what you need to EAT after you quit smoking and Why

Avoid Cravings and Weight Gain!  

 Many people are afraid to quit cigarettes because they fear weight gain and cravings or other withdrawal symptoms. You may find that as a smoker, you don’t have to eat as much to fuel your body; that smoking acts as a form of  appetite control. You may be reluctant to give that up!

Do you skip meals, especially breakfast? At what cost? Not only do you miss out on much needed nutrition, you inhale all the poisons and toxins of the cigarette – a double negative whammy! What you probably don’t know is that many of the most aggravating symptoms of nicotine withdrawal arise from a  sudden drop in blood sugar and you may feel symptoms such as :

  • headaches
  • dizziness,
  • confusion,
  •  inability to concentrate,
  • irritability
  • hunger.

 You see, when you smoke a cigarette, the nicotine you inhale triggers the ‘fight or flight’ response and signals your body to release stored fats and sugars to fuel the expected ‘action’. Your body is expecting you to run away or fight something.(This by the way is why you feel SO stressed as a smoker!) In this state you do not feel like eating and your body wouldn’t digest food well anyway. Remove the nicotine  and your normal appetite will return – along with your health.

Remember the basics people – Why Do We Eat?

Apart from the fact that it tastes good, we eat for nutrition to supply energy. If we do not eat the processes and functions of our body suffer. Add some poison from a cigarette and you suffer more.

 Nicotine also inhibits the body’s ability to use insulin. When you stop smoking your body must re-learn how to control its sugar and insulin levels. The good news is that most of the blood sugar regulators in the brain return to normal within three days of quitting cigarettes or tobacco. However, if you continue to eat a lot of sugary foods you body will struggle to control it with insulin and you are likely to put on weight.

  • Remember – it is impossible to burn fat when there is too much sugar in your bloodstream that needs to be burnt first. Large portion sizes or too many fatty foods will also stack the weight on.


 One of the most important things is to Keep your blood sugar level by eating regular meals and snacks.

 A high protein breakfast when you get up is especially important. Don’t give the sugar cravings a chance to even get started. Your breakfast could be an egg on some wholegrain toast, some whole grain and nut muesli with low fat milk, even a small, lean steak with mushrooms. You only need around  100 grams of meat per serving though which is about the size of your fist. This will keep you full and satisfied, keeping any pesky symptoms at bay.

Some people like to skip the grains and bread completely. I wouldn’t advise that  in this situation but i f you do just make sure you eat enough and have carbs such as sweet potato, or beans.

You could also-

  • Prepare your lunch and snacks ahead of time so you don’t get caught short.

  • Eat lots of fresh vegetables and  salads

  • Eat healthy nuts

  • Eat two pieces of fruit per day rather than fatty, sugary snack foods.

  • If you just need to chew something, get some sugarless gum.

The next thing is FLUIDS (and we are not talking about coffee here). Of course you should always keep well hydrated. Good hydration will improve your thinking capacity any day, and avoid that mental confusion.

For the first few days after quitting pay particular attention to drinking plenty of water to help you detox. You might also-

  • Sip unsweetened fruit juice

  • Eat small portions of fresh fruit several times a day to give yourself an extra sugar boost when you need it.

 Even before you need it!

After a few days, once symptoms subside a bit (if you even get any), cut back on the fruit juice as this can be quite high in sugar and kilojoules/calories.

Remember also, that when nicotine is used, the energy released by your body enters the bloodstream quite quickly. However, when you eat it can take up to 20 minutes for the effects to be felt. Keep this in mind.

You do not need to keep eating for 20 minutes until you feel better!  This will cause over eating and weight gain. Keep your blood sugar topped up so you don’t get too hungry in the first place, little and often is the key.

 Of course for all this to happen, you actually have to quit cigarettes and using quit smoking hypnosis is the best way I know. If you are unsure how to manage your food you might consider getting some help with that too.

Just give us a call on  1300 131255 or email your questions to info@quitfast.com.au

You can also post questions on our ‘Symmetry’ Facebook site.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *