Quitting Smoking and Weight Gain.

Ex Smoker standing on scalesIt is well accepted that for the majority of ex smokers, quitting smoking leads to weight gain. When nicotine hijacks the brain, it creates networks of brain cells (neurons), that link to other networks affecting our behaviours. One of which, is the regulation of our eating habits.

There are two major factors that determine how much weight a person will gain when quitting smoking. First, many quitters will seek dopamine highs from sugary foods during their quit campaign as it genuinely helps with cravings.

This dramatic increase in sugar consumption will often lead to a dramatic increase in weight.

The second factor, is whether or not the quitter exercises, and if so, for how long and how intense. While quitting smoking leads to weight gain, quitters most definitely have some level of control over the severity of this symptom.

 While quitting smoking leads to weight gain, quitters most definitely have some level of control over the severity of this symptom.

Tips for Managing Weight Gain.


Accept The Weight Gain From Quitting Smoking.


There will be an opportunity to manage your weight when you are comfortably over the first major quit smoking withdrawals.


Commit to Quality Foods.


It is not desirable to avoid food during the quit process as it will make things more difficult. Focus on eating quality foods made with quality ingredients.

Avoid cheap processed foods as much as possible, without risking the quit campaign. Consider discussing your diet with a physician as everyone has different levels of fitness and health.


Exercise and Focus on Fitness.


Gaining weight is not the end of the world. In fact, the majority of preventable death concerning weight gain is actually tied to the lack of fitness associated with it.

By focusing on fitness, you not only improve your health, you will keep weight gain in check and actually be in a better position to get more enjoyment from life.



  1. I have been smokeing for about 45yrs and I am giveing up smokeing my problem is my weight gain as I am type2dieabeates and already weigh 13 stone I have really had enough smokeing but I am not doing to good with the side effects what I do love is being able to breath easier .

    • Breathing easier is the first of many things you’ll enjoy as a non-smoker! Talk to your doctor about any health issues you are concerned with. Good luck Maureen!

    • Hello,
      I also wanted to quit, and not to gain weight. I quit smoking 10 days before, and the last day I smoked, I began yoga, and also breathing exercises. I also used a lot of water, every time, I felt a craving, or that I am hungry, i used to drink a glass of water. Guess what, I quit smoking and I lost 2.5 kg until now. Amazing. I have to say that also, I choose healthy food also. In the morning before eating I take 1 tbs of linseed oil. It helps a lot. Yoga I think is one of the keys, because it exercise not only the body, but the lungs, and the mind also, and helps you to understand your body as one unit, so you can manage it even better. There are a lot of videos in internet and advices, make a research and chose the best for you. I wish you good luck.

  2. When I decided I was going to quit,I weened myself,smoked fewer ciggs a day. Then I quit while at work. And finally for good. The changes have been very positive. Tho I gained 10 lbs. I tell myself its healthy weight,instead of poisons keeping me skinny and unhealthy.

  3. So I’ve actually switched to eating more fruits and vegetables and exercising twice as much. If my total caloric intake has stayed the same (or fallen, due to more veggies over junk) and my caloric expenditure has increased, will I still gain weight? Does nicotine go beyond suppressing appetite and actually increase metabolism?

  4. Hi guys. Im on my 4th day without smoking its the. Hardest thing ive ever done in my life i will never smoke again i was a heavy smoker if i can do it any one cann believe me!

  5. Drink lots of juicr it will be ok…

  6. I am on day 2 with no smokes. HARD HARD HARD does anybody know when it gets easier

    • Nathalie says:

      I’m on day 5. Best thing for me..try not to linger on cravings. Force the mind onto something else. Best wishes all

    • Keep in mind that smoking a single cigg now will put you back to square one.
      You will only get temporary relief. I am on day 5 now and its been pretty tough but i am 100% sure that i will make it for the simple reason that there is no way in hell i am giving up those 5 days for a smoke now and every day the stakes rises.

      The selfsatisfaction we get over quitting is so much stronger than withdrawal.

    • hey dear,
      I am now on 12th day from my last smoke. Yes, it is bit hard and now a suffering from quitter flu but not loose/gained weight till date. Keep this habit up to 21 days then you will less carvings of smoking.

