Q: Doesn't smoking help me lose weight? Won't I gain weight when I quit tobacco?
A: Contrary to what some believe, cigarettes do not speed up metabolism. But when you eventually quit, you will run the risk of gaining weight, since many people substitute food for cigarettes and end up eating more than they need to meet their energy demands.
The trick to preventing such weight gain? Don't start smoking in the first place, so you never have to worry about quitting. This strategy is far simpler and a lot less expensive. But if you're already a smoker, then try our stop smoking strategies and nutrition tips.
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Michael F. Roizen, MD, is Professor of Internal Medicine and Anesthesiology, Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of the Wellness Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. He has co-founded 12 companies, including the popular websites RealAge.com and YOUBeauty.com.
Mehmet C. Oz, MD, is Vice-Chair and Professor of Surgery at Columbia University and director of the Cardiovascular Institute and Complementary Medicine Program at New York Presbyterian Hospital. His TV show—The Dr. Oz Show— recently won its third Emmy, with Dr. Oz his second as the best daytime talk show host.
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