The Truth About Smoking and Weight Loss

Smoking and weight maintenance have more things in common than you might think. According to a Physiology & Behavior study on obesity and cigarette smoking, there may be neurobiological overlaps between the two that impact one’s inhibitory control. Namely, chronic smoking and overeating are associated with a lowered function of the brain networks in charge of self-control. As it stands, cigarette smoking and obesity are the leading causes of premature morbidity and mortality, and together, they increase the risk of all-cause mortality fourfold.

Today, there are many approaches to weight loss. In our previous post discussing “3 Ways to Avoid Weight Gain”, we explained the importance of eating with intention. This includes being selective with the treats we eat, not to deprive ourselves of the occasional treat, but to avoid overeating and chronic unhealthy eating. Similarly, as mentioned above, cigarette smoking can also impact your weight. As such, developing the intent to quit is essential to preserve your health and achieve healthier weight maintenance. In this post, we’ll discuss the impact of smoking on weight maintenance and include tips on quitting:

Smoking and weight loss

Studies have linked cigarette smoking with weight loss for a while, with findings indicating that cigarette smokers are more likely to lose weight or not be overweight. Previous research on nicotine and energy balance explains how nicotine has been shown to decrease appetite, food intake, and body weight. These insights suggest that not only does nicotine reduce appetite and food intake, but it also increases resting and physical activity energy expenditure.

As a main ingredient in traditional cigarettes, nicotine’s impact on weight loss has become scrutinized. While weight loss can be good and healthy for people with weight-related health conditions, the health effects of cigarette smoking still exist.

Smoking and weight gain

On the other hand, the opposite effect happens when smokers do try to quit smoking. Weight gain after smoking cessation is widely reported as a hindrance for smokers who want to quit. A study from Clinical Obesity found that people affected by overweight or obesity tend to gain more weight than their regular weight counterparts during the smoking cessation journey. However, as previously mentioned, cigarette smoking is also associated with other health concerns, mainly an increased risk of cardiovascular or lung diseases, cancer, and death.

As such, smoking cessation is still the recommended course of action. Based on a weight gain and smoking cessation study published in Public Health, while quitting is significantly associated with weight and BMI gain, the benefits of smoking cessation far outweighs the risks of weight gain. Quitting smoking reduces mortality in the general population. Moreover, the weight gained after quitting cigarettes does not impact the risk of major chronic diseases.

Tips for quitting

Yes, quitting will benefit your health and weight maintenance. However, for most smokers, it’s always easier said than done. Quitting cold turkey can shock your body and eventually lead to relapsing and picking the habit back up. Instead, it’s better to transition your way into quitting by using nicotine alternatives.

Today, there are many oral and smoke-free nicotine products on the market. Prilla’s selection of nicotine pouches showcase the wide variety of brands, including On!, ZYN, and VELO, that cater to different target markets. Nicotine pouches are tobacco-free; each brand offers various flavors and nicotine strengths, which are absorbed through the mouth. Smokers have reported switching to nicotine pouches to avoid tobacco’s harms and use nicotine microdoses to wean off the habit gradually.

Aside from pouches, nicotine gum and lozenges from Lucy can also help with your smoking cessation journey. Lucy lozenges are one of the few recreational nicotine products that are FDA-approved as cessation aids. Like nicotine pouches, Lucy’s lozenges are discreet and mess-free, making them great to bring around whenever you feel the cigarette cravings coming.

Of course, you should also pair your alternative nicotine products with healthier lifestyle choices, from nutrition to fitness, to help eliminate the effects of smoking on your body and weight over time. For more help and information, you can inquire about our services at Basics and Beyond, which include personal training and coaching for fitness, as well as nutrition coaching to help you achieve meaningful results for weight loss and overall health.