Posted by: Frank | 2008/10/28

Eating pattern after quitting smoking

I quit smoking some 14 months ago. I have however found that I eat much more during the day, which I suspect is a consequence of quitting - my mouth is not getting all the attention it used to when I smoked, so now this is " quenched"  by eating.

I have picked up 22 kg' s since quitting, and now have problems with hypertension and cholesterol, all spin-offs from the " feeding frenzy" .

Any ideas how I can satisfy my mouh' s craving for attention without adding weight? I suspect that, once I can retun to my old eating patterns, I will automatically lose the excess weight.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Frank
It is excellent that you have stopped smoking, but regrettable that you have gained 22 kg and now suffer from hypertension and high cholesterol levels. A need for oral satisfaction is well known in the field of psychology and there are ways of satisfying this urge without piling on the kgs. The most important aid is to chew sugarless chewing gum - zero kJs, but your mouth gets that satisfaction it craves. Then if you do nibble, eat only very-low-energy foods such as celery or carrot sticks, baby tomatoes, berries (strawberries are in season at the moment), citrus fruit (oranges or grapefruit), apples or pears. I would like to also recommend that you consult a clinical dietitian for a diet that will reduce your weight and lower both your bp and the cholesterol. Visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area. Ask the dr who is treating your for the hypertension and raised cholesterol levels if you are allowed to exercise and if so, what type of exercise is allowed. Doing 30 min of aerobic exercise like swimming or cycling or brisk walking will assist with the weightloss and make you feel in charge of your life again. Click on 'Diet' at the top of this page and then on "Weightloss' and check out the low-fat slimming diets; also click on 'You are what you eat' and read the 'Healthy Heart' section; and click on 'Food as medicine' and 'Hypertension' and read about the DASH Diet which was developed in the USA to lower bp. Finally it may help to read up about tips to prevent weight gain after smoking cessation by doing a search on the DietDoc section with 'Stopping Smoking'.
Good luck with this new regimen

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