Everyone knows SMOKING is a recipe for BAD BODY CHEMISTRY, so quitting is something most smokers seriously contemplate……
Deliberate consideration does not always translate to DOING, because actually doing is complicated.
- Barrier # 1 – life without the nicotine buzz, is going to be less rewarding, in the short-term.
- Barrier # 2 – packing on a whole lot of extra pounds, is seldom flattering. And……….. a costly health hazard.
The fear of PUTTING ON WEIGHT, keeps many smokers “addicted”.
And, just to be clear, this is not an unfounded fear – stats suggest 80 % of quitters, put on weight. And not just a few pounds, 7-8 kg is the average weight gain. Albeit, it takes a couple of years to get here.
What is even more upsetting, this weight gain, appears to have very little to do with PIGGING OUT. It happens even when your diet remains UNCHANGED. Hell it even happens, when you commit to ONLY eating lettuce leaves.
A big, disincentive to NOT QUIT.
So what, or who, drives this weight gain ?
The reason quitters get fat
There is a growing body of evidence, suggesting that gut flora, do more than just chew on the left overs, they actively extract calories. Some do this more efficiently than other.
And fat people, seem to have gut flora that are anything but LAZY. These hyper-efficient bugs, squeeze out every ounce of energy from the foods that are consumed. And, these extra calories they provide….. need to be processed and stored.
A swiss research team wondered………..could gut flora be contributing to the quitters extra pounds ?
The team set about exploring , how gut residents responded to nicotine withdrawal.
Quitting the habit
To do this, they enlisted the help of 10 people, absolutely committed to quitting. Before these people went COLD TURKEY, a poop sample was obtained.
This was used to establish their base line flora.
And then………………the cigarettes were STOPPED.
Who quits when you quit ?
More poop samples were collected over a nine week period. And………. blood tests were used to confirm, all the participants REALLY had quit.
The bacterial composition of these samples was then compared to the base line sample, as well as to samples collected from five smokers and five non-smokers.
The team found…..
Some bacteria need a nicotine fix
The lack of nicotine sparked a mass exodus of bacteria. The goings, resulted in a big change in the inhabitants of the intestines. At the end of the nine week period, there were more Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes and less Firmicutes and Actinobacteria in residence.
And there was more of the quitters. The changed gut population, corresponded with an average weight increase of 2.2 kg.
For the record, the microbial populations in the people who smoked, as usual or didn’t smoke, as usual, barely changed over the nine week period. Of course, their weight’s also remained stable.
So, to avoid the post cigarette waistline explosion, you need to….
Invite the good guys
The reality is, when you quit smoking, you lose many of your smoking “buddies”. Both in the real world and in your gut.
Losing friends is never pleasant.
But, you need to move on, be pro-active, invite the good guys round for a drink.
PS. If you need additional help, battling the weight gain that accompanies “quitting”, you may want to use a little CANDY FLOSS.
Stress creates a bad neighbourhood in your gut, since the good bacteria pack their bags to avoid the fall out turning your gut into a bad neighbourhood which leads to “bad” health.
Heavier folks, breathe in more FRESH AIR, but more air in, also means more pollutants enter the lungs. Those more pollutants, cause more irritation….
Loneliness is associated with ill health. Could it also be contributing to obesity ? We need social interaction, not social media.
Interested in learning more about the chemistry behind those extra fat layers ?
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