Smoking is without doubt bad for your health. In the US alone, 50 people die per hour from a smoking related disease or illness. Yet one fear people have when approaching giving up smoking aside from cravings is weight gain. During cessation a person will gain weight, however, that shouldn’t endorse smoking as a good way to stay slim.
Why Smoking Keeps Your Weight Down
Smoking burns up to 200 calories a day in a heavy smoker and smoking over a long period of time will result in an increased metabolism; nicotine is also an appetite suppressant. Thus when you give up smoking the body wants to eat more and your metabolism slows down, two contributing factors to weight gain.
Typically, you will gain between 5 and 10 pounds during the first few months of giving up smoking, but if you continue to eat the same amount of food and implement a simultaneous exercise regime you will keep weight gain to a minimum and quickly lose any weight you put on during cessation.
Smokers are able to sustain weight loss and often remain slim because they supplement snacks for cigarettes. Nicotine also interferes with the release of insulin which controls glucose levels. This causes the smoker to become slightly hyperglycemic which can affect signals in the body that trigger hunger.
Smoking and Exercising For Weight Loss
For those overweight smokers who wish to exercise without giving up smoking there are complications. Cigarettes raise blood pressure, increase heart rate and cause coughing and choking during exercise. When you smoke you are poisoning the body which means the body has to cope with high endurance levels and poisoning of the body simultaneously, therefore making exercise much harder and more of a strain on the body.
Smoking and exercising simply don’t mix because double the strain is put on the heart, blood vessels, pulse, and blood pressure, not to mention diminishing oxygen levels in the blood. Exercise and smoking affect the same areas of the body but in contrasting ways. Exercise increases lung capacity whilst smoking decreases it. Similarly, smoking increases risk of heart attack while exercise decreases it. Smoking cancels out all the good achieved through exercise.
Why Exercise is the Perfect Remedy For Quitting Smoking and Losing Weight
It is well documented that exercise makes cessation easier, but doing both puts a huge amount of pressure on the body, and if you are already overweight and unfit you could experience breathing problems and even a heart attack. Exercise is the ideal catalyst in helping people give up smoking because it provides an outlet for stress, anxiety and cravings. Exercise acts as a positive mental focus. It provides an opportunity to set goals with measurable and sustainable achievements.
The fitter a person becomes the more healthy they will feel and less likely to go back to smoking again. A well known technique for giving something up is to simply replace the bad with something good. If we take something away it must be replaced in order to plug the gap, exercise is a perfect replacement for smoking.
Smoking may assist in weight loss and help sustain it, but it also kills you quicker and causes serious harm to the body for which a person can experience terrible suffering. Exercise is a permanent way of losing weight and sustaining weight loss, whilst increasing life span and fending off potential illnesses.