Been cutting down on ciggies the past few weeks. Haven’t gained weight yet but I’ve been obsessing about restricting and not giving in to cravings. It sucks because it feels like I’m slipping back into a lot of habits I had while struggling with eating disorders. Any advice on healthy ways to manage cravings and potential weight gain while quitting?

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Weight gain - weight loss

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  • avatar-icon
    Blondene said:
    15 February 2020

    Hi puffy the's quite normal to gain weight when we quit.m.ensuring to be mindful of the foods you choose to eat will help with the weight issues..if you eat right and exercise that should help with gaining weight it is quite normal to gain some weight while quitting..noting you gain back your taste and smell so food tastes much better once you've quit...stick to this site and read up on the 4Ds 😊

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    clarence the cat said:
    15 February 2020

    I totally agree with Blondene. You will gain some weight, but more that a few kilos would be unusual.
    Step up your exercise and follow your sensible eating regime and you will be OK.
    The weight gained during a quit is often lost again once your body adjusts to your SMOKEFREE life.

  • avatar-icon
    Quitline Admin said:
    16 February 2020

    Kia ora,

    Remember that quitting smoking is absolutely the best thing you can do for your health.

    Smoking increases metabolism and reduces appetite, as well as dulling sense of taste and smell. When you quit, this returns to normal which can cause weight gain in some people. Sometimes people tend also to look at food as a habitual replacement, feeling like they need to be doing something with their hands and mouth, and ease that feeling of restlessness.

    With the habitual side, finding other things to do at those times can help. For example taking a walk, doing a crossword or playing a phone game.

    If eating something is a way to keep you off the smokes, aim to eat something low in calories, high in fibre, and requires a lot of chewing, like carrot sticks or celery.

    A change of mindset towards food can help to build a healthier relationship with food, instead of deciding what you need to restrict yourself of, turn this around and start thinking of what you can add in to nourish yourself, such as a variety of colourful fruit and vegetables.

    Focus on fibre and protein intake, higher intakes of these will keep you fuller for longer, which naturally displaces less healthy foods in your diet.

    Hope this helps and please remember if you ever do feel yourself slipping into those old habits associated with eating disorders you can always talk it over with a trained counsellor and get some guidance of where to go from here, 24/7 by calling or texting 1737 the need to talk line.