does smoking cessation cause weight gain

Will I gain weight If I quit smoking?

Most people thinking about smoking cessation are afraid they will put on weight. It’s always been a hot topic of discussion with my clients, and its number one fear associated with quitting smoking.

I’ve long argued that there is a very good reason why ex-smokers put on weight and I’ll get to that in a moment.

In the meantime it seems a study on mice from Yale in 2011 revealed that smoking can, indeed, suppress your appetite. This study has also led to the development yet another drug to keep ex-smokers slim.

Why Smoking Makes You Eat Less

Apparently it has something to do with the interaction of nicotine with a part of your brain called the hypothalamus. Since this part of the brain controls food intake, it seems that nicotine sends it a message to eat less.

During this study, the mice weren’t actually given nicotine but a similar drug called cytisine and as it happens, the mice ate less and lost weight.

It’s Just One Study

Okay, it is a study, I’ll give you that. But it was a study done on mice, not human beings. Yes, smoking suppresses your appetite but it also masks a lot of anxiety and stress.

Many of my stop smoking hypnosis clients reported quitting in the past and putting on weight, and part of that was due to an awakening of taste buds and a subsequent slight increase in appetite.

But another huge part of the equation is the fact that when anxiety smokers quit, they need to find some other way to manage that anxiety – and many turn to food as a substitute for the cigarettes.

Anxiety Smokers Eat More When They Quit

Things you should know about the two types of smoker

Of the thousands of clients I’ve seen over a period of 11 years, those who were habit smokers had no problem with their weight after they quit. On the other hand, anxiety smokers (those who smoked to manage stress, anger, boredom, etc…) had a more difficult time.

If you haven’t read any of my articles on smoking I’ll need to refresh your memory on this one. Habit smokers often quit easily in one session of hypnosis because they’re not using smoking as a crutch to deal with deeper issues and mind states.

Anxiety smokers ARE using smoking as a crutch and as a result they may take a bit longer to quit because we have to get underneath and treat the cause of the smoking as well as the smoking itself.

It All Boils Down To Symptom And Cause

If you are an anxiety smoker, you have to give your subconscious mind another more positive way of managing the stress other than with smoking.

If you don’t, one of three things will happen:

  • You won’t quit;
  • You’ll quit until something stressful happens and the you’ll resume smoking;
  • You’ll replace the smoking with an equally addictive behaviour, such as overeating, drinking or gambling.

At the end of the day your subconscious mind is looking to protect you. That’s why if you’re thinking of hypnosis for smoking cessation, your therapist must address the problem from all angles.

So do your research and find the best hypnotherapist available to help you quit cigarettes for good. If you would like to talk to me about your smoking problem feel free to call or email me via my contact page.