When you are smoking nicotine can raise your metabolism so that you burn calories faster. Nicotine can also lower your appetite so that when you stop your taste buds become more sensitive and your appetite will improve and you may start to snack on comfort food to substitute for cigarettes. Replacing the HAND TO MOUTH habit by eating. This often is a reason which prevents many smokers to give up smoking. There is a fear of gaining unwanted weight, so they continue to smoke. But the health risks are far greater than worrying about weight gain: increased risk to coronary heart disease, stroke, Cancer. BHF
Here are some healthy tips to ignore the urge to smoke and to eat high calorie food:
Have regular healthy balanced meals to control snacking on unhealthy food whilst trying to stop smoking,
Swap the urge to eat sweets and biscuits when giving up smoking with fresh fruit and raw crunchy vegetable sticks and healthy yoghurt dips,
Carry sugar free gum or lollipops or straw for drinks to keep the mouth busy or brush your teeth using a oral care bag with fruit and water to avoid the physical urge to snack on unhealthy food or going back to smoking,
(So Your Oral care bag can contain: sugar free gum,sugar free lollipops, straws to drink water or flavoured low sugar water with lemon or mint or low sugar squash, fruit, tooth brush and a small tube of tooth paste and tooth picks)
To boost your metabolism, introduce regular daily exercise which can raise your confidence, self -esteem and help you cope better. Start with small daily achievable goals like taking the stairs more or walking little extra every day. Exercise can produce chemicals that reduce cravings for cigarettes. Why not buy a pedometer and gradually increase the steps you take. Remember to chart your success and reward with non-food . Ideas mentioned in previous blog.
Avoid alcohol in excess, sweet fizzy drinks, tea which make cigarettes taste better. Alcohol and smoking can increase risk of mouth cancer. Fruit, vegetables , low fat dairy and water are good because they can make cigarettes taste worse therefore helping you avoid smoking.
Have non-smoking supportive friends
Try NRT nicotine replacement therapy e. g patches, tab, lozenges, gums, nasal spray, inhalers to hold
Seek advice from support agencies if you are having real difficulties. www.smokefree.nhs.uk
Why not have a piggy bank for all the money you save and treat with a non -food reward. Adapted from NHS choices
· For specialised Diet and Nutrition advice seek the advice of a Professional Dietitian and Nutritionist Tabby kabeer