  7. Black Pearl says:

    Today is day 24 of me mot smoking. I feel restless tired exhausted since then. I have cold/flu sinesis which seems to never end. Mucus is really bad but that’s improving. My cravings for a cigarette are luckily not there well not all the time most after eating I think well could use one now, but I don’t touch one at all. How long does it take until everything is back to normal?

  8. Nathalie says:

    The insomnia is bad. Recently read that nicotine blocked the effects of caffeine..so now I’m trying to have less coffee. Day 5..I’m glad I’ve quit & want to remain a non-smoker

  9. I quit 6 weeks ago and find that I am feeling full all the time I’m trying to eat healthy lots of salad and fruit but am very uncomfortable all day long

  10. I quit on the 18th, this has been my 4th time quitting smoking, and each time it seems like it gets easier. Since the last few days I’ve had constipation, my eating habits are very strict since I’m a truck driver. I smoked on average a pack a day for 15 years, I have increased my exercise level more to help me focus. I do calisthenics mostly, I would love to be able to run again, but due to a bad knee and ankle courtesy of Uncle SAM that’s a bit out of the question.

  11. After smoking for 37 years I am 32 days smoke free today. Cold turkey! I still have strong cravings. They are not all the time but several times a day. Mostly after eating and first thing in the morning with my coffee and every time I get in the car. I’m trying to change up my habits to ease these cravings. I’ve put on a few pounds and really have no room for anymore weight gain. I will not put myself through the first 10 days of quitting so I know I’ll never start again. I’ve had the “junk” that feels like it sitting at the back of my throat that I can’t seem to cough up and out, for about 2 weeks now. I have had fatigue for about 2 weeks now and I had insomnia for the first two weeks but fortunately that went away now. Now I feel like I want to sleep all the time. I am starting to walk and will build up my stamina. I am determined to be healthy and fit! Best of luck everyone! Keep up the good work it is absolutely worth it. I will say that I only quit because I want to stick around for a long while and I don’t want all the health issues that go along with smoking as I get older. However, I really enjoyed smoking and really miss it a lot. It’s so freaking hard!!! But I will beat this!!

    • Hi Laurie,

      I could have been reading my own post! I feel exactly the same in that I never want to have to quit again. I’ll hang in there with you!

  12. I quit 4 weeks ago today after 30 years of smoking. I would love to say I feel great but….I don’t really feel much different. I have gained about 8 lbs and feel like a blimp (was not skinny to begin with). I started working out last week and decided to try and indulge in fruits and veggies rather that cookies and chocolate. I will not let this weight gain be the excuse to start smoking again no matter how awful getting fatter feels!!

    • Great work! I feel you on the weight gain front – I too have gained 8lbs since quitting 7 weeks ago even though I have been super healthy and exercising as much as I used to… I think that a slower metabolism is a reality of quitting but hopefully this will even itself out over time… I keep on telling myself – I’d rather be a little heavier but alive and well instead of a skinny smoker riddled with health issues…

    • I am with you. I quit 7 months ago, still have slight cravings, but the worst part right now is the weight gain. I smoked a half a pack a day from over 30 years. I am now working on exercise and diet.

      • I quit cold turkey 4 months ago after 34yrs the weight gain is making me feel miserable I’m trying to eat healthy and exercise
        Praying this gets easier!

  13. I was a 150 lb rail when I smoked. It was kind of pathetic. Now I’m a 170lb non smoker. Best decision I ever made.

  14. I have not picked up a cigarette in 9 days and I’m very, very worried about the weight gain. I thought I wouldn’t eat and would exercise, but now I have to put something in my mouth. I used to be skinny but now I’m noticing I’m getting chubby and its just ew. If I gain twice as much as I already gained and more than I don’t think I’m going to go through with quitting, plus a headache 24-7? No way Jose.

  15. I am at 8 weeks. I am very proud of myself. I was always trying g to quit but its been a long time since I have reached thus point. In the past I quit for 2 years once and 1 year another time. Both times I gained weight, but began exercising and cut back on pop and snacks and the weight just started to drop off. So, if you do gain weight …don’t worry you can lose it. I actually was 35 lbs less then when I was a smoker. I hope I can do it this time considering I am older. I want to feel good about by body, so I look at it this way, if I can motivate myself to quit smoking, I can surely motivate myself to lose weight. Good luck all you nonsmokers, you can really do this!

