Quitting smoking is a difficult process that requires patience and self-denial, but the goal is achievable. People who want to quit smoking are often afraid of gaining an extra kilo during anti-smoking therapy. However, it has been proven that quitting smoking does not have to be associated with excessive fat gain.
It is true that from the moment you quit the addiction, unwanted kilos are increasing. Most ex-smokers gain 4 to 7 kg of body weight during the year. However, this process can be reversed.
The most difficult first months after quitting
Changes in body weight during attempts to quit smoking depend on age, sex, individual and genetic characteristics, as well as the level of physical activity, which is considered the main factor in weight stabilization.
It was found that weight gain is greatest within the first three months of quitting smoking, after which the growth rate decreases.
The harmful effects of smoking
People often start smoking in the belief that cigarettes will allow them to stay slim. Unfortunately, the harmful effects of nicotine far outweigh the potential benefits associated with weight loss – smokers are much more likely to develop cancer, type II diabetes, fatty liver, osteoporosis, or kidney failure. Even slim smokers who smoke for many years suffer from serious disorders.
Smoking cessation leads to many positive health changes, including to improve organ performance, lower risk of heart attack, cancer, faster skin regeneration. Overall well-being and mood are improved. However, the most important benefit of giving up addiction, as highlighted by a group of experts in one of the studies published in The New England Journal of Medicine, is that a person who quits smoking at age 40 lives later about 9 years longer than addicts smokers and better tolerates the aging process.
How does nicotine work?
Nicotine resembles the chemical structure of acetylcholine – a neurotransmitter that affects the levels of dopamine, serotonin, noradrenaline and endorphins, i.e. the hormones responsible for our well-being and satisfaction. So it works in the brain on the reward system, which is closely related to the stress center. We are happy to reach for another cigarette, because the chemical compounds contained in the smoke cause an increase in the level of adrenaline, and thus the blood and lymph circulation increase, improving our well-being and mood. The effect, however, is short-term. Odens snus
When we quit the addiction, the level of balance of our mood is disturbed. The hypothalamus – the area of the brain that is the hormone control room – tries to regulate nicotine-disturbed processes, but it requires time, hence depressed mood, fatigue, irritability, irritability, problems with concentration.
Cigarettes reduce our taste sensitivity, which can contribute to food shortages and reluctance to consume valuable food products. Some people replace a full-fledged meal with a known combination of coffee and cigarette. Meanwhile, when we give up a meal consisting of the necessary nutrients, the consequence is not only nutritional deficiencies, but also weight loss. Smoking accelerates the lipolysis process (fat loss).
Unfortunately, the long-term adaptation of the nervous system to nicotine contributes to increased production of triglycerides and free fatty acids in the blood, which may be the cause of elevated levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, called bad cholesterol, and triglycerides. It can also cause the development of type 2 diabetes, stroke, renal failure, metabolic syndrome, osteoporosis or hypothyroidism. It also increases the risk of cardiovascular disease (atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, arrhythmias, peripheral vascular disease).