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Smoking And Weight

Some people start smoking because they think it will help to keep their weight down...

…others who already smoke worry that if they give up, their weight will spin out of control.

  • If you smoke, the nicotine can interfere with your appetite and affect how quickly food is broken down and turned into energy – otherwise known as your metabolism. But it’s not interfering in a good way.
  • Hunger pangs and nicotine cravings feel very similar, and for many smokers the first thing they do in the morning is light up to feed the ‘nicotine monsters’ in their head.
  • Having the first cigarette of the day can stop you from feeling hungry so then you don’t want breakfast. This might seem like a good thing to someone who’s trying to lose weight, but it’s actually completely the wrong way to do things.
  • Not eating for long periods of time makes your brain think your body is being starved, so it will store as much of the food as fat as it can when you do eventually eat. In effect, it slows your metabolism down.

If you’re trying to stop smoking, the very best start to every day is eating breakfast because:

  • It will help to keep you busy when you would have had a cigarette (a craving lasts for under a minute if you can distract yourself)
  • Breakfast will give you energy so that you can be more active, a great incentive to keep going with quitting
  • It will kick-start your metabolism for the day, helping you maintain a healthy weight

How to get help

If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively you can always contact your school nurse.

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