You have decided to quit smoking but like many smokers, the fear of relapsing overwhelms you. Know that your diet can play a role in minimizing the effects of quitting smokingespecially on the weight?
According to Passeport Santé, a diet should be adopted immediately after quitting smoking. This must be high in fiber, lean protein and nutrients, which will reduce dietary compensation and stabilize weight. It is therefore essential to split the diet and include snackslimiting the intake of bad fats and simple sugars, increasing the intake of fiber and protein, hydrating the body sufficiently and doing physical activity.
Such a plan will allow you, among other things, avoid food compensation related to quitting smokingto adopt an overall healthier lifestyle and to include foods that cut the urge to smoke.
Include fiber and protein
When a person smokes, they are used to putting something in their mouth. To facilitate weaning, the cigarette break can then turn into a snack break, although it must remain as balanced as possible. To have a healthy snack, it is recommended to combine a source of protein with a source of fiber such as a cereal bar accompanied by fresh fruit or Greek yogurt accompanied by fruit compote.
To also minimize the effects of quitting smoking on weight gain, you can include a source of protein at each meal minimum 15 grams per meal. This can be a cup of skimmed milk, an egg or even 75 grams of meat. As for dietary fiber, the recommended amount is 25 to 30 grams per day. Overall, foods that contain a good fiber content are fruits (apple, banana, orange…), the vegetables (carrot, tomato, potato…) grain products and legumes.
Practice a physical activity
It is also important to stay well hydrated throughout the day by drinking 1.5 to 2 liters of water every day and more in case of strong heat or physical activity. But beware, only water is essential. Sodas, fruit juices, milk drinks and coffee do not replace pure drinking water.
As part of the post-smoking cessation diet, regular physical activity is recommended and to integrate, if possible, weight training exercises in order to increase muscle mass to naturally accelerate its basic metabolism. You can for example walk 30 minutes every day during the lunch break or take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Finally, on a daily basis, it is advisable to replace refined grain products with brown rice, pasta or wholemeal bread, replacing white flour with whole wheat flour or eat a small handful of dried fruits and nuts as a snack. It is important not to embark on an overly restrictive diet in order to limit long-term weight gain and facilitate smoking cessation.