Does quitting smoking slow down metabolism?
What effect does quitting smoking have on metabolic rate? Before I answer that question, let me tackle the most popular myth about quitting smoking – which says that any one who quits the cancer stick, will automatically put on weight. This is not universally true. And there are latest studies to confirm this.
In a large study in the UK, which involved over one thousand women who quit smoking, no clear picture emerged. While some women gained weight, some remained the same and some women even lost weight. However, with regards to the women who gained weight in the range of 5 to 10 pounds over a number of months, the result was attributed to their metabolic changes (or the change in their metabolic rate).
So how does smoking affect our body weight? It is a fact that smoking helps in burning calories – up to 200 calories a day if you are a heavy smoker. This means that smoking can increase the metabolic rate or the rate at which energy is expended.
Outsmarting the pounds can counteract the slight weight gain that may occur due to slowing of metabolic rate upon quitting smoking. How do you do that? Remember, if you were a heavy smoker, you were burning 200 calories per day.
Now to burn the same amount of calories per day, you could:
- Walk briskly for 45 minutes or swim for 30 minutes every day.
- You could eliminate 200 calories from your daily calorie intake. Some of the common foods which we have every day which contains approximately 200 calories include 1 liter of beer (22 calories), 20 regular potato chips (220 calories), 4 chocolate sandwich cookies (213 calories), and 2 tablespoon butter (200 calories).
One of the biggest benefits of quitting smoking is that body realizes the absence and the energy levels increase; you will begin to feel better physically.
The other way to counteract the effects of slowing of metabolic rate is to indulge in regular moderate physical exercise, which can keep weight gain to a minimum and boost your metabolic rate. Exercises increases metabolism, helps you burn more calories, and reduces tension and stress. Moreover, the endorphins released in the brain during exercise actually make you feel more energetic and better.
According to New York Times: Smokers fear the gaining of weight after quitting, but studies have shown that the opposite occurs, with them actually losing weight after quitting.
In summary, if cigarette smoking raises the metabolic rate by about 20 percent according to some experts, people who quit smoking but continue to eat the same number of calories, gain weight. Knowing this, ex-smokers can ward off the expected weight gain by making some lifestyle changes.
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