Jan 3, 2014

Concerned About Weight Gain After Quitting Smoking? There IS a Solution.

Most Women Worry About Gaining Weight After They Quit Smoking

If you’re like most women, your body image is pretty darn important.

So important in fact, that you may be very concerned about gaining weight after you quit smoking. It could even be the main roadblock getting in the way of extinguishing your last cigarette.

It’s true that people tend to gain weight (researchers estimate about 10 pounds) after they quit smoking. Some women report gaining as much as 30 pounds. That’s scary for anyone. I get it. Ten pounds and you’re not fitting into your jeans anymore. More than that, and none of your pants or skirts will fit any longer.

Weight gain after quitting smoking may prevent some women from quitting
It is possible to quit smoking without gaining weight. Try vaping instead of eating!
When we make New Year’s resolutions, it’s usually to make the changes we feel are going to help us be healthier and happier. No woman is happy gaining weight, even if she knows that quitting smoking is vital for her health in the long run.

We’re not always thinking about the long run. We’re thinking about what we’re going to look like in that dress we just bought and whether we can fit into our jeans.

Quit Cigarettes, Not Nicotine

The reason that weight gain is associated with quitting smoking is the fact that nicotine is a stimulant as well as an appetite suppressant.

But what if you quit smoking without quitting nicotine?

Remember, while nicotine is highly addictive, it is NOT a carcinogen. It’s a stimulant, like caffeine, and while it gets a bad rap (because it’s so addictive), it’s not the worst thing in the world to be hooked on. (Please note: I highly advise pregnant women or anyone under 18 to avoid nicotine in any form.)

The reason cigarettes are so harmful is because of all the chemicals that are added to cigarettes (including around 60 known carcinogens) to speed the delivery of nicotine and increase its impact on your brain and nervous system.

E-cigarettes contain only four main ingredients, including food-grade PG or propylene glycol, which is in inhalers, nebulizers, fog machines and even foods such as cake mixes to help the ingredients blend together.

Also included is food-grade vegetable glycerin, a simple sweetening and thickening agent used in many foods and drugs, and flavoring such as vanilla. Oh, and nicotine, although you can vape an e-cigarette with no nicotine if you want, just for the fun of it (that’s what I do). 

The beauty of the e-cigarette is that it satisfies the habit and the oral cravings that drive many women to the refrigerator. When you quit smoking, your lungs will immediately start to heal, as will your taste buds. So it’s a one-two punch: women replace cigarettes with food, which now tastes better. 

While many smokers who quit gain weight -- an average of 2.5 pounds after one month, increasing to as much as 10 pounds or more after a year -- these are not cold, hard numbers. In fact, a study reported in the BMJ on weight gain after quitting smoking found a lot of variation in the amount of weight people gained.

Some people even lost weight. A full 25 percent of ex-smokers gained less than two pounds or even lost weight after they quit. Study author Henri-Jean Aubin, professor of psychiatry and addiction medicine at Hôpital Paul Brousse in France said, “The good news is that after the first three months, weight gain decelerates substantially. Nearly 20 percent of the smokers actually lost weight after one year of continuous abstinence.”

Last year, Vaping Vamps ran a photo contest on Facebook, asking women why they had switched to e-cigarettes. We got some amazing stories from women who told us they had quit not just for themselves but for the health of their children and loved ones who had been exposed to their secondhand smoke. 

Several women told us “vaping saved my life,” and that they lost weight using e-cigarettes. It simply stands to reason that e-cigarettes work, because they are a satisfying replacement for cigarettes. Many women start vaping tobacco flavors, but when their taste buds come alive, they will often switch to different flavors.

Vaping Vamps offers five flavors, including tobacco, mint, mango, caramel and teaberry, but eventually we hope to offer many other flavors (as long as they rate highly on our yucky-to-yummy scale!).

The long and short of it is that weight gain and smoking do not need to go together. Whenever you feel the need to reach for a snack, reach for an e-cigarette instead. Then join Vaping Vamps on Facebook and send us a photo of you in your sexy new jeans.

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