STOPPING SMOKING AND WEIGHT GAIN

One of the most common fears people have is that when they stop smoking they will put weight on. Are we saying this is an irrational fear? No, because too many people have actually experienced this happening, so clearly, for them at least, the fear is rational.

Let’s look at why this can happen, and what you can do about it. But before we do that let’s say that the people who put on weight when they stop smoking are in a minority. If you have done so yourself, you won’t care about that, but if you are worried about something that hasn’t happened to you, then you should think about the statistics and stop worrying.

So coming back to you if it has happened before, why is that? Well, there is a very simple reason why anyone puts weight on. They are consuming more food than they can use, so it is stored as fat. Why people eat more than they need is an interesting subject, but not one that concerns us here. Why people do that when they stop smoking IS.

When you light a cigarette you are, as you know, consuming poisons. When you do that, your immune system tries to protect you, and what this means is that each and every time you light up you produce adrenaline. That’s right, when you light a cigarette you produce a hormone designed to protect you from attack. Because, of course, you ARE under attack.

Now one of the effects of this surge of adrenaline is that your blood sugar goes up, suddenly and dramatically. Do this many times each day, for many years, and what happens is that your body comes to believe that when it feels stressed you need sugar. And one of the ways you feel stressed is when you are trying not to smoke. So what you do when you are stopping smoking is try to replace tobacco with sugar.

You may realise you are doing this, because you can see you are snacking on sweet foods. You may not see it, because you are just eating more, and your body is extracting the sugar from what you are eating. You may even not be eating more, and for reasons that are two complex to go into here you can still put on weight.

Anyway, the long and short of it is that when you want nicotine but you aren’t letting yourself smoke, you can put weight on. This isn’t true for most people, but it certainly is for some people. There are two ways you can address this problem. You can be really careful about what you eat, which is always hard let alone when you’re stopping smoking. Or you can avoid it happening in the first place.

This is done by stopping smoking without craving. This is the difference between stopping on your own and stopping with therapy. Therapy doesn’t make it possible for you to stop smoking, because that is always possible. It makes it easy. And one of the ways it does that is by removing one of the factors that make you want to smoke – the need for sugar to mimic nicotine.

In short, with either hypnotherapy or acupuncture you are unlikely to want to eat more to stop cravings, because you are unlikely to have any cravings.