So, people will often say that one of the unfortunate side effects of quitting smoking is weight gain. It is incredibly frustrating to be suddenly so hungry all the time, especially when happily losing weight steadily before hand. So, why? And what can you do about it?
Smoking increases the production of adrenaline
Smoking causes the brain to release adrenaline, which can instruct the body to dump any excess glucose into the bloodstream from glycogen (stored glucose) in the liver. This is why smokers can have higher blood sugar levels. The higher levels of blood sugar act as an appetite suppressant. And when you quit, your blood sugar is reduced, causing you to want to eat more.
The adrenaline also artificially increases the heart rate and boosts metabolism, so when you quit you have a reduced metabolic rate, and eating the same amount of food would result in storing more of this food.
Food is much more appetizing
It is without doubt that food tastes much better, and is generally more appealing when you have quit smoking. No doubt smoking dulls the taste buds, and I would also suggest that perhaps it causes dopamine receptors to be thoroughly occupied, that would otherwise respond to the sight or taste of food. For whatever reason, food is more appealing generally, which can cause you to want to eat more of it!
Hand to mouth movements
Of course there may be some comfort in the action of putting something into your mouth to replace the hand to mouth action of smoking, and so the obvious answer is to fill the void with snacks.
How to deal with quit smoking appetite
I feel a million times better after finding this out! They say that knowledge is power, it is always nicer to know why. . . And I am sure that in the first few weeks of not smoking, it would be better to reach for snacks like fruit, wholegrains and I am certainly thinking of vegetable strips with a delicious vegetable based dip.
I am going to find some delicious dip recipes to bring here for the start of the week. Another good option is air popped popcorn. Although you may be craving carbohydrates, it is probably not a good idea to fill up on sweets and chips, for the obvious reason of excess energy intake, but also because it will cause blood sugar to spike, inevitably crash and leave you with an uncomfortable feeling and craving more sweet foods.
Healthy snack week
There are are some gorgeous dip recipes in the Liver Cleansing Diet book, and also in Kimberly Snyder’s Beauty Detox. I also want to find a nice hummus recipe, as that would be very tasty with vegetable sticks. And generally find yummy, healthy things to keep the cravings at bay and succeed in this extremely difficult task of giving up smoking!!