Will smoking affect your appetite?

Will smoking affect your appetite?

Nicotine in tobacco reduces appetite, increases energy expenditure and slows down fat storage. That said, it would be wrong to consider nicotine as a diet product! Indeed, cigarette smoke is responsible for taste disorders that lead to poor eating habits . Tobacco consumption also changes the hormonal balance, which causes a new distribution of body fat that is concentrated in the belly. In addition, smoking often leads to a more sedentary lifestyle, while regular physical activity tones the muscles and refines the body shape.

It is not uncommon to gain a little weight when quitting, but it is not systematic. The majority of smokers took a maximum of 5 kilograms (11 pounds) after one year of stopping.

During the first month of stopping, it is common to feel an increase in appetite, but this phenomenon is transient. The intake of nicotine suppresses the feeling of lack and avoids nibbling that would compensate for cravings. Nicotine is therefore not inevitable in your quit smoking.

Physical dependence on tobacco

The feeling of feeling more focused or awake after smoking a cigarette is just that adrenaline production by our body. At the same time, our brain will produce dopamine, the molecule of pleasure, creating a sense of satisfaction and relaxation. Nevertheless, the level of nicotine in the brain, just like the pleasure effect of smoking, disappears in a few minutes. This triggers the vicious cycle of addiction because you will need to smoke another cigarette to keep you feeling good.



If you stop smoking and break this cycle of addiction, you will experience a number of physical symptoms because of the feeling of lack experienced by your body. The feeling of lack in nicotine starts quickly, usually within an hour after the last cigarette. The symptoms of craving can last from a few days to several weeks and can differ between each individual. The symptoms of the lack of nicotine are as follows:

Symptoms of lack of nicotine

  • Need cigarettes
  • Irritability, frustration or anger
  • Anxiety and nervousness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Greater appetite
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Tired
  • Constipation or upset stomach
  • Depression
  • Slower heart rate

Balanced diet and regular physical activity

Having a balanced diet and regular physical activity (at least the equivalent of half an hour of walking a day) are the watchwords for controlling your weight when you stop smoking. However, do not try to impose draconian diet when you quit smoking, it would want to fight on all fronts. Go at your own pace and keep in mind that even if you take a few pounds during weaning, they will be easier to lose once you are cleared of the cigarette.

Here are some basic principles for a healthy and balanced diet:

  • Take full meals at regular times by taking your time; it takes about 20 minutes to feel satiety.
  • Drink water at will and limit sugary drinks and alcohol.
  • Do not salt dishes before tasting, limit cookies, sausages and cheese
  • Fruits and vegetables: at least 5 a day, at each meal,
  • Bread, cereals, potatoes and pulses: with each meal and according to the appetite, favoring the variety.
  • Milk and dairy products (yogurts, cheeses): 3 per day, choose the least fat and least salty cheeses (eg 20% ​​or even 0% fat).
  • Consume the least fat meat or fish (fish: at least 2 times a week): 1 to 2 times a day.
  • Fatty and sweet foods (pastries, pastries, custard creams, chocolate, ice cream) are to be limited.

Here are some tips to help you when you stop smoking:

  • Drink water regularly, avoid coffee and alcohol.
  • Do sports or exercise (walking, DIY, gardening, taking the stairs …).
  • Start the day with a full breakfast, including for example bread or cereals, fruit, yogurt etc.
  • Eat a small bowl of soup or fruit after your workday (before dinner time).
  • Focus on low-fat meats (chicken fillet, rabbit, ham, steak, rib eye) and fish, all accompanied by a good amount of cooked or raw vegetables.
  • Consume at least one starch (potatoes, pasta, rice, bread) with each meal.
  • Maintain a varied diet by limiting fatty foods (cold cuts, cheese), sweet (chocolate, pastries) and dishes in sauce.