Nutrition & Appetite While Quitting

It's normal for your appetite to increase and your sense of taste to change after quitting smoking. Avoid overeating, weight gain, and poor nutrition by staying in control of your food choices.

Increased appetite is a common withdrawal symptom after quitting. It tends to last longer than other symptoms. When you quit smoking, your senses of taste and smell improve and return to normal. Food is more enjoyable. This may also increase your appetite.

After quitting, your food likes and dislikes might change. It is common for people to say that before quitting they didn’t have a sweet tooth but now eat sweet foods. Studies show that people want more sweet and fatty foods after quitting. Sweet and fatty foods usually are high in calories.

Snack Smart

When you quit smoking, you may miss the feeling of having something to do with your mouth and hands. Eating or snacking is like the action of smoking. This need to have something in your mouth goes away over time. Try to keep your hands and mouth busy with a toothpick or straw. Or you can chew on healthy foods such as carrots and celery, or even sugar-free mints.

Eat Mindfully

Research shows that people tend to use food in the same ways they used cigarettes. They use food to deal with stress or boredom, reward themselves, pass time, or help them be social. It is important to know why you eat even when you are not hungry. You can eat mindfully by eating slower. Eating slower is healthier too. Take time to enjoy your food. You are more likely to notice when you are full. Try turning off the TV and shutting off your phone while you eat. Going gadget-free helps you pay attention to the details of your food. You might notice flavors and textures you otherwise would have missed.

Control Weight

Changes in your diet or eating more food might cause you to gain weight. It is possible to reduce the chance you will gain weight after you quit smoking. If you have a plan to deal with appetite and nutrition changes, you can manage your weight. Exercise can be an important part of that plan to help you reduce cravings, reduce your appetite, and handle stress.

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