain a food diary: the food that you eat and getting a grasp of your calories intake and also finding something that can serve as an alternative to smoking, for example, a low-calorie snack or a piece of gum.
Quit first — then lose slowly
Experts generally agree that you should quit smoking before you lose weight because cigarettes pose a greater health risk. Around 9, 00,000 people die every year in India due to smoking as of 2009.
If you decide to quit smoking and pursue weight loss at the same time, “you may be trying to do too many things at once and be setting yourself up for failure,” says Lawrence Cheskin, MD, director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Are you ready to quit? Use these strategies to avoid putting on extra weight while you quit:
Find non-food ways to feel good. Feeling the cravings of a cigarette while withdrawal? Put yourself in a new situation: Go for a walk or run, call a friend or take up a new hobby.
Bound yourself to exercise on a regular basis. It’s a well-known component to weight control, and it also helps manage smoking withdrawal symptoms. If you’re new to exercise, consult your physician before beginning any program. At first, you may find that you are short of breath or can’t exercise for a long period of time because of lung damage.
The American Lung Association suggests you to:
- Clear your lungs mucus by coughing during exercise
- Take the time to breathe deeply during any physical activity
- Stop and rest when you need to
- Warm up before you get started and cool down there after by stretching.
You can also join a support group. It provides encouragement and makes you accountable to others for your behavior, whether you want to eat healthy, become physically active or quit smoking. In fact, a recent study found that people who joined a support group to help them lose weight were more successful than those who didn’t seek for group support.