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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is the best way to manage my weight if I am trying to quit smoking?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Luke Delvecchio

    Diabetes Educator, Exercise Physiologist, Nutritionist

    Specializing in the assessment and treatment of metabolism related weight disorders. View Profile

    When somebody quits smoking, one of the repercussions is a reduction in the resting metabolic rate, or as commonly known, metabolism. So smoking does elevate the metabolism. So therefore, if you quit smoking, your metabolism may drop. Therefore, that may mean you can put on weight more easily with the same volumes of food they've been eating.

    The best thing an individual can do whilst they're quitting smoking and trying to manage their weight is to make sure they maintain high levels of exercise, aerobic training and weight training. They should also make sure they monitor their calorie intake. They may need to reduce their calorie intake as a result of a reduced resting metabolic rate.

  • Melissa Adamski

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    I am an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) and Accredited Nutritionist (AN) with a passion for food and good nutrition. I also have my own private … View Profile

    Great response by Luke. Many people in their attempts to quit smoking may gain some rate, not just becuase of changes to their metabolic rate but becuase they are trying to distract themselves and keep their hands busy (which once held cigarettes)- and many people do this by putting food in their mouth.

    Learning about sensible snack options from an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) can help you understand which foods are best for you to snack on (looking at both energy content and how healthy the foods are). 

    A dietitian can take into account the types of foods you like and also your lifestyle to help reduce your chances of eating, while still keeping you satisfied during the cravings.

    When looking for a snack (e.g. morning, afternoon tea or dessert) aim for around 400kj / snack if you are trying to lose.manage your weight. Having a high fibre, low GI, high protein snack may help you feel less hungry which may help reduce your tendency to reach for food during cravings. Nuts, yogurts, piece of wholegrain toast with light cootage cheese, fruit and nut mix etc are a few suggestions to think about- but remember to keep portion sizes small.

    The QUITline  had resources for people on suitable snacks and nibbles for people quitting smoking (I am not sure if they are still avaliable).

  • Sherri Mulconry


    I combine Hypnotherapy, Coaching and Counselling and offer programs to help you release the automatic negative thoughts and beliefs that are holding you back from … View Profile

    The best way to stop any bad habit is to replace it with lots of good habits. This is especially true in the case of stopping smoking. At the times throughout your day when you would normally have had a cigarette, create a new, positive habit that does not involve eating e.g drinking a glass of water, taking a few slow, deep breaths, listen to a favourite song, say an affirmation, have a cup of green tea, go for a walk around the block, do a crossword etc. By doing this you are creating new, positive associations that don't include smoking or eating. You will not be tempted to use food as a substitute to cigarettes and you will be less likely to resort back to smoking in stressful situations. and

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