Quit Smoking Without Gaining Weight (cont.)

Beyond just not trying to gain weight, how likely are you to succeed at losing weight at the same time you quit smoking? It's all about knowing your own limitations, the experts say.

"I think that people are their own best judges," says Fisher. "To do both at once is taking on a double challenge, and I encourage people to recognize the importance of success. If you can quit smoking in January and lose weight in April or May when you can get outside and exercise, I think that's fine. But if you want to do both at once, and you feel juiced about doing that, then go for it, but don't be heroic and end up with failure."

Motivation and a good support system are key.

"It's about sticking with it, not giving into that first cigarette urge, using your support system -- whether it's talking to co-workers or friends or family or a support group, drinking plenty of water, eating healthy, being active, and planning ahead so you can handle cravings," says Purcell. "Just stick with it and ride it out."

Originally published Jan. 2, 2004
Medically updated Dec. 21, 2006.

SOURCES: Edwin Fisher, PhD, co-author, American Lung Association's How to Quit Smoking Without Gaining Weight; spokesperson, American Lung Association; professor of psychology, medicine, and pediatrics, Washington University, St. Louis, Mo. Cynthia Purcell, MS, nutritionist, smoking cessation therapist, Smoking Cessation Program, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia.

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