  16. Day 12 after smoking for about 10 years….I am doing well and feeling ok a lot of the withdrawls have faded no more headaches and flu like symptoms which were horrible in week 1. Now severely struggling with heart burn and tight chest…..its horrible 🙁 🙁 …never smoking again though..finally realised there is NOT 1 good thing about a cig

  17. So far week 6 and one day in. I have bad nicotine cravings so it is at a point to where I’m more worried about satisfying these cravings than gaining weight. I was 199-124 lbs before, last time I checked I was 129 lbs. I seriously do not care about the weight gain because my nicotine cravings are so bad. Since I’m getting a little fatter I’m going to run tomorrow morning. I do feel more confident about quitting smoking, but I’m not going to look like a big fat whale.

  18. Started to quit end September…patches gave me 3rd degree burns!! Using Champix since. Been fully off since mid November. Feeling fairly ok now but weight gain has peed me off! Have been following Slimming World and had done well. But once off the smokes it’s all gone p[ear shaped. As of last week, I was up 8lbs…with a 1lb loss. So depressed. Don’t care what anyone says, I’ve struggled with weight for years! Going for my weigh in tonight. There better be good news! Is there something to take that can help the metabolism?? I am excercising

  19. catnthehat says:

    I quit 2 months ago. I have since gained 7 lbs. I eat almost nothing, after I quit I stopped drinking soda, stopped eating bread, cheese, fast food, junk food, sugar (except natural sugars in fruit). I have poached egg for breakfast, grilled chicken salad for lunch, yogurt (plain) for dinner, a handful of mixed unsalted nuts between breakfast and lunch, drink only water & green tea. Stepped up my exercise routine, still the scales go higher & higher. my friends who were driving me crazy to quit smoking are no help. don’t eat so much, exercise more. I avoid leaving my house except for work because I don’t want to see them & listen to their crap. I really need a hug

    • I know how you feel. ..hugs

      • I’m in the same boat nothing seems to work and my clothing hurts nothing fits!! Not everyone turns into a blimp when they quit smoking so what do I need to do?? Does anyone have suggestion 😞

      • 7 weeks now since last ciggie..im on champix ..interesting to read about needing a hug..as that is how i feel
        I need a hug as well

  20. On day 5 right now, I take Adderall so the weight thing is not that big of a problem but still I feel a bit chunkier. I feel plain weird. Like my body is out of wack. I don’t know what to do with myself. I’m honestly too tired to exercise. My body feels extremely heavy.

  21. I’m already worried about wieght gain lol, I’m not a big eater or sugar nut, actually so does that mean I will GAIN? I’m 135 pounds and 5.2 lol I quit today and man I’m not finding it easy. I’m irritated and anxious. ..I been smoking since my teens I’m 25 yrs old going to be 26 in August this year! I need ideas to keep my brain off the stupid craving, I have used adult coloring book s now and it helps some.

  22. I am on my 8th or 9th week of going cold turkey and am also gaining weight, really bites! I feel tired and my body aches! My cravings are pretty much gone and I think my need to stuff my face has really slowed down..I’m too scared to get on the scale but going to do it in the morning..need to own up to the damage done! BUT I am happy I quit… If I managed to quit this cig addiction (a pack a day) I can and will manage this weight gain!

  23. So I’ve read that the average weight gain for someone who quits smoking is 7 pounds, not the 50 pounds we are all terrified of. I think a lot of times we use this fear to make it ok to think about smoking again. Not bc we are weak, but bc we are addicts. I gained 10 pounds after quitting six months ago, but in the last few weeks I have noticed it starting to go back. IT. IS. SO. HARD. NOT. TO. EAT. ALL. THE. TIME. But you can do it, I swear! Find what works for you. One of my fellow quitters swore by chewing on cinnamon toothpicks. Another took up sunflower seeds. I drink insane amounts of water with lemon through a straw (the lemon helps you poop, which is a godsend if you’re constipated and drinking through the straw mimics the action we take puffing on a cig). Just keep moving and do what you can to get through the craving. Remember, 7 pounds is the average. 7 Pounds won’t kill us. Smoking will. Sending hugs to all of you!

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