Do you fear that you may gain weight when you quit smoking? Some find that they gain between 6 to 10 pounds when they give up smoking. It is best not to try to lose weight and quit smoking at the same time. Gaining weight may discourage you from quitting altogether and may cause additional stress and frustration. Neither is helpful when you’re trying to make a healthy lifestyle change.\nWhat Might Cause You to Gain Weight When You Quit Smoking?\n\nNicotine decreases your appetite, so it may increase after quitting. Food is sometimes substituted for smoking and used as a reward. Weight gain may occur when cigarettes are replaced with food.\nMany people tend to crave sweets after quitting.\nA cigarette usually marks the end of a meal. After quitting, you may find yourself having extra helpings of food or turning to dessert instead of a cigarette after eating.\nFood may smell and taste better after you quit because you are no longer tasting the smoke of cigarettes.\n\nTips to prevent weight gain\n\nDevelop a new way to end your meal.\nReplace cigarettes with fresh vegetable sticks.\nDecrease the amount of sugar in your diet.\nUse low-calorie or no-calorie snacks, candy, or gum.\nStart drinking more water to feel full. Drink a glass of water before meals.\nStay away from fast food restaurants.\nReduce the amount of fat in your diet.\nAvoid alcohol, high-calorie juices, and soda.\nEat breakfast. Your body will burn more calories during the day if you eat at least some breakfast.\nFind ways to fit exercise into your daily routine (check with your doctor before making major changes in your exercise level). Try taking the stairs instead of the elevator or join a fun exercise class.\n\nHaving a healthy lifestyle is important. For more tips about staying healthy, check out our Journey to a Smoke Free Life booklet. You can also enroll in a Smoking Cessation program at many of our UPMC facilities.